What is Call Center Quality Assurance (QA)?
Call center QA is a process that gives insight into how your employees are responding to your customers so you can coach them more efficiently and ensure your customers get the best support possible.
When you call a customer service center, you may hear statements similar to this: “This call may be recorded or monitored for quality and training purposes.” This is part of a quality assurance strategy and ensures that workers are acting in alignment with your company’s standards, policies and values and also helps evaluate each worker based on a set KPI for your company: every call received or made in a customer service contact center is therefore recorded.
Call recordings are evaluated to see how helpful the handler was and how professional they were. Quality assurance is one of the most critical factors of a call center because, without quality assurance, there would be no accountability. Quality analysts monitor calls to guarantee that every customer receives adequate help.
QA in a call center helps you detect the workers consistent with the quality of support they offer to customers and further holds workers accountable, so they consistently offer customers good quality services. Bad customer service is one of the leading reasons why customers stop patronizing a business or company. One bad encounter can be enough to change their mind about a company and cancel them, as statistics show that nearly 58% of consumers will end ties with a brand or business due to poor customer service.
Quality assurance is not an easy job as it entails going through a myriad of calls to note that they follow protocols. However, quality assurance doesn’t have to be unbearably rigorous as there are different resources, like a checklist, you can use to streamline your process. A call center quality assurance checklist, for example, helps you note the important factors to check out for in each call and also write down notes. Making notes while assessing the calls ensures that you have credible feedback to give to customer service agents.
In this guide, we will discuss:
4. The QA score
Why Quality Assurance Is Relevant For Call Centers
Proper quality assurance is extremely relevant for call centers and means ensuring that the quality of support being offered to customers during calls is always top-notch. QA is therefore paramount in any call center as it gives hard data and therefore identifies issues and opens up room for improvement.
Customers want to be given relevant information they need when they call and expect to be treated professionally. Some employees may not be as helpful as customers like. A quality analyst’s job is to find such calls, correct the customer service agent, and tell them how to handle such calls better for future purposes. Every customer wants a quick and effective response when they contact a company because this further reassures them that the company is good at what they do and can meet the consumer’s or client’s expectations.
Call center QA is one of the most efficient ways to streamline your customer service. With an effective call center monitoring software, quality analysts can proactively monitor interactions between agents and customers to help build better client interactions. Quality assurance reveals which customer service agents are doing well and which are not able to meet the expected KPIs.
Quality assurance processes give you the means of quantifying the performance and expertise of a contact center agent. Excellent quality assurance will help contact center agents become better agents and produce loyal customers that feel respected and catered to by your company due to your high-quality support.
The Importance Of QA In Call Centers
Quality analysts and team leads use call center QA to measure if the support the agents have been offering during calls matches the company’s level of quality. This way, call center QA ensures that agents meet goals and customer expectations.
This is why quality assurance is important for call centers:
- Call center QA ensures consistent quality services. Consistently delivering great service is one of the major problems of contact centers. However, with good quality assurance, you should have an army of well-equipped agents that know what to do and say in any situation. QA ensures that your workers maintain a uniform standard and give out uniform information because a lack of uniformity may make the customer feel the establishment isn’t organized.
- You can easily pinpoint which agent is not meeting their quota. QA clarifies where the team is struggling and what they do not understand and need clarification on. You can note which area each agent is supposed to improve on as you make a checklist of things to watch out for, like; problem solving, empathy/tone, and efficiency. Sometimes, while an agent may have solved a client’s problem, they may have sounded harsh and unprofessional doing so. This is unacceptable and needs to be addressed, as call center work calls not simply for providing answers but to treat the customer respectfully. There could also be a scenario where the agent has a great tone on call but was not helpful after all. Using a QA form in order to monitor calls can help you determine how well the agents are doing.
- QA helps you tailor your training. Your access to extensive data of calls lets you know where agents are struggling and how you can help them. Using data from this QA allows you to give each agent feedback tailored just for their performance.
- You can increase customer loyalty and retention with excellent customer service. Humans are emotional beings, and when they get a great first impression of your company, this may play a massive role in how they perceive your company. Consequently, this may make them love doing business with your company.
- Refine your business goals with the help of credible QA. Taylor processes to suit your customers more and detect what clients want with a quality analyst.
How To Streamline The QA Process
Customer satisfaction is an excellent determinant if first-time customers form a relationship with your brand or make the encounter with your brand a one-off. According to Microsoft’s Global State of Consumer Service Report, 90% of people disclosed that customer service is a deciding factor in choosing and staying loyal to a brand. Customer satisfaction is such an important factor, and it makes improving your QA process a necessity. The same report reveals that 58% of consumers say they ceased transacting with a business after a poor customer service experience.
The report also reveals that 55% of customers have higher expectations for customer support than they had one year ago. All this goes to show that the stakes are high. You need to upgrade your game and ensure you’re the best at what you do and let your customer service reflect that. 50% of customers feel a major need for improvements in the customer service and support offered by most companies. Improving your QA process in a call center is nonstop, as you will always find innovative ways to satisfy your customers. However, we have compiled some of the ways you can streamline your QA processes:
- Be clear with your strategy. To measure your employee’s performance, you need to set expectations that they’re supposed to meet. That way, you know which employees are closer to the expectations and which are not. That is what a QA form for call centers is for, and the QA form contains the set criteria employees should meet. Once you’ve set your metrics for evaluation, it’s easier to know problems and also know when there’s progress.
- Monitor calls when the agents do not know you’re monitoring, and also monitor when they know you’re listening in. This will help you find any disparity in their efficiency. You would know which employees work at maximum capacity whether you’re monitoring their call or not.
- Define the most important values to your company, so they do not forget to hold it up. The most important factor for any call center anywhere in the world is empathy. After empathy, if you want your agents to be friendly with customers. Explain that in detail with examples, so they know what lines not to cross.
- Consistently provide feedback and coach your agents. It’s a never-ending cycle of learning and unlearning, so you must be in touch with them at all times. This will give them the feeling that their work is being seen and monitored constantly. This will help them sit up and improve at their job. Coaching your employees as a group makes it a teachable moment for them as they learn from the mistakes of others and improve. Coaching them personally also allows them to understand that the coaching is tailored just for them, which are areas in which they could be better.
- Everyone likes being seen and appreciated, so when employees are doing great, make sure to let them know they’re caught and celebrated. To further encourage them, you can follow up with positive feedback when they have been doing great, so they know their efforts are seen, and the company is invested in their improvement.
- Pay more attention to underperforming agents. Help them by giving extra support, training, and feedback so this can boost their morale and performance. Consequently, this will help the team reach its goals.
- Share real-time statistics with your employees to foster transparency. This would also help them know when to double their efforts and get the team to its goal. This also gives employees a sense of ownership which prompts them to perform.
- Having reliable quality assurance software is a salient factor in streamlining your QA process. Your QA process can become frustrating if you’re using a spreadsheet to track all you need to track when there is software that could be used to optimize the process. This would give you a more organized, smooth, and fast workflow.
What Is QA Score In A Call Center?
An agent’s score is the percentage of the total score on their scorecard or QA form. QA forms for call centers have a list of criteria that agents should tick when on a call, and the number of criteria that an agent tick is their QA score. A QA score is your measurement of how well an agent gave support to a customer while on call. You can determine the QA score by checking through the quality assurance checklist to note if they followed due procedures. A QA scorecard may include questions like;
- Did the call representative answer customer questions correctly?
- Did the agent present in a professional manner during the whole call?
- Did the agent say goodbye in a proper manner?
The quality analyst gives points for each of these questions. The QA score of an agent would be the percentage of total available points they earn on their scorecard. So, if an agent scores 50 out of 100 total points, their QA score is 50%. The best thing about the QA score is that you can see clearly where the agent is supposed to improve. This is the most actionable result.
How To Increase Your QA Score
The best way to increase your QA score is to spend more time with agents lagging behind and low scores. The QA form for call centers reveals who is not doing so great and where exactly their weakness is. You can help such agents overcome their problems and improve at their job, which will benefit the whole team and company. More satisfied customers lead to more retained customers. Focus on calls that went severely and devise ways it could have been better to coach agents to ensure they are well equipped for situations like that next time.
Showcasing all agent’s CSAT scores can create healthy competition amongst agents, improving the teams’ overall performance. You can create incentives to motivate your agents; this would urge employees who love this gratification to do better. Try to create a workplace where the workers enjoy working. A happy employee equals a productive employee. Allows breaks for employees to unwind and take a breather. Invest in comfortable furniture around the office. Employees tend to feel more loyal to companies that are invested in their well-being and happiness.
Lastly, invest in quality assurance software that can oversee the operations so you can optimize your quality assurance process. In a 2018 call center industry survey, 39 percent of customer service leaders worldwide stated that they possess an optimized level of the quality assurance process.