Customer service quality assurance: Best practices

With rising consumer expectations in recent years, providing excellent experiences is vital to acquire and retain customers in a business.

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2023
Shanthala Balagopal
Shanthala Balagopal
November 10, 2022
6 min read

Customer service quality assurance (QA) ensures that all organizational touchpoints align with company values and objectives. In a survey conducted by Salesforce, 78% of respondents say they have made purchase decisions based on customer service quality. 

This blog covers contact center quality assurance, benefits, and best practices to ensure standard service delivery. 

What is contact center quality assurance?

Quality assurance is a process of evaluating customer interactions, including email, chats, texts, and phone calls to meet pre-defined benchmarks. Contact center quality assurance processes ensure that customer interactions align with business goals and that your agents provide an excellent experience at all levels. 

Manual quality monitoring in a high-volume contact center can be challenging and affect results. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have improved QA capabilities to optimize quality assurance in organizations in recent years. Machine learning and intelligent automation can review all interactions for sentiment, detect phrases, and auto-assign tickets based on given parameters. These tools free up time spent combing through multiple conversations. 

Quality assurance moves you up the customer service scale

Quality assurance processes ensure that customer interactions align with business goals. Contact center QA increases the relevance of your coaching sessions, enhancing agent productivity and efficiency. 

Here are some other benefits of adopting quality management into your customer-centric approach:

  • Customer engagement and retention. When support agents perform better, customer satisfaction scores increase. QA makes customer satisfaction predictable to an extent, and teams can spur customer engagement since they know what works and what doesn’t. 
  • Process improvements. Agents want to do a good job. If there are low QA scores, there may be a gap in your training or knowledge base, or something is wrong with the product offering. QA helps you identify ways to improve both agent and customer experiences.  
  • Performance optimization. By looking beyond CSAT and reviewing multiple interactions, teams can discover strategies that drive customer satisfaction, replicate with various teams, and improve employee performance.

Pathlight enables teams to eliminate manual QA processes and leverage AI capabilities to make QA workflows smarter, faster, and more efficient. Managers can automatically identify areas of improvement, such as communication gaps, grammar and spelling errors, sentiment, and much more by adopting Pathlight’s quality management system (QMS).

6 quality assurance best practices to improve contact center interactions

For quality assurance to work its magic in your organization, you must set up and implement the right processes. Consider some of these QA best practices to achieve optimal results in your contact center. 

1. Explain the QA program to all agents

Contact center QA programs require a set of standards and procedures that define and measure the quality of your product and service. QA programs include policies and procedures to determine agent performance, operational efficiency, customer experience, and alignment with business goals. 

Agents can only meet QA standards when they’re aware of metrics that you prioritize. Conduct training programs explaining how your QA software works and empower employees with the right tools. 

2. Provide ongoing feedback loops with agents

From a recent survey we conducted on 483 customer-facing employees, 83% of respondents want feedback on their performance. Managers need to switch their focus to monitoring team performance, providing timely, constructive feedback, and motivating agents to reach their highest potential. Integrating QA with performance analytics allows team leaders to provide personalized coaching.

In providing feedback, team leaders need to create a balance between highlighting areas of improvement and commendation. Agents should also have the opportunity to share their thoughts with managers and appeal a QA grade. 

3. Define and track the right metrics

Metrics are quantitative measurements that gauge the effectiveness of any approach to a goal. Contact center metrics such as scorecard interactions, customer satisfaction (CSAT) and first-call resolution help teams determine if they are meeting customer and company expectations. 

4. Build a sufficient knowledge base

A knowledge base serves as a central repository of information for your team and includes how-to guides, frequently asked questions, and troubleshooting help, which encourages self-service. 

Research conducted by McKinsey reveals that employees spend 20% of their time searching for information about work processes. Knowledge bases help team members find information quickly, boost productivity, and serve customers better. 

5. Evaluate team performance 

According to the World Quality Report, 75% of senior industry figures believe there is a need for new test strategies and the use of AI in testing. Pathlight’s Health scores give managers an overview or a granular evaluation of individual or team performance. Scorecards also enable teams to ensure quality and a great CX experience. By revisiting KPIs and metrics, managers can adjust workflows and processes for maximum efficiency.  

6. Look for trends

As with any industry, discovering ways to improve processes and delight customers with faster service and resolutions keeps organizations ahead of the competition. A quality management program guides company direction by enabling managers to uncover trends in the reasons customers are reaching out to your support team. 

Ensure quality management with Pathlight

Pathlight empowers managers to deliver real-time targeted feedback with machine learning and intelligent automation, which improves the quality of agent interactions and ensures customer satisfaction. Get a live Pathlight demo today

Frequently asked questions

How regularly should you hold quality assurance checks?

The standard for conducting quality assurance checks can vary by industry. Best practice is to provide QA reports as soon as the QA monitor has filled out the scorecard. Waiting for biweekly, monthly, or quarterly reviews means lost time from learning and improving service, and often a front-line employee may not even remember an interaction. As teams hone their skills, streamline workflows, and improve service delivery, QA specialists can reduce reviews' frequency for high-performing agents. 

What is the best way to monitor written customer service?

Look for a solution that provides sentiment analysis, spelling and grammar checks, and has the ability to check for key phrases in emails, text, or chat support. Modern QA programs will allow QA monitors to quickly complete scorecards with suggested scores based on AI, and will provide both the grader and the agent easy side-by-side views of the scorecard and the written interaction. 

What skills does a contact center QA analyst need?

Contact center QA analysts need to ensure that all interactions meet industry standards and align with organizational objectives. QA analysts need to possess qualities such as attention to detail, outstanding written or verbal communication, technical knowledge, and interpersonal skills. 

Want to see a custom demo of Pathlight or get help finding the right plan? We'd love to chat.

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