call center agent scorecard

Building a Better Agent Scorecard

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The customer experience and agent engagement is becoming one of the most significant focal points for nearly all consumer facing companies. The method by which we review and evaluate performance should deliver results that support this focus. The traditional methods rarely deliver the results that continuously produce a high value customer experience simply because they’re structured incorrectly.

Think back to when you were in grade school… How was your performance measured? What processes were in place to help you improve? Were you left to your own devices and then, perhaps on a monthly basis, you met with your teacher for a secret test that was administered without your knowledge? Of course not, but that is precisely what most contact center operations do when trying to measure and improve agent quality and ultimately the customer experience. In this article, we will explore how to build a modern agent scorecard, and more importantly, review tactics that should be implemented to ensure your frontline team has the tools and opportunities to actually improve upon the quality of the experience they deliver to your customers.

Traditional

Traditional scorecards should meet or follow a general flow that captures most, if not all, of these basic scorecard guidelines:

Call Flow components

  • Appropriate greeting
  • Account/identity verification or entry
  • Resolved reason for contact
  • Appropriate recap / closing

Agent Skill components

  • Built rapport as appropriate
  • Problem solved accurately and in a timely manner
  • Met all compliance/procedure requirements
  • Used proper etiquette throughout the interaction
  • Completed proper follow tasks (communication, recap, etc.)

This legacy approach to evaluating interactions typically has a defined number to be reviewed on a weekly or monthly basis. I have seen anywhere from 2 to 10 evaluated per agent, per month. While this is commonly viewed as the most subjective and impactful approach to managing interaction quality, it often requires very specific scenarios to achieve progressively improving results. If you have an agent pool of very tenured people, or a desirable incentive plan, improvement can be had in short order. But it’s much harder to sustain as you scale beyond the tenured team members. Coaching requirements will likely be more in depth as they will probably be less frequent due to the limited number of interactions evaluated.

Modern

If your operation has more modern Quality Management technology that includes things like speech analytics, automated score cards, self-evaluations, customer surveys, etc. your scorecard should incorporate many of these advanced scorecard guidelines:

Automated Scorecard components:

  • Appropriate greeting
  • Avoided risky language
  • Read required scripting (terms and conditions, disclosures, right party verification, Mini Miranda, etc.)
  • Appropriate closing

Automated scorecards should be completed on 100% of interactions. With the right technology you should also have alerts in place to notify Supervisors/Management anytime an agents automated evaluation average score is below the defined acceptable level.

Self-Evaluation components:

  • Provided accurate information
  • Proper etiquette throughout contact
  • Built rapport as appropriate

Requiring people to conduct evaluations on their own calls has the ability to increase the level of personal ownership and responsibility for performance. Additionally, it provides a great way to significantly increase the number of evaluations completed for each agent for a given period. I would suggest having agents complete a minimum of four evaluations each month and those that have a streamlined process to aim for one self-evaluation per day. With the right technology, this self-evaluation process should only take about 1.5x the length of the interaction. So, if you have a handle time of five minutes, the start to finish time requirement for the self-evaluation should only be eight minutes or less.

Quality Analyst (QA) components:

  • Provided accurate information
  • Proper etiquette throughout contact
  • Built rapport as appropriate
  • Customer satisfaction

The components within the QA evaluation form will likely look very similar to the self-evaluation components as the feedback session between the coach and agent should be more of a calibration and review of the interactions scored by the agent and the evaluations scored by the QA.

Customer Survey components:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer Effort Score
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Agent quality
  • Product/service quality

Customer surveys should be short and to the point. The response rates on most customer surveys is pretty low (typically single digit percentages) so it’s important not to waste time when someone does opt in to take it. Survey results should be viewed through the appropriate lens based on the response rate. If you’re only achieving a 1% response rate, expect the results to be more on the negative side. Regardless of your response rates, completed surveys should be married to the automated scorecard results and when possible a formal evaluation. This will provide a complete picture of that customers experience with your organization.

The traditional approach has been around in some form for decades and it served us well when our technology options were limited. With all of the advancements in speech analytics, self-evaluations, and streamlined Quality Management the traditional method seems to be in the dark ages of contact center management. The modern approach outlined provides various levels and perspective on how an agent is performing and more importantly it provides a mechanism for more frequent anecdotal measures for the agent to receive and use to improve. Similar to the homework you had back when you were in grade school, this modern approach allows agents to improve on small things on a daily basis in order to achieve higher scores on their formal evaluations and ultimately deliver a better customer experience consistently and without struggle.