The merging of training and quality assurance (QA) programs strengthens virtual contact center agents. At first glance, this merger may seem contradictory since QA is typically metric driven. Yet, many agents benefit from the joining of these two groups into a cohesive organization that coaches agents into excellence.
According to JRT Technologies, Inc., the challenge with many quality assurance programs today are decidedly too many rules, and not enough teaching of the important skills to agents. Truly that is the rub – teaching agents. Quality assurance should create opportunities to improve all skills in an agent, rather than creating a system that “grades” performance without the opportunity for development.
Contact centers are in the business of providing outstanding customer service. To reach that goal, a full-circle system must be developed that delivers positive reinforcement through QA communication, outlining training opportunities, and delivering information in a positive way to coach the agent, rather than chastise.
To begin merging these two critical functions, first create a communication system that ensures agents are open about challenges. QA can listen and “grade” transactions, but understanding why the agents might be struggling is the next step.
Next, empower QA to hold coaching sessions – either one-on-one or in a group – to discuss challenges that come up. The point is to support the agents in developing better skills in a fun, encouraging way. These coaching sessions can be held virtually and even be recorded to use as ongoing training later.
QA should perform a “sanity check” of the metrics and goals for each. Are the metrics reasonable? Do they ensure the agent is being held accountable to appropriate measurements and goals? Are the goals SMART and attainable? QA should also be empowered to communicate any metrics or goals that are out of line. After all, the point is to track measurements for quality, not to force agents into an unreachable standard that only generates poor morale.
Finally, QA and training must work hand-in-hand to develop ongoing training and ensure agents have every opportunity to succeed. Training does not have to be massive curriculum designed over long periods of time. Just a quick refresh on a specific product or service feature or soft skill will often do the trick. Again, training can be recorded to be accessed at the agent’s convenience, ensuring they can access often and as needed.
The major success factor for a virtual call center is client satisfaction. And happy clients are served by happy agents. By aligning training and quality, your agents will receive more thorough training and opportunities for success IF you adopt an environment of coaching to support agent development.