22 Aug

Mastering the Art of Call Scoring: Enhancing Call Center Quality and Agent Performance


Call centers hold an essential place in the success of businesses by operating as the main point of contact with customers. In this digital age, where  customer experience and feedback  can make or break an organization’s reputation, call centers must focus on high quality and agent performance to ensure that customers are satisfied and retained for a long time. Call centers employ a crucial strategy to accomplish these objectives: “Call Scoring.”

Before learning about the benefits, challenges, and strategies, we must delve into the meaning of Call Scoring.

What is Call Scoring?

Call scoring is how an individual ( a supervisor or analyst ) evaluates and assesses the quality of interactions between call center agents and customers. It measures various call pieces, including agent behavior, communication skills, script or protocol adherence, and customer satisfaction. The data collected from call scoring provides valuable insights into improvement areas, helps identify top-performing agents, and allows call centers to tune their operations.

Benefits of Call Scoring

An effective call-scoring system benefits call centers, their agents, and their customers. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Improved Agent Performance: An organization’s growth depends on an agent’s performance. Call scoring allows the agents to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately providing information to improve their skills and customer interactions. If applied regularly, such a culture leads to continuous improvement among agents.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: In a business environment, everything hovers around customers. Knowing the areas where an organization needs to improve is essential to satisfy customers. Call centers can identify and address pain points proactively to ensure a positive customer experience. Customers who are happy with an organization are more inclined to stick with it and refer others to it.
  • Consistency and Standardization: Call scoring allows call centers to maintain consistent service quality by setting and enforcing standards for agent performance. This consistency across interactions helps build trust with customers.
  • Practical Training and Coaching: Training holds a significant place in the development of agents. Data obtained from call scoring becomes the foundation for targeted training and coaching programs. Based on an individual’s score, supervisors can create specialized training programs for skill development. Agents can also receive personalized guidance to overcome specific challenges and excel in their roles.
  • Compliance and Risk Mitigation: While operating as an organization, the entity must follow various rules and regulations without fail. In industries with strict regulations, call scoring ensures compliance with legal requirements and reduces the risk of potential liabilities.
  • Operational Efficiency: Call scoring helps identify inefficiencies and streamline processes, leading to cost savings and optimized resource allocation.
Components of Call Scoring

An effective call-scoring process considers multiple components to evaluate a call center interaction’s quality comprehensively. These components may include:

  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is considered the foundation of successful agent-customer interactions. Call centers evaluate agents based on their ability to communicate clearly, actively listen, and demonstrate empathy toward customers’ concerns.
  • Product Knowledge: In-depth product knowledge is essential for agents to provide accurate and relevant customer information. Call scoring assesses agents’ proficiency in understanding the products or services the company offers, directly impacting the quality of the information provided to customers.
  • Call Resolution: Measuring how efficiently the agent resolves the customer’s query or issue, aiming for first-call resolution whenever possible. This includes single-call resolution, problem-solving skills, and escalation management.
  • Adherence to Scripts or Guidelines: Agents follow prescribed scripts or guidelines in some call centers. Adherence to these scripts is an essential component of call scoring. Such scoring ensures that agents follow defined scripts or guidelines, maintaining consistency in responses and branding.
  • Customer Satisfaction: While other evaluation criteria focus on agent performance, customer satisfaction measures the effectiveness of the overall interaction from the customer’s perspective. It also includes collecting customer feedback post-interaction to gauge their satisfaction with the service.
  • Call Handling Time: While call centers aim to resolve issues efficiently, they must balance handling time and providing quality service. This includes average handling time, talk and hold time and after-call work.
  • Compliance: Compliance with industry regulations and company policies is vital in regulated industries. Call scoring includes evaluating agents’ adherence to these guidelines to ensure legal and ethical compliance.
Challenges in Call Scoring and Strategies to Overcome Them

The implementation of call scoring in a call center comes with its own set of challenges. We’ve listed some of the common hurdles in call scoring and ways to overcome them:

Subjectivity in Evaluation

One of the most significant challenges in call scoring is the subjectivity arising during the evaluation process. Different evaluators may interpret interactions differently, leading to inconsistent scores for the same call. This subjectivity can impact agent morale and create discrepancies in performance evaluations.

Overcoming Subjectivity:

To overcome subjectivity in call scoring, call centers can take the following steps:

  • Standardized Guidelines: Develop well-defined and standardized scoring guidelines for each evaluation standard. These guidelines should include specific examples and explanations of different score levels to minimize ambiguity.
  • Training and Calibration: Provide comprehensive training to evaluators on the call scoring criteria and guidelines. Conduct regular calibration sessions where evaluators listen to the same set of recorded calls and discuss their scores. This process helps align evaluators’ understanding and reduces subjectivity
  • Utilize Technology: Implement speech analytics tools that automatically use natural language processing and sentiment analysis to automatically evaluate calls based on predefined criteria. These tools can provide a more objective and consistent assessment.
Data Overload

Call centers handle many customer interactions, making manual call scoring time-consuming and impractical. The sheer volume of calls can overwhelm evaluators, leading to timely feedback and adequate coverage of interactions.

Data Overload

To manage data overload and extract meaningful insights, call centers can adopt the following approaches:

  • Speech Analytics: Leverage speech analytics software to automatically transcribe and analyze calls. These tools can identify keywords, sentiments, and emotions in conversations, enabling call centers to identify trends and patterns more efficiently.
  • Prioritize Key Metrics: Instead of trying to score every call, focus on  critical metrics  and randomly select an agent’s calls as a sample for evaluation. This method ensures that evaluators focus on the most essential aspects of interactions.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: Implement real-time call monitoring to find potential issues instantly. Call centers can proactively address obstacles by identifying improvement areas in real-time.
Evolving Customer Expectations

Customer expectations are continually evolving, and more than what may have satisfied customers yesterday might be needed today. Call centers must adapt their call scoring criteria to meet changing customer preferences.

Overcoming Evolving Customer Expectations

To adapt to changing customer preferences, call centers can adopt the following strategies:

  • Customer Feedback: Regularly gather customer feedback through surveys, post-call IVR feedback, or social media monitoring. Analyze this feedback to identify emerging trends and adjust the call scoring criteria accordingly.
  • Competitor Analysis: Keep a close eye on the practices of competitors and industry leaders. Understand what sets them apart regarding customer service and incorporate relevant insights into your call-scoring process.
  • Continuous Improvement: Treat call scoring as an iterative process. Review and update evaluation criteria regularly to align with evolving customer expectations and business objectives.
Agent Resistance

Agents may perceive call scoring as intrusive or critical, leading to resistance and lowered morale. It is essential to ensure that agents view call scoring as a supportive tool for their growth and development.

Overcoming Agent Resistance

To ensure agents view call scoring positively, consider the following steps:,

  • Transparency: Be transparent about the purpose and benefits of call scoring. Communicate that it is a means to provide constructive feedback and help agents enhance their skills and performance.
  • Recognition and Rewards: Recognize and reward agents who consistently perform well based on call scoring data. Positive reinforcement fosters a positive attitude toward call scoring.
  • Incorporate Agents’ Input: Involve agents in developing call scoring criteria and guidelines. Solicit their feedback and insights on customer interactions to ensure the evaluation process is on par with their experiences.
Balancing Metrics

Call centers often face balancing efficiency metrics, such as call handling time, with  quality metrics, such as customer satisfaction. Striking the right balance is essential to maintain efficiency and the customer experience.

Overcoming Balancing Metrics

To strike the right balance between metrics, call centers can adopt the following strategies:

  • Agent Training: Train agents to efficiently handle calls while prioritizing customer satisfaction. Guide effective call resolution techniques that maintain service quality.
  • Segmentation of Calls: Segmentation based on complexity or issue type is essential. Set different expectations for handling times based on call categories to ensure appropriate attention is provided per each customer’s needs.
  • Quality as a Priority: Highlight the importance of quality service over speed during agent training and coaching sessions. Emphasize how exceptional customer experiences lead to higher customer loyalty and business growth.
Designing an Effective Call Scoring System

A well-designed call-scoring system is crucial for accurate and meaningful evaluations. We’ve created a list of steps for establishing such a system:

  • Identify Objectives: The first step is to determine the specific objectives of the call-scoring process. Whether improving customer satisfaction or enhancing agent performance, clarity on goals is essential.
  • Define Evaluation Criteria: : After declaring the objectives, establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) and evaluation criteria that align with the call center’s goals. These criteria will form the basis of the scoring process.
  • Assign Weightage: Assign an appropriate weightage to each evaluation criterion based on its importance. Not all requirements may carry equal significance, and the weightage reflects their relative importance in the overall evaluation.
  • Develop Scoring Guidelines: Create guidelines or rubrics to standardize the scoring process and ensure consistency among evaluators. Clear guidelines minimize subjectivity and provide a structured approach to scoring calls.
  • Training for Evaluators:Train evaluators on the call scoring criteria and guidelines. Consistency in scoring can be achieved through regular calibration sessions and feedback.
  • Automate the Process:Consider utilizing call recording and speech analytics software to automate the call scoring process partially or entirely. These tools can transcribe calls, analyze them, and even provide sentiment analysis.
  • Feedback and Coaching Mechanism: Establish a mechanism to provide agents timely and constructive feedback based on call scores. Additionally, implement coaching sessions to address skill gaps and support agent growth.

Mastering the art of call scoring is essential for call centers to enhance the quality of customer interactions and boost agent performance. A well-designed call scoring system, supported by automation and regular training, empowers call centers to deliver exceptional customer experiences consistently. By embracing call scoring as a continuous improvement, call centers can build lasting customer relationships and stand out in today’s competitive business world. Call scoring isn’t just about numbers; it’s about creating meaningful connections with customers and elevating the overall customer experience.

NEQQO – QA Tool Built for Call Centers

Quality assurance is the linchpin to success in the ever-evolving realm of call centers. NEQQO has emerged not just as another tool but as a game-changer in this domain. It addresses pain points, streamlines processes, and, most importantly, places the power of real-time analytics and feedback in the hands of the users.

As businesses seek innovation and efficiency in their customer service, the significance of tools like  NEQQO  can’t be overstated. It’s not just about improving numbers or ticking boxes; it’s about redefining what excellence looks like in customer interactions and setting a new industry standard.”

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