Customer service is all about providing a positive experience. How do you determine whether you do so? Sure, there are customer evaluations, yet that is only a tip of an iceberg, since most unsatisfied customers don't bother with leaving a review. They simply leave you. Businesses lose a huge amount of profit each year just because of ineffective customer service. Quality Assurance (QA) is a way to figure out what is causing your churn and how to prevent it.
Even though a Quality Assurance is a long-term play, it is a priceless insight into your services. Around 45 % of call centers consider QA practices to be very effective to monitor their performance.
Let's take a deep look into the definition of Quality Assurance, tips on how to use it and what are its benefits.
What is Quality Assurance?
A simple explanation goes like this: QA is a process of making sure that your business results stay in line with your business goals. It's aim is to not only deliver the best customer experience possible, but also to maintain it in the long term.
How? Quality assurance gives you deep insight into your customers needs, wants and satisfaction, as well as your agents' performance. It allows you to tailor your support strategies, perfectionize your services, adjust focus on what needs to be improved, but also boost your employees motivation for better performance.
Where to start?
You cannot expect to find out what to start, resume or stop doing unless you define what you want to achieve. To properly implement Quality Assurance benefits into your business, you need to know what you expect from it.
Do you want to gain more customers or maintain those you already have? Do you want your customers to feel more special? Perhaps you feel like your employees don't have enough motivation. These are all issues that Quality Assurance can help with. Once you know what exactly is your aim, you can target a specific category.
What to focus on during QA evaluation?
Let's start with the basics. There are several aspects your agents use in their daily task, such as:
- A level of empathy
- Knowledge of a product
- Knowledge of a customer
- A level of grammar skills
From these simple data, you can read a lot. For example what is your agents' first response time, average response time and average resolution time. Or how many tickets they can resolve in a given time. You may also monitor a level of their emotional intelligence (EQ) by how they interact while speaking to a client. Are they natural and friendly or do they sound too robotic?
You can see if customers properly understand your agents. Maybe agents struggle with choosing an appropriate wording with a specific target group. For example, they may be using too many deeply technical terms with those customers who are not that technically skilled.
You may also spot a lacking level of consistency in agents' messages, either it's too chaotic or each of them present different statements. That is a signal for you that you may lack a clear knowledge and communication structure.
Yet, we don't want to focus on just drawbacks. A Quality Assurance can also help you to spot an outstanding performance of your agents. Such as proactive helping with issues that weren't explicitly asked or managing successful upsells.
This assures you that they are motivated and can inspire you on how to motivate or train others based on exceptional agents' performance patterns.
How to make the most of QA?
There are several ways to make your quality assurance research easier, more productive and more accurate. Here are the most crucial ones:
- Search for shortfalls: If Quality Assurance shows that your agents have knowledge gaps, maybe it's time to look into the mirror. It is, for sure, difficult to anticipate each situation that your agent may encounter, yet QA valuable insights can give you advice on what to incorporate to your future training or add to your knowledge database.
- Ask customers what they want: The best way to find out what people want is to ask them directly. In order to incorporate these data into your Quality Assurance, you need to get feedback from your consumers, for example through detailed questionnaires. What do they like and where do they see a space for improvement?
For example, you can find out that one of the reasons customers are unsatisfied is the long waiting time. You may work on that, or on the effectiveness of troubleshooting, since customers can generally tolerate longer waiting times better if their question meets up with first call resolution.
- Record your calls: According to a study of more than 300 organizations, only 57 % of call centers record their calls. Of those, 20 % eventually don't listen to these recordings.
Ideal solution is to use call center software where you can store all of your recordings in one place and listen to them anytime. Of course, since each agent makes from 1 000 to 2 000 calls per month, you cannot possibly listen to all of them.
It's completely up to you which calls to choose, yet we don't recommend doing it randomly, since results wouldn't properly showcase the quality. Listen to those calls that are standing out, either in a positive or a negative way. You may find out why some of them went really poorly while others performed with excellence.
8 benefits of Quality Assurance
QA opens a gate for countless advantages. Over 90 % of call center leaders find this method very useful for improving their performance. Let's have a look at 8 most impactful Quality Assurance benefits.
#1 Empowering agents
Agents are a cornerstone of your customer service. Quality Assurance has several ways to boost their performance.
For example, knowing that their interactions with customers are monitored and evaluated can motivate them to put their best effort into support practices. Also, they may feel more confident if they get personalized training and coaching, based on their insecurities that you found during quality screening.
It's empowering to know people don't punish you for your mistakes, ruther than educate you in areas where you don't excel. We guarantee a more personalized approach towards your agents' weaknesses will help them to feel valued and proactive. They can then pass their knowledge onto new colleagues, which makes onboarding easier for you.
#2 Enhancing your management style
Give your agents proper instructions and they can make miracles happen. Let them work in a chaotic environment and they fall down, together with your sales efforts. If agents misunderstand customer's needs and don't give proper answers, customers may lose trust in you.
Quality Assurance can make needs for escalation paths more clear or help you to build them from the scratch. In other words, good Quality Assurance tactics will put your team on the same page, unifying their knowledge.
You can also involve your agents in the development of your management strategy, letting them participate in a Quality Assurance research. For example, by surveys or interviews. Collect their feedback. It will pay off.
#3 Aligning agents with company goals
Agents are usually so busy taking care of customers' inquiries that they may not have a space to see how much their work adds to a company's success. One of Quality Assurance benefits is that it shows employees' efforts in a bigger picture - business-wide.
It is important for agents to know that their work has deeper meaning than just answering questions, executing requests and solving issues. A good QA program emphasizes a line between agents' individual achievements and company's goals, showing how important is their work for a “greater good”.
Realising this raises agents' satisfaction, therefore also their motivation.If the understand a their role in company's strategy, they become better in its execution.
#4 Making your customers happier
A study of more than 150 thousand customer interactions show increased positive customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) when support agents perform better. Companies with excellent Quality Assurance programs received a positive CSAT review 99 % of the time. Those that scored below 95 % only received positive feedback 92 % of the time.
What's more, positive customer experience can help you to increase revenue by as much as 24 %. QA makes a level of customer satisfaction more predictable, since it shows what exactly they want, like and dislike.
Therefore, your team can accommodate their efforts to fulfill these expectations, and make strategic training based on your QA research. Personalized approach ensures better customer relationships. They feel more valued which reduces the risk of churn. That's extremely important for you, since the probability of selling to existing consumers goes from 60 to 70 %, while with new customers, it's only 5 to 20 %.
#5 Boosting onboarding processes
Quality Assurance helps you to recruit better talents. Hiring eight people has a positive impact on the team interactions, as well as their interactions with customers.
How can QA boost your onboarding process? It's simple. It collects valuable data to standardize your company processes, systematize them and make a profile of how your perfect agent should perform. Therefore, you know exactly what to focus on while interviewing a candidate. If you already have metrics that you require, it is easier to identify real talents.
QA research findings can also help you to track how your new employees adapt to their position during onboarding training, what their knowledge gaps are and how to guide them. For example, if your Quality Assurance shows that new agents struggle with explaining technical side of software integrations, you know exactly on what to focus.
#6 Staying up to date
A strategy that worked last year doesn't have to work now. Peoples' expectations from customer support change frequently. One of the Quality Assurance benefits is that it helps to keep you up-to-date with current trends - which approach still works for your customers and which does not. You may find out by analyzing data that will show you what brings value and what needs to be modified to current trends.
Set up a new benchmark of what your business defines as a quality support for a certain time and let your agents handle the execution. Monitoring and following up on their performance according to your established standards and overall customer satisfaction will show you whether they are succeeding or not.
Attributes of your successful performance concept may stand on technical skills, like tagging tickets, following protocols or internal processes, as well as on a way of communication and other soft skills.
#7 Efficient monitoring of remote agents
Popularity of remote call centers is growing, now more than ever. It has countless advantages, including the ability to work from anywhere in the world. QA is one of the simplest ways to follow up to your remote agent who rely solely on cloud solutions.
It allows you to monitor situations from anywhere and assures you that agents align with the company's requirements, as well as current strategies. Simply, you may check if everything runs smoothly.
It also helps you to determine whether your remote agents are set up with right collaboration tools, performance tracking systems and other softwares they may need to execute their jobs successfully.
#8 Gaining more points of view on performance
A typical measurement of customer satisfaction are CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and NPS (Net Promoter Score). Yet these only give you a subjective customer's opinion, without seeing deeper into the circumstances of dissatisfaction. It may be that your agent offered poor support, but it may also happen that the customer was simply unhappy for a reason that the agent couldn't influence. QA allows you to dig into what was the true root of the issue.
It may add metrics that also take other processes into account, such as IQS (Internal Quality Score), where peers, managers and even agents assess team, agent and rating category performance according to the company's standards. That will give you much deeper insights into the actual quality of your service.
Quality Assurance is a necessary part of any call center. It shows whether your performance corresponds with your KPIs.
There are lots of ways to measure QA. You can use softwares to follow data and record calls, make surveys to get feedback from your customers or ask it directly from your agents. This helps you to measure agents' performance level, from soft skills to a knowledge of products or compliance with company standards.
Quality Assurance also brings a lot of benefits, such as empowering your agents, enhancing management style, aligning agents with company goals, making your customers happier, boosting onboarding process, staying up-to-date with current trends, gaining wider insights to your performance or monitoring remote agents. With that, our cloud-based software solution can help.
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