Your contact center plays a critical role in the customer experience (CX). It’s a direct connection to your customers. And companies that provide exceptional customer experiences use this trait to differentiate their brand from the competition.
So, how do you provide the best possible customer experience?
A quality assurance (QA) program forms the foundation of exceptional CX by providing concrete data to help you determine if you’re meeting goals, following correct processes, remaining compliant, and achieving the outcomes you need.
But instead of looking at the entire complex QA puzzle today, we’re going to break it down into one essential piece: call quality monitoring. It’s why every customer service center has the same message for callers: “For quality and training purposes, this call may be recorded or monitored.”
So how exactly does call quality monitoring work, why is it important, and what steps should you take to develop effective call quality monitoring?
Call quality monitoring is more than just recording and monitoring random calls. To measure call quality, you'll want to monitor and analyze strategic customer service calls and scrutinize their efficiency and effectiveness, with a constant goal of converting every caller into a satisfied customer.
And while customer satisfaction can look different for every contact center, there are a few elements critical to the anatomy of a high-quality customer service call:
In addition, according to Zendesk’s 2021 Customer Experience Trends Report:
How well all of the above elements work together determines each call's quality. The customer should always hang up feeling positive about their experience. They should have a clear solution, know how to avoid the same issue in the future, and have no further questions.
There’s no doubt that contact centers must dive deep into every call to gain detailed insight that can be analyzed, interpreted, shared, and acted upon. Only then can the customer experience become the key to your success. But how do you get started?
Let take a look at the five steps it takes to set up effective call quality monitoring in your contact center.
To begin monitoring call quality, you'll want to develop a quality assurance team. This team—typically made up of your contact center managers, supervisors, and high-performing call center agents—must thoroughly understand your brand of customer service. They'll use insights about your company and your ideal customer experience to set up every aspect of your QA process, including setting your call quality standards.
Your quality standards and KPIs are how you will judge the success or failure of every customer call. Without standards, you won't know whether you’re hitting or missing your goals. The key is to break down your customer service into a set of behaviors, rules, goals, and benchmarks that every interaction should meet.
You might look at factors like customer sentiment post-transaction, employee engagement, and product/service efficacy. Your quality standards should also include:
And don’t forget to measure these common KPIs as well!
There are many quality monitoring solutions suitable for contact center QA. Here are a few tools that can help you get the most out of your call quality monitoring program:
Other QA tools you should consider using include analytics and reporting software, call center script, self-help knowledge base, and predictive analytics. Each of these tools is designed to improve the customer experience, enhance productivity, and increase profitability.
Now it’s time to analyze the data from your contact center's phone calls. Assess agent performance against your standards and KPIs, then make appropriate adjustments to behaviors as needed. Just be sure your quality standards align with your company’s priorities and thus account for agent behaviors that are essential to success.
Your QA team can help you identify recurring problems or behaviors that have emerged across multiple agents. For example, you might notice creep up on customer hold time or various product issues that require the same problem resolution. It’s essential to determine the reason behind the recurring problem and make appropriate adjustments based on the more complex issue instead of the most obvious.
For instance, instead of telling your agents that they need to pick up phone calls faster, after review, you might discover that customer hold time is increasing because you recently released a new product that’s demanding more customer service. In this case, you could invest in more online customer service tools to support your team's efforts and improve their efficacy.
Important Note: Focus on both the negatives and positives of each of your agents during the call QA review process. It’s this balance of their strengths and weaknesses that will help you make the most improvements and lasting change in your contact center.
As you review agent calls, you’ll notice agent performance trends and related patterns in customer satisfaction. These insights can help you identify knowledge gaps within your call center so you can provide high-quality training and agent development.
After all, quality monitoring and analysis without a plan for making changes that improve customer satisfaction is useless. Your call quality monitoring program should include tools to help manage, track, and achieve training goals, such as a call center learning management system (LMS).
An LMS is an all-in-one training solution that makes it easier to offer advanced learning and development based on the specific training needs revealed in the QA process. It can help you by offering the ability to develop and manage courses, assign agents, streamline class attendance, and scale all of your training.
When done correctly, call quality monitoring—alongside a QA program—provides your team with detailed data insights about your agents and your customers. These insights help you optimize your contact center's financial ROI by finding and fixing broken processes, revealing areas for improvement, and directly influencing management’s decisions regarding customer service.
And the results of successful call quality monitoring and exceptional customer experiences speak for themselves:
Investing in call quality assurance will ensure your business doesn't just survive, but it thrives!
Interested in learning more?
Download the eBook, The Ultimate Guide To Call Center Quality Assurance, for tangible recommendations around implementing Quality Assurance (QA) guidelines in your call center.