Best Practices for Contact Center QA success

    Call center agents have hectic workdays. One agent can easily take up to 50 calls a day. Since 90% of customers prefer to speak with a live agent over sending an email or text message, agents constantly interact with new and potential customers with a range of needs. With such an influx of calls and communication, how can call center managers ensure each of their agents upholds an excellent service level? A call center quality assurance program is key to providing a better experience to employees and customers alike.   

    Why is QA Important in Call Centers?  

    Quality assurance is the data that a company uses to measure performance. This data is essential because it gives call center teams the tools to improve their performance and customer journey from start to finish. Each industry has its ways of determining customer satisfaction, but all have common elements. Some of the most common QA metrics include Average Handling Time (AHT), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Net Promoter Score (NPS.) 

    What is Average Handling Time (AHT)?  

    This is the average amount of time an agent spends resolving customer issues. Average Handling Time measures all communication channels (like email messages and text bots) from start to finish. AHT includes holds and follow-ups.  

    What is a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)? 

    A Customer Satisfaction Score is the numeral scoring of a customer’s experience with a call center agent or agency.  

    What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)?  

    A Net Promoter Score evaluates your relationships with customers and the level of customer loyalty, i.e., if they would recommend your company to friends and family.  

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    Why is Quality Assurance in Contact Centers so Challenging? 

    Measuring quality assurance is incredibly important for analyzing the interactions between call center agents and customers. But as a complex and highly detailed process, it has its share of challenges. Some of these challenges include:  

    • Listening to calls and manual scoring is labour-intensive and costly. Since agents take so many calls a day, it can be challenging to read the scripts, answer customer questions, and do manual scoring simultaneously. Trying to do all these things is costly, time-consuming, and can lower agent morale.  
    • Evaluating performance can be subjective, leading to inaccurate information. Inaccuracies and biased feedback can sway traditional performance evaluations 
    • Agent feedback loops can be slow and inefficient because they happen rarely or sporadically. If there is no regularity for feedback and no motivation for agents to self-evaluate, vital information can fall through the cracks.  
    • Insight gathered does not transform into action. A plan is needed to put feedback into action. How do you plan to incorporate this input into your call center processes? Measuring quality assurance will be difficult if you don’t have an answer.  
    • It can be hard to compile feedback across multiple channels. All feedback channels need to talk to one another. But this can be pretty difficult, especially for call centers that do not have a QA program. 

    How to Improve QA in a Call Center 

    The first step to improving QA is defining what “quality” is. What does this look like to your team? Understanding what call center metrics you evaluate will help you refine a plan of action.  

    • Set up your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and refer to these constantly. These indicators will help you evaluate the productivity of your call center over time and give you some concrete benchmarks. 
    • Monitor all your channels. A uniform approach to call quality provides the best results. It only takes one poor experience for a customer to lash out on social media. The call center experience should be consistent across all channels.  
    • Introduce coaching as an ongoing part of your contact center routine. A QA program is a great way to measure both the positives and negatives of an agent’s performance. In turn, the information can inform coaching methods for best practices.  
    • Set and follow guidelines. Provide your agents with training and reference material that they can use to ensure they can work to the best of their ability. 

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    How to Put QA Metrics for Call Centers to Work 

    Once you understand the importance of call center QA and why it is necessary to improve the customer journey, you can put QA metrics into action.  

    But what do these metrics mean for your QA program? Here are a few reasons why QA metrics can significantly elevate your customer service processes:  

    • Scorecards identify areas in need of improvement. Using self-evaluation data from agents, scorecards can uncover processes that need improvement without adding more employees to your team. They can also be personalized to fit your team’s skillsets and specific goals.
    The Benefits: Scorecards monitor service levels, handling rates, and response times, but they also save time, labor, and costs.  
    • Scorecards handle call recording and monitoring. Scorecards meticulously measure calls for professionalism, politeness, ability to capture customer information and tone.  

    The Benefits: This information can be used to create a complete picture of your agent’s performance. It can also be used for training materials, coaching, and process improvements.  

    • Scorecards measure performance metrics, like Average Call Abandonment Rate, Time in Queue, Speed of answer and Average Handling Time.   

    The Benefits: These KPIs are essential to improving the customer experience. However, they can be tricky to measure manually. But scorecards make gathering this information a breeze. These performance metrics also indicate the overall efficiency and productivity of the call center. 

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    Analyzing and implementing QA guidelines is vital to measuring call center success. Following these contact center, QA best practices will help your team learn, evolve, and provide excellent customer service with every call. No matter the size of your call center team, a QA program can help empower agents to do their very best work. Learn more about call center QA tools and practices on our blog today. 


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