Blog

How to Facilitate a Successful Calibration Session

September 02, 2015 Amit Kachhawa

Calibration sessions are beneficial to overall call center performance and should be done regularly. Through consistently calibration, campaign leaders, trainers, and quality monitoring team have an opportunity to review customer interaction, compare quality scores using the evaluation form, and have productive discussion around the campaign.  The goal is to have the groups’ scores within a 5% margin of variance.

Today we will look at how to carry out a successful calibration session.

Distribute materials

Before starting the calibration session, you need to distribute the selected calls, chats, or emails to all participants for evaluation. The members should include managers, supervisors, quality monitoring team and any agents that you want to include.

I have found that having the agents present whose interactions are being reviewed is a great learning exercise for them.  They are able to hear the groups’ feedback directly and better understand the scoring process. Always review the interactions first to make sure that it will not be a negative experience for the agent.  Anything that would result in a reprimand should be done in a private setting not in front of the calibration team.

The Quality Monitoring team should be prepared for the session with pre-scored evaluation forms.  Blank evaluation forms should be distributed with the interactions to be reviewed. The participants can complete the score before the session begins or as the review is taking place.  However, they should have a score determined before the discussion begins to capture the variance.

Typically 2 -3 interactions are enough for each session depending upon the length of each conversation to be reviewed.

Quality Monitoring Team Acts as Facilitator

The QA team should facilitate the session.  Your SPOC (special point of contact) on the team will lead the discussion.  He or she is in charge of time allocation for each participant, venue logistics, material distribution prior to the meeting and technology for reviewing the interaction.

Sending out the summary from the session and providing follow up to interaction opportunities would also be part of the facilitator’s responsibilities. It is critical that any areas of improvement found during the calibration be communicated to the agent, coached, and monitored to ensure compliance.

Establish meeting ground rules.

To have a successful meeting, the facilitator and participants need to understand the ground rules and adhere to them. The aim is to ensure that everyone feels free to share and challenge the performance guidelines. To create that open environment, follow the below suggestions:

1. Set the start and end time in advance

2. Listen keenly without reacting or interrupting

3. Be honest and open throughout the discussions

4. Focus on consistency, not agreement or being right

5. Uphold confidentiality after the discussion

6. Ask all the participants to add onto the guidelines if they feel something is missing. They will easily follow them when they formulate them.

Review Previous Discussion

Start the process by reviewing the outliers, the highest and lowest scores. These two ratings are easier to discuss compared to the “almost exceeded” scores. If it is your second calibration session, use the previous discussions scores to locate any standard deviations.

However, if it the first calibration session, you can set the scores. It will take time to get your team calibrated, therefore, do not rush to process. The key is to have frequent one-hour meetings.

Review the first interaction

After setting your calibration goal, it is time to play your first call, chat transcript or email exchange for group review. If the interaction had not been scored by participants previously, take time for the group to complete the evaluation including score.

Compare the scores from each participant. The facilitator should keep track of all scores to judge variance.

Put Together the Feedback

Open the floor for the call feedback discussions. The facilitator should ensure all the comments go back to calibration goals or the call center goals. The focus is to clarify quality performance standards.

The facilitator takes charge of the discussion by asking for specific feedback. For example, the positive things that the agent did during the call, the negative things that need improvement or suggested improvements in the particular negative. The final decision should be a consensus, which will benefit the company and the agent, resulting in a better customer experience.

Review the quality standard definitions

A key benefit of a calibration session is the opportunity to consider the quality standard definitions. The quality assurance team will note the suggested improvement points and compare with the corresponding point.

These new definitions will offer guidance in the future in case they encounter the same issue. Write all the suggestions in the QSD (Quality Standard Document).

Repeat the above process for the next calls.

Bringing it together

Start by distributing the materials, select the facilitator, set the meeting guidelines, review the previous discussion, review the first interaction, put together the feedback and finally review the quality performance standards. As you conduct a calibration session, always keep in mind the desired quality performance standards.

Amit Kachhawa

Amit Kachhawa is the Assistant Vice President for Corporate Strategy. His overall experience of over 14 years has been garnered at various levels at Etech starting his journey as an OCR and thereafter, crossing many milestones and today Amit is an esteemed member of Etech Global Management Team. Amit is responsible for formulating and implementing strategic plans with focus on Digital Marketing including social media, Product Development, Business Development, Reporting and Workforce Management Analytics.