In the first two parts of our series, Signs Your Quality Program Needs a Refresh, we discussed stagnating results and inaccurate reporting. In the third installment let’s talk about how supervisors address serious errors.
Take a look at this recent conversation I had with a supervisor on a recent call center visit regarding their quality evaluation form and its “auto-fail questions”:
Supervisor: “If an agent missed one question on this section, they automatically fail.”
Me: “How many people fail?”
Supervisor: “It’s rare. The probable punishment of dismissal is so harsh that supervisors often overlook the missed question.”
Me: “Are the questions in the auto-fail section meant to uncover regulatory breaches or deceptive behavior?”
Supervisor: “No, they are meant to catch inaccuracy associated with certain high-risk processes.”
Can you see the emerging problem here? The punishment does not fit the crime. What’s needed is not a dismissal; it’s an urgent correction to eliminate corporate risk. Instead of automatic failure, this section should trigger immediate response by the company to the customer, and the supervisor to the agent.
A missed question in critical sections of a quality form should initiate a coaching session where the supervisor unearths any information gaps or misunderstanding of processes and then works to address those knowledge gaps with their agent. A good Quality Program turns these types of incidences into a coaching opportunity.
Yes, agent termination is okay in some instances – for instance, if there’s been a regulatory breach or deceptive behavior. But a missed question on a critical section should trigger a coaching opportunity. If your supervisors are avoiding a question because the consequence is too harsh, then it’s time to take a second look. A refresh is in order and an increased focus on coaching should follow.
Keep an eye out of for a “final sign your QA program needs a refresh” soon.