Increasing sales is one of the primary goals of any business. However, a strong quality assurance program can be even more impactful in the long run, contributing to nearly every aspect of a successful contact centre—including the underlying factors that drive sales.
From cost management to agent engagement, a robust QA program is a must for any call centre leader who wants to improve business outcomes, particularly those focused on metrics like CSAT and NPS, as 93 percent of service teams agree that customer expectations are higher than ever.
In this article, we took a closer look at the reasons why you should consider investing in your quality assurance and the steps you can take to enhance your QA process.
What Is Quality Assurance?
For contact centres, QA is a systematic approach to ensure that an organization maintains a certain performance level and meets internal customer support standards.
With QA monitoring, call centre leaders can determine whether their organization is meeting goals, following processes, remaining compliant, and achieving targets—and take corrective action if it is not.
Typical QA programs focus on specific customer service metrics and agent performance measures, tracking this data via spreadsheets or purpose-built QA software to improve both agent and customer experience.
How Is Quality Assurance Different From Quality Control?
Both quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are important components of the overall quality management process. However, they don’t serve the same purpose and, as such, require different methodologies.
Quality Assurance (QA)
QA can be viewed as the more proactive of the two, focused on implementing and maintaining processes, policies, and guidelines to ensure consistent CX across all interactions and channels. To do so, QA managers may carry out evaluations, conduct training, build scripts, and refine tools and workflows.
Quality Control (QC)
QC, on the other hand, is more reactive in nature, primarily concerned with monitoring and evaluating individual agent-customer interactions to improve future performance. QC involves monitoring calls and reviewing recordings, conducting surveys and gathering feedback, and analyzing relevant KPIs.
Why Is Quality Assurance So Important to Your Business?
While sales can result in immediate, eye-catching impacts on the bottom line, QA is more likely to have a long-term positive impact on the business.
With 96 percent of U.S. consumers stating that customer service is important to them, an effective QA process is more valuable than ever. It ensures high customer service standards that will lead to increased sales and revenue in the future.
Let’s look at the key benefits of QA and its significance for your company’s bottom line.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Ensuring customer satisfaction is the bread and butter of any call centre. In fact, 88 percent of customers now believe that the experience a company provides matters just as much as the products or services it offers.
A consistently strong CX helps acquire loyal customers who will stay with your brand, spend more, and will likely recommend your business to others.
QA provides key insights into customer needs, allowing you to easily identify service issues and pain points in the customer journey so you can provide the best possible customer experience leading to higher CSAT.
Improved Customer Retention
Establishing long-term relationships with customers is essential, with existing customers spending, on average, 67 percent more than new ones. The longer they stick around, the greater the customer lifetime value (CLV) and the healthier your bottom line.
Effective QA highlights your commitment to excellent service, both internally and externally, leading to more positive interactions and long-term customer engagement with your organization.
With 70 percent of consumers displaying greater loyalty to companies that offer a personalized experience, QA remains key to improving customer retention.
Trust and Credibility
In our ultra-connected age, companies are more visible to consumers than ever before, and public image is key. Customers need to trust the businesses they interact with, and credibility drives this trust.
With 60 percent of consumers stating that they have chosen one business over another based on their service expectations, brand reputation is a key business driver.
An effective QA process establishes standards and processes that improve CX and minimize risk, reducing the chances of an incident that could damage your brand’s reputation and credibility.
Efficiency is a key quality in any successful contact centre, impacting everything from customer experience to agent performance. Streamlining your operations can help you reduce costs and enhance outcomes across every department.
With QA, you can define expectations and establish clear guidelines for everyone in your call centre. As a result, every agent would know where they stand and what they need to do. This way, you can also increase your chances of resolving the customer issue at the first attempt (something that 83 percent of customers expect from a company).
By using QA scorecards to pinpoint weak spots, you can deliver tailored coaching and training programs. You can target the areas that matter to your specific business, achieving far stronger learning outcomes than you would with a generic approach. This will also feed into morale, with research finding that 62 percent of customer service agents value ongoing training opportunities.
Moreover, you can automate some parts of the process. Say, for example, your evaluation tool includes an option for automatic alerts. You can set it up so that any agent who falls short in a certain aspect of the job is automatically assigned relevant training materials.
Increased Team Productivity
Improving productivity is a key aim for any organization, but it’s particularly important for contact centres where quick responses directly impact customer satisfaction and other key metrics.
Defining what “success” means to your organization and the associated path towards it makes it much easier for agents to remain productive and focused. This level of clarity around processes leads to a more transparent working environment, an important factor in gaining agent trust and motivating your team.
Reduced Agent Churn
With an average industry attrition rate of 42 percent and the average cost of replacing a single rep coming to $14,113, it’s no surprise that agent churn is a major concern for contact centre leaders.
Remember that quality assurance isn’t just about correcting issues, it’s also about rewarding those who are performing well. QA evaluations can bring these top performers to your attention, giving you the opportunity to recognize their achievements, making them feel valued and less likely to churn.
In today’s economy, standing still means falling behind. With an effective QA program, you can use agent-customer interaction data to monitor consumer trends, forecast future developments, and gain a competitive edge.
This commitment to quality assurance and data analysis is a positive sign for potential investors, who may be more willing to invest as a result of your stability and insights.
You can also conduct surveys and gather customer feedback, using this information to inform future strategies around customer experience, sales, and even product development.
Reinforced Regulatory Compliance
With agents handling a lot of personal customer data and human error being responsible for 82 percent of data breaches, it’s understandable that regulatory compliance is a key concern for call centre management—particularly in industries like healthcare and finance.
A robust QA system includes tools like call recording and scorecards, so you can monitor agent compliance, address issues quickly, and protect your brand legally.
Some QA tools even allow for real-time alerts in the event of a breach, so you can nip compliance issues in the bud and resolve them before they escalate.
While the initial cost of setting up a dedicated QA program is often cited as a reason why businesses may be reluctant to invest, the reality is that QA is actually a huge money-saver in the long run.
As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than the cure”. It’s much cheaper to prevent issues than fix them later when things have already gone wrong.
In a tough economic climate, every dollar counts. By minimizing errors, optimizing staffing, and improving resource allocation, QA can make your business more cost-efficient.
Sales may have a more immediate impact in terms of black-and-white numbers, but investing in QA is a long game, delivering a sustained positive impact on your business for years to come.
A dedicated QA process throws up a huge number of insights into every aspect of your business, from customer satisfaction to agent performance.
By adopting a growth mindset and using this data effectively, you can deliver continuous improvements for your call centre, enhancing CX, coaching, compliance, and more.
How Can You Improve Your Quality Assurance?
Establishing a quality assurance process is the first step, but once your QA program is in place, you should monitor its success and make changes if necessary. This way, you can improve outcomes for both agents and customers and reap the rewards we discussed in the previous section.
Let’s look at some key steps you can take to improve your quality assurance program.
Establish Clear Guidelines
Defining clear goals and metrics for your QA program allows you to measure its impact on the organization and align QA with your overall business objectives. You should also establish standards for agent-customer interactions to ensure consistently strong CX.
Monitor Industry Developments
Being aware of market trends and industry developments will enable you to anticipate changing customer needs and meet them in advance. Analyze interaction data to see where your company may be falling short and adjust strategy if necessary.
Provide Ongoing Training
Ongoing training has a positive impact on both performance and morale, keeping customers happy and agents engaged. With 65 percent of workers citing the importance of employer-provided upskilling, enabling employee learning can reduce churn.
Ensure Employee Engagement
Employee engagement isn’t only important for retention, it also impacts performance and KPIs like average handle time and first call resolution. In fact, disengaged agents are 11 percent less likely to provide FCR. Framing QA as a support, not a threat, can help morale.
Leveraging technology is essential to getting the most from your QA. Purpose-built QA software includes custom scorecards, analytics tools, and, increasingly, artificial intelligence, so you can dig deep into every single interaction and use the data to improve CX.
While an increase in sales might provide a short-term shot in the arm, quality assurance can secure the long-term health of your organization. QA can fuel the underlying factors that feed into sales, while also improving other aspects of your organization.
With a robust QA platform like Scorebuddy, you can carry out your entire QA process from one platform. Scorebuddy includes a customizable scorecard builder, a fully integrated learning management system, and an in-depth reporting suite, so you can evaluate agents, deliver training, and monitor the impact of this training on team performance.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the Original Article
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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.