The importance of providing a quality customer experience cannot be stressed enough for businesses today. Statistics suggest that almost 90% of customers switch to other service providers following a bad experience. Thus companies must ensure that their customers are served and served well.
Call centers represent company values, assist customers, and strengthen their relationships with the company. They essentially are the ‘face’ of an organization and are responsible for customer perception. Hence, there needs to be some benchmark for call and resolution quality that contact centers need to adhere to.
What is Quality Assurance?
Call Center Quality Assurance (QA) is a practice that helps improve the quality of service provided to customers, increases team efficiency, and minimizes wastage of resources. It involves continuous call monitoring and management of critical metrics, call quality and agents’ resolution/assistance.
Though most contemporary contact centers use specialized QA tools to evaluate quality, many are unaware of the best practices to optimize QA results. This post will discuss how call centers can improve quality assurance by adopting the industry-tested QA best practices in 2021 and beyond.
So let’s begin.
Top 7 Quality Assurance Best Practices:
1. Find where you are standing
Self-assessment is the first step that organizations need to take to improve. To improve quality assurance, organizations must understand what customers feel about them and how they fare against the competition. A little market research and feedback gained from customers can significantly help understand organizational shortfalls and fulfill them.
Using post-call surveys and other feedback mechanisms, companies can gain critical insights into the improvements they need. Organizations can also hire a third-party consultant to evaluate call center quality assurance to get an unbiased and neutral view of the changes necessary.
2. Make a plan of action
After receiving insights from the above sources, you would be able to assess where changes are necessary for you. Call center metrics usually offer a lot of data points to work with. However, identifying which metrics are adversely affecting the bottom line the most and planning how to fix them is key to success. Organizations must, therefore, create dynamic goals and work towards them to ensure improved overall quality.
3. Monitor calls efficiently
The most crucial of all call center best practices is also the most basic one: listening to customers. If customer calls are monitored effectively by managers, it will provide them all the information necessary to coach their agents better and make quality improvements.
Listening to every single call isn’t always possible, so there are many call monitoring software available in the market. However, if you are not using one for your organization, you can also try and listen to your agents’ most unconventional calls.
Pick up the ones bordering on extremes, like your best, worst, or most prolonged calls on any given day. Analyze what went right or wrong, what customers kept complaining about, and where agents struggle most. This will help you formulate future strategies and improve customer experience.
4. Proper agent hiring and management
Poor quality assurance handling usually takes it to your best agents. With increasing pressure, such agents tend to become resentful towards their organization. Thus, keeping them informed, motivated, and inspired is also crucial to your success. Speaking to agents periodically and regularly taking feedback from them can also help your contact center get better over time.
Another major factor that affects customer experience is the type of agents they speak to. Ensure that you have well-trained agents with good soft skills and product knowledge speaking to customers, and the results will likely be positive. Proper training must be provided about expected behavior, adherence to script, call handling time, net promoter score, etc., to yield favorable results.
5. Use the best scripts and agents
Utilizing stellar scripts can greatly improve the quality of your call center, helping you create a good customer impression and gaining useful feedback. Along with call scripts, utilizing your employees and involving them in the QA process also has its perks.
Agents are seldom involved in the QA process in a call center. This is why they are often skeptical and fearful of the entire process. Involving agents in the call center’s quality process makes them understand its usefulness. It makes teams appreciate quality assurance methodologies, standards, and best practices, helping them perform better.
6. Acknowledge the good and bad
Most of the QA feedback that agents receive is negative or corrective, which often causes agents to perceive them negatively. Feedback should ideally be provided both on the positive and negative aspects of a call so that agents are rewarded for their positive actions and are corrected on the negative ones. Also, rather than punitive measures, rewards for positive steps have been shown to yield better results.
7. Allow room for dispute
Feedback received from QA practices might not always be correct or fair. However, organizations allow little room for agents to dispute them.
Providing agents the chance to register their discontent with an evaluation, and receiving a secondary-level assessment helps the QA process in two ways. Firstly, it lets them get their voice heard and gives them a sense of power. Secondly, it shows that the organization has faith in its agents and paves the way to detect system errors or improvements.
The above techniques can significantly optimize your call center’s QA practices and improve customers’ service quality. This would help you improve customer perception, call center efficiency, and brand loyalty.