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Best Practices in 'Performance and Quality Management' webinar

From the Knowledge Centre

Simon Thatcher reports on’s ‘Best Practices in Performance and Quality Management’ webinar and Echo’s P&Q Challenge Best Practice Award.

Simon Thatcher reports on’s ‘Best Practices in Performance and Quality Management’ webinar and Echo’s P&Q Challenge Best Practice Award.

It was a first for me last week when I was invited to be a guest speaker on one of’s celebrated webinars. Titled ‘Best Practices in Performance and Quality Management’, the webinar aimed to share the latest research on Performance and Quality Monitoring, and tried to establish just what a future performance management system might look like. Having won a Best Practices Award at the recent P&Q Challenge ‘Class of 2014’ showcase event, Echo was well placed to add value to the discussion.

It was great to be asked to present alongside P&Q Challenge leader Martin Hill-Wilson and’s editor, Jonty Pearce. Jonathan Wax from Nexidia – sponsors of the P&Q Challenge – also joined the session by videolink. I was able to share my experience of the whole six month P&Q programme, explaining how Echo Managed Services first got involved and showing how an open and self-critical discipline could add real value to our broader performance management approach.

With hundreds of contact centre professionals registered for the webinar it was a good opportunity to share Echo’s expertise in this area. It was also important to share how the P&Q Challenge is applicable for all organisations – regardless of where they are on their performance management journey. At Echo, for example, we were already receiving great customer feedback for our performance, but we were really keen to see how the latest industry best practices could help take our performance even further.

Because the P&Q Challenge is industry-led, we got the opportunity to take advantage of best practice thinking from our peers across a range of market sectors. The process also gave us the chance to take a step back and be really self-critical. The Echo team took this particularly seriously and won the P&Q Best Practice award for openness and honesty during this section of the course! We even openly asked a client to help us here as well – providing their third party thoughts on our performance.

Presenting on the webinar was a valuable exercise, particularly when it came to reflecting on how useful we found the P&Q process and the lessons we had learnt that we were already putting into practice. For Echo the focus is very much on empowering our agents, and giving them much greater control of their activities – both in terms of their own career progression and also their own personal responsibility for effective service delivery.

During the webinar I shared some practical examples of how Echo is now applying P&Q thinking to our day-to-day activities example. While we’ve always allowed advisors to go back and listen to their calls throughout the month, we’re now developing a culture where advisors are encouraged to flag example calls of their work on an ongoing basis. This could be a great customer call, or even a ‘not so great’ call where they have struggled and feel they can bring this to our attention for further advice. This flagging process enables agents to self-evaluate, and request further training when they know they need more support. We’re also currently developing a monthly amnesty card process, so that agents can fill any gaps in their training without concern.

We’re also seeing the P&Q Challenge effect having a positive impact on management processes. Coaching and monitoring is no longer just a ‘tick in the box’ for the contact centre industry - it’s certainly an essential component of the end-to-end service we offer. Echo directors also listen to calls regularly and spend time on the contact centre floor, having first hand insight into the company’s ongoing commitment to service quality. It’s this end-to-end examination that can also really make a difference when it comes to deriving an ROI from a wholesale commitment to a P&Q approach.

At Echo we’re taking P&Q seriously, and are working to push the boundaries to find out what really constitutes excellent customer service. I hope we successfully communicated the value we’ve already received through engaging in this process to the webinar attendees. Having already won a P&Q Best Practice award, Echo has already set the bar high. However P&Q is all about continuous improvement, so it looks like we’re going to have to keep on getting better if we’re to secure a further award in years to come.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the Performance & Quality Challenge, visit here, or get in touch with the Echo P&Q team

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