Improving Performance: Two Types of Standards

The cornerstone of an effective quality observation process is documenting specific, observable behaviors and tailoring coaching accordingly. An effective way to consider performance (quality) standards is to categorize them as either “foundation” or “finesse.” Foundation standards measure whether something was done, and can be assessed with a simple yes or no. For example, the agent uses their name in the …

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Knowing Your Customers

How do you know what a customer needs? If you mention customer advocacy and pose that question many executives will say, “Well they tell us, right?” I think they picture a frustrated customer across the counter or perhaps calling or posting a message that describes a problem. But there’s so much more to it. The video below from the LinkedIn …

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Quality Standards: As many as you need, but as few as possible

Can you have too much of a good thing? Well that can certainly be true with quality standards. If you have way too many, your team will become numb to them. My recommendation is to establish as many quality standards as you need, but as few as possible. In one of my recent LinkedIn Learning Courses, “Quality Standards in Customer …

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Quality and First-Contact Resolution: From the Agent’s Perspective

Quality and first contact resolution are essential aspects of effective service. Handling contacts with quality is at the heart of a customer service agent’s role in the organization. First contact resolution is an outcome of quality, really an extension. Better quality minimizes repeat calls and rework, and customers double-checking because they lack confidence. The time the customer spends with you …

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The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #3 – They Know that Their People Are the Key to Success

Cultures vary dramatically from one organization to the next. You’d likely notice some hairstyles that you don’t see every day at some tech contact centers. Some centers who cater to a younger workforce have break room amenities, such as video game consoles, that put most others to shame. Other centers, especially those who serve business customers, maintain a somewhat more …

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Reinforce the “Power of One”

Here are some of the steps organizations are taking to reinforce the power of one. Think through how you could approach them with your customer service team. Educate each person on how much impact he or she has on the queue—incorporate these or similar scenarios into training. Develop reasonable expectations for adherence to schedules. Customer service is as much when …

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Common Misconceptions of Customer Service Quality Standards

Sometimes within an organization, there’s resistance to quality standards. Why is that? They’re a good thing, right? Dig a little deeper, and we’ve found there are several common misconceptions that can hamper their development and use. This video from my recent Lynda.com course “Quality Standards in Customer Service” summarizes these misconceptions and suggests how you can ensure everyone is comfortable, …

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Agent Performance Standards: Keep It Simple

In recent years, I have seen a trend to streamline and simplify agent performance standards. In many cases, they had become too complex — weighted averages, percent time in this and that mode, formulas that would take a mathematician to figure out. Yes, if I’m one of your agents, give me some objectives on being in the right place at the …

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Bring Quality Standards to Life with Calibration and Coaching

Quality standards come to life when they guide behavior and enable us to deliver consistent high-quality service. Calibration is an important tool for ensuring consistency in interpreting performance. It also makes coaching far easier. It allows the coaching process to focus on achievements and improvement, rather than concerns around whether scores are accurate or fair. Coaching’s not a prescription for …

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Improvements Must Be Ongoing

Making continuous innovations and improvements that lead to services that are faster, better and more cost-effective is an ongoing process that must be an inherent part of the organization’s culture and outlook. There is something powerful about consistently focusing on the things that matter most. In that spirit, the following points of advice were inspired by the well-known work of …

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