Quality assurance (QA) is critical to any thriving call center. Without it, you have no way of knowing how agents are truly performing, and your customers won’t receive top-notch service.
A proper contact center QA program helps your organization retain happy customers, improve brand and voice consistency, and keep agents in check.
Defining Quality Assurance – A Quick Refresher
So, what exactly is call center quality assurance? Simply put, it is a process or set of strategies designed to help align your organization’s goals with how your agents interact with customers.
For example, if it’s essential that most of your customer calls are resolved in a set amount of time, a QA program can be implemented to help track this to see how your agents are doing against a given benchmark. Based on the data received from the QA program, you’ll be able to coach and train agents to work towards this business goal and others important to your organization.
Call centers use QA plans to monitor things like:
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) like average call handle time (AHT) and conversion rate
- If agents are saying required compliance and regulatory statements
- Conversational win markers and responses to customers
Why Quality Assurance is Mission Critical to Your Call Center
So, why is call center quality assurance necessary? Both organizations and customers benefit dramatically from having a QA program. QA provides managers and supervisors with the data and insights they need to track if agents hit all of their call center script marks during customer interactions. With this knowledge from quality monitoring, call center quality assurance programs can improve the service they offer clients, which leads to improved customer experience and, ultimately, improved satisfaction.
QA and customer satisfaction are intrinsically linked
Needless to say, customer satisfaction is crucial to the overall success of your organization. One Zendesk study polled over 1,000 US customers and found that 58% of the respondents stopped buying from the company after receiving lousy customer service.
Conversely, 54% of the survey respondents who received good customer service used or purchased more services or products from the company, and 67% recommended the company to others.
Keeping customers is extremely important due to the cost of acquiring new ones. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, the cost of acquiring a new customer ranges between 5 and 25 times the cost of retaining the existing one. Your investment in QA will pay back dividends with loyal and satisfied customers.
That’s why it’s so important to have a call center QA program in place.
Call Center Quality Assurance Program Best Practices: Essential Actions to Increase Customer Satisfaction
While most call center professionals have a solid grasp of the fundamentals, there is debate about best practices among call center quality management specialists. With that in mind, here are some general call center calibration best practices to help ensure your organization gets the most out of its QA program.
Provide Clear Goals
Ensure your QA guidelines and scorecards are clear to your agents so they know what priorities the organization is working towards. It’s vital your agents know precisely what is expected of them during each customer interaction so they keep goals top of mind.
Share Insights Across the Organization
Managers and supervisors gain access to tons of vital data and insights through QA scores. However, this critical information should be shared across the call center so all team members can learn from it and improve. Equip your agents with details about emerging trends, how to handle challenging questions, call metrics, and more for continual improvement and quality assurance calibration.
Instead of random sampling across your employees, ensure you analyze each agent’s QA scores and that each agent is held to the same standard. By doing this, your QA team will gain insights from your top performers and tenured agents to your newest hires. With this full spectrum of data, you can share what’s working well and what isn’t (see previous point).
Give Regular and Consistent Feedback
Use call center quality assurance training or calibration sessions on a regular and recurring basis to empower your agents to provide better customer conversations. A standard evaluation form, a calibration session, and QA software help to avoid mixed messaging. Be sure to highlight where they are performing well and providing constructive feedback on areas they can improve.
Assign Quality Assurance Ownership
It’s vital that you have a point person or persons assigned with complete ownership of your contact center quality management process. Ensure roles are clearly defined with who is in charge of planning, implementing, and measuring your contact center quality assurance. Without this, your organization may not get the full benefits out of the QA program.
Six Ways to Improve Call Center Quality Assurance
Even with an understanding of best practices, there’s always room for improvement regarding the QA process. Here are some tips to improve call center quality assurance.
1) Track Your Team’s Performance
Track the performance of all your team members using QA scorecards. By doing so, personalized call center coaching guides can be created for underperformers and top performers to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
2) Provide Regular Training and Coaching Sessions
Your QA data should be the backbone to your training program and coaching sessions for your agents. As a part of your call calibration process, have your top QA specialist share insights to drive behavior change. If possible, schedule call calibration sessions close to call completion, so its top of mind for agents.
3) Evaluate Continuously
Instead of random samplings at select times, where you may easily miss the bigger picture, have your contact center QA team analyze call data throughout the month. Create an action plan for your calibration process to improve quality assurance scores through continuous improvement and agent engagement.
4) Involve Your Agents When Creating Your QA Checklists
Instead of just having the managerial team come up with the quality assurance checklists, be sure to also solicit the feedback of your call center agents. After all, they are the primary boots on the ground when it comes to customer interactions. Not only will this allow you to tap into their insights, but it will also give your agents ownership of the QA process and contact center quality management.
5) Have Suitable QA Tracking Tool
To get the most out of your QA scores and make them actionable sooner, you’ll want to have suitable customer support quality assurance tools that allow you to track things in real-time. Check out the next section below to learn how contact center software can automate and modernize your quality assurance tracking.
6) Use Gamification
Use challenges, leaderboards, and other games to tap into the competitive spirit and reward call center agents. With gamification, you’ll encourage agents to hit all their marks during customer interactions and everyone will have transparency in the QA process.
Modernizing Quality Assurance with Balto Software
If your current QA program is a painfully manual process, it doesn’t have to be. Balto’s state-of-the-art quality assurance software makes it easy and provides immediate impact.
With Balto’s call quality monitoring solution, you and your team have real-time insights into all calls as they happen instead of collecting and reviewing data from random samples days or weeks later, allowing you to make positive changes faster.
Real-Time QA automatically scores 100% of calls, so you can spend time improving calls — not scoring them. Check out this case study to see how a leading flooring company went from only monitoring about 1% of calls to monitoring all calls within six months of working with us.
Get Real-Time Quality Assurance Analytics for Your Organization
Some people think simple and effective call center QA software sounds too good to be true. It’s not. Get a free demo and see the benefits for yourself. We’re sure you’ll see how beneficial real-time QA analytics can be for your contact center and customer satisfaction.
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