We all know the importance of excellent service, but quality assurance program problems will tend to crop up in spite of our best efforts. If your QA initiative is hitting some speed bumps, have a look at this list of common quality assurance program problems. You might find what you need to get back on track.
There is a lack of commitment
It might seem self-evident, but the core of an effective QA program is full commitment. It is management’s job to lead the way, but the devotion to quality should extend all throughout the organization.
It’s very easy to say that you’re committed to quality, but what happens if you have to deal with a sudden flood of calls? Do you sacrifice quality in the rush to deal with them all?
Of course, we can't foresee everything. However, do your best to keep your grip on quality even in the face of the unexpected. Don't cut corners and sacrifice your company’s long-term interests for short-term gains.
You don't have a definite vision of quality
Describe exactly what quality means for you with definite, measurable benchmarks. Many quality assurance program problems can come from not having a distinct target at which to aim. Setting SMART goals is a great way to clarify your vision of quality. SMART goals are:
There's nothing wrong with starting small and building on early successes. Once the team is accustomed to the QA process, you can increase the goals and implement stricter standards.
No clear process or consistent standards
Standards should be transparent, if not self-evident. Everyone should know exactly what is expected of them. Quality assurance program problems can stem from a lack of regular calibration of the evaluation process. Standards need to be applied consistently across the board.
All evaluators need to be professional and objective. Few things cause more quality assurance program problems than accusations of favoritism.
Consistent quality needs to be maintained in the QA program. Evaluate the evaluators regularly and document all your QA definitions.
Your team needs to know that evaluations are impartial and fair at all times.
It can be a good idea to create QA questionnaires that state things in black and white. There’s less chance for personal bias to intrude if the grade is pass or fail. There should still be scope to recognize variations in performance – a checkbox for “Exceeded requirements” will show who did well. A checkbox for “Needs improvement” will show who needs further training.
Training for QA should start on the first day with your company. Let new hires know how serious you are about quality and what standards you expect them to adhere to. Instill your values into staff members from the beginning and you can head many quality assurance program problems off at the pass.
Use good calls as examples in training. It will give recognition to your superstar team member and provide others with a standard to aspire to. Don’t just show them what not to do.
Train people at all levels of the organization to look for ways to improve quality and to make problems better.
Training and coaching don’t just happen for the first couple of weeks on a new job. Make it a regular thing and guide your team onto the right path before they have a chance to stray too far. It’s much better to fix issues in the early stages instead of letting them mature into major problems.
You can set up quality circles that include staff members from all departments who are empowered to make changes. Give them instructions to look at processes and recommend improvements with the goal of boosting quality, efficiency, and productivity.
Giving team members authority and responsibility shows that you trust them and value their input. It’s important to act on their suggestions. You’ll demonstrate your confidence in them and promote their commitment to improving processes at your company. More than that – you’ll show your commitment to QA initiatives that come from all over your organization.
The quality assurance program has a bad image
One quality assurance program problem comes about when it gets a reputation as a repressive buzz kill. Your team shouldn't look at the QA program as some stern parental figure who'll punish them if they screw up. On the other hand, encourage your team and agents to use that information; agents can feel more empowered when they are able to monitor their progress, and improve in areas where they do not know they are lacking.
Encourage them to be as passionate about QA as you are by involving them in the process.
They can help you design the QA forms. They’ll probably have a lot of valuable insights and by getting their buy-in at the beginning you’ll ensure that they make the QA program their own.
If you’re implementing a new QA program, start slow and let everyone get accustomed to it. You’ll have plenty of time to ramp up the program once everyone’s on board.
Not using technology to the fullest
There’s no need to conduct your QA manually. Technology can take a large part of the load off your shoulders. For instance, you can set up automated call scheduling in order to take truly random call samples. Audio analytics can target important calls by listening for keywords such as the names of important clients. It can detect unacceptable language, help you isolate issues, or show when one of your team is having trouble.
If you have multichannel customer service options you need to be able to record, analyze, and review interactions from every one of them. Your QA software should be able to allow team leaders, management – and even clients – the ability to monitor interactions when appropriate.
Quality assurance program problems with local regulations
Many jurisdictions have laws against recording certain parts of calls, for instance, portions discussing confidential information such as credit card numbers. You don’t want problems stemming from such issues. Some locations have regulations concerning secure data storage. They may require storage on local servers instead of in the cloud.
At the end of the day, your quality assurance program should be as unique as your company.
Are you facing any of these quality assurance program problems? What steps are you taking to solve them? Let us know in the comment box down below!