Six Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes With Quality Monitoring In Contact Centers


After I deliver a customized, engaging customer service workshop, I help my clients reinforce the main ideas. One way I do that is by teaming up with the company’s Quality Assurance team. When working with the quality people to help make sure employees apply the soft skills I teach them, I find six typical mistakes. Here are the Six Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes In Quality Monitoring In Contact Centers.

1. Calculus-Difficult Scoring

In my last contact center job, the Quality Form that was in place when I started made me dizzy. One had to subtract, divide, and multiply to get the final score. My Dad, a retired mathematics teacher, may as well have created this form as an algebra project in word problem form for his middle school students.

Make scoring and interpreting your monitoring data as easy as reheating pizza in the microwave. Yes, I’m serious. We’re not preparing six-course culinary brilliance. We’re just trying to measure the customer experience.

2. Needlessly Long Quality Form

I remember sitting down with Ava, a customer service supervisor, to discuss her Quality Form. It was a stupendous seven-page mess. The form evaluated everything from dead-air space to the accidental use of “uhs” and “ums.” My reaction was, “What the actual?” If your Quality Form is more than three pages, you need to cut the drama and ask yourself, “What problem are we trying to solve?” Measure only standards and objectives that help you achieve the sound, flow, and feel in interactions that reflect the soul of your brand. Ditch everything else and get that form to three pages or less. If you need help with designing your quality form, get a seat in my August 9th webinar where I walk through the quality form components and give out sample forms. 

3. Monitoring Sans Coaching

Reviewing employees’ interactions and giving them guidance on how they’re doing go hand in hand, like a wick and flame. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how many companies take the time to rate customer service contacts – and then penalize employees for lousy performance without bothering to meet and discuss variances with employees. Employees expect and deserve feedback and guidance on their performance.

4. Skipping Calibration

Calibration keeps everyone who monitors and coaches consistent and fair. This consistency gives the quality management team credibility, and it saves everybody lots of middle of the forehead aches. To calibrate is to gain consensus, as a team, on what a quality contact (phone call, email, or chat) sounds like, looks like, and feels like so that every evaluator is rating the calls/contacts the same way. Most companies skip calibration, but I don’t want you to make this mistake. Make sure you know how to calibrate, and that you schedule regular calibration meetings. If you need help with calibration, jump on my August 9th webinar where I discuss calibration in detail. 

5. Expecting Coaches to Coach Without Training

Just as your employees need training before they speak to your customers, everyone who reviews customer service interactions and gives employees feedback needs to receive coaching. Coaches need to learn how to provide constructive feedback constructively, how to handle whiners and blamers, and how to maintain employee esteem throughout the coaching process.

6. Overwhelming Those Who Monitor and Coach

I worked with a small team of supervisors in Tulsa who were corporately exhausted from handling an obscene amount of escalations and running around with their hair on fire. On top of that, they were expected to sit down and listen to calls and also meet with every employee to discuss the interactions. The droopy eyes, the sluggish walk through the gray halls, and sighs revealed the fatigue.

My first order of business with this team was to carve out and protect time just for quality assurance. Ultimately, we designated monitoring and coaching to two full-time employees. But before we hit this goldmine, we blocked off three hours weekly for each supervisor to dedicate to monitoring and coaching. Make sure your monitors and coaches aren’t running on empty because you haven’t allotted the time they need for the work you want them to do.

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.

Here are the details of this webinar.