An effective quality assurance process benefits all contact-center employees and customers alike.
Implementing a carefully-planned, well-executed QA program can help managers, team leaders and agents perform to a higher standard. Over time, your contact center will develop the skills to avoid common mistakes and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Why is this important? Remember: consumers are willing to spend up to 17 percent more with businesses providing great service.
But building the perfect quality assurance process takes time, energy and work — how do you do it?
By catering to the needs of key personnel, providing all the tools, resources and support they require to perform their part in the process. Let’s take a closer look at who and what this involves.
Providing Quality Analysts with the right tools
You’ll depend on experts in quality assurance to undertake the entire process from start to finish (if your QA program has an end in sight). Hiring one or more QA analysts (depending on the size of your contact center) is vital: trying to evaluate work and drive positive changes will be too much alongside your everyday managerial tasks.
The ideal QA analyst has a strong work ethic, an eye for detail and is well-versed in such tools as spreadsheets, word processors, CRM systems and online-communication platforms.
This experience and training empowers analysts to study data, collaborate with colleagues, interact with agents and understand the complexities involved in facilitating customer-focused communications.
Quality analysts depend on fast access to all the information that has to be evaluated. Good QA software is a critical tool: it should have a user-friendly interface and centralize all important data.
Analysts should have the tools to provide feedback to agents in a hassle-free way, offering insights on past mistakes and guidance on avoiding them. The resources available to your QA analysts depend on software that streamlines their work, minimizes the time required to perform tasks and allows for precision when evaluating data.
If they can’t evaluate work as quickly and accurately as required, the entire quality assurance process will be less fluid — and less effective — than it should be. QA analysts benefit hugely from software boasting extensive filtering options, so they can access the exact type of data for every assessment.
Never underestimate how crucial a skilled QA analyst is to your quality assurance program. They’ll be the driving force that helps take your contact center to new heights.
Not overflowing a Manager's plate
As a manager, it’s their responsibility to oversee the contact center’s customer service, ensure this aligns with the company’s standards and understand why any mistakes may be made.
However, managers may struggle to pinpoint flaws in the customer-service cycle and be unable to put things right. Management is demanding work that leaves little time to focus on quality as much as you may like.
Keeping track of overall quality only grows more complex as contact centers expand too, bringing more staff on board and catering to a broader customer-base.
Managers have to stay abreast of all quality assurance taking place, from evaluations to feedback and training. Why is this so important?
Again, to ensure all changes being implemented align with the company’s goals and expectations — and to steer things back on track if they don’t.
Leveraging software which unifies all reports and customer data helps managers stay involved in the quality assurance process. They will be able to see which evaluations have taken place, glean information on feedback and understand where improvement is required.
Managers and QA analysts should have a strong connection and work together to implement adjustments in the contact center’s operations. Two-way communication is essential.
Setting up the right structure for Team Leaders
Team leaders may have started their call-center career as an agent, before being promoted based on their impressive skills. As a result, they’re well equipped to oversee agents, provide encouragement and offer support, all while remaining available to resolve issues.
Leaders typically keep track of their team’s customer interactions and KPIs, comparing results to see where performance is flawed.
They should have the experience and capabilities to provide agents with guidance on eliminating errors, highlight effective service techniques and standardize behavior across the team.
They need relevant data to do all this, but if they can’t access real-time information on their agents’ work, their leadership tasks will be much more difficult.
Team leaders should be able to pull up the details they require with minimal effort, to provide their team with evidence of mistakes, customer feedback and planned coaching.
Giving Agents all the information they need
Agents are on the front line of your contact center’s everyday battle to deliver unbeatable customer service.
It’s not an easy job, and the quality assurance process must be handled properly to prevent alienating them. It’s vital that all agents — regardless of performance and experience — are evaluated in the same way.
Any hint of bias or inequality risks causing schisms between colleagues, destroying morale, weakening motivation and souring the customer experience overall.
QA analysts, managers and team leaders should all work together to inform agents on the specifics of the imminent quality assurance program.
- How will it unfold?
- How will evaluations be performed?
- When will coaching take place?
- Will any incentives be introduced to motivate them to work harder?
Give all these details careful consideration. Make sure agents understand that quality assurance is intended to create a better, more engaging, more satisfying work experience for all of them.
Provide them with full transparency and visibility: give them access to key data on evaluations, feedback and more.
A failure to be honest and open could cause an ‘us and them’ mentality, which does nobody any favors. They must be invited to offer their own input and take part in the calibration process, along with managers, analysts and team leaders. Their hands-on experience of dealing with customers in all contexts gives them valuable insights other employees lack.
Agents must receive targeted coaching and training based on evaluations, rather than subjecting them to generic programs with little relevance to their strengths or weaknesses. It’s essential to keep all lines of communication open with agents, encourage them to get involved and cooperate with analysts.
Over time, your agents will understand what’s required to deliver better customer service, boost productivity and keep improving. Offering rewards for breakthroughs and hitting targets can increase motivation, while boosting job satisfaction.
And employees who feel happier in their work have proven to be as much as 20 percent more productive!
Building the perfect quality assurance process isn’t always easy, but it offers numerous rewards. Taking the time to put the program together with care and passion will help your contact center improve, benefiting your employees, customers and the bottom line.
Follow the tips discussed above to create an effective quality assurance process. If you’ve already embarked on your QA journey, what results have you seen and what advice would you offer other contact centers preparing for theirs?