Unfortunately, conflict between Quality teams and Contact Center teams happens more often than it should. Managers on both sides will say that it is probably due to personality conflicts or simple miscommunication.
While those factors do play a part at times, we need to dig deeper to find out what is really going on. From my own observations and feedback from center employees, I’ve found that some companies actually set conflict in motion through their reporting structure, the design of the quality program and tools being used, or even poor QA training and coaching.
REPORTING STRUCTURE ISSUES WILL BRING CONFLICT
The Quality Manager and the analysts most often report to an operations executive who may not be actively involved in the day-to-day front line management of the center. The Contact Center Director or Manager and the Quality Manager are usually peers in this scenario.
Although companies design this structure of separation to have what they feel is an unbiased look at quality, they may also unwittingly be setting an “us versus them” conflict in motion. The responsibility for fostering a cooperative relationship between quality and center operations lies with the executive level manager they both report to.
If the quality manager and center director have an adversarial relationship, their teams will pick up on this and the conflict will happen during their interactions as well.
One activity where conflict between individual analysts and supervisors or between both teams can be seen is during calibration meetings. In these sessions, everyone listens to agent calls and observes system entries, rates skills together and discusses opportunities to improve.
Many calibration sessions become more about “I’m right and your wrong” finger-pointing with voices raised in argument over the tiniest details. Of course the customer’s experience is often lost in this type of scenario. Worse yet, I’ve seen quality and center managers sit back and allow this to happen and then privately talk with their team afterwards about how ridiculous the other team was acting.
Our quality and the contact center operations teams need to come together and agree on goals and missions for the best customer experience and business efficiencies and results.
Quality monitoring must be based on facts, not emotions. Analysts, supervisors and their leadership must also be willing to admit when one of them erred in scoring or when an agent reporting to them failed the customer. The ability to admit mistakes and learn from them is more important than grandstanding in front of the group.
Regardless of the reporting structure used, we need to insure that we are committed to the common goals and avoid the blame game or taking things personally. We expect our agents to take feedback and coaching with an open attitude so the same expectation should be there for our quality and leadership teams in the center.
….PART 2 WILL FOLLOW SOON!
This article originally appeared in the Contact Center Pipeline January 2013 issue
Filed under: Call Center, Call Center Manager, Call Monitoring, Coaching Skills, Communication, Contact Center, Customer Service, Employee Development, Quality, Quality Assurance, Training Tagged: | Call Monitoring, Coaching, Communication, Contact Center, contact centre, Customer Service, Education and Training, Management, QA, Quality, Quality assurance, Training