Customer service quality assurance refers to a quality-checking program created to ensure agents are staying up-to-date on company policies and in-line with best practices for service at an organization.
For many front-line teams, customer service quality assurance (QA) is a critical program to keep agents aligned and performing at their best.
The purpose of your QA program, of course, is to ensure agents serve customers well, and the end goal is to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
After all, according to research from Forbes, it can be up to 5x more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep a current customer. Investing in your customers’ happiness is one of the most important things your brand can do for long-term profitability and growth, and a robust quality assurance process can help you do just that.
Customer Service Quality Assurance Today
If you’re like most customer service team leaders, you likely already have a quality assurance program in place to monitor customer interactions with your team.
Maybe it looks something like this: a small number of agents’ calls, emails, and/or chat logs are chosen by one or more QA leaders or team managers, who rate the calls according to how well agents adhere to brand standards and protocols.
Scorecards are often created in spreadsheets, with no clear way to track week-over-week or month-over-month changes in performance. If problems are found, managers bring them to agents’ attention during weekly QA reviews or 1:1 sessions, days after the interaction has already occurred and is potentially long-forgotten.
If any part of this sounds familiar to you, your QA process is likely a point of contention on your team, and causes more than its fair share of frustrations due to lack of visibility and clunky manual reporting.
When teams waste time on manual QA or live in spreadsheets, they lose out on the thing that makes QA so valuable: the ability to effectively coach customer service representatives to be more successful and to improve the overall customer experience from their business.
Why is Customer Service Quality Assurance so Important?
Keeping your customer service team engaged, motivated, and on the right track has never been more important – and more difficult – than it is today.
With most teams working remotely, gone are the days of being able to turn to a colleague for support or advice when a particularly difficult ticket comes through.
In many contact centers, QA monitoring alienates agents and makes them wary, motivating them not to excel but to avoid a negative review.
Shifting this mindset, first and foremost, is critical to the success of your QA program.
Is your QA program moving the needle to drive customer satisfaction and agent improvement? Download our Guide to Doing Contact Center QA The Right Way for insight into building a streamlined, actionable QA program.
For SmartPak, this shift was at the center of improving their QA processes. Where QA was once seen as a way to just point out someone’s mistakes and give negative feedback, today their QA team is focused on celebrating successes, while providing teachable moments to agents if a conversation went awry.
As a result, QA transformed into a partnership between their front-line team and their reviewers.
So, how did they do it (and how can you)?
Here’s the good news: done the right way – with the help of real-time customer feedback – QA is a powerful tool that can drive up agent performance and customer satisfaction scores.
How to Improve Your Quality Assurance Program
According to an ICMI study, less than two-thirds of companies measure their customer satisfaction.
Among those that do, only 38% integrate their customer feedback programs and QA programs to develop appropriate quality metrics and evaluate agents’ performance.
But the reality is that QA programs that operate without customer input are like cars running on fumes.
For many contact centers, the typical QA process captures only 1-2% of total calls, and reviews don’t happen till days later – if at all.
This leads to a limited view of how an agent is actually performing, and means that when feedback is given, it’s no longer actionable.
Meanwhile, active QA processes drive performance improvements and accelerate growth thanks to a steady supply of agent-level feedback.
This means you can not only audit more interactions, but make more informed decisions about the direction of your feedback and overall quality program.
Real-time customer feedback has it all: it’s immediate, plentiful, and actionable, and it keeps QA focused on and aligned with customers’ ever changing expectations.
By implementing Stella Connect’s quality assurance software, built to help teams tie customer feedback directly to QA, SmartPak was able to close the gap on this internal feedback, with QA reviews coming in under 48 hours after an interaction.
As a result, agents are more in-tune with areas for improvement and can implement feedback immediately, rather than a week or two later.
Building a Better QA Program for Your Team
At the end of the day, the most effective customer service quality assurance programs are built with two things in mind: agent motivation and customer satisfaction.
By weaving these two critical elements together, you can create a holistic view of your team’s performance and impact on your business’ bottom line.
To make the most out of your QA program, download our guide Doing Contact Center QA the Right Way: The Complete Guide to Call Center Quality Assurance.