Six Tips for Improving Contact Handling Quality

  • October 19th, 2016

    Written by TelStrat

    Every contact center manager is concerned about agents maintaining their service quality standard.  Consider these tips for ensuring your center achieves top-line goals:

    1. Monitoring and evaluating agent contact handling can provide great benefits, particularly: improving customer satisfaction (CSAT), lowering average handling time (AHT), increasing first contact resolution (FCR), resolving customer issues quicker, enhancing work flow, improving morale and productivity, and identifying ways to increase profitability.
    2. Establishing a process for listening to your customers can help drive better performance. Real-time status reporting of performance metrics and trends, available to all staff, helps guide their efforts to meet organizational customer satisfaction objectives. KPI dashboards give agents, supervisors, and you access to current state and trending of CSAT, FCR, and AHT metrics.
    3. Determine appropriate KPIs for your contact center. Use data from your enterprise applications and industry benchmarks to inform KPIs. Use real-time metrics to help staff improve responsiveness to customers for more successful outcomes. Monitor and refine efforts to meet and exceed standards to deliver excellence that builds greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    4. Calibration is important to creating and maintaining customer handling consistency. Calibration enables evaluators to attain objectivity and continuous improvement in evaluating. It helps standardize the process so evaluators learn to rate handling instances with the same scores. And, it enables staff to adhere to industry-wide quality standards, promote service excellence and fairness. Agents, supervisors, QA managers, and center management should participate in calibration sessions so that all staff informs the ‘quality culture’.
    5. Timely coaching helps create agent engagement. When agents are made aware of issues in their contact handling quickly they are more easily able to respond favorably to coaching. Providing coaching materials prior to performance reviews gives agents time to consider performance and understand it aligns, or not, with the quality standard. They can learn to correct themselves and discover ways to handle specific issues in the future.
    6. Consider applying speech analytics to recorded customer interactions. Analyze these using key words and phrases relevant to your quality standards. You can uncover and identify customer feedback, marketplace trends, and service issue root causes. You can find best and worst call handling examples that can be used for agent best-practices training.  Your analysis may detect needs for handling process improvements.  You will benefit from correlating findings with comparable performance benchmarks. Likely you will gain fresh insights for making contact handling improvements that can lead to reduced liability risk and increased customer and agent satisfaction.