How To Improve Call Center QA

Three ways to supercharge quality in your Call Center.

In the past, customer support was viewed as an operational expense, not a revenue generator. But these days more and more companies are waking up to the connection between customer service quality and customer retention, expansion, and loyalty. So much so, that of the revenue leaders surveyed in the largest survey on B2B RevOps, conducted by Lean Data and Sales Hacker, 95% agree that customer experience is crucial for unlocking growth.

It may come as no surprise, therefore, that a sharp focus on quality in all call center interactions is crucial. Customers expect speedy, knowledgeable, and personalized care as the support landscape continues to evolve.

Fortunately, improving customer experience quality and keeping it consistent isn’t rocket science. It’s just a matter of being strategic with your call center quality program and keeping customer experience top of mind when it comes to growing revenue.

1. Determine the maturity of your Call Center QA program

As a first step, it’s wise to determine the maturity of your current quality program (assuming you have a quality program in place).  Recently, we mapped the six stages in our Call Center Quality Assurance Maturity Model, beginning with what we call the Unstructured Assessment phase. Here, the QA process is often inconsistent and run with manual, inefficient processes (i.e spreadsheets). This becomes more difficult to manage and error-prone as a business scales.

The next stage is Structured Assessment, where a QA software product is adopted to address these challenges and some initial automation is put in place.

After this is the Pro-active Development stage. Here there is a move to pro-actively improve agent performance through coaching and a proper dispute process is put in place. At a management level, patterns across teams emerge and it’s easy to determine if there is a cohort of employees who are struggling and may require dedicated training.

The next phase is Motivational Gamification, which brings agent improvement into self-determination mode. Peer ranking and award systems create a fun sense of competition and keep agents motivated and engaged.

The penultimate phase is Assessment Calibration. The focus here is on the quality of the QA Evaluator through assessment calibration to ensure that standards are being reviewed/assessed on a pre-determined schedule.

Finally is the Assisted AI phase, which leans on artificial intelligence as a means to boost quality – this might include customer sentiment analysis to identify emotion so you can better predict churn and attract new customers.

Once you’ve determined where you currently sit in this model, it becomes clear the steps you need to take to bring your quality program to the next level.

2. Separate fact from opinion with metrics and data

It goes without saying that to separate fact from opinion, data is king. If you’re not doing so already, be sure to measure the factors of customer satisfaction that matter most to your business, such as First Call Resolution (FCR), to determine the level of customer satisfaction your agents are achieving on a regular basis and by extension, how robust your quality program is. Once you’ve gathered that data, you can use it to identify gaps in your agents’ handling of calls and design solutions that will achieve a better result. 

Gathering feedback from customers is also crucial for your quality program. Encourage customers to fill out surveys rating their experience which will help you determine where your customers’ pain points are. Continue to offer customer feedback opportunities during and after implementing new QA practices. This will allow you and your team to continuously re-evaluate how well your efforts are working, and whether you need to change tactics to improve further.

3. Create an atmosphere of trust and transparency

To motivate your agents to improve their performance, it can not be understated how important it is to be transparent about your evaluation criteria. This will encourage them to try their best in those areas, as opposed to fumbling around in the dark to guess if what they’re doing is correct. Create an atmosphere of trust, collaboration, and psychological safety where agents feel supported to make mistakes and ask for help when they need it.

Under this umbrella of trust is your approach to handling negative feedback. Schedule regular meetings with individual agents to share evaluation results with them. Don’t put agents in a group for this matter. Keep the information private so that no one is embarrassed in front of all their coworkers if their results are not satisfactory. If necessary, share tips and strategies that will help the agent improve, or set up a training or coaching session. Be sure to track their progress and reward them when their performance improves.

Implementing the tactics above with a consistent approach will show measurable results in no time.