According to one study by Zendesk, 54% of all respondents admitted they had told more than five people about a bad service they received from a company. If each of these five choose to avoid the business in question and warn others to steer clear, that first dissatisfied consumer could make a small-but-important impact on the brand’s reputation.
A solid quality assurance process is vital to ensure your customer service is as good as it can be. What are the key ingredients for this crucial recipe?
Ingredient #1: An efficient QA team
Many companies hire staff specifically for quality assurance instead of asking their existing team to undertake extra work. But a QA team doesn’t necessarily have to be big. Having a complete QA software combined with a QA Manager to listen in on calls and reports to the team could be enough for a small to medium company.
Although it might seem like an extra expense at first, maximizing your customer experience is well worth the investment, helping you win over new clients and maintain your existing relationships.
Ingredient #2: QA software to streamline the process
The entire quality assurance process can be daunting and complicated if you don’t have a proper system in place. You may end up with countless spreadsheets and scattered notes, making your QA team work harder than they need to — potentially leading to confusions and missed opportunities.
QA software like PlayVox streamlines the entire process and integrates with multiple other platforms/tools. QA managers and agents all work through the same platform, to train, score, give feedback, engage, and store agents’ knowledge base.
As a result, the QA process isn’t a tedious experience, but a smooth process that holds valuable data so you can take clear and specific actions to improve the customer service experience.
Ingredient #3: An ongoing feedback loop
You have to keep agents informed of their strengths and weaknesses. For example, they may have an outstanding ability to make customers laugh (even during tense interactions) but struggle with first-call resolutions.
Having scorecards and creating periodic reports helps you deliver feedback in an ongoing and regular manner, rather than restricted quarterly or annual meetings. PlayVox’s Learning feature is also a nifty tool to help agents improve on the fly as team leaders or admins can invite them to learning sessions and quiz their knowledge at the end of each session.
Ingredient #4: Close collaborations between team leaders and agents
QA managers and agents should work together closely on an ongoing basis. If there’s any hint of friction, progress is hindered.
It’s common for agents to feel the whole process serves to micromanage. However, it’s vital that any barriers are broken down and that agents’ understand the goal behind the process, and how this will positively impact their skills and progress.
When the QA managers and customer service agents work as one, they can work towards common goals that benefit everyone.
Ingredient #5: Targeted training based on real results
Keeping education tailored to the individual can help companies avoid being in the 75% which found their training failed to improve employee performance.
Scorecards are an excellent aid to effective training. QA managers can review each agent’s performance and pinpoint exactly where mistakes have been made.
For example, could one customer service agent better empathize with customers? Are they going off-script more often than they should?
Scorecards deliver actionable data around which you can build personalized training plans. Creating targeted trainings is so much simpler when you have the data in front of you.
Ingredient #6: Measuring results and tracking development
A major aspect of effective quality assurance is measuring results to monitor employee development.
It’s no good simply expecting all agents to respond to training and coaching in exactly the same way. They won’t all start delivering top-level customer service at the same time: everyone learns and improves at their own pace.
QA analysts must use customer feedback and custom scorecards to measure performance, and weigh this against previous results. This makes identifying agents who require a little extra assistance far easier.
Ingredient #7: Clear company goals/values
A company’s customer service must reflect its values and mission. The quality assurance team must be able to understand the business’s vision to embody the ideal customer experience.
Define your company values by asking yourself some key questions:
- Why does your company do what is does?
- What inspired us to start the company?
- What aspects of the business are we proud of?
- What do we want the brand to be recognized for?
- What traits do we believe are most important in our ideal employees?
- What makes us different from our competitors today?
Answering these questions in an honest, straightforward way makes understanding your values and goals far easier. Don’t feel you have to rush these answers: take the time to really nail down who you are and why your company matters. This will help guide your quality assurance process.
Ingredient #8: A reliable CRM to store customer data
A reliable CRM is a must for setting up a solid quality assurance process. This puts customer data at the touch of your fingertips, from demographics, past purchases, issues and touch points they’ve had with your company.
Agents with access to such information can deliver a more personalized service, referring back to past issues or problems customers may have had and suggest new products and solutions based on their preferences.
All 8 of these ingredients play pivotal roles in establishing a solid quality assurance process. Call centers and customer service departments must never be complacent and continuously strive to improve.
Can you think of any other ingredients that are vital to creating a solid quality assurance process?