In order to provide high-quality customer service, it’s essential that you standardize processes and set up a system for measuring performance. This provides a solid foundation for the entire customer experience and improves your company’s operational efficiency.
The question is, “How do I get started?” A call center quality assurance program serves as the basis for keeping your customers loyal and your agents engaged. It defines the standards that your business must keep to ensure compliance, reduce errors, and improve the customer experience.
In both small and large organizations, call center QA processes are critical to success. In this blog, we’ll look at why qualitative insights are so important, how they impact the customer experience, how to set up a quality assurance program, and best practices.
A call center quality assurance program is a set of standards and steps designed to define and measure the quality of your service and products. It’s a framework that reveals how well your call center performs, how happy your customers are, and how efficient your business is.
A call center QA program should reveal:
Without a quality assurance process in place, it’s almost impossible to determine how your contact center is performing and what you can do to perform better. This is especially a problem in today’s customer service environment where 59% of customers say that they have higher expectations for customer support than they had a year ago.
The challenge for many organizations is attempting to breakdown the complex inner workings of a call center into a set of success criteria and metrics that you can use to establish a call center QA program.
There are six steps required to build a quality assurance program that accurately tells you how well your call center is performing.
The first step to creating a call center quality assurance program is to know what you’re trying to achieve.
Think of your call center goals as the standards that your agents have to meet to be considered successful. The key is to be as specific as possible by creating a concise list of standards that produce acceptable results.
Just remember that these call center goals should be aligned with your overall business goals. While they are separate and focused on customer service, they should match the benchmarks first put in place for your entire organization.
Once you have your call center goals outlined, you need to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure your results. These metrics will be how you gain insight into your call center’s performance. By knowing what you’ll measure upfront, you’ll be able to set the tone and context for your call center QA program.
To get started, your customer service KPIs should be divided into three sections: business critical metrics, customer critical metrics, and process critical metrics.
These metrics deal with the development of a documented approach to QA and the customer experience. The goal is to improve business performance, and include KPIs such as:
These KPIs focus specifically on the customer experience and how well the agent stood the needs of the customer. Metrics include:
These KPIs review every customer interaction after it occurs to discuss what happened and how well or poorly the interaction went. Metrics include:
Based on the above customer service KPIs that can be used within your call center, the following are some of the most common:
Next, it’s important to understand how your call center will meet your goals and achieve success based on your KPIs. That’s where setting your policies and procedures is crucial. This will ensure that all staff and departments within your call center are involved in your quality assurance program and dedicated to taking action.
The goal of this step is to spell out exactly how your call center should handle a variety of situations as well as your expectations for success. You’ll want to outline everything from how you provide feedback to how agents conduct calls, record overtime, and behave in everyday situations.
These policies and procedures should also answer the following QA questions:
Once you’ve laid the foundation of your call center quality program, it’s time to implement your new policies and procedures. It’s critical that you jump right in, making sure that all managers and agents understand what is expected of them and how these new steps will change their day-to-day functions.
Make sure you address any questions or concerns that come up during implementation and put all necessary tools and systems in place track and report on the results of your QA program. The goal should be to provide all training and resources required to ensure the QA process works as smoothly as possible.
Quality assurance is a living breathing process. It is not something you can set and forget. Instead, you need to constantly measure results and garner feedback from your call center managers and agents about the process.
There will be flaws in your call center QA process, and there will be KPI results that quickly reveal any errors in your training or procedures. This is to be expected. The key is to constantly and consistently analyze your quality assurance outcomes and then take action to improve.
To do this, your results must be shared with the entire team: managers and agents. If your call enter employees don’t know what they’re doing well or what they need to do to get better, you won’t see an increase in happy customers or sales from your QA program.
Once you have your quality assurance program in place, be open to the possibility that it will need to be modified and updated regularly. As your business goals change, as you continue to receive feedback from customers, and as you analyze problem areas and gaps in your call center, you’ll need to change your QA process to match the new normal.
It’s critical that you are willing and ready to change your policies, procedures, KPIs, and goals based on your managers, agents, and customers. A call center quality assurance program is a problem-solving approach that is meant to empower your organization for success. By continually fine-tuning it based on 360 degrees of feedback, you’ll get the best results possible.
To make sure your call center quality assurance processes launch without significant issues, there are a few best practices you need to follow.
There’s no denying that today’s customers want omnichannel support. In fact, according to Marketing Week, customers use an average of almost six touch-points, with 50% regularly using more than four to buy items and contact businesses. The challenge is that the more channels you use for customer support—phone, email, live chat, social media, etc.—the more complicated your contact center QA program becomes.
One way to ensure your quality assurance program is successful is to break up the QA data by channel. In that way, it’s easier to collect and analyze the insight that matters most based on the unique type of interaction offered on each channel.
For example, when communicating via live chat, response time and handle time are probably the two most critical metrics for customer satisfaction. According to SuperOffice, the average wait time for live chat support is just two minutes and 40 seconds, and the average handle time is just six minutes and 50 seconds. On the other hand, email communication is less about quick responses and more about thorough communication that includes referral links, videos, and more.
By altering your call center quality assurance processes for each channel, you get a much better and more accurate result.
How you gather and analyze structured and unstructured data in your QA process is essential to helping your call center operate at peak performance. The key is only spending your time and energy mining the data that matters—data that helps you identify patterns and trends. To do this, you need multiple analytics tools in place to help reveal agent performance and customer insights.
In busy multi-channel call centers, it can be overwhelming to monitor, track, and score QA performance when there’s such a broad range of metrics to choose between. There are a few different approaches you can take to leveraging your call center data and analytics. A few of the most popular options include:
A call center quality assurance program is only valuable if you figure out how to track, train, and develop your team. That’s where technology can help.
Quality assurance software, such as Scorebuddy, is ideal for helping you monitor your contact center because it puts the most critical insight first—the human element. Using scorecards, you can produce QA data focused on agent performance, which helps you implement changes to make significant improvement.
Scorecards help you track essential key performance indicators, empower your leaders to evaluate customer experiences, and provide the tools necessary to monitor and manage productivity. Just make sure that the call center QA scorecards you create are applicable to various aspects of each interaction and are specific to your business objectives.
And, when you launch your new QA Scorecard, bear in mind that it will probably need some refinements as it is utilized. Hold calibration sessions regularly to revise your scorecard for accuracy and effectiveness.
Creating a call center quality assurance program is the best way to ensure that your team delivers excellent customer service. When built correctly, it helps improve customer loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, enhance agent effectiveness, and decrease agent turnover and costs. It offers a large ROI for a small investment.
Just remember that a call center QA program is a journey with no end. You’ll continually need to evaluate your QA processes to evolve them to the next level. This will take going beyond siloes and taking a creative approach in order to make the greatest impact. The good news is that Scorebuddy can help.
With Scorebuddy, there are no call center QA constraints because you can’t get the right data. Instead, you can gather the exact QA intelligence you need to uncover patterns, highlight trends, and make educated business decisions.