There has been a rush to leverage the power of automation in every industry. Even customer experience is at the threshold of a revolution initiated by automated tools.
The main avenue for contact centers to implement automated tools is in the quality assurance process.
We'll be looking at the top practices and tools you can adopt to increase call center quality assurance.
Before having a look at those practices, let's look at quality assurance and its importance in a call center.
What is Call Center Quality Management?
Quality management in a call center is the process of assessing agent-customer interactions to evaluate an agent's performance. This helps to understand how well agents serve customers as well as their adherence to company practices.
Let's see some of the reasons why it is important in a call center.
Why Is Call Center Quality Management Important?
Evaluate Agent Performance
Once an agent starts handling customer conversations, there are only two ways of evaluating their performance.
One of them is by checking customer satisfaction using post-call surveys. The problem with this method is that there is no guarantee that every customer will fill them out.
This leaves call centers with the option of auditing calls. With this method, it is easier to assess agent performance.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
“89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase after having a positive customer experience.” - HubSpot
Quality assurance helps strengthen and fortify any weaknesses in an organization's experience delivery process. Finding these limitations can help agents deliver better customer interactions.
This eventually leads to better customer satisfaction levels.
Now that we've seen the importance of quality assurance in a call center let's look at its current state.
Results first, payment later.
The Current State of Call Center Quality Assurance
The call center QA process has been performed manually till the arrival of artificial intelligence. AI has ensured that every customer interaction can be monitored.
Call centers are slowly making the transition from using quality assurance analysts to adopting an automated QA program. This is essential so that the limitations of a manual call center QA framework can be overcome.
Let's look at the limitations of manual QA.
What are the Limitations of Manual Quality Assurance?
The manual quality monitoring process has some limitations that can be changed by an automated process. A major one is the cost-inefficiency of manual auditing.
Let's look at those limitations.
1. Limited Call Monitoring
A limited team of QA specialists can only cover a minute portion of all customer interactions that happen daily. Studies have found that manual auditing teams in call centers can only cover 2-3% of interactions that happen.
This limited monitoring can't show a fragmented view of the entire call center performance. Unless there is a dedicated quality team with more auditors than agents, it's impossible to monitor every customer interaction.
2. Pigeonholed View of Compliance Violations
As mentioned above, the manual quality monitoring process can't cover all customer calls that happen in the call center. This means that there is no accurate information on the number of compliance violations that have happened.
If compliance violations go unnoticed, it can cause a lot of problems for the organization.
3. Ineffectiveness in Improving Agent Performance
Since quality assurance is aimed at increasing call center performance, agents should receive immediate feedback. In a manual quality assurance process, the feedback loop is lengthy, and it takes time to reach the agent.
When agents get delayed feedback, it isn't actionable. This also leads to agents continuing to deliver negative service, which can affect customer service.
With the arrival of a strategic QA framework in the hands of AI, most contact centers can benefit by implementing automated software complemented by human QA specialists.
Let's understand the call center quality management best practices.
How to Improve Quality Management in Your Call Center?
Apart from randomly selecting an automated call center quality assurance tool, there are a few things you should look out for. Let's jump right in.
1. Implement Personalized Agent Coaching Sessions
There is a quote that is often attributed to Albert Einstein. It goes this way - "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
While the authenticity of Einstein saying those words are questionable, let's analyze that statement.
When you think about it, it puts a valid point across. Expecting a fish to climb a tree is the same as asking a penguin to fly or a camel to swim.
Similarly, a call center that asks every agent to train the same way can't see an overall improvement in performance.
Agents should be assigned coaching sessions that cater to their strengths and weaknesses. There are call center software that can do these tasks.
Automated call quality assurance software doesn't stop at identifying an agent's weakness. These tools identify top performing calls and then assign them to agents who need to improve on that front.
This personalized approach can help agents to make rapid improvements in their performance.
2. Invest in the Right Call Center Software
It has become difficult to select a call center QA program as there are many options available today. Instead of randomly selecting one of those software options, research should be done before that.
Here is how you can find the right quality assurance software for your call center.
Call center managers need to define the outcomes they're looking to achieve by implementing automation in the call center QA process. Once you know what you're looking for, it becomes easier to select an automated call center QA framework.
Each software option should be analyzed to understand how well they fit with your goals. Once you've finalized a software or two to consider investing in, there's a final step remaining.
QA managers should use a free trial to understand how well does it integrate into your current call center QA framework. If the call center QA workflow worked seamlessly, it is the sign for you to invest in that particular quality assurance software.
3. Teach Agents to Understand Customers Better
An agent that performs well is able to understand customers well. Agent scripts tell agents how to solve most of the problems faced by customers, but that isn't enough.
Every once in a while, there are situations where a customer faces an unusual problem or has a really bad attitude. Agents should be able to handle such situations without any compliance violation or irritating the customer even more.
This can be handled smoothly if the agent can pick up on behavioral cues from the customer. This is an essential skill for call center agents.
Some tools that offer automated quality assurance also come with sentiment analysis. Also known as customer intelligence, these tools use natural language processing and machine learning for analyzing conversations.
While agents continuously get better at picking up and responding to behavioral cues from a customer, there are some that go unnoticed.
Tools with customer intelligence pinpoint behavioral cues that agents have missed. This helps to increase agent effectiveness.
4. Identify the Right Metrics to Focus On
Every successful call center identifies and works on their key performance indicators.
Before making a customer service strategy, call centers should identify what metrics will be used to monitor agent performance as well as gage overall performance.
In the age of evolving customer trends and metrics, every call center should have a clear idea of their goals.
5. Adapt to Evolving Customer Trends
Customers aren't always available on the phone anymore. They've begun to move to different channels.
“More than 60% of customers are using multiple channels to shop and seek support from.” - McKinsey
The customer support ecosystem has been seeing a lot of change with customers jumping across different trends. Call centers that are able to adopt these trends have seen increase in customer loyalty and customer success.
Your call center should notice and adapt to these trends to give everyone a positive customer experience.
6. Monitoring Customer Interactions Across All Channels
As shown above, customers have become flocking to various channels to seek support. Agents need to use different strategies for each communication channel.
Customer interactions across all channels need to be monitored to understand and adapt to changing customer needs. Restricting monitoring only to calls doesn’t help to keep customer satisfaction high.
Such an approach only caters to customers who sticks to calls, which leads out to missing out on customers who use other channels.
7. Deploying Automation in Repetitive Workflows
There are many processes in a call center that are repetitive. Automating these workflows can make work a less repetitive and agents can prioritize things that need their attention.
Some things that can be automated in a call center include agent onboarding, agent training and the quality assurance process to name a few.
Automation can increase efficiency as well as reduce call center costs.
The Right Quality Management Strategy for Your Call Center
Quality assurance has seen a lot of changes in the era of automation. Automated QA tools are being employed to overcome the drawbacks of manual auditing.
Keeping quality management standards high has become a priority of every call center and investing in the right tools is the biggest step. Tools like Convin ensure that worries like reduced call coverage and effective agent training are left in the past.
Managers need to focus on finding a tool that has the latest features like customer intelligence and personalized agent coaching.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the Benefits of Quality Management in Call Centers?
Quality management is key to increase call center efficiency. It helps in improving agent performance as auditors evaluate interactions to ensure every customer receives the best experience.
2. Why is Automated Quality Assurance Necessary in a Call Center?
Automated QA tools overcome the various limitations of manual auditing. Every call center that uses manual auditing can cover only 2-3% of calls while automated tools can evaluate every customer interaction.
3. What is Quality Management in a Call Center?
Quality management refers to the process of monitoring agent-customer interactions to evaluate metrics like agent performance and customer satisfaction.
4. What are the Responsibilities of QA in a Call Center?
The QA team in a call center is responsible for auditing as many calls as possible and identifying areas for improvement for each agent.
5. How Can I Improve the Quality of my Call Center?
Investing in a good call center quality management software is the first step to improve the quality of your call center. Strategizing an effective agent coaching program and adopting to customer trends goes a long way in increasing quality as well as customer satisfaction.
6. What is a Call Center Quality Assurance Checklist?
A call center quality assurance checklist is the steps involved in auditing a customer interaction. Some details depend on the tech stack implemented in each call center, but the general steps remain the same.
7. What is a Call Center Quality Assurance Scorecard?
A call center quality assurance scorecard integrates various parameters related to bot the customer and agent. A consolidated assessment of all these parameters helps to understand how a particular interaction affected customer sentiment.