If you want to keep a pulse on how your front-line team is interacting with customers and ensuring they provide great customer experiences, having a customer service scorecard in place as part of your larger Quality Assurance program is key.
But what does an effective scorecard look like, and how do you create one that will drive meaningful impact with your team?
We’re breaking down the five most important aspects of how to create a customer service scorecard, with best practices to ensure your scorecard creates value for your front-line team.
How to Create a Customer Service Scorecard
Identify Scorecard Categories That Matter To Your Team
Creating a customer service scorecard is an important – and personal – part of any organization that wants to enable their team to grow in a measurable and scalable way. Effective scorecards allow you to pinpoint where your team is excelling, and where they need to improve.
That being said, the first step to creating a customer service scorecard is to identify the different categories of questions that will make up your scorecard and its overall organizational structure.
These categories should be tied directly to agent controllables, like tone of voice, compliance and policy following, and resolution when the ticket comes to a close.
There are dozens of ways you can craft a scorecard, but the most impactful categories will be ones identified by your team’s priorities and business goals, as well as your brand and values.
Create Questions That are Descriptive, Actionable, and Well-Organized
There should never be a question, either from your agents or from your team of reviewers, what a particular question on your scorecard really means.
If you want to gauge whether or not an agent approached an interaction with empathy, you need to define what empathy means to your brand. Does it mean restating a customer’s concerns, emphasizing that they understand the customer’s frustrations, or adapting to the ‘type’ of agent a customer needs, based on their behavior?
Maybe it’s some combination of all of the above. If you don’t know for sure, neither do your reviewers and agents. As a result, scoring will be inconsistent, and your agents won’t actually know how their customer service can improve because they don’t know what they did wrong. Plus, vague questions lead to inconsistent scoring, which then leads to a greater need for ongoing, time-consuming calibration across your entire QA organization.
It’s also crucial to ensure that your questions align with the overall structure you created for your scorecard. If you want to include a question evaluating whether or not an agent used the correct closing when ending their customer interaction, don’t put that question in a section meant to gauge their level of clarity during the interaction.
Instead, have a section of your scorecard dedicated to the resolution, where you can include other related questions that align with the category. Always be thoughtful about where questions should be fitting into each section to really get a holistic view of agent performance, and enable your managers to easily report on what areas someone needs to focus on to improve.
Calculate (and Standardize) a Scoring Rubric
Equally as important as what you score your agents on is how you score them.
When it comes to creating an effective customer service scorecard, simplicity is key. Why? Because the reality is that the way you build your scorecard – and build your scoring methodology – is equally aligned to how easy or difficult it will be to coach to these scorecards.
Think about it like this. If your scoring rubric is uclear and options are similar (i.e., Yes, clearly / Yes, partially / Yes, somewhat) you’re creating opportunities for confusion and misalignment across your team.
And when you create room for confusion, you discredit your own QA process. After all, if agents always feel they’re being unfairly evaluated or left in the dark about their performance, you run the risk of them feeling disengaged and mistrusting QA.
With this in mind, you want to keep your scoring methodology as clear as possible to ensure consistency between agents and reviewers. Something as simple as Yes = 1 point and No = 0 points establishes a clear distinction and leaves little room for interpretation.
Pro tip: If your scorecard software allows you to include descriptions for each question, use these to your advantage! When question descriptions are populated, it’s not only clear for your team of reviews how to score interactions, but also clear for agents to understand what they did (or did not) do to get a certain score.
Align Your Scorecard to Your Agent Coaching and Training Program
In truth, your scorecard is a vehicle for self-improvement for agents, and a method for helping managers gain a better understanding of how to effectively coach their teams. As a result, consistency between the way that you frame your scorecard questions and ideal agent behaviors, and the way that you train and coach your team, is critical for success.
One way to maintain this consistency is to format your scorecard questions using the same language or statements that come from your company’s customer service training program.
For example, does your onboarding program focus heavily on brand voice, or provide guidance for how agents can adapt to the needs of your customers? What about how well they close out a ticket after the interaction is over, based on your team’s best practices? Each of these things can be baked into a comprehensive scorecard, but only if they are aligned to the way you have trained your team.
If you’ve trained your team on the value of repeating a customer’s name and issue back to them at the beginning of an interaction, but your scorecard asks if they’ve repeated the issue at the end of the interaction, it creates a disconnect because it’s not the way they were trained.
An easy way to gut check if your scorecard is aligned to your coaching and training program is to simply ask yourself – are there things we would never talk about in coaching sessions on our scorecard? If so, it’s time to reevaluate your questions.
Find a Customer Service Scorecard Software That Works for Your Team
One of the most important parts of your scorecard is the quality assurance software you use to build it. At Stella Connect, everything we’ve built for scorecards and QA is purpose-built to prioritize what your front-line agents can get out of it.
For many brands, QA is typically focused on the ‘back of house’ operations, like compliance or policy following, and doesn’t actually serve much value for helping the front-line team improve. But Stella Connect QA is different. We’ve built our platform to be actionable for agents, enabling them to get interaction-level coaching and feedback via scorecard reviews, and then use that feedback to have better customer conversations the next time they pick up a ticket.
And while you don’t want your agents to constantly be fighting their scores or questioning why an interaction was evaluated a certain way, you do want to enable a feedback loop between agents and reviewers that isn’t one-sided. With Acknowledgements & Appeals, you can drive agent engagement and trust in your QA program – while also providing valuable insight into the quality and accuracy of the program – by collecting agent feedback on their individual QA reviews.
Creating a Customer Service Scorecard That Works for Your Team
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to scorecards, there are best practices your team can put in place today to ensure your scorecard is actionable, organized, and aligned with your team and businesses’ larger goals.
Get the Ultimate Customer Service Scorecard Template today for a complete scorecard framework built to help you improve your QA program and gain new insights into the quality of your customer service interactions.