Good customer service is hard to get right, but some call centers and businesses fail to even come close. The problem may not be with the service agents themselves, though: ineffective management processes, poor quality assurance and even unengaging training methods may all share the blame.
Regardless of the root cause, though, bad customer service is unacceptable — and can cost you buyers. 47 percent of consumers will switch to a competitor if they encounter consistently-poor service, even if they’ve been loyal for years.
An ongoing quality assurance program empowers you with the data to keep evaluating and improving your customer service, and scorecards play a key role. But what are they and how do they impact the different members of your service team?
Before we get into reading a scorecard and interpreting scorecard data, let’s take a moment to define scorecards and explore their purpose.
A scorecard is a simple tool for evaluating and measuring your agents’ performance during customer interactions. This features a number of questions that can be assigned a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (or a tick or a cross) based on the specifics of every conversation.
For example, you might want to incorporate such questions as:
- Did the agent introduce the business and themselves at the start of the call?
- Did the agent follow their script?
- Was the agent sympathetic and apologetic when appropriate?
- Did the agent follow the standard procedure if they encountered any suspicious activity during the interaction?
- Did the agent gather the essential details from the customer to verify their identity and ensure good security?
These are just a few ideas, but they show how straightforward and effective scorecards can be in reviewing an employee’s performance. Custom scorecards can be built on Playvox’s scorecard application, to include the most relevant metrics for your brand, based on your respective values and customer-service objectives.
Metrics can be tweaked as values and goals change over time, so they always reflect your call center or customer service department’s current focus.
Agents — Measuring Performance in Each Interaction
Your customer service agents interact with consumers hundreds of times each week. They’re responsible for showing your brand in a positive light and leaving people satisfied enough to stay loyal.
But actually delivering a great customer experience consistently is much easier said than done, and agents’ work can slip from time to time. Perhaps they become complacent after years in their role. Maybe they struggle to shake personal problems off when they sit at their desk. We all face occasional challenges that make working to our usual standard difficult.
Yet, one single instance of bad service may be enough to chase a customer away to a competitor and inspire them to spread word of how poorly they were treated. Americans tend to tell 15 people about bad customer service and just 11 about good service (on average). Agents can’t afford to underestimate the value of staying on form.
Scorecards measure agents’ performance and equip QA analysts with insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Reading a scorecard guides analysts when creating coaching and training strategies with team leaders or managers, fixing all flaws in the individual’s service.
When interpreting scorecard data, analysts may discover an agent follows their script and processes well, but lacks the product / service knowledge customers expect. In this case, coaching and training would focus on equipping them with the information to help callers in greater detail.
Quality analysts will deliver feedback to agents based on their evaluations, along with team leaders or managers. They can encourage the agent to try reading a scorecard to demonstrate where they’re going wrong or right objectively, avoiding any accusations of unfair criticism or bias.
The agent knows what they have to do to improve their customers’ experience and can act on the data immediately, integrating the lessons they’ve learned into their next interaction. Interpreting scorecard data lets analysts track progress too, simply by comparing present ones with past ones.
QA Analysts — Fast Data on Key CX Factors
Quality assurance analysts study a lot of performance-related data, from average handling times and response rates to customer-satisfaction scores. All of this must be organized and structured carefully to allow for maximum convenience — and scorecards are a great aid to this.
QA analysts can use a scorecard application while listening to call recordings or live interactions, working through the checklist of questions in a matter of moments. This gives them a complete overview of the customer service with a focus on the most important factors. They know exactly what to watch out for and what steps to take if they pick up on flaws when interpreting scorecard data.
As scorecards feature the same set of questions, QA analysts’ evaluations remain consistent no matter how many agents they monitor. This cultivates a fair, transparent overview of the entire team. Any concerns of bias are eliminated too, especially when interactions are assigned to analysts randomly.
Scorecards are quick and simple to complete, helping to keep productivity rates high. This matters when analysts have so many evaluations and feedback sessions to focus on.
Team Leaders — Streamlined Guidance on Supporting Agents
Team leaders should be given access to performance data on all agents under their supervision. The more information they have, the more effective their management will be.
They’re responsible for encouraging, supporting and guiding agents to work to the highest standard. Reading a scorecard shows team leaders the core issues each agent has during interactions, giving them valuable foundations upon which to build. They’ll be able to deliver feedback and coordinate coaching or training sessions tailored to suit each member of their team.
Team leaders may spot trends within their group and discover where their own skills demand closer attention. Are all of their team-members struggling to follow their script as they should? Do they all fail to upsell when the opportunity arises?
They can amend their own working methods and, as a result, improve their entire team’s performance for a better customer experience.
Admins — Simplified Tracking and Decision-making
Interpreting scorecard data will help admins make good decisions in less time. They may be required to schedule coaching and training sessions, create reports and gather data for management teams.
When they’re given access to scorecards in their dashboard, admins can monitor agents’ progress by comparing results and record how agents are progressing. Managers and team leaders may request this information for various reasons, such as salary negotiations or delivering rewards.
They may use a scorecard application when handling customer communications (such as dealing with complaints about poor service), and will see how the agent performed during the interaction for a clearer idea of the problem to be solved.
Being able to access critical data quickly and easily is a major benefit when managing heavy workloads, as admins often are.
Scorecards are an essential component of any effective quality assurance program, enabling QA analysts to measure performance and keep track of agents’ progress. Important decisions can be made based on scorecards, improving the entire customer experience and increasing retention rates.
Beyond QA analysts, though, everyone in your customer service team will benefit from studying scorecards. From the agents looking to fulfill their potential and the team leader who wants to understand why their agents keep underperforming, scorecards are integral to growth.
How have scorecards helped you achieve better results in your call center or business? What do you feel the most important metrics are? Let us know!