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A reputation for great customer service is built on many areas of business. In-store employees must be friendly, the website must be easily navigable, omni-channel customer service must be consistent across channels, and call center agents must be knowledgeable. One of the key strategies to providing a consistent customer experience in the call center is regular call calibrations, in which the call center agents and supervisors meet with the quality monitoring vendor to rate and discuss customer service calls.

Call calibration is an important strategy to ensure that your managers, supervisors and QA teams are able to effectively evaluate agent performance and improve customer service.  This is recommended to ensure that service organizations are scoring key behaviors for success.

Everyone has an opportunity to rate the call before the calibration session. During the calibration, the quality monitoring vendor aligns the supervisors and agents on technical behaviors (e.g., compliance and procedural issues) and soft skills (e.g., empathy, politeness, helpfulness).  Call calibrations serve four major purposes:

calibrations1. Ensure different parties are rating consistently and objectively across channels: Regardless of whether customers contact your company via phone, web, chat or social, they should receive the same level of friendliness, helpfulness and process standardization. Call calibration helps you maintain consistency across all channels.

Calibration Tactical Tip: At a minimum, perform a call calibration once per month. However, hosting more calibrations at the beginning of your program will ensure everything is running smoothly – weekly is highly encouraged.

2. Ensure everyone has a common understanding of ratings: Every employee must have the same understanding of the strategic goals of the corporation and services of the business. For example, your online customer service agents should be just as knowledgeable about the product or service as your in-store employees. This ensures everyone is using the guidelines the same way and everyone in the organization has knowledge of the guidelines and what should be encouraged from a training perspective. 

Calibration Tactical Tip: Make sure every person is heard during a calibration session to achieve a better overall result. Encourage everyone to speak up.

3. Reveals areas within the guidelines that need refinement: Each company has specific procedures in place to address customer service issues. Quality Monitoring allows the parties to align and have a better understanding of the behaviors that can drive metric improvements for the organization’s goals. 

Calibration Tactical Tip: Typically, calibration sessions last an hour, but if your group needs more time, use it. Cultural differences may affect the customer experience, so be sure to adapt the session to accommodate.

4. Coaching improvements: Adjustments need to be made when an agent is having difficulty with either technical behaviors (e.g., not asking for a caller to verify their identity) or soft skills (e.g., speaking too quickly for the customer to understand clearly). The calibration session is the appropriate time to address those issues and ensure all agents understand the correct procedures and policies for a successful customer service call.

Calibration Tactical Tip: Provide tip sheets to give your agents a quick reference to the material covered. You can also record the calibrations for agents to review on their own time.

Performing call calibrations is a critical tool to ensure great customer experience across all channels. Strong service delivery creates happy customers and is a key driver to increase brand loyalty.