Top 20 tips to Improve Call Center Quality Assurance

When it comes to using contact center software solutions, quality is the key to success. This is a mantra that you should keep in the back of your mind for as long as you work in this arena. Customer care, as the very name suggests, is customer centric. In other words, this is the only branch of a company that deals directly with the customer. Think about it, all other branches like marketing and sales only indirectly impact the customer. You, as the customer care representative, have an edge over the rest because you get to interact with the customer – you get to influence the way he or she feels about your company.

Do you see the tremendous power that rests in your hands? But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Simply getting hold of the best contact center software will not do the trick. Don’t you think it is important to analyse exactly how well this software is functioning, or how efficiently your agents are carrying out their duties? That is where quality assurance metrics come in.

With the advancement in science and technology, it has become possible to come up with contact center CRM software that is integrated with quality assurance analytics. Basically, as the name suggests, these analytics would help you determine the quality of service you are providing. Customer care should never be a one-way street; you have to and you must take the opinions of the customers into account. What do they think about you? Are you treating them the way they deserve to be treated? Are your customers satisfied with your services? Are your agents doing the best they can? These are some questions that need to be answered.

To answer these questions, have you gotten hold of a contact center software with quality assurance (QA)? Then in that case, you need to ensure that you make the most out of it. You should use your quality assurance to the fullest if you want your business to expand and grow. For that, we have provided you with 20 tips that tell you how to use your quality assurance and how to use it to your advantage. Here they are:

1. Make sure that your quality assurance is more focused on the high value customers and calls. We are referring to your top priority clients whose calls are of utmost importance to you. These are the calls that get you a higher payback and generate more revenue. Thus, your quality assurance policies should lay more emphasis on such calls and customers.

2. Speech analytics is the latest addition to contact center management software. Including speech analytics as part of your quality assurance would definitely help in providing a consistent quality of service to your clients. However, speech analytics is largely dependent on a large number of factors. Make sure you take these factors into account before implementing speech analytics into your operations.

3. Keep in mind that your quality assurance scores and your customer survey scores may not always match. You need to find a close link between the two. Simply assessing your services from within will not help. After all, it is the customers who are on the other end of your services. Their opinions about your agents and their services have to be taken into account. Compare the two scores to obtain the final result.

4. You must share the results you obtain (both the customer survey results and that of quality assurance) with the rest of the departments. Remember, quality assurance isn’t an isolated procedure. All the teams that are working together to serve the common customer should be given the results so that they can interpret it accordingly. That would tell them if they need to work on certain areas.

5. If your agents manage to score well on the QA form, then you need to award them bonus points. The whole point of getting quality assurance as part of your outbound contact center software solutions is to ensure that your agents pull up their socks and work harder than ever before. These bonus points will motivate them to do so. This should be a part of your quality assurance policy.

6. The common perception about quality assurance is that you are targeting your agents or that you don’t have faith in them. Consequently, agents become apprehensive of the whole process and fail to collaborate with it. Naturally, the whole plan falls apart. However, you should make it clear to your agents that you have no intention of belittling them or finding fault with them and this quality assurance is for the greater good of the company.

7. To make it easier for your agents and actually convince them of the last point, you should let them evaluate themselves to a certain extent. Instead of having your agents on a tight leash, you could allow them to evaluate some of their own calls. Let them listen to their own call recordings and figure out where they are going wrong. When you correct your own mistakes, you always learn more.

8. Have something like a boot camp for quality assurance. As it is, it’s imperative for call centers to organise training program for your agents. Now that you have decided to implement quality assurance as part of your software for call center, you need to have a training program for it. That would familiarise your agents with the whole purpose of QA and how to go about it.

9. Innovative processes are best when it comes to quality assurance. One such little trick would be having QA contests. These quality assurance contests would instil a sense of healthy competition between the agents and would also make them strive for excellence. Agents would adore these fun and playful contests and would even learn something productive in the process. It certainly couldn’t be better than that!

10. Instead of having your quality assurance results due at the end of a month, you should switch it to a weekly thing. Make sure you get one or two quality assurance evaluations pending at the end of the week. That way, your agents get plenty of time to go through the results, understand it and then work on the results as well.

11. Quality assurance is all about reviewing calls. Make sure you give your agents plenty of time to do it. Otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose. They need time to review the calls as well. Make sure they get it done well in advance. Otherwise, the review would be hurried and done in haste. That would hamper the quality of the QA and would be pointless.

12. Reward your agents for their good performances. If your quality assurance reviews point out that a particular agent is doing his or her best and is working hard to help your company grow, then he or she needs to be rewarded. Remember, your agents deserve to be motivated and treated well. Rewarding them for their performance would give them something to look forward to and would also encourage them to work harder.

13. Peer to peer coaching is encouraged as part of quality assurance. If your agents are learning something from the process, then they should be able to pass on all that they have picked up to their peers. That would reveal to you how well your quality assurance program is working and would even benefit other agents. Peer to peer coaching is only possible with such quality assurance.

14. Measurement of training effectiveness is a part of most contact center reporting software. It is important to track the training effectiveness to see how well your quality assurance programs are running. In other words, this measurement of training effectiveness is a kind of review of the quality review program. This is something you need to plan beforehand.

15. In your training programs, it is important to include the overview of your quality assurance program. What is it that you intend to do? What is it that you hope to get out of this training program? How will your agents’ performances be measured? How will you assess the feedback? All this must be included as part of your training program. When it comes to quality assurance, it is important to maintain open lines of communication with your agents.

16. There are quality assurance specialists who can come to your rescue if you want to do this right. Quality assurance would be incomplete without a proper and well chalked out QA program. That is why you need quality assurance specialists who would come up with programs that have been customised according to the needs of your company. Based on your company, a QA program would be drawn up which you can follow.

17. An integral part of your quality assurance program would be monitoring the calls. However, if your agents are aware of the fact that you are listening in, they might become self conscious and that would hamper the quality of the calls. That is why silent monitoring is encouraged. Your agents wouldn’t even know that you are listening in and would be their natural selves. That gives you an honest account of the agent’s interaction with the customer. Naturally, you get accurate results.

18. Take all the channels of communication into account. As a modernized call center, you are obviously not sticking to just one mode of communication, are you? By now, you should have implemented live chat, email, text and other modes as well. Make sure your quality assurance program takes all that into account. The QA form you deal with should take into consideration customer interactions across all these channels. That way, you would have a clear idea of what your agents are doing and how they are doing it.

19. Do not generalise your agents. Your agents may have been segregated into different teams and departments, but they are individuals and that is how you need to treat them. When it comes to team effort, you usually have a weak link. It is important to identify that weak link. The other members of the team shouldn’t suffer because of him or her. Do not treat your agents as part of a whole. Assess and evaluate them separately and hold them responsible for the work they’re doing – not what others are doing.

20. Inculcate a culture of improvement in your call center. Tell your agents that they should always strive to be the best versions of themselves. The whole purpose of running a call center is to help your business grow and expand. To make sure that that happens, you need to continuously work on your services. Do not settle for what you have or compromise under any circumstances. Keep improving and working on your services. Encourage your agents to do the same. They could listen in to their own calls and that of their peers. When you review your own work, you are automatically aware of the mistakes you make. That way, you know what to work on and how to improve your customer interactions.

The case study

We know how complicated and daunting it can be to introduce a new practice into your call center operations. More than that, you need to know exactly how to incorporate the quality assurance practice as part of your operations. That is why we have provided you with a detailed case study below which shows you the how’s and whys of quality assurance. This case study here is based on Fujitsu Services and mainly focuses on the work that is carried out in the contact centers of the company. It gives you an outline of the company’s work ethics, the philosophy regarding quality assurance, the motto followed by the company and the results obtained as a result of the brand new quality assurance policy followed by the company. To know more about it, keep your eyes on the next section.

The final outcome

The people at Fujitsu Services who were working on the quality assurance tactics realised a few things which have been discussed below. Naturally, with that in mind, they chose to proceed with their QA.

• It is pointless to develop operations and quality assurance standards around marketing intelligence. The contact center business is customer centric and thus, the operations need to be developed around customer knowledge and feedback.

• The quality assurance that you are aiming for needs to be weighed against the value your company holds for the customer. It should be designed according to how the customer views your company.

• The quality assurance design cannot be a static one. You want your business to grow and expand, don’t you? Then having a static design that just takes into account what is in front of you would defeat the whole purpose. Instead, it is important to look at the bigger picture.

• With such a policy, Fujitsu’s customer satisfaction increased by about 28 % and employee satisfaction increased by 40%.

• Staff attrition also went down from 40% to 8%

• Operation costs went down on a massive scale

• Overall customer satisfaction and the quality of services improved.

Fujitsu is not the only one; thousands of companies have implemented quality assurance and have benefited from it.

So, what are you waiting for?