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Behaviour based Quality Frameworks

Published on 06 July 2018

Behaviour based Quality Frameworks

Say the right thing, do the right thing
It’s not unusual to hear that organisations are ‘reviewing their Quality Frameworks’. Regulatory changes, company or departmental merges and ever-increasing focus on customer experience are the most commonly cited reasons for doing this. What’s appearing to be an emerging theme through this is the desire to base a framework on the behaviours the organisation desires to be displayed by colleagues rather than what’s necessarily right or wrong.

Some of the more experienced practitioners among you may be thinking, ‘that’s nothing new, we’ve had competency-based frameworks in place for years’ or ‘we’re in FS, we’ve had no choice but to be focussed on customer outcomes’. What we’re seeing now though is a subtle shift further. This is almost verging on values-centred QA.
What are they?
Consider creating a Quality Framework around your values. A study by Maitland in 2015 of the UK FTSE 100 showed that the most common values adopted by organisations are;

  1. Integrity
  2. Respect
  3. Innovation
  4. Safety
  5. Transparency
  6. Excellence
  7. Teamwork
  8. Honesty
  9. Trust
  10. Responsibility
So, rather than assessing QA on whether the call was answered in the right way, whether ID&V checks were passed and whether the correct information was shared with the customer, consider assessing whether the advisor showed respect to the customer, whether they demonstrated they were trustworthy, if they took responsibility in the call.
Kirsty Ringer, Service Excellence Manager, B&CE was an early adopter of this approach when she was at One Family. Building a framework around 5 behaviours with detail of how each could be demonstrated, and crucially, the behaviours that should be avoided, helped advisors be clear about what good looks like and how they can achieve excellence. Kirsty went on to win Manager of the Year in our National Quality Awards in 2017.

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Innovation Award Winners BT recently hosted a best practice site visit to a look at their platform ‘COACH’ which is underpinned by values. Called the 5 steps, advisers recognise that displaying these behaviours during the call will help to lead to a successful outcome for the customer. Steps such as Understand, Investigate and Resolve are understood across the centre and after an initial pilot the framework is now adopted across 9,000 advisers. As one Quality Professional on the visit stated, this means that the assessment is less transactional (about what they did) as the priority focus is on the behaviours (how they did it). (Read the BT Case Study here)

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Secrets to success
There are a variety of reasons why these approaches work. Here are just some of them.
  1. When we are encouraged to demonstrate behaviours in the way we interact, we generally respond better than if we are told to do or say specific things. It is particularly effective when the behaviours that are selected are ones that the advisers have contributed to and have identified as being important to them when engaging with customers. When the values or behaviours that we are expected to display at work resonate with our own internal values or behaviours, then our ‘personal self’ and ‘work self’ are in tune and aligned and we are more likely to succeed.
  2. Operating against a behavioural framework can be very empowering. Rather than prescribing what must be done, advisers are encouraged to find their own way to resolve customer issues, so long as they conduct themselves in a way that aligns to the framework.
  3. It’s people focussed. There will always be parts of a customer engagement that need to be compliant with regulations and legislation. For those centres where technology allows, speech analytics can deal with this leaving quality assessors, coaches and team leaders to focus on the advisors’ behaviours, language, tone, rapport building and all the other elements that make up a great customer interaction.

Share your story
Have you adopted a behavioural based framework? Is it linked to your corporate values? How’s it working for you? Share your story with us by commenting below, posting on LinkedIn (mentioning @TheForum)  or contacting us at

Date Published: 06/07/2018

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