Call Center Quality Assurance:What is it & How to improve it? | Eleveo

Contact centers are handling more customer interactions — and more complex interactions — than they ever have, and that trend promises to continue. Given that reality, it’s never been more critical for call centers to adopt quality assurance best practices to improve agent aptitude, provide more sophisticated feedback and training and establish standards, practices and processes that support success.

What is call center quality assurance (QA)?

‘Continuous improvement’ has been part of the business lexicon for decades. Methodologies and best practices have emerged in its pursuit, providing frameworks for the development of quality assurance techniques and technologies that improve call center processes, decrease waste, improve agent performance, and foster customer satisfaction. This ongoing focus on contact center quality management has delivered undeniable value across a range of industries.

Why is quality assurance important in a call center?

Effective call center quality management is mainly about controlling thousands or tens of inbound or outgoing interactions - calls, emails and chats. The degree of control contact center managers have is a function of how many interactions they can review and analyze. It’s about correlating metrics (like AHT or CSAT) to call outcomes, then analyzing those results for root causes.

How to improve quality assurance in a call center?

Effective quality assurance in a call center creates a virtuous cycle of interaction, analysis and feedback, improving CSAT, enhancing process efficiency and ensuring compliance with actionable insights into agent phone, email and chat interactions.

Eleveo’s quality assurance tools include:

  • Call Recording/Screen Capture 
  • Automatic Pause and Resume 
  • Advanced Speech Analytics
  • Live Monitoring

10 Call center quality management best practices

  1. Leave positive feedback. Evaluations are about agent performance, morale and retention. Oftentimes, agents view evaluations in a negative light, as a punitive process focused on what they’re doing wrong and what they need to improve. While there are legitimate reasons for highlighting problem areas, it’s equally important for every agent evaluation to highlight and reinforce positive agent behaviors, emphasizing where they’ve made progress.
  2. Expand this ‘positive feedback’ practice to a group level. Rather than sending numerous memos and engaging in individual desk-drops to emphasize what not to do, be sure to communicate positive behaviors and trends to the broader team, so you can shift the narrative to replicating best practices.
  3. Create detailed evaluations. Quality evaluations that only provide scores aren’t enough. An evaluation with detailed notes on specific customer interactions and links to knowledge base articles is a necessary and valuable coaching tool. Notes also make it easier for the evaluator to identify trends and commonalities in the agent’s performance over time. 
  4. Revisit your evaluation criteria at least once a year. This presumes that your quality assurance efforts over the past year have identified and solved top dissatisfaction drivers and that you can shift your quality efforts to focus to a new set of emerging issues.
  5. Assess customer effort on every contact. Are your internal processes and systems set up to make the customer experience as easy and seamless as possible? For instance, are customers required to navigate a cumbersome, laborious process to get a refund or return a product? Speech analytics tools will enable you to identify and remedy high-effort interactions, reduce customer effort, increase satisfaction and ensure long term customer loyalty.
  6. Automate your QA processes. Only 1 – 3% of an agent’s contacts can be scored manually. That sample rate could increase to 100% with an automated QM solution with speech analytics capabilities. Automation gives contact centers a solid, data-driven, systematic basis for identifying and addressing problems. Consider shifting to predictive or automated QA scoring, using conversation analytics to score 100% of all interactions and provide a holistic, 360˚ view of the agent’s performance. Contact center managers will also be able to repurpose their quality management team for more value-added activities, like looking at the trends from the conversational analytics as a whole.
  7. Integrate 3rd party metadata. Often, quality management systems are data silos. Now, with API integration, it’s possible to tie data from one system to data from another. For example, you can integrate Salesforce case data into call recordings so that the case ID or even a training class code is tied to an individual contact as metadata. Your data’s intelligence value is much greater, and your analytics capabilities increase exponentially through the ability to see context you may not have considered before.
  8. Focus on group-level performance. By identifying performance trends common to the whole group instead of individual agents, you can identify and address underlying issues. Perhaps an outdated or poorly organized knowledge base – and address pervasive deficiencies driving some of your contact center’s most common performance problems. 
  9. Build a partnership between your quality team and your learning and development team. Nurturing a symbiotic relationship between quality and learning/development creates a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement. Many view the relationship between these two teams as linear, with the quality team’s responsibilities beginning where training ends. While that’s true, it’s also true that as the quality team identifies ongoing issues, they can feed that information back to the learning and development team, which can then build it into their training modules. 
  10. Monitor your agents’ empowerment language as part of your quality assessment. Studies have identified agent effort as one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction and long-term loyalty.

One of the simplest steps contact centers can take to improve customer satisfaction/loyalty and a range of other KPIs ( contact rate, talk time, etc.) is to look at the type of language your agents are using. Are they using empowering language, like ‘what I can do is’, or are they using ineffective language like, ‘I can’t do that, or I’ll have to have you talk to somebody else’?

Consider training your agents on the language to use in specific scenarios and helping them rephrase their responses. 

Ultimately, quality management is about driving better customer experiences, and empowerment language is key.

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