If you are looking to improve the customer service standards in your call center, there are a few key things to consider. First, you need to understand how well your agents are performing. Next, you need to see how your existing processes are benefiting, or hurting, the customer experience. Both focus areas require understanding and analyzing the processes and training in your call center. A quality assurance (QA) plan can help you do all of this and more.
In this blog, we will take a deepdive into quality assurance in contact centers, examining what it is, why it is important, and the best practices for managing quality assurance in your call center.
What is Quality Assurance in Contact Centers?
Quality assurance in contact centers is the process that ensures your agents are meeting the customer service standards of your company.
A quality assurance plan can be implemented through tools like scorecards, automated workflows, tailored coaching and training, and monitoring and evaluating your team based on KPIs (key performance indicators).
KPIs are valuable metrics in a QA plan because they can give you deep insight into employee performance and customer satisfaction levels. A few contact center KPIs that can be examined in a QA plan include:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). This measures customer satisfaction levels on a 1-10 scale.
- Average Handling Time (AHT). Average handling time can be a bit complicated. It measures how long an agent takes to handle a call, but a low score can have a negative impact at your call center.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS). This KPI helps you answer one of the most important questions in a QA program: how likely are your customers going to recommend you to others? When you understand your NPS, you can adjust as necessary to your procedures and processes.
Why is quality assurance important?
QA is used to highlight common customer service issues and improve the customer experience. That’s very important, as happy customers are loyal and will spend more time with your company. Once implemented, a quality assurance program should help uncover:
- Call center agent performance, strengths, and weaknesses
- Onboarding and training issues
- Communication and collaboration issues
- Call center operational efficiency
- An understanding of the customer experience
The Benefits of Quality Assurance
Great service is a key factor in call center success. When greeted with excellent service, 63% of customers will value and love your company. That’s why it is so important to maximize the potential of your QA plan.
Great quality assurance can take some initial work, but the benefits soon stack up:
- QA reduces cost by monitoring inefficiencies like agent downtime or unmanageable call volume.
- QA helps to create efficiencies and manage your team’s processes.
- QA can increase customer engagement.
- QA helps to increase customer retention.
- QA leads to better productivity.
- QA gives a greater understanding of data and insights.
Implementing a QA framework
Composed of success metrics and criteria, a call center QA framework monitors and analyzes the results of your QA program. Your QA framework should be highly prioritized because its strength will determine the future success or failure of your program. That’s why it is so important to establish a solid QA framework that helps you measure the quality of service and monitor agent performance. There are three different types of QA frameworks to consider:
- Operational. The operational framework is the most common starting point for many call centers. It is the most helpful for getting your call center moving toward a consistent, customer-centric process.
- Tactical. A tactical approach is the second level of a QA framework. This is where you would use the data gathered from your QA plan in order to pivot or focus on areas that need more attention.
- Strategic. This is where you would focus on your contact center’s long-term goals. QA is part of this strategic, top-down QA framework that will help push your call center in a positive direction.
No matter which QA framework you implement, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.
Here are 5 best practices to keep in mind as you implement contact center quality assurance.
Five Best Practices for Contact Center Quality Assurance
- Make regular monitoring a habit in your contact center. Regular quality assurance, ongoing feedback, and coaching are easier when backed by data. Real-world scenarios and clear information give agents and team leaders concrete examples of how to improve.
- Assign one person to manage the QA process. Hiring a dedicated person with contact center QA practices can help to manage performance. It frees up staff to focus on other obligations. Plus, when you know someone is keeping an eye on performance, it provides you with peace of mind.
- Look at raw data for actionable insights. Call quality monitoring provides valuable insights into great customer experiences. Many call centers find their most valuable results from quality monitoring information.
- Use data results for coaching. Coaching is an invaluable resource in contact centers. There are several different approaches, like the GROW methodology, to choose from. However you decide to move forward in your coaching, consider what is most beneficial for your agents. Set up ongoing coaching sessions, either 1:1 or in groups to coach the necessary skills for your business.
- Be clear and rely on scorecards. As well as examining KPIs, you need to keep an eye on how agents deal with irate callers and difficult situations. A great scorecard system reflects an agent's performance by channel and ranks them against measurable benchmarks.
Quality assurance is a great way to ensure your call center is striving for excellence. Not only does QA increase call center agent productivity and retention, but it also improves customer service standards and loyalty. It is a win-win for call centers and their customers alike.
Scorebuddy’s turnkey quality assurance software can help you understand the nuances of your company like never before. From self-evaluation scorecards to strategic coaching and training materials, Scorebuddy’s platform is a proven resource for businesses of all scopes. Request a demo to see how quality assurance can improve your customer service standards today.