Cost Savings in QA: Rethink Your Sample Sizes

Cost Savings in QA: Rethink Your Sample Sizes

Crunch the numbers. In this economy, everyone is looking to save a buck. Companies are slashing budgets and trying to salvage the bottom line.

So where is the savings within the QA program?

The biggest cost in most QA programs are the time, energy and resources it takes to sit down, listen to, and properly analyze a phone call. It requires man hours to do the task.

So start by looking at your sample sizes and crunch the nubers. Depending on the goals of your program, you generally don't need to analyze hundreds of phone calls to get an accurate reflection of a CSRs service. If you have a well designed, behaviorally anchored QA scale, then a small sample of randomly selected calls will do the trick. I have been in call centers who will measure hundreds of phone calls for a given CSR. It's overkill.

Consider the pollsters who can accurately guage the opinions of 175 million Americans by talking to 1,000. It's statistically possible to do so with a small margin of error, if you do it right. QA works in the same way. You can get an accurate reflection of a CSRs service over thousands of calls by listening to just a handful, if you do it right.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickrand Aaron Kyle

  • frank

    So what is the ideal sample size? Is there such a thing? We try for one monitor per agent per week.. would you consider this overkill (or underkill?)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/tomvwell Tom Vander Well

    Thanks for the question, Frank. Your approach of one call per agent per week is actually quite reasonable.
    One of the things you want to consider is how often you are using the data for incentives, bonuses, performance management, and the like. If you are giving out quarterly bonuses based on 12 calls, you should either boost your sample or rethink your bonus structure.
    You want to make sure you have at least 30 calls on which to base any kind of performance management criteria. At one call a week, you’ll have plenty to make some annual incentives or decisions.
    There are many companies who will do three calls per month per CSR and end up with 36 calls for their annual performance management criteria. As long as your scale and sampling methodology are sound, that’s adequate.

  • Mark Upner

    You can get an accurate reflection of a CSRs service over thousands of calls by listening to just a handful, if you do it right. Could you please elaborate on this a little with meregarding the first statement.
    Regards

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