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Ensure Quality — and a Great CX Experience — With These 5 tips for Creating a QA Scorecard

QA scorecards are a great way to ensure a consistently great customer experience and empower your team along the way—both of which are great for your business. Here’s a look at what a QA scorecard is, how to create your own, and best practices to follow along the way.

Shanthala Balagopal
Shanthala Balagopal
September 15, 2022
  •  
8 min read

We’ve all experienced the broad spectrum of customer service experiences. Some are seamless and delightful where the customer service representative is polite and warm, asked the right questions, understood your problem, and resolved it as quickly as possible. While some are frustratingly drawn-out where the customer service agent was unable to understand your issue nor empathize with your tone and frustration, who didn’t answer your questions properly, and utlimately didn’t resolve your issue. 

With 75% of customers willing to spend more with businesses that give them a good customer experience, delivering exceptional customer service is crucial for business success. 

This is where Quality Management (QM) comes in. To ensure consistent customer experiences that customers love, organizations must constantly evaluate, measure, and analyze the quality of customer service interactions to ensure agents are meeting customer expectations and company standards at every touch point, across every channel. 

Quality Management starts with a Quality Assurance (QA) Scorecard—a grading system that a designated grader or manager uses to evaluate the quality of customer interactions to assure exceptional customer service.

Why you need a QA Scorecard 

Simply put, a Quality Management program can transform your customer experience — it can improve brand perception, increase retention and loyalty, and utlimately increase the LTV of a customer. 

While CSAT surveys at the end of the conversation can help you measure the quality of the entire support experience, a quality management process using a QA scorecard will help you evaluate individual interactions within a support conversation. It will tell you how your customer support agents are performing—including highlighting where they excel and pin-pointing specific areas that need improvement including grammar and spelling, empathy, process adherence, and more. 

Using a QA scorecard, you can provide targeted feedback to agents, design a blueprint for training existing and new agents, and measure the metrics that matter to your customer experience organization. 

Building your QA Scorecard

Building a QA scorecard is simple. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when creating a QA scorecard for your support team:

1. Create questions that cover all parts of the customer interaction
Make sure your QA scorecard evaluates every part of the agent and customer interaction that is important for your business. Structure your scorecard in 3-4 sections with 2-5 questions per section. Each section should evaluate a specific area within the interaction like process adherence, product competence, empathy, tone and sentiment, grammar and spelling, and issue resolution. Score and weigh each section and its questions differently depending on your company and support team needs (more on that below). 

If you’re evaluating multiple channels and support teams, create different scorecards for each, since customer interactions will vary across channels. 

2. Evaluate both sides
When designing your scorecard, create a scorecard that evaluates the customer service interaction from two different angles: the customer’s and your business. 

From your customers’ perspective, you may want to evaluate if the agent was able to understand and articulate the customer’s issue properly, whether the agent addressed and answered their questions with empathy, and ultimately, if the agent resolved the problem in the service interaction. 

From your business standpoint, you may want to evaluate if the agent followed the process outlined, collected the right information before addressing the issue, conformed with compliance protocols, and observed brand communication guidelines. 

3. Use scores and weights
Some customer service interactions and protocols are more important than the others, and that should be captured through a QA scorecard’s scoring system. Depending on the importance of each question and its relavance to the overall quality score, adjust the weights using variety of grading scales with sliding scores, percentages, and auto-fail and yes/no questions. 

Remember that there will be questions on your scorecard that don’t apply to every situation, so create different scorecards for different scenarios and channels. 

4. Ensure graders can provide targeted feedback
The main purpose of QA Scorecards is to give feedback to agents so that they can improve. Make sure your scorecard provides space for graders to give targeted feedback to agents with notes, comments, and annotations. 

5. Leverage technology
Scoring and grading customer service interactions is a lengthy and cumbersome process. With so many tickets and agents to grade, using spreadsheets, Google forms, or paper forms can innudate your quality management initiatives and result in poor QA coverage.  

Spreadsheets don’t offer the flexibility, usability, and collaboration capabilities crucial for building a scaleable quality management process. Instead, they take time to put together and even longer to extract meaningful insights from, costing businesses a significant drain of time and resources from the get-go. With large amounts of data stored in individual spreadsheets, there is no single source of information to effectively process, categorize, and analyze data to efficiently extract insights, share results, and forecast trends. What’s more, with limited automations, grading with spreadsheets takes time, resulting in a lower number of tickets being reviewed—and tickets that are scored are almost always out-of-date and stale by the time managers meet with agents to review results. 

In order to run an efficient and impactful QA program, you need the versatility to provide in-depth reviews and performance comparisons between different timeframes without a ton of manual work. Using a quality management platform that automates the quality assurance processes, streamlines scoring and grade sharing, synthesizes information in realtime, and provides a central location for managing agents and graders to interact can help scale your quality management operations efficiently and effectively.

Using Pathlight for Quality Management

A Quality Management platform like Pathlight can help streamline QA processes, allow you to review a larger volume of support interactions and secure a high level of QA coverage. 

With Pathlight, you can:

  • Get a side-by-side view of the ticket and scorecard to enable QA graders to score and deliver feedback quickly and efficiently.
  • Customize the scorecard and easily adjust the weighting of different categories or questions to map to your business needs.
  • Built-in root cause analysis allows support teams to drill down conversations by QA scores, and helps leaders quickly identify areas of improvement and excellence. 
  • Automatically identify and assign conversations that need to be evaluated based on custom criteria such as ticket status, tags, and other fields—a game-changer for ensuring thorough coverage.
  • Eliminate the manual work of QA scorecard grading by automatically detecting spelling and grammar errors, sentiment, and specific phrases that don’t meet quality standards within the interaction. 
  • Deliver individualized, hyper-focused guidance and feedback with the ability to annotate and add comments within the customer service interaction.
  • Combine performance management with quality management in a single platform to drive dramatic improvements in service quality, agent satisfaction, and customer satisfaction.    

Using Pathlight can drastically streamline the creation of your QA scorecards and how their data is stored and tracked over time, setting your QA program—as well your entire CX organization—up for success. 

QA Scorecard: An example

Section 1: Process Adherence

  • Did the agent greet the customer with a friendly tone? (y/n)
  • Did the agent read any disclosures or necessary regulatory scripts to the customer? (y/n)
  • Did the agent gather relevant information from the customer? (y/n)

Section 2: Communication

  • Was communication clear throughout the call? (y/n)
  • Did the agent use correct grammar? (y/n)
  • Did the agent keep customer abreast of actions throughout the interaction? (y/n)
  • Did the agent actively listen to and display empathy for the customer? (y/n)

Section 3: Issue Resolution

  • For the complexity of the customer’s issue, how quickly did the agent resolve the issue? (1-5)
  • Did the agent establish clear next steps? (y/n)
  • Did the agent resolve the customer’s issue? (y/n)
  • Did the agent escalate the issue where necessary? (y/n)

Best practices for creating QA Scorecard

There are several ways you can ensure that you get the most out of your QA scorecard. These three best practices can help you see quality improvement and results with your QA scorecards:

Automate scoring of standard questions and interactions. With so many tickets and agents to score, and multiple questions in each scorecard, getting good QA coverage to meet business needs can be challenge. Use a quality management platform like Pathlight to automate scoring standard questions and interactions like identifying grammar and spelling errors, sentiment analysis, or detecting specific phrases and words to help graders score faster and ensure more QA coverage.

Don’t use QA scorecards in a vacuum. There are many elements to the customer experience—CSAT, ticket solved, and average handle time—that influence quality but might not be included on your scorecard. Since QA scorecards can only cover so much ground, using QA scorecard data in addition to other performance metrics is critical to helping you and your agents understand how they’re doing across the board. Pathlight combines QA with overall performance metrics to provide you with a comprehensive view of each agent’s performance and help you deliver hyper-focused coaching to drive better results. 

Iterate as often as needed. When it comes to your QA scorecards, it’s imperative that you consistently reevaluate whether you’re asking the right questions. To do that, look at how people are being scored: Are agents consistently failing a question? If so, why? Is it the question, or is it an area that needs more training? If a question isn’t providing an accurate measure of quality, change it. By using a quality management platform like Pathlight, you can quickly change a question and its weight without having to deal with spreadsheets or formulas. 

QA scorecards are a valuable tool to understand how your agents are performing and, ultimately, improve the quality of the customer experience. Building a QA scorecard is simple and can be made even simpler by using a quality management platform like Pathlight. Build your custom QA scorecard in Pathlight — request a demo to learn more.

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

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