By Donna Fluss
All companies should strive to deliver an outstanding customer experience (CX), as it’s a primary driver of customer satisfaction, retention, and relationship-building. The question is how to achieve this objective, which remains an elusive goal for most companies. And even if a company has a moment in time when they deliver a great service experience, ever-changing customer expectations require them to update their strategy again and again.
Companies need tools and processes to capture and measure the quality of the service experience they deliver to their customers continuously so they can see how they are doing on an ongoing basis. This is where analytics-enabled quality management (AQM) comes in. This solution gives contact centers an automated, timely, and cost-effective tool for monitoring and evaluating 100 percent of voice and digital interactions.
Since an AQM system uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to conduct evaluations, its findings are more objective and useful than quality evaluations performed manually by a QM specialist or supervisor using a traditional approach.
AQM is an application (and process) that leverages interaction analytics technology along with business rules and automation to identify, classify, and score voice- and text-based conversations between agents and customers based on defined quality criteria. An AQM solution can be a module of an interaction analytics (IA) suite or a stand-alone best-of-breed application. See Figure 1.
Source: DMG Consulting LLC, July 2023
Proven Benefits of AQM
AQM solutions can elevate the performance of contact center agents and the brand, as they use machine learning and other AI technologies to self-improve. Analytics-enabled QM provides a comprehensive, fair, and effective method of assessing many aspects of agent and contact center performance. Although humans are still required to address certain elements of conversations, AQM can monitor 100 percent of customer interactions on a timely basis, providing valuable insights that cannot be captured when a contact center uses traditional QM and is able to evaluate only a few interactions per agent, per month.
Automated solutions are likely to reduce the number of QM and coaching specialists required, but they are not intended to eliminate the QM function or team entirely. However, because they evaluate a much larger sample of customer interactions, AQM solutions provide more insights into agent performance, engagement, and the CX. Analytics-enabled QM solutions improve many aspects of a contact center, including the agent coaching process, which is essential for agent engagement and retention and also delivering a great CX.
A feature-rich AQM solution comes with a coaching module that generates personalized coaching and eLearning content for agents. Equally important, it has the ability to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the training content and trainers. These sessions can be triggered automatically by low QM scores, negative customer feedback results, or even negative sentiment ratings, and can be delivered to agents immediately following a transaction.
Additionally, the AQM application should be set up to monitor how each agent performs after they’ve received guidance or coaching and provide agents with ongoing support while also recognizing when they perform well. Giving agents a consistent flow of positive and negative feedback is a best practice that generally improves the customer experience and agent retention, which reduces hiring, onboarding, and training expenses.
It should be clear, given the increasing volume of complaints, that most companies need to enhance their CX. Enterprises need an actionable flow of insights into their customers’ needs and wants to understand what is required for them to deliver a great CX. This is where AQM fits in, as these applications are designed to provide feedback and coaching to the people who represent the brand and interact directly with customers.
AQM applications improve the performance of contact center agents, but their benefits are broader because they find issues on a timely basis, enabling a company to take rapid corrective actions. This improves the CX, EX, and the bottom line, all while enhancing the brand.
Donna Fluss, founder and president of DMG Consulting LLC, provides a unique and unparalleled understanding of the people, processes and technology that drive the strategic direction of the dynamic and rapidly transforming contact center and back-office markets. Donna can be reached at email@example.com.