Introducing a quality assurance program into your call center or customer service department is key to cultivating a stronger CX.
But even though it offers nothing but positives, service agents may see a QA program — and QA software — as a negative. Why? Because quality assurance revolves around monitoring their work, evaluating it and telling them where they’re going wrong.
Anyone with any experience of a QA program, though, knows there’s a lot more to it than that.
As an admin in a call center or customer service team, you play a big part in getting agents involved in the quality assurance process. If you fail to sell it to them well enough, they may become alienated and make the entire QA program much more difficult than it has to be.
Join us as we look at the do’s and don’ts for admins trying to encourage customer service teams to embrace quality assurance.
DO Talk About Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback is paramount in any successful quality assurance process, and one of the main considerations when implementing QA is who will be involved in delivering it.
Generally, the QA analyst and a team leader or manager should be present when giving feedback. It’s all about discussing the agent’s performance, showing them where they’ve gone right or wrong and addressing how they can keep improving in the future. It’s a positive process that aims to inspire employees to aim higher and excel in their roles.
But the prospect of receiving feedback can seem daunting and oppressive to agents. As an admin, make sure you emphasize that all feedback is only ever constructive and focuses on fixing problems in an encouraging way.
DON’T Make QA Seem More Complicated than it Is
Imposing a QA program on your customer service team demands a delicate approach. As an admin, make sure you help agents understand:
- what the process involves
- what its objectives are
- how it will benefit them
- how it will change their day-to-day working routine
Ease them into it. Break the program down into digestible chunks over a number of days or weeks: don’t send a single email detailing it at length. This will only intimidate employees and make QA seem more complex than it is.
It’s vital to tell everyone in the call center or customer service team at the same time too. Don’t leave some people in the dark — they’ll only wonder why they’re not important enough to be included.
And make sure there’s an open-door policy: agents should feel free to ask questions about the program and express their concerns. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be happy in, and engaged by, their work: half of workers polled for a survey cited appreciation as a major factor in their job satisfaction.
DO Show How Managing Workloads Becomes Easier
Playvox’s Workloads add-on gives admins a streamlined, user-friendly way to track quality analysts’ progress. You can assign interactions to analysts for evaluation automatically or randomly, and create workloads customized to suit the number of analysts available.
Admins should discuss Workloads with agents before imposing a QA program on your customer service team. Why? Because employees will know how the QA analysts work and what’s expected of them.
Analysts’ accountability is another of the big considerations when implementing QA: show your team that the people evaluating them will be subject to their own schedules and targets too. This can help get them on side and inspire them to take a more relaxed view of the program.
DON’T Forget to Discuss the Benefits of Scorecards
Scorecards are fundamental when imposing a QA program in your call center or customer service department.
As an admin, one of your core considerations when implementing QA is clarifying how evaluations will be performed. Customized scorecards are critical, as they’re created to reflect the most important customer-service goals and values.
Whether an interaction goes well or not, there’s always something to discover. As Bill Gates once said, “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
A number of metrics are included on each scorecard, covering such areas as:
- how did the agent greet the customer?
- did the agent follow standard procedures when resolving problems?
- was the agent polite and courteous throughout the interaction?
- did the agent resolve the problem within the target period?
Quality analysts use scorecards to determine a rating for each interaction evaluated, and this informs the feedback, coaching and training to follow. Agents can see their scorecards in their dashboard and track their own progress with full visibility and transparency. They always know what they have to do to achieve better scores in upcoming interactions.
DO Focus on Explaining How Reporting Works
As an admin, another of the core considerations when implementing QA you have to remember is reporting.
This provides information on different aspects of agents’ work in an easy-to-read format, covering such areas as agent evaluations, agent failures, response times and more. Reports allow QA analysts and admins to share valuable data with employees at different levels, including team leaders, managers and agents themselves.
Studying reports makes monitoring progress and tracking effectiveness of the QA program simpler. Discuss this with agents in depth to make sure they understand all important information relating to their work and growth will be available.
DON’T Overlook the Appeal of Motivation and Rewards
Finally, it’s paramount that admins discuss motivation and rewards when imposing a QA program on agents.
Motivation is key to employees’ ability to take advice on board, adapt to changes and achieve more success in their role. Coaching, real-time feedback and targeted training all provide customer service agents with the motivation to be better.
But nothing quite encourages employees to work harder than the promise of a reward beyond their basic salary. Our QA software features Karma points and the Karma Store, both of which should be explained to agents before imposing a QA program.
Show how they can earn Karma points by hitting targetings and meeting specific conditions, before demonstrating how these can be redeemed for various rewards.
It’s up to your business to create said ‘prizes’, but they should be exciting enough to inspire agents. Tickets to a baseball game or gig, gift cards, Blu-Rays, high-end chocolates and more all make for powerful incentives. A good variety should be available to appeal to all agents, so gather feedback on which rewards employees want to see.
We’ve covered the main considerations when implementing QA in your call center or customer service department. All admins following them will make the integration much smoother and engaging.
Agents deserve the full lowdown on the quality assurance program, and if they don’t get it, they may resist. This translates to wasted time and money, not to mention a drop in employee engagement.
As an admin, you should keep agents informed on what the QA process will do for them in an honest, open way. Let them explore the software themselves and get a feel for how accessible it is. When they see the positives of quality assurance, they’ll be more likely to get onboard.
What tips do you have for admins when implementing a QA program?