Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BPA Quality Touts Measuring the Subjective for Call Center Improvement

by David Sims

It's interesting to hear a call center provider talk about its philosophy of how the company goes about its business. BPA Quality officials say that the challenge as managers is to "move the barometer of performance from poor or average to outstanding." 
"We probably have all been on the receiving end of poor or average customer service," they say, adding that research shows that "a contributing factor to this is that often when agents are given feedback it is often in varying degrees subjective -- the impact of this is that either the agent believes that the feedback is biased and disregards it, or genuinely does not know how to improve based on the feedback."
For example, they say, the agent may be told to be friendlier. Which is great, but what if the agent does not know how to be friendlier? Right -- she has a job waiting for her at the IRS tomorrow. But stay focused here.
BPA's experience and research in the field for over twenty years lets them claim specialist status in analyzing behavior by "constructing metrics that allow the precise measurement of performance. Seemingly subjective elements of calls are accurately measured."
This means that feedback becomes objective and actionable and easily delivered consistently by supervisors, company officials say: "Agents have confidence in the feedback and know how to improve. The organization has an accurate and objective view of performance by team, center or enterprise-wide."
BPA officials say that, armed with all that, "we then apply your standards, your technical requirements and your policies to our philosophies to identify the key activities that result in a Quality Customer Experience. We then strive to develop clear, well defined criteria to help support the activities that result in a successful customer interaction."
Part of this is then eliminating the “gray areas” of typical quality monitoring by developing detailed definitions of these key criteria and support this clarity through extensive calibration and analysis of the consistency of the data.
The result, they say, is "clear results and actionable observations that allow your managers, supervisors and agents to modify the behaviors of the call center activities to build a Quality Customer Experience time and time again.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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