In most contact centers, customer service agents have been thoroughly trained to handle a wide variety of customer inquiries on products, policies, and services. However, as goods and services evolve over time to better meet the needs of the customer, strict adherence to corporate objectives and federal regulations should remain a top priority. Heavily regulated industries such as airlines, financial services, and healthcare are at even greater risk of government compliance audits that could result in costly fines and a wounded brand image.
With these factors in mind, how do business leaders know that customer service agents are consistently adhering to current brand standards, key business objectives, and government laws? The answer is, you don’t – but there is a way you can.
Mystery shopping is a program that allows companies to test customer service agents’ compliance with industry-specific standards and regulations. It is a real-time, interactive approach to examining the quality of information being provided to the customer. By monitoring agents for errors in compliance, organizations will mitigate the risk of substantial potential fines and the negative public perception that can result. Northridge Mystery Shopper programs drive improvements in regulation compliance through:
- Customization of Scenarios – Northridge researches what business objectives are important to the client and build a mystery shopping program around these objectives that will achieve the greatest impact. Through this program, we have the ability to test agents in real-time with highly specific situations through designed scenarios that revolve around essential regulations and corporate standards.
- Actionable and Coachable Feedback – The results of each mystery shopper call are added to a self-service online portal for each client. Accessibility and timeliness of information are critical to the success of the program in order to mitigate risk and fix issues quickly. Unlike many other programs that focus on reviewing data days or even months later, mystery shopping allows agents to address their weaknesses and strengths based on immediate and actionable feedback on their calls.
- Constantly evolving scenarios – As needs change within the organization, so should the mystery shopper program. While situations remain the same, scenarios are refreshed on a regular basis to reflect the latest and most critical issues for the organization. With multiple scripts and standards to be assessed, scenarios won’t be easily recognizable to agents and become routine.
- Statistically significant sampling of calls – To ensure a valid sample size, we conduct a content validation study based on the size of the contact center and the volume of calls received. It’s likely that errors made in the sample are being repeated by other agents. Sharing these trends with employees allows the organization to reinforce key business objectives with a wider audience.
- Partnership with management – Identifying compliance issues gives our clients an opportunity to implement actionable feedback with their employees. Specific feedback from our assessors to the client’s management team allows for quicker resolution and minimized risk of compliance violations.
Mystery Shopper programs allow for a continual pulse check on the effectiveness of your agent’s compliance with federal regulations and their interactions with your customers. By designing scenarios that test routine compliance situations, organizations reduce the potential for costly penalties and fines, while providing the best service to their customers.
A Fortune 100 enterprise sought mystery shopper services to redesign their self-audit program to improve compliance with federal regulations and avoid costly penalties. Through a tailored mystery shopper program, Northridge conducted outbound test calls into the client’s global contact centers, measuring the agents’ fulfillment of key scoring components. Through detailed analytics and reporting, Northridge was able to offer key insights, targeting areas of opportunity to improve compliance and limit financial risk. In partnership with our client, Northridge helped reduce their financial exposure by over 70 percent in three months.
To learn more about the mystery shopper program for compliance, read the full case study here.