Good customer service is crucial to any company’s ongoing success, but getting it right is a far bigger challenge than those outside the industry may realize.
Research revealed two out of three consumers struggled to remember when a brand’s service actually met their expectations. An invaluable part of a brand’s customer service is down to the quality of its call center: they serve as an invaluable bridge between businesses and their customers, essential for building lasting relationships.
However, they don’t always operate to the standard they should,
As US businesses lose an eye-watering $75bn every year due to bad CX, no call center can afford to take its work lightly. Quality assurance is the key to improving your customer service, boosting retention and meeting (or hopefully exceeding) consumer expectations.
But strong management is vital to an effective QA program, and senior members of staff must get involved to help drive positive changes. In this post, we’ll look at how to do this and why good customer service teamwork matters.
Why is Quality Assurance Important in Call Centers?
Quality assurance is so important for a number of reasons, including:
- Find flaws in your customer service to be corrected
- Help to clarify your company goals and values for consistency
- Align working methods and service with customer needs and expectations
- Identify valuable training opportunities to boost performance
Delivering better service increases the chances of retaining customers and securing word-of-mouth recommendations. Consumers tend to tell 15 people on average about good CX, and 24 people about bad CX.
That shows the tangible benefits of investing in improving your customer service. Hiring QA analysts is a big step, but a quality assurance program managed well can transform your call center for the better.
It can’t be an isolated thing only a few members of staff know about — your QA process must involve everyone, especially senior employees, for effective customer service teamwork.
Why Should Senior Members of the Team be Involved?
First and foremost, having management involved in the quality assurance program helps to keep things on track.
Managers and team leaders can help oversee the way in which QA is integrated into everyday tasks and processes. They can make their staff aware of the analysts’ work, explain the reasons behind the introduction of quality assurance and ensure there are no doubts about the program’s purpose.
This keeps the system structured and transparent. Agents are far less likely to feel cynical or resistant, and recognize that it all benefits them in the long run. Management can make sure employees cooperate with analysts’ requests and training, creating a smoother process through strategic customer service teamwork.
Without direct input and handling from senior figures in the call center, quality assurance may become more chaotic, confused and ultimately less effective than it should be. Any distrust or inefficient training may leave agents frustrated and unable to deliver CX at the standard consumers expect.
How can you Involve Managers in the QA Process?
Managers should be involved in every aspect of quality assurance, from hiring the QA analysts onward.
QA calibration is an essential step in the program, performed before the process actually starts. Managers, agents and the analysts themselves will review customer interactions to standardize the scoring / grading system. This sets the standard for the customer service teamwork to follow.
Calibration empowers the QA analysts with the insights and knowledge they need to measure agent performance in a fair, unbiased way. They will also be aware of what company values and ethics should be inherent to the customer experience, so agents’ work represents the brand most effectively.
Defining key performance indicators to be measured helps analysts create custom scorecards for fast, accurate grading of interactions.
Integrating QA software
While managers may have heavy workloads and tight schedules, they have to make the time to take part in quality assurance, even if it appears inconvenient to begin with.
Integrating reliable QA software into your operations keeps management in the loop, giving them direct access to critical data from across different aspects of the call center’s service.
They can track progress, view development of both teams and individuals, stay updated on training and make sure quality assurance continues to align with company goals. In-depth reporting takes hard data and translates it into an easily-digestible format, minimizing the amount of time required to stay involved.
An inclusive approach
Of course, managers should be subject to feedback and training too.
If the QA analysts pick up on bad management tactics or weak strategies, they should have the freedom to bring it to managers’ attention. Again, this shows agents that they’re not the only ones being critiqued and reinforces the collaborative nature of a good QA program.
How can you Involve Team Leaders in the QA Process?
Team leaders serve a valuable purpose in motivating, monitoring and supporting agents within their designated teams.
Being present during feedback
During the QA process, team leaders can prove pivotal in helping employees accept feedback, take steps to improve the quality of service they provide and generally ensure the quality assurance program is followed.
Call centers without team leaders could run the risk of agents feeling disconnected from management, in which case the QA program would become much more difficult to integrate. They should be present during feedback and coaching: they can support agents, preventing them feeling ‘ganged up on’ by analysts and management.
Team leaders should be involved in training too. They will check agents’ progress, ascertain which improvements are being made and keep track of how said changes are affecting the customer experience.
As the best QA software facilitates real-time messaging for chat and collaboration, targeted training can be delivered to agents at their desk. This allows for on-the-fly feedback and guidance as part of a cohesive approach to customer service teamwork.
As a result, team leaders can provide advice and direct agents during calls without actually having to speak (which may be distracting).
Access to the proper tools
As with managers, team leaders should have access to QA software at all times to stay involved.
They should liaise with QA analysts and share agents’ feedback on the way in which quality assurance is being performed, which reassures all employees their voice will be heard.
The more valued agents feel, the more engaged they will be — and the better their contribution will become. Studies show engaged staff are 17 percent more productive and have 41 percent lower absenteeism, so it really does pay to keep employees as satisfied as possible.
Good quality assurance cannot bypass managers and team leaders: they must be involved in the process from the very beginning.
Not only does this ensure company values, priorities and goals steer the program, but it helps to keep the system on track. Management at different levels should take an active role in motivating, monitoring and collaborating with agents to provide a better customer experience.
By following this post’s advice, you can help to maximize your QA program’s power to create a positive impact. What steps have you taken to involve managers and team leaders into quality assurance, and what benefits did you see? Share your stories below!