The goal was to motivate customer service employees to deliver a better customer experience by monitoring calls and giving feedback on calls. The manager carefully crafted a monitoring form, which would be used to measure everything from listening skills to friendliness, to empathy. Each dimension on the score sheet was rated on a 5-point scale after supervisors listened to a random sample of calls between employees and customers.
Two months into the new quality monitoring plan, employees were complaining about the “fairness” of scores, supervisors were stressed as they struggled to find time to listen to calls, coach employees and record all the data.
Just 5 months after introducing the new quality plan, management acknowledged that the project was thrown together without proper research or knowledge, it was too difficult to manage, and employees perceived the program as unfair. The entire plan was benched.
This, friends is an excellent example of how not to do a quality monitoring plan. Quality monitoring programs must motivate employees to perform at optimal levels, be easy to manage, and yes, they must be fair. Today I will explore with you 3 ways to Get Quality Monitoring Right.
One. Let Employees Listen to Their Own Calls
For Christmas, we made a DVD for my parents. My children and I each spoke for about 3 minutes on what we are grateful for from my parents. When we were all sitting down at the computer editing the video, my 13-year-old son said, “I can’t believe I sound like that.” And “I want to do it over because I don’t like my posture.” Sitting at the computer, my son was able to self-evaluate and determine, on his own, what needed to be improved. It’s a lot like hearing yourself on the answering machine for the first time. Remember when we had those? Most of us hated how we sounded on the recording.
When your employees hear their own calls, they begin to self-evaluate and self-correct. Let them listen to their own calls. Before you coach the call, ask, “How did that call feel to you?” When you open this way, employees will automatically begin to coach their own calls, much like my son started to self-evaluate his performance on a simple DVD for his grandparents.
Two. Don’t Make It About the Scores. Make It About Coaching Employees to Optimal Performance.
So often I see management in companies coaching the numbers. “We expect agents to perform at the 86th percentile or higher…” Don’t coach in that way. The focus needs to be on helping employees perform at their best. Look for areas to help employees improve, like this: “Tonya, I’m noticing a lack of empathy when customers don’t have all of their ducks in a row. What I need to see from you is more patience, you giving customers options, and a sense of urgency in finding solutions for customers. Here are 2 examples of how you might do that…”
Always give specific feedback and specific solutions so that you truly help your employees perform at stellar levels.
Three. Keep Your Monitoring Form As Simple As Possible
A long monitoring form, say, more than three pages, is too much. Try to keep your form to no more than 2 pages. One page is ideal. You want to make quality monitoring easy for the supervisors and easy to grasp for your employees. Avoid partial points and subjective/grey areas.
Continue the Conversation with Me?
On August 9th, I am hosting a webinar, Quality Form Development & Coaching. In this webinar I discuss exactly how to hold focused, fast and effective calibration meetings, I share my famous template “9 Steps for Coaching Customer Service Employees,” I provide sample monitoring forms I have designed for my own clients, and we explore scoring, and the best monitoring methods. If you want to get Quality Monitoring Right, join me for this exclusive webinar. Even if you can’t attend, get the recording. We send it out the very next day.