Quality: what are we missing with a tick-box approach?

In this article Paul Smedley & Chris Rainsforth review the operating models for quality used by four recent Innovation Award case studies, to learn from the different approaches and uncover the underlying drivers of the exceptional results they gained. While there are some interesting and significant differences, the strong common trends stand out too. Let us know what you are doing and see how we can help you make these changes happen in your organisation.
Download the full article (PDF) and view the video and slides from the National Best Practice Seminar 2013.
Talking to Quality Managers, there is a real shift away from the ‘tick box’ approach to quality, which has become synonymous with call centres in the last 20-30 years, and a fresh focus on how the Quality team can add value to the business and drive improved customer experience. See Re-thinking Quality (April2013).

Reviewing four recent Innovation Award case studies the outstanding conclusion is that every organisation has been able to drive significant, measurable improvement in customer experience, through re-thinking quality.  

At UK Asset Resolution, 88% of colleagues improve their quality scores by the end of the month they are being supported, with 83% maintaining improvement after 3 months. The average increase in quality scores after the first month of Improvement Coaching was 12%.

At RWE npower, the quality scores rose month on month, rising 12% year on year,and the gap between external satisfaction and internal quality was removed, by establishing a new quality assessment matrix that focussed specifically on the five areas that had been driving dissatisfaction. 

Even in organisations with an already-strong customer focus, there are significant gains to be made. At Motability Operations for example the Customer Satisfaction Index rose from 90% to 96%, gaining more of the perfect ten out often customer scores. First Contact Resolution was lifted from 80% to 91% and employee engagement scores reached a staggering 95%.

These changes are not just around customer satisfaction but closely linked to cost efficiency (for example by reducing repeat calls or use of time on a call)and (in particular) customer loyalty. For example at Experian long-term customer retention was increased by 38% through their changes in quality,knowledge management and actionable analytics.  

Four trends stand out as being vital to success. Significantly, all four organisations have in some way:-

  • Radically changed their QA assessment framework (the scorecard) – not just in the call centre but in some cases across back office functions as well as for emails and other contact types.
  • Given advisors the freedom to do what was needed to meet the customer’s need; in some case stepping away from the standard process where this was not appropriate and taking steps to amend the processes for the future.
  • Created a cultural change that is supported by developing a new coaching and development framework – for example how the scores are used for performance management and how advisors are enabled to offer improvement suggestions and feel they can make a difference.
  • Linked quality into a wider continuous improvement framework, that helps apply insight about what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty throughout the organisation and starts to integrates quality and ‘voice of the customer’.
See the full article to read about the six critical factors and our analysis of the significant differences between the case studies. Or take the chance to look at the four case studies: UK Asset Resolution, RWE npower, Experian and Motability Operations. The last two include videos of their conference presentations in April 2013.
Paul Smedley and Chris Rainsforth
June 2013.print
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Experian Awards Case Study 2013: Actionable Analytics delivers focus on customers
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