5 Ways Quality Assurance Improves Employee Satisfaction and Morale

Can SMB call center quality management be about more than quality? Yep, it’s the linchpin of employee engagement, too!

Monitoring and scoring calls—these quality assurance (QA) tasks are constant at nearly every contact center. For the most part, managers tend to think about QA in terms of improving customer experience (CX) or, unfortunately, as a mere policing function intended to “crack down” on undesirable agent behaviors.

When seen this way, QA sessions can become dreaded experiences for agents, a report card focused primarily on what they’re doing wrong. But QA can be so much more!

By taking an agent-centric approach to contact center call recording quality management, regular QA feedback can become an opportunity for growth that agents welcome—one that improves employee satisfaction, morale, retention and yes, employee engagement. Seriously. Here’s how.

#1 By the Numbers

QA delivers clear, quantitative feedback agents can build on

Specialties like customer service can feel nebulous. Especially at first, agents may understand the importance of positive CX in improving customer satisfaction but struggle with how to execute an “ideal” interaction.

Fortunately, carefully developed QA scorecards, customized to each program, can serve as a “recipe” for agents to follow. With quantitative metrics and reporting, agents can gauge whether they’ve gotten better at giving a welcoming call opening or using mirroring effectively. As the numbers go up, so does agent confidence!

Take it to the next level

Group QA metrics into tiers, representing milestones toward interaction mastery. Focus on one or two skills over multiple sessions with an agent and, once those skills appear consistently, move up the ladder. This way, the learning curve is more manageable and agents can celebrate their progress.

#2 Come together, over QA

Call review and coaching sessions contribute to team building

QA hinges on call monitoring and scoring, along with good call center analytics and reporting—but then it gets personal. Most contact center QA structures integrate one-on-one call feedback and coaching, provided by a member of the QA team, the agent’s manager, or both. 

These are highly interactive sessions that open communications channels, so agents get to know their leaders, understand expectations and receive support. Handled well, QA sessions are integral to team building.

Take it to the next level

Maximize two-way communications in QA interactions. Ask agents for their own ideas for improving a call, see if they have questions about a contact strategy that’s been modeled or solicit their input on how they learn best. Now you’ve given agents more of a voice.

#3 Improve agents’ call experience

Agents’ ability to transform CX make interactions more pleasant

Let’s face it, many of the calls any contact center agent will field are from frustrated customers. Maybe their website order returned an error message or they can’t figure out their bill. Agents with strong skills and knowledge can direct contact flow and meet the customer’s needs efficiently. This helps move customers from initial irritation, disappointment or other negative emotion to a more positive state. Such success—and the thanks that may come from it—can improve agents’ attitudes as well.

Take it to the next level

Identify situations in which agents handled a tough customer with aplomb—even if the call outcome wasn’t everything they hoped. Underscore that agents cannot always govern a customer’s reaction, but they can determine their own behavior and how they allow a call to affect them. Contact centers bombard agents with a lot of external forces, so empower them with a sense of control. 

#4 Steer toward excellence

Feedback provided at least weekly helps drive steady growth

If you were to take a road trip from Miami to New York, you wouldn’t set an autopilot compass to north and walk away. The drive would be a series of incremental adjustments along a chosen route.

It’s much the same with contact center roles. A multitude of incremental adjustments will result in far greater skills improvement in less time than annual or monthly performance reviews. Not only do agents get more total feedback, they become accustomed to the input, so the process is no longer intimidating or deflating. Striving for continual improvement is just part of the job.

Take it to the next level

Build in agent self-assessments as well, so they learn to analyze their own performance and chart a course toward their professional goals. This high-level skill will serve them well throughout their agent tenure and beyond. 

#5 A revelation

QA input can uncover talents agents may not be aware of

Any of us can overlook something we’re especially talented at, simply because it comes easily and we don’t give it much thought. The QA process typically raises discussions about an agent’s strongest abilities. Finding out they have a great way with words, a knack with technical information or a natural empathy with others can be exceptionally motivating and make agents feel understood and appreciated.

Take it the next level

Build career maps that funnel agents with different talents into roles within the organization for which they will be well suited. Discuss with agents how to improve their skills to ready themselves for advancement. Having a bright future means a lot.

Conclusion

All of these tips center on a few ideas—instilling confidence, giving agents a voice and sense of control and helping them make progress toward new opportunities. These factors increase how emotionally invested employees will be in the organization and the customers they serve—and that translates directly into contact center workforce engagement.

If you’re just getting started with call center quality management, it may feel like using QA sessions to improve employee engagement is something to deal with in a faraway future—but it needn’t be so.

We’ve outlined some easy-to-apply quality management strategies for SMB call centers to help allocate limited QA resources and home in on the highest impact actions. These tips can help you focus on call monitoring, analysis and reporting activity so you can concentrate some added attention on direct, engagement-boosting interactions with agents.

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