They’re on the front line every day, assisting the people you depend on to stay in business — and they have to perform at their best to keep customers happy. A solid quality assurance program helps you identify any gaps in service and fill them, as part of an ongoing process of improvement.
If you’ve just introduced a QA program for your support team, you’ll doubtless be searching for the right QA analysts to run it. What skills should the ideal candidate possess to do the job well?
The ability to learn quickly
Good QA analysts must have a comprehensive overview of your company, to understand its goals, values and routines.
He or she must learn key elements of the day-to-day business, including:
the procedures your agents follow
the SLA agreements in place
the QA process in depth
all working procedures established
However, this can all be an information-overload for some candidates: they may struggle to absorb such important details and be unable to do their job properly as a result.
Look for a QA analyst who’s capable of learning quickly, allowing them to grasp the fundamentals of your company and get to work with minimal delay.
An applicant with experience of undertaking quality assurance in a similar environment is a great place to start as they should be able to hit the ground running.
A keen attention to detail
Your QA analyst must have a good attention to detail to perform at their maximum capacity.
Why? A key factor of their work involves observation, such as call monitoring — listening to recorded interactions between agents and customers. They must be able to pick out crucial aspects of a call, such as:
the agent’s ability to follow a script
the agent’s tone and engagement of the caller
missed opportunities to help the customer further
missed chances to upsell
lapses in the agent’s concentration
a failure to resolve the issue in good time
an inability to use resources and find information for the customer properly
These are just a few major points which should be considered during a quality assurance process. After reviewing hundreds of calls and emails, it’s easy to slip into auto-pilot. Be sure that your new hire can spot details even after having listened in on calls for hours. Overlooking the details can ultimately prevent your support team from improving as they should.
An analytical mindset
Gathering data from multiple touchpoints is part of being a QA analyst. Your candidate must have the analytical eye to study a wealth of information comfortably, spotting trends, discrepancies and diverse patterns.
Your ideal quality assurance analyst needs the analytical mindset to translate hard data into plans to improve your support team’s service.
Data reveals that customers are spending too long on hold (such as with major companies like Apple and Delta Airlines) or live chats are earning poor CSAT scores. Whatever the data tells them, your analyst should be able to pinpoint the actions needed to improve it.
The best QA software is designed to aid analysts in their everyday work, centralizing data from calls, live chat and other channels for easy study. By placing all the needed information and the tip of a finger, innovative quality assurance software has been able to streamline the entire QA process for everyone involved.
An ability to empathize and communicate well
A good QA analyst has great interpersonal skills. They know how motivate their team and give productive feedback. They are able to hold agents accountable while motivating them to improve and keep up the good work.
The best QA software empowers analysts with real-time messaging tools, enabling them and managers to provide practical feedback to agents without pulling them away from their desk. It’s a boost to productivity, connecting the dots between monitoring, feedback and coaching.
Strong coaching skills
Following on from the previous point, let’s get into coaching.
Coaching is a vital step in the quality assurance process for your support team, and usually happens after delivering feedback. QA analysts must be able to help align agents’ skills with the needs of your company and customers through effective coaching, whether alongside managers or on their own.
Utilizing call recordings, customer feedback and data can help contextualize coaching sessions: your analysts will have evidence to support their praise, critiques and suggestions. This may involve role play too, in which the analyst pretends to be a customer while the agent tries to help them as they normally would.
Scenarios such as this helps employees hone their skills without the risk of frustrating a real caller. The analyst can stop the conversation to point out where mistakes may have been made and offer advice, before giving the agent another chance to get it right.
Coaching should become an ongoing part of your customer support team’s regular routine, to help them keep improving their performance over time.
A solid grasp of impartiality
Empathizing with agents, customers and managers is an important skill for QA analysts. They will need to review work, guide development and help every employee grow as a team.
This can be tricky, but being able to put themselves in different shoes will enable your analysts to gain a more comprehensive insight into the company’s customer service. They should have an ability to understand why agents, customers and managers have acted in certain ways, in order to provide a better experience for everyone.
Impartiality ensures all agents receive fair, honest feedback and coaching too: there should be no favoritism or attempts to sabotage the work of employees they may dislike!
A flair for organization
Staying organized matters, especially when you have as much data to keep track of as QA analysts do.
A sloppy approach to work will increase the likelihood of oversights, confusion and — ultimately — mistakes that waste time and money. Your candidate should be able to stay on top of their workload, maintain tidy records and have access to good QA software that helps to streamline their job.
Being able to find historical data to compare information and track development is critical for effective quality assurance. Poor organizational skills will only make this harder than it has to be.
Great time management
They have a lot of reviewing and evaluating to do, particularly if your company’s customer support team is larger than most. Good time management will help them plan their schedule, prioritize the most important tasks and integrate their work into other employees’ routines.
They should be able to work independently and maintain a strong quality assurance program, but still know when it’s appropriate to check in with management. Experienced QA analysts are probably familiar with such situation, and feel comfortable working both solo and with others.
This can be a difficult thing to check during the application stage, but discussing theoretical scenarios and their past roles will help you gauge their time management skills. The right QA software will enable them to work faster and more efficiently too, so they can spend less time finding the relevant information and more time with your team.
Hiring a QA analyst may seem daunting, but the above tips will help to make the entire process smoother and simpler. Good quality assurance has the power to transform your company’s customer support and drive your agents to deliver service of the highest standard.
Over time, a solid QA program can boost customer loyalty and employee engagement, creating a more productive, successful workplace. With just 34 percent of American workers feeling engaged in their work, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Implementing cutting-edge QA software grants your analysts, agents and managers the freedom to access important data, making the quality assurance process more collaborative.
As a result, everyone can get involved and make a valuable contribution in their own way.
What skill do you look for when for hiring a QA analyst? Let us know in the comment box down below!