Who is ultimately responsible for call center quality assurance?

Read Donna Fluss's advice on call center quality assurance, including how to implement a quality monitoring program and who should run it.

What is a call center manager's role in meeting call center quality assurance? Where does the quality assurance (QA) manager's role stop and the operations manager's role begin?

The call center manager and the quality assurance (QA) manager have two distinct and important roles within the call center, but they share certain goals, including call center quality assurance. These two managers should work together to ensure that their agents adhere to internal policies and procedures and consistently provide an outstanding customer experience. Both are responsible for ensuring that call center agents meet quality assurance goals.

The call center manager oversees the entire call center operation and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all call center goals, including quality objectives, are met. The quality assurance manager handles the day-to-day operation and administration of the quality monitoring program.

Organization structure also impacts the roles and responsibilities of the call center manager and quality manager. In some call centers, the quality assurance manager reports directly to the call center manager. In these situations it's easy to have shared goals. In other call centers, the quality assurance function reports to a manager outside of the contact center. When this happens, there can be some conflict due to a misunderstanding of what is best for the customer. When this happens, senior managers need to intervene to clarify roles and responsibilities.

Even if there is a formal quality assurance group, line managers or supervisors need to constantly monitor the quality of their agents. The line managers are responsible for the day-to-day performance of their staff. It's great if the quality assurance group provides input and coaches agent performance, but ultimately it is responsibility of the line manager.

Call center quality assurance programs succeed when they have support and buy-in from call center managers, supervisors, trainers and agents. So it's critical to maintain open communication between the quality and management teams. Preferably, the quality assurance manager should have a seat at the call center manager's monthly staff meeting. This is a great forum for quality managers to gain a broader perspective about what is happening in the call center, what challenges exist, and what policy, product, staffing, training or operational changes are imminent. Similarly, it allows the quality manager to provide the management team with updates on call center quality metrics, recent trends, and changes in the quality program. Additionally, it enables both groups to coordinate and optimize staff communications, recognition, training and performance improvement efforts.

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