Calibration Is Key to Improving Quality

calibration imageCalibration is the process in which variations in the way performance criteria are interpreted from person to person are minimized. It is an essential aspect of understanding and continually improving the quality of service you deliver.

A high level of calibration provides consistency, reduces the likelihood of agents questioning fairness, and is a means for continuously developing and assessing monitoring criteria. It eliminates perceived biases by ensuring consistent application of standards and scoring. And it allows the coaching process to focus on recognizing achievements and identifying opportunities for improvement, instead of whether a particular score is accurate.

Do your quality monitoring efforts reflect, in a consistent and unbiased way, what is really happening? To quickly find out, conduct a simple experiment. Have those who do the evaluations independently score a handful of recorded interactions. Then, compare the results. If the scores are significantly different, take the system back to the shop for a tune-up or overhaul.

(A number of quality tools can be helpful in reducing variation. For example, flow charts with end-to-end mapping of service interactions and can provide specific guidance on how assessments should be made. Cause-and-effect diagrams can help troubleshoot inconsistencies in monitoring and calibration sessions. And scatter diagrams can correlate scores to individuals doing the monitoring, to assess inconsistencies across scorers.)

Don’t expect calibration to be a quick or easy process. It rarely is, especially when you’re getting started. But it does get easier and you will reach breakthroughs. Stay with it!

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