7 Tips to Build Effective Quality Assurance Scorecards

A Scorecard with gold items

The number one goal of a successful call centre operation is to create a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints that exceed both your standards and your customers’ standards.

By keeping an eye on the entire customer journey, you’re making sure that the promise of stellar Customer Experience (CX) is kept, and that you’re consistently offering superior customer service.

Sounds simple enough, but there are many different criteria you can use when evaluating your call centre CX. Well-constructed call centre quality assurance scorecards expertly and thoroughly handle this important task.

A QA scorecard is a kind of checklist that a QA manager (or sometimes an agent) uses to measure the effectiveness of a response to a customer.

When you compile the results of many scorecards, you can then measure overall customer service quality, agent performance and several additional important quality standards.

A well-done quality assurance scorecard can serve as a framework for call centre agents to improve, by providing measurable metrics that impact customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

QA scorecard specifics can vary from call centre to call centre as there can be different sets of QA metrics that need to be measured, but there are generally three broad categories these tend to fall under:

  • Adherence to business requirements and internal practices
  • Adherence to industry compliance regulations (for example GDPR)
  • Quality of interaction with the customers

1 – Focus on Improving CX

Be careful to avoid putting too much emphasis on a metric that is tied to internal processes rather than criteria that focus on improving customer experience.

There are times when an agent might effectively solve a customer’s issue, but they may have failed to adhere to specific script requirements outlined in a scorecard, so the interaction can go down as a failure.

You ultimately want your call centre quality assurance scorecards to provide an accurate and fair measurement of success and failure, so be aware of the ambiguity that internal processes criteria can create.

2 – Address Compliance Issues

There are other situations where exact wording is necessary, such as for compliance or data protection reasons. Regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare have strict guidelines for call centres.

Agents must follow regulatory guidelines, such as reading certain scripts before performing tasks like helping a caller apply for a higher credit limit or muting the caller when he or she reads a full credit card number.

If your agents do not comply with those rules, your call centre can receive substantial fines. Addressing compliance issues on your scorecard not only rates agents on how well they follow the rules specific to your industry, but also how well they handle the calls.

Channel-Specific Scorecards

If you use multiple channels (phone, live chat, email/text, social), you’ll also want to track how the interaction is taking place. Each of those channels will have different scoring criteria.

3 – Grading Phone Criteria

A scorecard for a phone call should rate the agent on behaviours such as confidence, enthusiasm and following a predetermined procedure.

The agent’s skills and abilities should also be considered. Your agents must be able to de-escalate problems efficiently and effectively, so they can move on to other callers, keeping your call volume and labour costs as low as possible.

Sometimes being phone-efficient might mean transferring the caller to another department for further assistance or escalating the issue to a supervisor’s attention.

In these situations, the call centre quality assurance scorecards should evaluate the employee on their ability to recognize the urgency or special circumstance of this incident.

A well-designed and well-thought-out scorecard will be a tool to help your agents be the best they can be, even in situations where there is a transition to a third party for final remediation.

When it’s over the phone, the scoring criteria should include:

  • Tone
  • Active listening and mirroring
  • Relationship building
  • Cadence/speed of speech
  • Language used
  • Asking explorative questions
  • Greeting/closing the call

4 – Email/Text Grading

While agents who handle customer service via email/text have the same goal as phone call agents – customer satisfaction – they have different circumstances and factors to take into account in their work.

Customers who communicate via email cannot hear the agent’s voice, so the agent must be especially clear in their writing and stay compliant with applicable laws.

There is also a strong desire to be comprehensive in solving the issue in as few emails as possible, as multiple email communications can create a sense that the agent isn’t ‘putting themselves in the customer’s shoes’ and being proactive in predicting future questions.

Email/Text scoring criteria to consider:

  • Response time
  • Links to relevant information
  • Correct grammar and spelling
  • Positive and upbeat language

5 – Live Chat Criteria

Online chat is an increasingly popular method of customer service. Many customers prefer to use chat rather than talk on the phone, as it combines the speed of a phone call for more immediate remediation while still not requiring them to be actively holding a phone up to their ear.

A chat scorecard rates the agent’s quickness to respond as well as their compliance with regulatory rules and using proper grammar.

Below is an example of a non-numeric scorecard, with behind-the-scenes numeric values and weightings. The scorecard uses ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ items on a checklist. Your chat agents can be assured to achieve high scores if they adhere to the process and resolve customer problems efficiently.

Live Chat criteria to consider:

  • Response time
  • Information provided (accurate, concise, effective)
  • Greeting/closing the chat
  • Correct grammar and spelling

6 – Social Media

With over 2.3 billion combined users on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook alone worldwide, it’s a very real possibility that your customers are interacting with your company through social media.

If your call centre is not taking advantage of social media to interact with your customers, then you’re missing an important opportunity to engage.

Social media was designed to foster conversations and build relationships. As marketing took a more active role in the management of social channels years ago, corporate social media pages unfortunately became a dumping ground for press releases, marketing content, and the like.

As contact centres now begin to take a more active role in managing social media, these channels are now being used more for listening than broadcasting.

Beyond staying attuned to (and responding to) customer requests, support teams can also set up listening triggers and keywords to proactively manage customer complaints, gather complaints about the competition, and get a clearer picture of the customers’ wants, needs, and feelings. And all this needs to be a part of your QA scorecard.

Social Media scoring criteria to consider:

  • Response time
  • Public vs private problem resolution
  • Relationship building
  • Positive and upbeat language
  • Correct grammar and spelling

7 – Overall Skills to Measure

The various skills your call centre reps bring to the table are a strong indicator of the experience your customers are going to get.

As a baseline, call centre reps should be able to communicate effectively, maintain a professional and friendly demeanour, learn, solve problems, gain the trust of customers and demonstrate emotional intelligence.

You can monitor and track these skills with scorecard questions like:

  • Did the rep work to build a relationship with the customer and show understanding?
  • Was the agent professional?
  • Did the rep use active listening skills?
  • Was the tone and language appropriate to the nature of the inquiry?
  • Did the rep summarize the conversation and set a plan for follow-up?

Aligning Goals & Expectations

Building an effective QA scorecard makes it easier to align your call centre’s goals with customer expectations and keep track of how agents are performing against those expectations.

And, as you read above, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, as call centres may need different scorecards for different teams depending on their varied roles in the customer journey.

Ultimately, a QA scorecard will assure your agents that if they meet the criteria on the scorecard, they will be successful, which alleviates work stress and anxiety. It also makes it easier for you to pinpoint exactly which areas need work to make your call centre more successful and more efficient.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the Original Article

For more information about Scorebuddy - visit the Scorebuddy Website

About Scorebuddy

Scorebuddy Scorebuddy is quality assurance solution for scoring customer service calls, emails and web chat. It is a dedicated, stand-alone staff scoring system based in the cloud, requiring no integration.

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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.

Author: Scorebuddy

Published On: 9th Dec 2021 - Last modified: 17th Apr 2024
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