Removing the Barriers to Automating Quality Assurance

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s hard to imagine that there are workforce challenges computers haven’t already solved. Gamification and automated staffing forecasts have transformed the way contact centers work, and new capabilities in data science and artificial intelligence have now found practical uses in many organizations.

Yet the technology available for quality management, a key driver of customer experience, has been slow to arrive. Many organizations still rely on old-fashioned spreadsheets, paper forms or solutions that only partially automate quality processes. At the same time, the complexity of many organizations’ quality assurance processes is growing. Although IT experts and developers have worked to develop more robust quality management solutions, the existing technology falls short in four key areas and fails to support cohesive enterprise-wide quality processes.

Barrier #1: Disconnected processes and data sources

Not long ago, a single contact center employee might handle an entire customer journey from start to finish. For example, the agent answered the phone, interacted with the customer, finished the conversation, filed basic paperwork, and then moved on to the next caller.

Today, organizations rely on countless processes, extensive back-office support and multi-channel customer interactions. Each function, each employee, and each channel produces a unique set of data points, but traditional quality management technology cannot interpret and apply this disparate data to perform quality assurance tasks.

Many quality management solutions support calls but are incapable of automating quality processes using data from chat, email or back office claims. Instead, evaluators analyze different quality processes by hand – an inefficient and error-prone process.

An automated, holistic view of quality – across channels, employees and processes – is essential to the future of quality management.

Barrier #2: Quality solutions tied to recording tools

As consumers, we’re used to flexibility in our technology: Upgrading the iOS on your iPhone won’t disrupt its ability to sync with your Apple watch, and your Android phone can reliably link with your Microsoft laptop.

However, in the contact center quality assurance world, quality management solutions are closely tied to their recording solutions. Upgrading a center’s quality management capabilities requires first upgrading its recording solution, a resource-intensive process. This dependency holds back many organizations that are interested in the latest quality management release but unable to support a larger recording solution upgrade first.

Some organizations also use different recording solutions across different departments, so standardizing the user interface to drive common goals and efficiencies across multiple sites is not possible.

Only a more cohesive and agile quality process can match today’s environment; a standalone quality management solution is needed.

Barrier #3: Complex processes and standards

Today’s contact centers are complex environments. Global regulations, labor policies and internal standards are always shifting, and managers must adjust their quality programs to comply with these various external demands. Traditional quality management tools offer some standard, pre-configured workflows that provide automation for agent evaluations, calibration and coaching. However, these are unable to process more nuanced scenarios. More workflow customizations would be able to handle challenges such as auto-expiring interactions that require evaluation within a limited time frame.

The next generation of tools must account for these complexities and be flexible enough to redistribute workloads, enable collaboration, and customize forms and workflows that can automate any process.

Barrier #4: Poor goal alignment

Success in quality depends on the ability to set goals and track progress. Only teams that know how they are performing against their key metrics can direct their efforts towards improving quality and aligning strategy across the organization. With so many complex processes, solutions and channels, it’s not easy to track how individuals and teams are performing at any given time.

A modern quality management solution must ensure that evaluators and supervisors have access to dashboard performance screens. Similar transparency can empower agents to take action when issues arise. Flexible, automated reporting that filters data according to management preferences can also align the whole team toward a common goal.

TAP into technology to overcome these barriers

Fortunately, there are some key innovations in quality assurance technology that will help to overcome these challenges. To lead the industry and provide exceptional service, contact centers must TAP into new quality management technology that offers transparency, agnostic tools and performance insights across channels.

  • Transparency exists in a quality management solution by keeping employees at all levels informed and involved in quality processes through dashboards and reporting that can be customized to their needs.
  • Agnostic, automated tools have the flexibility to work with any recording solution and data source and automate even the most complex custom workflows.
  • Performance should be measured across channels to incorporate all data sources from both the front and back offices and provide a holistic view of quality across the organization.

For quality professionals, the complete automation of quality processes is no longer a fantasy. Today’s​ modern, agile technology is just as powerful as the top solutions enabling performance management and advanced forecasts found in leading contact centers.