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Picking an Automated Quality Management (AQM) for Call Centers Vendor: 5 Critical Considerations

By January 30, 2024 No Comments
Automated Quality Management for Call Centers

With the recent advent and progress of artificial intelligence (AI, GenAI, and all the other ways to say this), it was only a matter of time before we saw some pretty sophisticated solutions to impact how a call center handles quality management. Of course, the world wants as much of this to be automated as possible because using technology can really help resolve some problems that non-automated quality management has had in the past.

I’ve written about problems with coverage here, documentation here, and bias by someone in a quality role here.

Automated Quality Management IS NOT Transcription Services

If you are just looking into Automated Quality Management, one thing you’ll likely focus on is the quality of transcriptions.  I wrote about this a few years ago, in this post: Speech Analytics (or, Automated Quality Management) Is Definitely Not Transcription Services.

Here’s the issue: The transcription of a conversation is critical to be able to analyze what happened, but just having a transcription is a fraction of what an automated quality management package should do. So, transcription accuracy is important, but it’s not the only important thing.

That’s like buying a car but simply focusing on just the wheels and tires. There’s a lot more to a car than just wheels and tires. Are they important? Yes, of course! They are critical! But there’s more to consider.

Questions to ask might include:

  • What do you do with the transcription?
  • What information can you extract from the transcription?
  • How will this help us with management and training decisions?
  • How can we improve the customer experience?
  • How can we impact and help our agents?

Definitely pay attention to the quality of transcriptions because with automated quality management, the old adage applies: garbage in, garbage out. You have to work with accurate transcriptions or the rest of the system will be based on garbage. But there’s a lot more to automated quality management than just transcriptions.

Automated Quality Management Needs Specialized Human Intervention and Tweaking

Here’s an article, a few years old, by Harvard Business Review titled Voice Recognition Still Has Significant Race and Gender Biases. Of course it did, four years ago, right? How would you resolve some of those bias issues?

You would need a human to double, triple-check what the automation was spitting out. Trust but verify, as some would say.

Automated Quality Management in a call center, or sales floor, has some interesting dynamics. Take turnover… what if you have tweaked and perfected the automation tools for a certain group of employees, but by the end of the year you have other employees who use different words, have different accents, or are maybe dealing with different industries? Take that simple example and multiply it by a factor of, say, twelve, and you will find that what’s calibrated perfectly for one scenario doesn’t necessarily work for another scenario.

We have talked to automated quality management customers who are frustrated because they were promised a very high accuracy rate but, in their situation, they find the accuracy is so bad that it becomes unworkable.

At Snowfly, we know we can’t just flip a switch and you’ll be up and running with 100% accuracy. That’s why we have a dedicated team of specialists who monitor the automated quality management results, audit them, and do our own quality checks on them. As we do this, we refine, recalibrate, and resolve many accuracy issues. We’ve had customers come to us who have worked with vendors who provide a “very high” 60% accuracy and they were frustrated.

We plug them into our system, with a healthy mix of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and human intervention and calibration, where we have brought accuracy rates above 90%. It takes a lot of focused and strategic work, but we’d rather deliver results that leadership could make decisions on than give you garbage that you end up not trusting.

Automated Quality Management Should Complement Other Employee Engagement Systems

Just as a transcription is a part of a larger system, your automated quality management tools should be a part of your larger system. They impact employee engagement, customer experience, training and management, and even your sales capacity/forecasts.

If you have too many systems that talk with one another, you are probably paying a pretty penny to keep all of the connections in place and working. This becomes more expensive with the regular software updates and security patches, as well as changing vendors. That’s not bad if you have the staff to handle all of the integrations. But if you don’t have that kind of expertise or budget, consider systems that are highly integrated.

Snowfly was initially founded on the idea of improving employee engagement and employee productivity through rewards and recognition. For decades, we’ve helped organizations home in on helping their employees improve metrics and behaviors through positive reinforcement. Our rewards system is robust and powerful, and gets results. Our recognition system helps people feel valued, appreciated, and seen.

Because rewards and recognition are a core part of our DNA, we have incorporated that mindset into our automated quality management solution. After all, isn’t quality management all about improving experiences and productivity? If you aren’t seeing improved customer or employee experiences, or productivity, then you should seriously reconsider how or why you are using (and paying for) automated quality management. And, make sure you tie any QA efforts into your rewards and recognition system for continued improvement. If you want to see how Snowfly does this, click the link below to contact us.

Automated Quality Management Should Be Flexible to Fit Your Changing Business Needs

We talked about this above, a little bit. You will have changes in your organization, customer composition, needs, etc. That’s just the evolution of business. We make sure we have the right mix of human interaction to work with machine learning and artificial intelligence so we can keep accuracy levels high. But human interaction is not the only important consideration to meet inevitable changes in your organization.

Have you ever invested in software that the salesperson assured you would be a great solution to you, only to learn that you had so many exceptions that either the software couldn’t meet your needs or you needed to change the way you operated?

When I was in school we spent hours talking about whether software should drive (or decide) business operations, or whether business operations should drive (or decide) how software was designed. It was an interesting debate, and, honestly, in some cases the answer is mixed. For example, if you have antiquated processes that feel outdated, why not learn from modern software solutions and make changes to processes and policies?

At Snowfly, we take a different approach. We don’t make you change your processes or policies because of limitations in our software or design. We give you an immense amount of flexibility so that what you need out of our software (improved engagement, improved productivity, etc.) can be accomplished even as you do things differently than your competitors. Even as executives mandate changes. Even as the industry forces you to shift how you operate.

Snowfly has always been built on the idea that you have specific, even unique, needs, and our software should accommodate those needs. And we know your needs shift. Our robust admin tools allow you to easily make changes throughout the system so that as you change, we can change with you.

I was on a sales call recently and most of the questions from our customer asked had to do with “can we do this,” “can it do this,” “what if we wanted to change that?” The answer to each of these questions, based on various scenarios, was YES. Yes, because we built the admin tools so you could easily adjust the software to your needs.

If you buy a cookie cutter Automated Quality Management solution, expect to fight against the constraints of the software’s design, which means you might have to change how you operate. If you have unique needs, and want the system to change as you grow, reach out to us and see how we can help. We’ll talk about how we have the right automation tools for you as well as our consulting services we can bring to the table because of the exposure we’ve had into different industries, scenarios, etc.

Automated Quality Management Should Provide Exceptionally High ROI and Business Value

You might think the idea of getting an ROI, and actually seeing results and value from your Automated Quality Management solution goes without saying, but unfortunately we need to say it. Too often, we’ve seen organizations adopt software solutions that don’t provide any value. They become a checklist item that someone can check off, saying “yeah, we got this software,” but they get nothing out of it.

The best thing to do would be to get out of the contract. Unfortunately, we’ve talked to people who are stuck in a contract with the wrong software and have multiple years left before they can get out.

Please make sure you not only vet the different solutions you are looking for, but that you also understand why you want this software in the first place. Are you trying help employees get trained faster? Are you working on reducing customer complaints (and possible legal violations)? Are you interested in producing better documentation in case there are employee performance issues?

Whatever your reasons, your vendor should help you measure progress, value, and ROI. Their goal (our goal) is to help you see that ROI, and know that this is one investment that will really make a difference to your organization and to your customers.

Looking at Automated Quality Management (AQM) Solutions?

We’d love to chat. We want to understand your needs, how you operate, and what your challenges are. Reach out here and we’ll get back to you to schedule a time to chat.

Jason Alba

Jason Alba

I'm passionate about building great cultures. I love respect in the workforce, especially respect that is earned. I love strategic management, leadership, and vision. I love healthy companies through profitability. I love employee engagement, employee performance, and employee satisfaction. I love how Snowfly can help YOUR organization work towards all of these things.

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