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Outsourcing: Chris Coles, President And CEO Of HyperQuality (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Jul 9th 2011

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Aditya Modi

About HyperQuality
HyperQuality is an independent quality assurance company with operations in the United States and India. Founded in 2003, the company uses customer satisfaction as a means to retain existing customers and acquire new ones. It does this by listening to customer–agent interactions, rating them, and giving feedback to clients on which policies or practices should stay and which ones should go. It delivers this intelligence through a SaaS tool called ClearMetrix. HyperQuality is a roughly $11 million company that has approximately 600 employees in both countries. It has served such clients as AOL, Travelocity, Guthy-Renker, and SkyMall.

Sramana Mitra: Hi, Chris. Welcome to the Outsourcing series. Would you tell us a bit about HyperQuality to set the context of the conversation.

Chris Coles: Sure. HyperQuality is a company that is a little more than eight years old, and it started from a position of providing cost-effective, higher quality or more reliable, more objective tiers of agent performance. Typically, it’s measured to quality attributes that were held or managed by people in the contact center. That is really the roots of the business. Over the past eight years, it has evolved, as the market has evolved, to work on software solutions for management and workflow, and providing more process and consistency within the context of evaluation. It has also moved from call evaluation and agent evaluation into caller contact effectiveness. It plays to a larger audience within a company as to what exactly is being said by customers. It’s sort of a “voice of the customer” agenda to where is it in the offer or in the PO service or in pricing or in policy that is causing topics of concern or rejection on the part of customer or prospects? So, it is a fairly systematic approach that we take to really evaluating what is going on inside the calls and making that information relevant to a wide array of stakeholders within an enterprise or within a company.

Sramana: OK, so let’s break that down a bit. Would you discuss some of the workflow of how you do this? What does a typical engagement look like?

Chris: Ideally, an engagement starts with an understanding and assessment of the objectives. Objectives include the company objectives, the enterprise objectives, departmental objectives all the way down to specific center-level objectives. We assess whether those objectives are, in fact, aligned so that as processes develop and sampling methodologies are created, there is an assurance that what is being targeted for that evaluation and feedback is lined up with what the business is trying to get out. Clearly, the objectives at the agent level and those at the corporate level are going to be different. All of that has initially to be assessed to make sure there’s alignment and the right emphasis.

Once that is done, we turn to our attention to the process and what is being done at the various business process levels to ensure that objectives are being met. That can be everything from product training, to scripting, to knowledge base support at the fingertips of the agent, to what is being communicated to customers and prospects. So, we take a look at the processes to make sure that those are, in fact, defined, predictable, and generally adhered to. This is so that as we assess the numbers, we can be confident that there is a process for the agents and they tend [to stick] to it. On occasion, we will find loose processes or even no definition of process.When that occurs, of course, it becomes a focal point for the work. We bring mapping, cycle time, ownership, and those sort of process flows to bear so that the intended result is clear.

After process, we then turn our attention to tools and infrastructure. Is the information being captured? Is it being recorded? Is there computer–telephony integration?  Are there integrated knowledge bases? Are the search engines able to navigate an agent quickly and efficiently to the right information? Is there training? Are there forms? We look at all the mechanisms that capture information and data, which provide insight as to how things are flowing or not flowing as the case may be.

From there, we will begin evaluation aspects of our engagement to get inside the calls and listen for specific features or attributes or expressions or issues, verifying that certain things are being said, or verifying that certain things are not being said. By doing that, we have benefit of inside-the-call understanding.

Beyond that, we may also apply more advanced analytic tools, which could be things like speech analytics or other statistical packages to take look at variance and visit with intolerable limit. So, it really puts the entire area of customer engagement and contact effectiveness under a set of metrics and measurements and processing so that the client organization can get objective, factual insight into what is going on. Now, as you know, that is hardly a static view. Things change in the market. Things change in the product lines. Things change in policy. It becomes an ongoing activity that may be done more by the client than by HyperQuality, but if we are doing our job right, we typically keep an enduring role in all of this as it maps out.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Outsourcing: Chris Coles, President And CEO Of HyperQuality
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