10 Experts Share Their Favourite Advice on Quality Assurance
Here are ten tips for improving quality assurance (QA) in your contact centre, which have been shared with us by industry experts.
Our First Quality Assurance Video
The first five tips for QA are shared in the video below.
If you are just looking to scan the tips, they are also written out underneath the video.
1. Develop a Service Delivery Vision
Select and design the performance standards that you measure agent performance against.
To do this, use a “customer experience vision”.
If you do not have such a vision, your contact centre leadership will need to come up with a “service delivery vision”.
You need a vision because that will define the type of service that you deliver and, once you have this, it becomes much easier to pick what standards you want to measure.
Some people think that QA starts with selecting standards but, actually, it should start earlier. So set yourself a vision.
Thanks to Daniel Ord at OmniTouch International
For more great advice from Daniel on contact centre QA, read our article: Call Centre Quality Assurance: How to Create an Excellent QA Programme
2. Extend QA Beyond Customer Calls
QA is about so much more than box-ticking and ensuring that agents are meeting your scorecard criteria.
Instead it should be a robust system which ensures that your entire end-to-end process runs exactly how you expect it to.
One great tool for this is retrospective customer journey mapping. This is an excellent way of ensuring that your full process is quality assured.
Thanks to Katie Stabler at CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design
3. Develop One-to-One Relationships
Have a one-to-one relationship between the interactions that you evaluate through your QA programme and the conversations that you have around them.
Many contact centres fall into the trap of trying to evaluate as much as possible, without providing any feedback.
While they have listened and thought through lots of interactions, they have never driven any sustainable performance improvement as a result.
So really think about the relationship that exists between the interactions that you are evaluating and the resultant conversation with the agent.
Thanks to Justin Robbins at CX Effect
4. Evaluate Calls in Teams
Use all the technology within your armoury to gain key QA-related insights but, at least once a month, overlay those insights with a session that involves about 12 stakeholders.
As well as the stakeholders, bring in some agents, analysts and the most senior c-suite agent that you can get your hands on.
Then, as a team, spend an hour listening to calls, asking yourself:
- If I was that customer, how would that interaction have made me feel?
- What would I do, as the customer, following that interaction?
Thanks to Nerys Corfield at Injection Consulting
5. Research Exceptional Situations
Exceptional situations may be addressed systematically to diminish dissatisfaction.
One such exceptional situation would be calls that took an extraordinary amount of time.
So, if your AHT is four minutes, take a look at 30 calls that took over ten minutes, listen to all of them and figure out why.
By doing so, you can spot some trends that could be hurting customer satisfaction and act to improve them.
Thanks to Tom Vander Well at Intelligentics
Tom shares even more great insights into contact centre QA in the following article: Call Centre Quality Parameters: Creating the Ideal Scorecard and Metric
Our Second Contact Centre QA Video
We now have a second set of tips for improving contact centre QA.
Again, these are written out below, for all those wanting to further dissect each tip.
6. Define and Understand Your Business Objectives
When it comes to QA, it’s good to compare the Japanese and the British models.
Typically, the Japanese spend six months sorting something out and then implement it in a day, while the British implement in a day and then spend six months sorting it out.
So my top tip for QA is to go somewhere in the middle, to do a big piece of planning upfront.
You want your QA programme to align with what the business requires, not just what the call requires.
To do this, define and understand the business objectives, pull together your critical call success factors underneath that – so you fully get to grips with why you are doing QA – and then finally get your process and measures in place.
Thanks to Natalie Calvert at CX High Performance
7. Make Feedback Specific
In QA you have to give feedback, but it cannot be too generic because the agent won’t be able to resonate with the message.
If you only give general feedback, over time, agents will slowly switch off and they will be less likely to implement the feedback that you do give them.
Overall, QA needs to be more about improvement than punishment and more personalized than generic to promote effective change within any contact centre environment.
Thanks to Jason Griffin at Five9
For more on how to give great feedback to advisors, read our article: How to Achieve Excellent Customer Service Through Coaching
8. Calibrate Your Quality Process
Focus on the three levels of calibration.
The first level would be to calibrate what good outcomes look like for you and what you want the customer to experience.
Once you’ve defined those factors, move on to the second level of calibrating those amongst your QA team, to ensure that everyone is aligned in their understanding of what those good outcomes look like.
The final stage is to calibrate that with your frontline team so that everyone understands what is expected of them.
By going through each of these levels, you can reduce friction, build relationships and create a great QA culture.
Thanks to Garry Gormley at FAB Solutions
Find out how you can run great calibration sessions by reading our article: How to Calibrate Quality Scores
9. Factor the Outcome Into Your Quality Scores
Focus on what matters in the customer conversation, as well as regulation and internal measures.
Take a view on the quality of a conversation – even if it deviates from the script – and really think about the end customer outcomes.
Adherence to a script or adherence to a process is one thing, but, actually, the outcome is what matters. Don’t be so structured that you miss that.
Thanks to Rob Clarke at Elev-8 Performance
10. Use QA for Strength Spotting
What is paramount is asking yourself: are we delivering on our customers’ expectations? And, are we delivering a good experience?
Then, use QA to drive and improve internal processes and adoption of internal procedures, as well as then developing training for individuals and the group.
The cherry on top of the cake then is making sure to recognize and reward agents for their good performance.
QA should not only be about finding the outliers on the negative side, but also finding outliers on the positive side.
Also, trying sharing great calls with other colleagues – as an example of best practice – and giving shout-outs where you find exceptional service.
Thanks to Dan Moross at MOO
For more tips from our ten experts, check out the videos in the following articles: