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Quality calibration in the call center for multiple languages

How can we ensure call center quality calibration in multiple languages? We want to make sure that the evaluators or supervisors in each language are scoring about the same for the same brand or product they are supporting.

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Calibration is an essential component of a quality assurance (QA) program. Calibration ensures that all reviewers and supervisors are using the evaluation form correctly and applying the quality criteria fairly and consistently. This process is more challenging for call centers that are multi-site, multi-channel or support multiple languages.

The purpose of calibration sessions is to foster collaboration and establish consensus on how each question on the evaluation form should be applied. Supervisors or reviewers who support QA efforts in multiple languages should be included in all monthly calibration sessions. Multilingual call centers can include transactions in different languages in their calibration sessions by translating or providing a transcript of calls for review in the common language of the calibration team.

A major challenge with multilingual calibration sessions is addressing cultural differences. For example, while there are some fundamental elements of good service that are international, expectations differ by region. In New York, customers might expect call center agents to get right to the point. In other parts of the world, this would be considered rude. So, in order for QA to be effective on a worldwide basis, all participants in a calibration session must be able to apply their regional perspective to each of the questions.

This was first published in September 2007

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