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Tuesday, December 26, 2017


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In 2018, the contact center industry will be all about automation.

The groundswell of interest in automating many of the traditionally routine tasks in the contact center is creating a substantial impact on both employee engagement and the customer experience, and we expect this automation groundswell will do nothing but grow in the months and years ahead.


The latest technology to feel the touch of automation is quality management—the most widely deployed and utilized solution in the U.S. contact center industry, and lkely the global contact center industry. The results of Saddletree Research’s 2017 survey of end users, completed during the third quarter of 2017, reveals the relatively high level of market penetration of quality management in the U.S. contact center industry. The complete overview of the current status of quality management among those in the industry is provided in Figure 1 below.

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Current quality management best practices dictate the review for scoring of a small percentage of random calls for each agent, typically less than ten percent. There are several problems with this practice, including its lack of statistical validity for accurately assessing an agent’s overall performance and capabilities. Also, if a new agent is having problems in his or her job, it often takes months of reviewing random calls to accurately discover the root of the problem.

In the meantime, the agent continues to struggle through each call.

Not to be overlooked is the problem of subjectivity in the evaluation process. Adding the human factor into the equation often means that objectivity is lost. Anyone can have a bad day, and only analyzing a small percentage of all calls further adds to the possibility of inaccurate scoring.

Call logging, or the recording of 100 percent of all calls, is a fairly common practice in today’s contact center as evidenced by the fact that 85.2 percent of our survey respondents currently own a call logging solution. Compliance and regulatory issues have been major factors in the adoption of call logging and the practice of recording all interactions. But recording all calls and only listening to a small percentage of them means that key insights are potentially left undiscovered.

The call recording building blocks for automated quality management, which evaluates 100 percent of agent calls, is in place and the reasons for automating the quality management process are compelling. Automated quality management brings new levels of objectivity and fairness to agent evaluations which will, by extension, provide a greater degree of job satisfaction to the agent workforce.

On the management side, automated quality management means that quality assurance professionals will be freed from tedious manual scoring work and can concentrate more on coaching and training activities. The cost savings that result from this redeployment of resources can have a positive and dramatic effect on operational expenses as well.

Despite the current rate of automation adoption in the contact center industry, there will still be some who are unsure about whether or not automation is right for their contact center. For these individuals, automated scoring can be introduced to the contact center at their own pace. While 100 percent of calls can be automatically scored, they don’t have to be. Users can start with the automated scoring of a small percentage of calls and work their way up from there.

Automated quality management means that critical insights into agent performance and customer experience are no longer lost to the random selection of a small number of calls. It joins robotics and other advanced automated solutions in representing the future of the industry and will radically and positively change the face of agent assessment and employee engagement in the years to come.

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