Call centers handle thousands of customer calls every day and offering quality service is paramount to customer satisfaction. Quality assurance analysts ensure that agents provide quality service in line with organizational objectives.
Optimized quality assurance will increase agents’ efficiency through behavior modification, enhance quality service to customers and improve close rates. It is, therefore, important for you to have a plan for a quality assurance program, create a team of analysts and understand their roles and responsibilities.
Here are five essential functions and tasks of a quality assurance team:
- Developing evaluation programs: A vast number of QA analysts are former call center agents and therefore they have the knowledge of what makes a quality call. With that knowledge, the team can develop evaluation programs that analyze critical performance behaviors and metrics to the organization.
Not all performance metrics are relevant to an organization. For example, an outbound call center will look more into an agent’s persuasiveness while an inbound call center will look into an agent’s product knowledge or problem resolution ability. The aim is to measure what has the highest impact on the organization.
The quality assurance team should develop evaluation programs that enhance the call center’s output. It should unearth root- cause of problems, possible solutions and provide actionable insight for performance improvements.
Working in partnership with the operations leadership an evaluation form, along with the process of disseminating the information to ensure improvements, should be documented as part of an overall plan.
- Keeping Track of the Industry Trends: The team not only monitors their company but also monitors what is going on within the industry. This team should be used to provide information to operations leaders regarding their campaign performance as well as industry trends that may impact their products and services.
Part of this process is capturing ‘voice of customer’ information which pertains to competitors. Once a competitor’s products, pricing, or service is mentioned, research can be conducted to verify the information heard on the call. With this verified information, a marketing department can make a decision as to how to position the company’s products to compete.
- Call Monitoring: The primary task of the quality analyst is call monitoring and providing actionable insight. Through call monitoring, a QA analyst will gather information to help improve agent performance in the call center. As he or she monitors the call, they have an evaluation form that will be used to capture the information. Calibration sessions are required to ensure that all key departments are calibrated on what constitutes a quality call. These sessions are an opportunity to discuss issues and trends as well as cover any new material.
Evaluation forms are living documents and should not be set in stone. As the quality assurance process matures, improvements will be identified and the form will evolve.
- Utilization of technology:A QA team can be used to monitor both live and recorded calls. However, the technology must allow for remote monitoring and be able to record calls. Many call centers only record sale verification. For these companies, live monitoring can be effective for listening to non-sales calls to improve performance. For centers that record the entire call, monitoring a mixture of non-sales and sales calls will provide the best information.
The other aspect of technology is the platform which contains the evaluation form and provides reporting. QA monitoring will deliver valuable data that can help with modification of agent behavior, sales performance, and improving the customer experience. To take full benefit of this information a platform that will capture the information from the evaluation form and allow for multiple levels of reporting will give the best results.
- Training and Coaching: Agents need to be trained on quality policies and procedures. There are two approaches to the training, as a group or individually. This should start in agent training so that all new hires understand the expectations of a quality call.
Operations Leaders must be trained on how to use the evaluation feedback to coach their agents to improve. A closed loop coaching process works best so that as agents are coached, the QA team monitors them for improvement.
These are five basic functions that are necessary to create and manage a QA team. The true value of this team will come when improvements in agent behavior, sales performance, and the customer experience are achieved.