Quality assurance has the power to transform your contact center or customer service department, enabling your agents to keep growing their skills through careful evaluation.
If you’ve never embarked on a QA program before, though, the entire process can be daunting and even confusing. What tangible benefits will you see from implementing quality assurance in your day-to-day work?
One of the main positive outcomes of an effective QA process is a reduction in costs while increasing productivity — essentially getting more done for less. Sounds too good to be true?
In this post on the importance of quality assurance, we’ll delve deep into the ways in which it can improve the most important performance metrics while keeping expenses down.
Better response times
Response times mean more to your overall customer experience (CX) than you may realize: 83 percent of consumers require some kind of support while making a purchase online, even if this is just a brief answer to a question. Facilitating the smoothest, most convenient customer journey is essential, and that includes your response rates.
Agents should be within reach across multiple touchpoints (live chat, email, phone, social media etc.) and have access to problem-solving resources as quickly as possible. This caters to more consumers and frees up phone lines, allowing your agents to assist consumers in numerous ways at the same time.
During the quality assurance process, QA analysts should study average response times and identify why they may be slower than they should. Perhaps too many agents lack the product knowledge they need to complete interactions quickly, or the system currently being used to keep track of customer data is totally inefficient.
The QA program will help you understand why response times need improvement and what steps you can take to do so. Never underestimate the importance of quality assurance to boost response times.
Increasing your FCR
First-call resolution (FCR) is a vital metric to work on. Resolving problems the first time around shows the customer that your service agents are well-trained and highly competent. It also means staff will get through more conversations and increase their productivity.
A good FCR rate contributes to a higher CSAT (customer satisfaction) score and reduces the risk of abandonment. During the QA process, ensure your quality-assurance team is monitoring calls and interactions to pinpoint why agents are unable to solve issues immediately.
Do they lack the tools to find an answer quickly enough? Are there real gaps in agents’ knowledge? Are they bouncing callers around to different colleagues in a messy attempt to resolve the problem?
Evaluating the efficiency of service and learning from those cases of a first-call resolution are key aspects of a transformative QA program. The more productive workers are, the more interactions they can handle — reducing the need to take on extra staff as your customer-base grows.
We can’t stress the importance of quality assurance analysts who understand FCR’s value enough.
Boosting your CSAT
Great customer satisfaction is paramount: 82 percent of consumers cite bad service as a reason to stop buying from a business. There’s no denying the importance of quality assurance in increasing CSAT.
To cater to your customers well, you have to pay attention to their needs, their pain points and their response to your service. Customer satisfaction is a vital metric to focus on during your QA process, and one of the most effective ways to gain an insight into problem areas is to simply ask consumers to rate the quality of service they receive.
You can gather feedback by presenting people with a chance to rate their interaction on a scale of 1 - 10. This gives your QA analysts a clear summary of an entire conversation, helping them understand which issues to watch out for when listening to recorded calls or browsing live-chat transcripts.
The shorter response times and FCR rates we’ve already talked about can contribute to a stronger CSAT metric, but making consumers feel valued is critical as well. Agents must be committed to engaging with every customer and providing a personalized experience they want to come back for.
Reducing your abandonment rates
Customers will abandon interactions for multiple reasons. Perhaps they’ve found the answer for themselves in your FAQ before your agent has a chance to answer their call. Maybe someone knocks at their door during a live chat.
However, if your customers are abandoning interactions due to poor responses or bad service, that’s a serious problem. And it must be addressed.
Your QA analysts should study your abandonment rates and, where possible, what caused them. Fast responses and knowledgeable agents are key to reducing abandonment rates, so focus on boosting productivity and effective learning.
The importance of quality assurance to reducing your abandonment rates speaks for itself!
Happier workers are more productive workers — 20 percent more productive, in fact.
The importance of quality assurance to agents’ happiness is obvious: analysts need to explore your employees’ satisfaction as well as your customers’. Keeping your team engaged and motivated reduces the risk of them leaving, which saves money spent on advertising jobs and hiring newcomers.
Reward schemes can increase employee engagement and satisfaction, offering tangible rewards to aim for. The chance to earn gift cards or extra paid leave gives agents the drive to deliver the very best customer experience, hopefully boosting CSAT and attracting more loyal consumers.
Chasing a higher NPS
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple way to gauge how consumers respond to your service. QA analysts can identify how successful your CX is overall just by asking customers how likely they would be to recommend your company to others, on a scale of 1 - 10.
A score of 9 or 10 indicates the respondent has a high chance of bringing new customers your way, while anything between 0 - 5 means the customer could actually warn others off. The quality assurance process involves evaluating your NPS and discovering why it may be lower than you would like.
Improving your customer experience overall and understanding the needs of your different demographics will help achieve a better NPS. The importance of quality assurance lies in ongoing improvements that keep leaving your customers with a higher satisfaction rate, making them more likely to recommend you.
Retaining more customers
Acquiring new customers is five to 25 times costlier than retaining existing ones. That means keeping your consumers happy will save you money in the long term and secure more repeat purchases.
While attracting newcomers is important too, customer retention is a valuable metric in any QA program: analysts should look into the number of returning customers you have and explore what keeps them hooked.
If people are switching to a competitor, you’ll lose money and they may even spread negative feedback on your services. Focus on streamlining and strengthening the customer journey, providing your audience with all the support, resources and reliability they need. Simply aiming for one-off purchases won’t do you any favors.
A comprehensive quality assurance process can have a major positive impact on your contact center or customer service department. Evaluation is mutually beneficial to all agents and customers alike, as their respective experiences will be improved when the QA program is well underway.
Focusing on the metrics explored above will create the strongest quality assurance process, and reliable QA software is essential to keep your data organized. Now that we’ve discussed the importance of quality assurance, which metrics do you prioritize and why?