Establishing strong customer relationships should be a top priority for your company.
Any business failing to take its customer service seriously is gambling with its future. Fortunately, high-quality customer relationship management (CRM) tools help you deliver a better CX. You can log previous interactions, maintain a clear record of customer details and more, all in one place.
But this isn’t enough to deliver the best customer experience your company’s capable of. To do that, you need to implement a quality assurance (QA) program too.
The Importance of a QA Program for your Business
As a manager or admin, the prospect of introducing a quality assurance program to your team may seem daunting, or like extra hassle you can do without.
After all, you’re busy enough, right? You customer service team is constantly helping people by phone, live chat, email, social media … they don’t have time for anything else, do they?
There’s no getting around it: a QA program is fundamental to drive your team to deliver a CX of the highest standard.
Your quality assurance analysts will evaluate agents’ interactions across all channels and grade them based on specific criteria relevant to your brand. They’ll gather data from across your CRM and other tools, centralizing it for time-saving convenience.
All this data gives analysts, team leaders, admins and managers information to inspire positive changes. Data should be acted on through feedback, coaching and training, helping customer service agents develop. Further evaluations allow you to track their progress and keep offering further guidance as necessary.
Quality assurance incorporates customer feedback too, gathered through surveys. You’ll gain insights into your team’s performance through Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Scores and Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which tell you how happy consumers are with their service and their likelihood of recommending your brand to others respectively.
Increasing both scores is vital to boost customer retention, build your reputation and encourage people to pay more (it’s true — a PWC survey found consumers will pay up to 16 percent more for a better CX).
CRM software is essential for recording key customer information that allows for more personalized, more efficient service. But without QA too, your helpdesk team could be making CX mistakes you’re unaware of until it’s too late.
The best QA software allows for integration with leading CRM systems — Zendesk, Salesforce etc. — and brings all data together to be accessed in a far easier, faster way. Fewer tabs, fewer clutter, less mess.
Making Better Decisions for the Future
A comprehensive QA program empowers you (as an admin or manager) with the insights to make stronger business decisions across different areas.
We’ve already discussed how important a great CX is to your company’s success, but your QA program delivers insights that can drive employees to perform to a higher standard. Other aspects of managing a customer service team — such as scheduling shifts, motivating agents and boosting engagement — can all be transformed through quality assurance.
For instance, you can pinpoint when your busiest and quietest periods of the day, week and month fall. As a result, you can make sure you have the right number of helpdesk staff available to accommodate rises or dips in demand.
This maximizes your team’s efficiency, reduces the risk of poor response times and prevents you paying staff who may be unnecessary at a given time.
In terms of motivation, quality assurance software reveals which agents are less productive than others or underperforming overall. You should act on this to determine why staff engagement is weaker than it could be and find out how to address that. Flexible shift patterns, a change in decor or even a rewards system may all bring positive results.
A rewards system is easy to implement with the right QA software, and offers employees the opportunity to earn various non-cash bonuses for hitting targets (gift cards, gig tickets etc.).
- Are you losing paying customers — and therefore revenue — through poor CX?
- Do you need to spend more on self-service tools on your website?
- Will higher salaries motivate your customer service agents to deliver a better CX?
These are just a few questions a good QA program helps you answer. Studying reports and collaborating with your quality assurance analysts shows you why consumers are unsatisfied, when they can’t find information for themselves and when your agents are undermotivated, and more.
For example, average helpdesk response times and call abandonment rates indicate if you need to hire more agents or upgrade your live chat software. Yes, both mean extra expense but offer real potential to improve your CX. With a good QA program, you’ll be able to make financial decisions that drive better results.
HR departments can benefit from seeing information related to hiring staff, increasing pay or improving workplace facilities as well. This gives them insights and ideas they may have missed otherwise.
Quality assurance with cutting-edge QA software makes following patterns and trends much easier.
Specifically, your analysts can pick up on common complaints and queries to determine issues with products. For example, a smartphone manufacturer may receive a slew of questions regarding clumsy security features or poor speakers over all channels.
This would tell them they should take steps to apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused, and make changes to future releases. This eliminates the risk of making costly mistakes again and increases the product’s consumer appeal.
Information like this can prove useful to marketing departments: any refinements and innovations made to future products may be focused on in advertising.
CRM systems are critical for delivering a great customer experience. You’ll have access to contact details, previous interactions and more. But without quality assurance, you’re missing out on the chance to take your customer service to a higher level.
Undertaking a quality assurance program is a big step for any company, but it will have a powerful impact on your CX. Customer satisfaction, retention and your reputation could all improve consistently as you continue to develop stronger relationships.
Why do you think QA matters for businesses today? What tips would you give other companies looking to start their QA program? We’d love to know what you think!