Contact Centers: Calibrate! Calibrate! Calibrate!
Tune up your contact center.
A contact center without calibration is like a car without a tune-up: The car still runs, but not at peak performance. Calibrations are an opportunity to gather your team, tune in to your customers’ experience, and make sure everyone shares the same expectations of your representatives. Calibrations are a contact center’s tune-up.
Calibration sessions ensure your team connects the vision with the reality. While quality assurance should lead the discussions, all frontline supervisors, floor leads and representatives should be included. Input from reps is critical, since they can help contact center managers understand why boardroom strategies fall short when implemented.
Some managers run two different calibration sessions. The first meeting standardizes the monitoring of a rep’s performance, while the second identifies new opportunities to improve the customer experience. Standardized monitoring ensures your guidelines are executed consistently. Identifying new opportunities allows your strategic vision to remain competitive and appropriate for your customer base.
Consider using the following two calibration outlines:
Calibration for standardization in performance measurement. The objective of this initial meeting is to enforce standards in scoring a rep’s performance against predetermined guidelines. Typically, monitoring forms are designed to evaluate both technical skills (objective) and soft skills (subjective).
Objective performance is simple to calibrate because it’s mechanical. Did the rep use courtesy words, verify customer information and offer coordinated items? Subjective performance is more challenging because it’s opinion-based. Did the rep exude a positive tone of voice and a personable demeanor? Did the customer seem satisfied? The focus in this session should be to ensure fair and consistent scoring in both types of skill sets.
Your quality assurance team and frontline supervisors should be involved in performance management. The J. Crew apparel catalog uses randomly selected, prerecorded calls for calibration, according to J. Crew’s instructional director, Karen Thomasson. “That way,” she says, “you can replay when necessary during your discussion.”