Developing a quality assurance form for evaluating call center agents

Call center expert Donna Fluss provides best practices for developing a quality assurance (QA) program in this expert tip.

I am looking for sample quality assurance (QA) forms that can be used in call centers for evaluating call center...

agent performance critically and objectively. Do you know of any resources I can use to find sample documents like this?

The easiest way to obtain sample quality monitoring forms is by asking QA vendors. They all have sample forms and are generally happy to share them, particularly if they think you are interested in purchasing their solution. There are over 45 vendors in this market, including: NICE, Witness, Verint, etalk, Aspect, Envision, VPI, HigherGround, Interactive Intelligence, Wygant, Onvisource, VirtualLogger, CallCopy and many others.

A second way to get standard QA forms is to ask friends in other call centers. A third way is to check on the Internet for articles that discuss QA evaluation forms. A fourth approach is to ask consultants, like my company, DMG Consulting, who specialize in these activities.

While all of the above resources can provide you with standard templates and sample questions, the catch is that there is no "one size fits all" form. For example, if you run a technical help desk, you need a different QA form from someone who runs a financial services or claims customer service department. Ideally, you should develop your own form.

Here are a few best practices to employ when developing a QA form and program.

  • Involve all levels of your staff – agents, supervisors, trainers and managers – in your QA program.
  • Use your QA program to measure how well your staff adheres to internal processes and departmental/enterprise goals. It should measure what your customers feel is important. For example, first contact resolution is an important measure for enterprise effectiveness and cost containment and is also highly valued by customers who have come to expect "one and done" servicing.
  • Assign weights to all categories on your QA form that correspond to their importance. Some suggested categories to include on your form are: call greeting/opening, verification, system knowledge/usage, product knowledge and information, resolution skills, hold/transfer, communication or soft skills, and call closing.
  • Test and refine your QA form before rolling it out.
  • Develop quality monitoring guidelines that document and define expectations for each category on the call evaluation form.
  • Conduct training sessions for all staff members on the new form and QA program to develop a clear understanding of what is being measured and how to do it.

    Creating a QA form is one of the simpler aspects of developing an effective QA program. More challenging is learning to apply it consistently, calibrating it and then learning how to give positive and negative feedback and coaching to your agents.

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