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November 22, 2013

Major Shift Occurring in Contact Center Quality Monitoring

James Giese | UWEBC Communications Director

Major shifts don’t happen very often in contact centers. However, with new technologies, call center quality monitoring (QM) is currently experiencing transformational changes according to Bill Durr, Principal, Verint Systems. Durr discussed contact center quality monitoring during the UWEBC’s Customer Service Peer Group meeting on November 20, 2013.

Bill Durr, Verint, discussed quality monitoring in the call center at the Customer Service Peer Group meeting on Nov. 20, 2013. 
“Of course, QM in the call center is not new. It’s been around at least 30 years or longer,” said Durr. Current practice in QM includes the automated recording of conversations and the simultaneous capture of agent screens. Almost all contact centers use random sample QM. And, for many centers, the standard is to assess between four and eight randomly sampled conversations per call center agent per month, produce a QM score for each agent, and then provide coaching sessions as needed.

“For many, this method of doing QM has become routine and static,” said Durr, “but a new focus on customer centricity has shaken the foundations of QM.”

The drive to more customer-centered QM involves the development and implementation of more powerful analytical tools.

“Instead of QM just measuring an agent’s compliance with a list of call requirements,” said Durr, “the new tools allow an agent’s performance to be compared to questions that surface behavioral attributes.” For example, instead of, “Did the agent evidence active listening skills?” the new evaluations seek to answer, “Did the agent repeat customer statements to ensure comprehension?” The new QM tools allow a switch in agent evaluations from meeting a checklist of requirements to evaluations that provide insight into the customer experience.

Durr noted that in the middle of customer centricity is the voice of the customer, which has grown exponentially louder in recent years. With multiple channels available, customers are speaking directly to corporations as well as to each other. The new monitoring tools take advantage of these new channels to gather more data from the voice of the customer.

Given the trend to a more customer-centered agent evaluation, Durr listed the following tools transforming QM in the contact center:

  1. Speech and Text Analytics
    These tools can segment and organize huge sets of customer voice and text data into relevant categories based on automatically detected themes and content. The latest versions of speech analytics can detect and tag emotional content of a customer call. These tools provide insight beyond the meta-data (time, date, agent, etc.) of a call to move QM into a deeper consideration of the customer experience.
  2. Agent Desktop Monitoring
    This software allows contact centers to gain visibility into off-phone activities of agents. The monitoring allows centers to identify and prevent agent and system behaviors that do not comply with industry regulations and company practices; improve productivity by showing how agents use applications and systems to perform their work; and detect training needs through unusual application usage.
  3. New and Improved Feedback Mechanisms
    Several new and improved feedback applications centralize survey responses as well as gather data from other channels, such as social media. The applications enable call centers to create robust, detailed reports that match the customer experience with recorded agent interaction. According to Durr, these new feedback mechanisms will evolve QM into a more holistic process with insight into real-time customer experience. 

“Speech and text analytics tools matched with desktop monitoring and feedback provides actionable insights directly from the voice of the customer,” said Durr. Some examples of the applications of these tools are generating automated QM assessments using speech analytics to check for required words and phrases; capturing and recording of both speech and video; and using voice biometrics to identify callers.

Durr said that the new QM will combine automatically scored calls via speech analytics; reconfigured QM evaluation; agent self-evaluation; and direct customer feedback. Customers don’t want a “managed” experience—they want a genuine experience and to speak to real people with real personalities.

“Traditional QM has inadvertently driven some agents toward a rigid, structured posture,” said Durr, “but new technologies can provide a more customer-centered approach and improve customer engagement and satisfaction.”

Member companies can access Bill Durr's Mediasite recording and other meeting materials here.

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