Role of quality management in contact center to mitigate risk and ensure compliance

Tashu Aggarwal

April 5, 20237 min read

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When customers call a contact center, they are often informed that their call may be recorded or monitored for quality and training purposes. But what does quality monitoring mean for a contact center, and how do managers use it to improve the quality of service and training for agents?

Table of Contents

What is quality management in contact center?

In the context of contact centers, quality management refers to the processes and procedures that are put in place to ensure that customer interactions are handled efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with relevant regulations.

It involves gathering an accurate and unbiased account of every interaction between staff and customers and identifying the root causes of successful or unsuccessful exchanges. By collecting this data, businesses can determine if their contact center is meeting its objectives, adhering to proper procedures, staying compliant, and achieving desired outcomes.

Moreover, with the ever-increasing regulations, contact centers must stay up-to-date with compliance requirements to ensure that they are not violating any regulations that could result in hefty penalties or damage to their reputation.

In a survey conducted by KPMG, it was found that 55% of the companies surveyed experienced a loss in revenue as a result of regulatory fines or non-compliance. Quality management can help ensure that contact centers remain compliant by monitoring calls for compliance issues and taking corrective action as necessary.

A real-life example of the risks that contact centers face comes from the Equifax data breach in 2017. In this incident, hackers gained access to personal information, including social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, for over 143 million customers. This breach was a severe blow to Equifax's reputation, and they faced numerous legal and financial repercussions.

While contact centers have made progress in digitizing and transforming quality management workflows, there is still room for improvement. One way to do this is by incorporating intelligence and automation into quality management processes. By doing so, contact center as a service can help identify and review the most relevant customer interactions, evaluate performance at a faster rate, and provide more accurate data for agent coaching.

How to automate agent service quality management using AI

Top compliance risks associated with contact centers

Contact centers are often the first point of contact for customers who have questions, concerns or complaints. As a result, they are also a potential source of risk for companies. Some of the risks associated with contact centers include:

  • Data breaches: Contact centers are entrusted with handling confidential customer information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and addresses. The unauthorized access or exposure of such sensitive data could result in identity theft and other fraudulent activities. In 2022, data compromises in the United States reached 1802 cases, with over 422 million individuals impacted by various incidents such as data breaches, leakage and exposure.

  • Poor customer experiences: Only one in five consumers are willing to forgive a negative experience with a company if they rate its customer service as "very poor." If customers have a negative experience with a contact center, they may be less likely to do business with the company in the future. This can result in lost revenue and a damaged reputation.

  • Compliance violations: Contact centers must comply with a wide range of regulations, including those related to data privacy, telemarketing, and consumer protection. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and harm a company's reputation. Some of the key regulations that contact centers must comply with include:

    • GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union regulation that governs the collection, storage, and use of personal data. Contact centers that handle customer data from the EU must comply with GDPR requirements.

    • TCPA: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a US federal law that governs telemarketing practices. Contact centers that engage in telemarketing must comply with TCPA requirements, including obtaining consent from customers before making marketing calls.

    • PCI DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) outlines a set of requirements to ensure that companies that handle credit card information do so in a secure manner. Contact centers that handle credit card information must comply with PCI DSS requirements.

Quality management features to build compliance in call centers

Quality management can help mitigate these risks and ensure compliance by implementing processes and procedures that ensure that customer interactions are handled in a way that is secure, compliant and efficient. Some of the key components of quality management in contact centers include:

Call/conversation monitoring

Monitoring conversations is a critical aspect of quality management in contact centers, as it allows managers to ensure that interactions between customers and agents are handled efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with relevant regulations.

For example, a call center supervisor may monitor a call where an agent is discussing a financial product with a customer. During the call, the agent may accidentally disclose confidential information or fail to properly disclose important information to the customer, such as the risks associated with the product. By identifying these issues through call monitoring, the supervisor can provide feedback to the agent and take steps to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.

This proactive approach to risk management helps to protect the organization from potential fines and legal action while also improving the overall quality of customer service.

An image showing a live chat conversation between a customer and a support agent.

Agent scorecards

With automated scorecards, managers can easily identify non-compliant calls and take corrective action to ensure that agents adhere to regulatory requirements. One essential compliance indicator that can be included in agent scorecards is the "Mini Miranda" disclosure, which is a legal requirement that contact centers must comply with when contacting customers. The disclosure informs customers that the call is being recorded and monitored for quality assurance purposes, ensuring contact center compliance with regulations such as the TCPA.

In addition to compliance, agent scorecards can also be used to assess various aspects of customer interactions, such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and product knowledge.

Automated scorecards also offer the benefit of providing consistent and unbiased evaluations, eliminating potential discrepancies or biases that can occur with manual scoring. This approach ensures that agents are held to the same standards and evaluated on the same criteria, reducing the risk of human error or subjectivity.

An image of an agent scorecard with parameters such as Effectiveness, Communication Skills and Attitude.

Audit forms

Audit forms are an integral part of contact center quality management and can be useful for compliance and risk management. By using these forms, managers can ensure that agents are adhering to specific compliance requirements and following the correct procedures for each call type.

For example, an audit form may include specific questions related to compliance requirements, such as verifying the customer's identity, obtaining consent for the call to be recorded, and providing disclosures as required by law.

In addition to compliance, audit forms can also be used to identify potential risk areas and areas for improvement. By evaluating calls based on a set of predetermined criteria, such as improperly handling sensitive information, managers can identify patterns of behavior or procedures that may be creating risk for the organization.

An image of an audit form to ensure compliance with customer service standards.

Calibration

Calibrations are a great way to determine if the evaluators are grading interactions on the same curve, as it helps standardize the scoring and evaluation process. It allows managers to compare the scores given by different evaluators for the same call to determine if they are following the same guidelines and standards. This process helps to identify any discrepancies or biases in the evaluation process, which can impact compliance and risk management.

For instance, if one evaluator is more lenient than another, they may overlook compliance violations or rate agents higher than they should, leading to a potential risk for the organization. By calibrating evaluations, managers can ensure that all evaluators are assessing calls in the same way and catching compliance issues consistently.

Training and coaching

By providing regular coaching and training sessions, contact centers can help agents stay up-to-date on the latest compliance requirements and regulations, thereby mitigating the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties or reputational damage.

Additionally, creating a ‘Best Practices Call Library’ and allowing agents to score their own calls can also be beneficial for compliance and risk management. This approach allows agents to review successful calls and learn from them, improving their performance in future interactions.

Reporting and analytics

By analyzing data from reporting tools, managers can identify areas of the contact center that may be creating risks for the organization, such as long hold times, repetitive customer complaints, or high call abandonment rates. This information can then be used to make process changes or allocate resources more effectively to reduce risks.

Reporting can also be used to identify top-performing agents who consistently demonstrate adherence to compliance standards and effective call center communication skills. These agents can then be recognized and rewarded, which can help promote a culture of compliance and risk management within the contact center.

An image of a reporting dashboard with metrics including duration, quiet time and hold time.

Benefits of robust quality management in contact centers

Mitigating risks and ensuring compliance in contact centers heavily relies on quality management. By instituting protocols and methodologies aimed at providing superior customer service, contact centers can decrease the likelihood of data breaches, non-compliance issues, and dissatisfactory customer experiences.

In addition to that, quality management can also help contact centers improve their overall performance. By identifying areas where improvements are needed and implementing best practices, contact centers can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Some of the key benefits of quality management in contact centers include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: By implementing best practices and analyzing customer interactions, quality management can identify areas for improvement and ensure that customers receive the best possible experience. As a result of providing high-quality service that meets their needs, customers are more likely to develop a sense of satisfaction and loyalty towards a company, thus increasing the likelihood of them returning.

  • Enhanced operational efficiency and reduced costs: Quality management can enhance operational efficiency by identifying areas that require improvement, which can result in more streamlined business operations and cost savings.

  • Increased employee engagement: By setting clear expectations and providing constructive feedback on performance, quality management helps employees understand how their work contributes to the organization's overall success. This can ultimately result in a more engaged and motivated workforce, which can benefit both the employees and the contact center as a whole.

  • Better decision-making: By gathering contact center metrics, quality management can help identify trends and areas that require improvement. This information can then be used to make data-driven decisions that improve processes, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, investing in quality management solutions is essential for contact centers to not only mitigate risks and ensure compliance but also improve operational efficiency by identifying areas of improvement in the customer service process.

Moreover, with the advancement of technology, quality management solutions have become more accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes, making it easier for contact centers to implement these tools and stay competitive in today's dynamic market.

Therefore, it is crucial for contact centers to prioritize quality management solutions and embrace them as a fundamental aspect of their customer service strategy.

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