How to Leverage Quality Assurance Programs to Improve Your Customer Service Call Center
Providing top-quality customer service requires the successful management of many moving and interconnected parts, not the least of which are all the personnel that you have answering the phones.
There are many ways to improve your customer service offering including fine tuning processes related to recruiting, to interviewing, to hiring, training, management, etc. However, let’s focus on Quality Assurance programs and how QA programs can help make a positive and real difference.
With that in mind, here are three ways to leverage Quality Assurance in your customer service call center.
Most companies have phone systems that allow for the monitoring of live calls or recorded calls. Monitoring calls is a hands-on way of seeing exactly how your customer service agents are treating your customers. Are your agents following procedures, are they reading any required disclaimers or policy information, are they showing appropriate empathy, are they working hard to resolve customer concerns? These, among others, are the types of performance metrics that you can track by monitoring calls.
A couple of notes about monitoring:
- Create a scorecard. If you are going to monitor calls, create a scoring system and a scorecard. This ensures that your monitors and supervisors will have a process that gives them the ability to judge fairly when they compare and comment.
- Work next to your agents. Quite often, companies have a “back room” culture for monitoring: A place where monitors sit and listen to calls and the agent is unaware you are listening. Try monitoring right next to the agent, in a process called “side jacking.” This allows for immediate feedback to an agent right after a call is completed. The agent remembers the call, it is easy to explain the high points and opportunities for adjustment, and then you are right there to listen to a few more calls to ensure the agent understood and modified their process appropriately.
Manual Monitoring Has Its Limits
Monitoring is a slow and cumbersome process. The longer your average handle time, the longer it takes to monitor each call. Therefore, you can only monitor so many calls per day. If your supervisor is tracking calls for 10 agents, it takes a lot of time to monitor enough calls to get an accurate picture of how the team is performing.
There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish this effectively. Remember, a supervisor still needs time to supervise. If you are trying to move a team forward with their service skills, how long will it take to determine how a team is responding and improving on a daily basis? It might take a week or more to listen to enough calls to really know if adjustments are being made from a single day’s mentoring and coaching.
Quality Assurance Team
Creating a Quality Assurance team that’s sole responsibility is to monitor calls can free up your supervisors’ time. Supervisors can then just pull QA results and coach the team accordingly. However, while you may monitor significantly more calls with a dedicated QA team, that comes with a steep price tag to support the QA personnel.
You will also need to decide who delivers the results to the agents. A meeting between the QA team and agents reduces the amount of time the QA team can be monitoring calls. But, if supervisors meet with agents to deliver coaching, (the more typical scenario) then they are delivering feedback and suggestions based on input that is not their own. Also, the time frame between listening to calls and providing feedback may be too long for the agent to properly remember the call and apply feedback.
Voice Analytics - Putting Technology to Work
Enter Voice Analytics. Voice Analytics is simply the process of taking all your recorded calls and running them through an automated platform that a) creates a complete transcript of each call, and b) automatically grades the call on any number of predetermined factors as set up by your team.
Voice Analytics can give you the ability to check the quality on thousands of calls and perhaps up to 100% of your calls each day (vs. 1%-3% that is typically monitored by a dedicated QA Team). And voice analytics systems provide a dashboard of results for the following morning. Now you can coach an entire team one day, and the following morning you can see the results of your coaching efforts. And, watch your team compete with each other to see who can improve the most and who has the highest rank on various metrics.
Comprehensive tracking and speech analytics allow you to monitor all of your key performance metrics. Not only can you be confident you are complying with legal requirements, but you get better data to pinpoint needed training or operations improvements.
The Importance of Quality Assurance Measures
In some ways, the Quality Assurance function is the lynchpin of your contact center operations. Based on a solid and well run QA program, results can drive training curriculum modifications, personnel decisions, and much more. If you are interested, but you aren’t sure about first steps, feel free to reach out to our team.