Call Calibration

Call calibration ensures that agents are measured by consistent standards.

What is call calibration? It is the process of minimizing variances when evaluating performance criteria for call center employees. This measure achieves a more consistent rating—ideally a variance of no more than 5%—regardless of the number of persons grading a call.

Why Is Call Calibration an Important Metric for Businesses?Call center agents working

Call calibration ensures that all customer interactions are handled similarly and aligned with a clear set of expectations. So when the team manager and agent score the same call to monitor quality based on customer interaction, the actual grades should be similar.

Regularly calibrating the evaluation standards reduces the discrepancy between tough and easy graders by setting a more uniform review framework. Then, based on the resulting ratings of sampled calls, you can confidently gauge how effective your customer service is. It also lets you quickly identify areas or aspects where you can improve.

What Are the Benefits of Call Calibration?

Businesses utilize this method because call calibration is what delivers the following advantages.

Maintain Consistency in Scoring

When managers evaluate their agents’ interactions, they tend to give different scores for subjective parameters such as politeness, helpfulness, and problem-solving aptitude. It also happens when assessing technical behaviors. Routine call calibration sets clearer quality standards in grading customer interactions, regardless of the platform or agent. It minimizes bias, favoritism, and emotionally driven ratings.

Offer a Clear Understanding of Standards

Companies have strategic goals and a long-term vision. But to achieve these, everyone in the organization has to be on board. Call calibration educates employees on the set guidelines they must adhere to so they can perform accordingly.

Address Gaps in Training

Call calibration makes for a more objective assessment of customer interactions. Session results allow managers to pinpoint issues early on and fine-tune their agents’ training to get better performance in the future.

Improve Employee Performance

Generally, call calibration sessions improve evaluation standards for consistency. However, they also offer excellent coaching opportunities for agents, particularly those lacking certain soft skills or technical behaviors. Call calibration sessions are useful for constructive, actionable feedback.

What Is a Calibration Session?Call calibration meeting

A call calibration session is a meeting where involved parties—managers, agents, and a third-party facilitator—review and discuss the ratings of the same call or interaction based on quality standards.

During the meeting, participants have to work out inconsistencies in their given scores by justifying ratings according to their understanding of:

  • Set guidelines
  • Best practices
  • Company policies

Facilitators have to ensure that evaluators apply performance standards fairly—if a participant’s score varies too much from others, they have to explain the reason behind it.

There are several formats for conducting calibration sessions.

Review and Grade Independently

In this type of session, group members evaluate the interaction on their own before the scheduled meeting. One member collects the scores and records the rating variances. During the session, each participant must explain their rating, determining a calibrated score at the end.

Besides being the most efficient, this method yields sincere responses since it prevents groupthink, a phenomenon where individuals reach a consensus by simply agreeing.

Review and Grade Collectively

This method of call calibration session involves grading the sampled interactions during the meeting itself. The members listen to the recording and rate it as a group.

An upside to this is the minimal prep work required, making it suitable for time-pressed teams who need to conduct calibrations to accommodate a growing group.

Review and Grade Individually

Instead of a big group, this call calibration session is limited to two parties—the agent and the manager. Together, they listen to the interaction and agree on what score to give. However, this may not result in well-calibrated scores since there’s no facilitator to oversee the process.

This is more similar to a quality assurance session than calibration, but it allows the team to discuss the ratings.

Common Call Calibration Questions

During a call calibration session, the following questions should be kept in mind and addressed by the participants:

  • Were the calls graded accurately? If not, why?
  • What should be changed in the grading process?
  • Should the method of evaluating calls be revised for better accuracy?
  • Which metrics remain applicable and which are outdated?
  • Will these changes have a positive impact on the business?

Call calibration is more than just a metric—it is a necessary exercise for improving customer experience and supporting your business’s long-term growth.

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