BPOs are in the business of delivering service quality to their clients. As such, quality assurance is essentially job #1 for these service providers, on a daily basis. Evaluating agents’ interactions and running coaching and training programs are all part of the BPO playbook.
But, there’s even more to the equation that some may be missing. A complete quality assurance strategy should be holistic and cover all bases if it is going to permeate everything you do. The right strategy checks all the boxes across all facets of agent optimization, including:
- Quality Assurance - monitor service quality through interaction replay and scoring
- Performance Management - track performance metrics by agent and team
- Coaching - create personalized coaching sessions to address agents’ specific skill deficiencies
- eLearning - build your own virtual learning space, send targeted learning sessions to agents and track their progress
- Recognition/Motivation - reward top performers with badges, Karma points and gifts
Only when run concurrently and around-the-clock are these components going to deliver the highest levels of service quality for BPOs and their clients. Furthermore, with a very bright future for the BPO market, customer service outsourcers need a way to better differentiate themselves. A 24x7 service quality culture will bring that distinction.
“The global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate during the forecast period, between 2020 and 2026.”
Agent is Still Key
At the end of the day, the customer service agent remains critical to delivering quality service, despite the trends toward service automation. Many statistics are pointing toward bots taking over much of the customer service workload, but live agents will always be a large facet of customer service. You need your agents to provide stellar service at all times in order to keep your clients and their customers happy. This service transcends all interaction channels - voice, chat and even SMS. Ensure your agents are given the right tools and mindset to go out and deliver the highest levels of quality each and every shift. Consider creating a “Service Quality Cheat Sheet” which clearly defines what a quality interaction looks and sounds like.
A Quality-Obsession Culture
In order to ensure your agents are primed for success across all channels and at all times, your focus needs to start and end with culture. When you hire the best agents and enforce service quality as the organization’s mantra, right from the start, quality assurance will become a seminar part of your business’s operational fabric. It will be the underlying theme across all staff and all service delivery.
“Imagine you could develop a customer-focused culture so powerful that your employees always seem to do the right thing. They encourage each other, proactively solve problems, and constantly look for ways to go the extra mile.”
In your new employee interviews, ask prospects to define service quality in their own words, and consider doing some role playing to ensure they have what it takes to deliver the levels of quality you demand.
To keep service quality on every staffer’s mind, from the time they clock in through their final interaction for the day, you need to bake “quality” into every agent evaluation, coaching/training session, team meeting, performance review, incentive program, etc. It can’t be something that is just verbalized, it needs to be internalized by every agent.
The best way to make this happen is to create a culture in which employees are truly obsessed with culture. Everyone needs to live it, breath it, speak it and embody it.
“We define a “true culture of quality” as an environment in which employees not only follow quality guidelines but also consistently see others taking quality-focused actions, hear others talking about quality, and feel quality all around them” (Harvard Business Review).
Your leaders need to be constantly focused on quality, and so do your agents, your QA analysts, your team leaders, your accounting department, your HR team and even your IT folks. Only when everyone truly embraces quality will you have a 24x7 service quality culture.