A good quality assurance program is built on evaluations.
Your quality analysts are responsible for assessing customer service agents’ performance, determining where they’re succeeding or failing, and helping them work to a higher standard. This is pivotal to any good call center or customer service department: without investing in quality assurance, you could be risking your reputation and — possibly — your business’s future.
Evaluating customer service agents’ work should be kept as quick and simple as possible. Your quality analysts depend on the right tools and software to manage their workloads efficiently, without being overwhelmed by the sheer number of evaluations to be performed, feedback sessions to be planned and more.
In this post, we’ll explore the importance of evaluating in QA, decision making based on QA evaluation results and more.
Conducting Evaluations and Gathering Data
Customer service agents must be trained well, have strong communication skills and experience working with the public to deliver the best CX they can. However, even in the most successful call centers or customer service departments, some agents are better than others.
A customer’s decision to stay loyal to your business can rise and fall on the strength of one interaction. If they feel they’ve been treated poorly, consumers are likely to look elsewhere in the hopes of a better experience — 50 percent of people switching brands do so chiefly because of poor CX.
And that’s a reasonable response, as any of us who have parted ways with a business after terrible service will understand. Losing one customer through a sub-par interaction is bad enough. But agents making the same mistakes again and again could end up costing you a stream of buyers. That’s why you cannot afford to underestimate the importance of evaluating in QA.
For optimal results, quality analysts must evaluate customer interactions from across your entire team. They’ll gain a broad view of where service is going wrong, and why.
Call recordings, live-chat transcripts, real-time call monitoring, custom scorecards and customer feedback all provide quality analysts with the opportunity to evaluate agents’ work. They can use specific metrics to measure each interaction, to determine how well it meets the criteria required and reflects company values.
Taking Action to Up your Game
Once evaluations have been completed, certain steps will need to be taken. Reports can be generated to communicate the results to others in an easily-digestible format, feedback should be delivered, while personalized coaching and training helps the agent improve. A large part of the importance of evaluating in QA comes from its potential to foster growth.
Team leaders and managers can benefit from decision making based on QA evaluation results. Actionable data can inspire them to review training strategies, hiring processes, the way in which feedback is delivered and motivational techniques. For example, a clear lack of engagement could be tackled by implementing a rewards program, providing agents with tangible incentives to aim higher (gift cards, social events etc.).
As engaged employees can be as much as 22 percent more productive, what have you got to lose?
Following evaluations, management will have answers to such important questions as:
- Which agents are the most productive?
- Who needs to resolve interactions faster?
- Which employees are securing the highest customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores?
- Which agents are causing the most customers to abandon calls?
Taking steps to address these will lead to a better, stronger team overall. But patience is, as always, a virtue: changes take time to implement and you cannot expect a customer service team to do a complete 180-degree turnaround in a matter of days.
How Else can Evaluations Lead to Positive Decisions?
Decision making based on QA evaluation results goes beyond just what we’ve explored above. Quality analysts will discover important patterns, such as common complaints, requests and frustrations.
This information may be drawn on for marketing campaigns and product launches. For example, you may hear numerous customers complain the lack of information on a product’s main features in your current advertising, or how a specific item doesn’t provide meet all the user’s needs.
Management would essentially have access to a customer wish list and know which targets to hit in the future.
This data pulled from evaluating customer interactions reduces the amount of time and money wasted. How? Well, for instance, every call center has its busy and quiet periods. Determining where these fall allows you to schedule shifts most efficiently, with less risk of paying employees to basically twiddle their thumbs.
And for those busiest hours, you know when to arrange lunch breaks to prevent customers being trapped in a massive queue.
Furthermore, evaluating agents’ performance gives management insights into how well other expenses are paying off. Is hiring that training expert to give group sessions failing to achieve the breakthroughs you expected? You could save money and enjoy better results by handling training in-house, building bespoke sessions for each agent based on their data.
Taking Responsibility and Working Together
It’s vital that management teams avoid playing the blame game when quality assurance evaluations reveal low customer satisfaction, poor productivity and a general lack of success. If the results are so poor, managers have played their own part in some way.
Perhaps they have spent too much time focusing on the bottom line rather than cultivating a happy, productive, well-trained workforce. Maybe they need to assess the structure and introduce more team leaders to keep agents organized.
Quality assurance encompasses everyone, including agents, team leaders, managers and the quality analysts themselves. It’s not about pointing the finger — it’s about pinpointing what changes need to happen where, and acting on it.
Managers should strive to make the quality assurance process as streamlined, simple and efficient as possible. Quality analysts have a lot of work to handle, and implementing quality assurance software makes managing the program much easier. Work can be assigned to analysts automatically and at random to ensure fairness. Information on productivity and progress can be viewed directly, to help managers understand where attention may be needed.
If too few evaluations are being undertaken, automating minor tasks within the process can help save analysts’ time and prevent their progress becoming impeded by non-essential administrative tasks. As more and more evaluations are performed, the more positive changes you can expect to make in your overall customer experience.
When quality analysts evaluate customer service agents’ performance, they open the door to many potential improvements.
These may be big or small. They may be applicable to one agent, to all or both. Whatever the specifics, evaluating as part of the QA program provides management with valuable data upon which to act. Employees can become more satisfied and engaged by their work.
And, in turn, customers will receive a higher standard of service, feel more satisfied and be more likely to return. Everybody wins.
What positive outcomes have you seen from undertaking quality assurance evaluations in your workplace? How have customer satisfaction rates increased since? We’d love to know, so please comment below!