How to evaluate call center quality analyst performance

Expert Donna Fluss provides some guidelines for evaluating the performance of a call center's quality coach, and offers suggestions on training a quality coach.

How can we best evaluate the performance of the quality analyst in our call center?

There are two primary areas to address when evaluating the effectiveness of a call center quality analyst or coach:

1) Determine if the coach has performed the one-on-one training sessions that they were supposed to deliver.
2) Determine if the coach is effective at providing constructive and actionable direction.

Begin by ensuring that the coach has conducted the required training sessions. Many call center supervisors or quality coaches start as agents and are promoted because they excel at handling customer inquiries. However, being an outstanding customer service representative is not the same as knowing how to deliver effective one-on-one feedback as a coach to motivate a call center agent. The ability to coach is not innate, and generally has to be taught. We're currently working with an outsourcer who had a large agent attrition issue. They did some exit interviews and learned that their supervisors had not coached their agents at all, even though it was a requirement of their job. The outsourcer subsequently trained their supervisors how to coach, and designed an application to track the number of coaching sessions delivered by supervisors. After establishing this process, the outsourcer noticed a significant reduction in call center agent attrition, as well as incremental improvements in quality scores.

The second area to evaluate is the competency of the coach. Coaching is a demanding job that requires individuals with strong knowledge of departmental products, services, systems, processes and procedures. In order to accurately, effectively and objectively evaluate agents, quality coaches must have a full understanding of quality monitoring criteria and processes. This includes knowing how to select calls, the number/frequency of evaluations required and completion time frames. Quality coaches must also possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills to effectively motivate call center agents to improve their performance. Good coaching is not confrontational or admonishing, but rather instructive, supportive and collaborative.

Here are some categories to consider when evaluating the competency of a call center quality analyst or coach:

Job knowledge: The level of knowledge demonstrated by the quality coach about products and services, processes and policies.

System knowledge: The coach's familiarity with the systems and applications used by agents in the call center.

Productivity: The coach's ability to meet established time frames for completing the required number of quality evaluations, coaching sessions, responding to agent feedback and/or report preparation.

Accuracy: The level of accuracy and consistency demonstrated by the coach in applying the quality criteria.

Effectiveness: The coach's ability to encourage the right behavior and to provide constructive and objective feedback that effects positive changes in call center agent performance.

Communication/interpersonal skills: The professionalism, courtesy and respect the coach demonstrates when interacting with peers, managers or trainers, and when providing written and verbal feedback to agents.

Initiative: The initiative demonstrated by the quality coach, which includes identifying and reporting trends, providing suggestions for operational and product improvements, proactively addressing training issues, etc.

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