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To QA or Not to QA: That is the Question

We all know that offering quality service is paramount to customer satisfaction. But brands today don’t always see eye-to-eye on the true function of Quality Assurance (QA) and how the process should be executed on their programs.

Below we break down three statements about QA in the industry and highlight both the pros and cons that some of the largest brands in the world have identified for each.

“An effective QA process should include at least one weekly monitor for each customer service representative (CSR).”

The Pros: All CSR’s are provided feedback regardless if it’s positive or constructive. Weekly monitoring can also show where the needle is moving and demonstrates the impact of coaching or training on your program.

The Cons: This process requires several resources to monitor, score, coach, and calibrate. This comes at a high cost. Brands also need to be mindful of sample size of the CSR’s volume (ie. does the CSR take 10 calls per hour or 30 calls per hour?). The time frame of one week out is also very reactive rather than proactive.

Overall Sentiment: You want CSR feedback, but you also want the quality score to help improve your business process. One way to do this is by increasing the focus on leadership training, as they are the ones executing the coaching and service. When you identify flags, it’s important to assess what you are doing about it, and how you will track the difference to improve quality. Finally, as with anything, it is critical to define what your program goals are in order to create the right process.

“QA should be more targeted at behavioral performance than process improvement.”

The Pros: If you are targeting behavioral performance, the experience for the customer can be translated, and your CSRs (seen now as brand advocates) have more control of the call. Whereas, if you just have process, you lose the element of empowering your CSRs to be true brand advocates. Behavior is more relevant to the customer; process is more data driven. Behavior can drive the process improvement.

The Cons: At the end of the day, your customers often don’t care how nice you are unless they’re getting their issue solved. If the focus of your QA program is on process; tone and behavior can be coached. Solid process improves behavioral expectations, but we can’t have solid process without solid behavioral expectations.

Overall Sentiment: Can we create a consistent experience just through process?

We can measure both the process & behavioral expectations. Different brands and lines of business have different levels of expectations. In all these cases, there needs to be a balance of both.

“An effective quality process doesn’t need to correlate with customer experience.”

The Pros: Contrary to popular belief, not all types of interactions require a good customer experience. There are situations, such as Trust & Safety (T&S) calls, where someone reaches out when you know you don’t want them as a customer anymore.

The Cons: Even in circumstances where we don’t want to retain a customer (ie. T&S calls), we will still see a negative impact on scores where we measure NPS or CSAT. We need to tie in direct correlation with how an interaction is handled and the quality.

Overall Sentiment: Old school customer service isn’t what customers want. Brands need to rethink how they interact and what channels customers are satisfied with through the QA process. Measuring CSAT will ensure you understand how to score your QA correctly. Your QA should be a predictor of CSAT which makes it a critical part of your customer experience program.

Also Read: Thought Paper: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveying

As you can see, there are many different opinions and facets to QA. We all agree having a QA process is important to the success of your customer care program. How you execute and measure should always be customized to the goals you set out for success. Keep an open mind and your customers will reap the rewards in the end.

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