Call Center Assessments: How to Create Great Ones?
To grow and succeed in a competitive and aggressive market, businesses must continuously improve their operations and performance. For this, businesses use different methods, one of which is assessing the employees or simply conducting assessments.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss call center assessment, its importance, and how to create excellent assessments that provide accurate and actionable feedback to agents and managers alike.
What is Call Center Assessment?
These assessments provide valuable information on individual agents’ performance and the call center’s overall effectiveness. To ensure that excellent customer service is delivered, it is crucial to have an effective assessment process in place. A practical call center assessment is not only about measuring the performance of the agents but also about identifying areas of improvement and providing them with feedback to enhance their skills.
Importance of Call Center Assessment
It is essential for the success of a business that assessments are conducted from time to time. This ensures that the performance of the agents and business objectives are consistent with each other. There are various reasons why assessments must be conducted, and these reasons are:
- Quality Assurance: Assessments help ensure that agents provide high-quality service and meet performance standards. This helps to maintain the reputation of the call center and retain customers.
- Training and Development: Assessments can identify areas where agents need additional training and development, such as communication skills, product knowledge, or handling demanding customers.
- Employee Motivation: Regular assessments and feedback can motivate employees to improve their performance and increase their job satisfaction.
- Cost Reduction: Assessments can identify areas where efficiency can be improved, leading to cost reductions through decreased call handling time, improved first-call resolution, and reduced customer churn.
- Compliance: Assessments can ensure that agents adhere to company policies and procedures and legal and regulatory requirements.
Ways to Create Great Call Center Assessments
It plays a crucial role in improving the quality of customer service, increasing efficiency, and ensuring compliance. There are multiple ways to develop assessments which are as follows:
1. Determine the Goals of the Assessment
Before creating a call center assessment, it’s essential to determine the goals of the assessment. What is it that you want to measure and identify? Is it agent performance? Customer satisfaction? Call handling time? Or the call center’s performance? Once you have identified the goals of the assessment, you can begin to develop the criteria that will be used to evaluate agents.
2. Develop Clear and Specific Evaluation Criteria
Call center assessments should use clear and specific criteria to evaluate agents consistently and fairly. Standards should be based on the goals of the assessment and should be measurable. For example, if the goal of the evaluation is to improve call handling time, criteria include the amount of time spent on hold, the time it takes to resolve the issue, and the time it takes to complete the call. Some standard criteria include the following:
- Call handling time
- Quality of service provided
- First-call resolution rate
- Adherence to policies and procedures
- Customer satisfaction levels
3. Use a Variety of Assessment Methods
To get a comprehensive view of the agent’s performance, it is essential to use various assessment methods. Some standard assessment methods include call monitoring, customer feedback surveys, and self-assessment. Each method provides a different perspective on the agent’s performance, and using a combination of techniques can provide a more accurate assessment. Some ways to consider include the following:
- Call Monitoring: This involves listening to live or recorded calls of the interactions between the customers and agents. The purpose of call monitoring is to evaluate the agent’s performance by the evaluators. Call monitoring can be done in real-time or after the call has ended.
- Customer Surveys: The customer is one of the essential elements of a successful business; therefore, taking feedback directly from them is necessary. Surveys can provide valuable feedback from customers about their experience with the call center. Questions should be designed to evaluate the agent’s performance and overall customer satisfaction.
- Self-Evaluations: Agents should be allowed to evaluate their performance. This can provide valuable insight into areas where the agent needs improvement.
4. Determine the Assessment Format
There are many different formats for call center assessments, and the one you choose will depend on your goals and the skills you want to measure. Some joint assessment formats include:
- Scorecards: Scorecards are a simple way to evaluate agents based on specific criteria, such as call handling time, customer responses, adherence to set guidelines, etc. Moreover, scorecards can be modified easily found on the goals and evaluation criteria.
- Role-playing: Role-playing assessments involve simulating real-life customer interactions to evaluate an agent’s ability to handle different scenarios and provide effective solutions. Based on the agent’s performance, identify their improvement areas, and evaluators can give feedback to the agents.
- Scripted Calls: Scripted call assessments involve providing agents with a pre-written script to follow during customer interactions. This can be a helpful way to evaluate their ability to follow company procedures and provide accurate information to customers.
- Customer Surveys: Customer surveys are a valuable tool for assessing customer satisfaction levels and gathering feedback on the quality of service agents provide.
5. Develop a Scoring System
To ensure consistency in the assessment process, it is essential to develop a scoring system. The scoring system should be easy to understand and use. The scores should be based on the KPIs identified, and the weightage should be given to each KPI based on its importance. The scoring system should also include a feedback mechanism for the agents, highlighting their strengths and areas of improvement.
6. Train the Evaluators and the Agents
The evaluators should be trained on how to conduct the assessments effectively. They should understand the objectives, goals, and KPIs for the evaluation. The evaluators should also be trained to use the scoring system and provide agent feedback. Ensuring that the evaluators are consistent in their assessment process is essential.
Once the evaluators are trained, training must be provided to the call center agents on how to attempt the assessment and answer the questions. It must be made sure that all the agents understand the assessment guidelines.
7. Use Assessment Results to Improve Call Center Operations
Finally, using assessment results to improve call center operations is essential. This can involve identifying trends and patterns in agent performance, changing policies and procedures, or providing additional training or resources to help agents improve their skills. Call center managers can use assessment results to inform decision-making and create a more effective and efficient customer service operation.
For example, if customer satisfaction scores are consistently low, managers may need to evaluate the training and support provided to agents. Managers may need to assess the call flow process if call handling times are consistently high.
8. Provide Feedback and Coaching
Call center assessments should be used to provide feedback and coaching to agents. Agents should clearly understand their performance, including areas where they excelled and where improvement is needed. Managers should work with agents to develop an improvement plan and provide coaching and support as required. Apart from providing general training, managers can also create one-on-one training sessions based on the agent’s improvement areas.
9. Continuously Improve the Assessment Process
The call center assessment process should be continuously reviewed and improved. The feedback from the agents, evaluators, and customers should be used to identify areas of improvement. The KPIs and scoring system should be reviewed regularly to ensure they are relevant to the business objectives and customer service standards. The assessment process should be flexible to adapt to the changing business needs and customer expectations.
In conclusion, call center assessments to hold an important place in the success of a call center. Call center managers can create great reviews that provide valuable information on agent performance and effectiveness by determining the evaluation goals and using the outlined methods to improve operations. Call centers can improve customer satisfaction rates and boost their bottom line by regularly assessing agents’ performance and providing feedback and training.
With a call center solution like NEQQO, you can grow your business by managing quality, increasing productivity, improving the customer experience, and maintaining compliance. You can now book a quick demo and see our product in action.