According to Callahan's Credit Union Call Center survey, 68% of credit union call centers ranked call quality as the leading measure to evaluate the performance of their agents.
Call quality programs in call centers are an important element in monitoring and improving the member's experience, as well as measuring the effectiveness of people, process and technology. More than any other measure, call quality programs have the ability to significantly enhance the performance of individual agents. A strong call quality program can improve sales performance, impact member relationships, improve service and pinpoint training needs.
Effective call quality programs include scoring evaluations, coaching programs and training tools to guide agents.
Scoring Your Call Center Agents
In many credit union call centers agents are typically scored 5 times per month on calls. Scoring methods may vary. The components of scoring systems at credit union call centers often include:
- Member verification - This is one of the most important components of the scorecard. Agents must be able to follow the credit union’s guidelines for authentication of the member via phone.
- Professionalism – At many credit unions, the call center is the entry point into the organization. Many of the agents in the call center are in their first full time job out of high school. Training and evaluation in professionalism is required to help newer agents understand the expectations in member interaction.
- Connecting with the Member – Members contact the call center to speak with a person because the Internet and automated voice response system could not meet their needs. Call center agents need to be able to create a connection with members and show their interest in helping the member resolve problems.
- Service and Sales – Did the agent recognize opportunities to suggest a credit union product based on the comments from the member? Call center agents can be the most valuable employees in extending the credit union brand.
Coaching Your Call Center Agents
Coaching must be part of a quality program in order for value of the scorecard to be realized. Effective call quality programs include the agents as part of the evaluation process. Most agents are going to be their own toughest critics. Agents that see their supervisor as someone looking to enhance their performance on the phone – rather just a person that tries catch mistakes – will make the quality program much more likely to succeed. Some important aspects of coaching include:
- Training for Coaches – Many supervisors came up through the call center agent ranks. Understanding how to coach and effectively turn agents into stars does not always come naturally to all supervisors.
- Listening to Calls Together – Many credit union call centers record at least some calls each month. The agent and the supervisor should listen to at least one member call together during the monthly scoring period. Supervisors and agents need to be placed in situations where they can collaborate on improving call performance.
- Timing of the Coaching Session – Coaching sessions should normally happen within 48 hours of the actual call between the agent and the member.
Many credit union call centers will score approximately five calls per month, do one coaching session with an agent and conduct one joint listen on a call. The scores, coaching sessions and recorded calls of individual agents should then be rolled up to provide an overview of the center’s performance to identify general areas of strength and weakness. Call center wide training sessions can occur based on the findings from the call quality program.