If you’ve ever called customer service for just about anything, you’ve most likely heard the phrase, “This call may be recorded or monitored for quality assurance and training purposes.” You may hear that phrase often, but have you ever thought deeper into what Quality Assurance (QA) actually means? In this post, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of QA, learn about call center industry standards and get a clear understanding of how the right third-party answering service will help your business surpass those standards.
What is Quality Assurance (QA)?
QA is any systematic process of determining whether a product or service meets specified requirements. The QA level is determined by various touchpoints, many of which we will outline for you here. Quality assurance is important because it helps a company create products and services that meet the needs, expectations and requirements of customers. It yields high-quality product offerings that build trust and loyalty with customers. The standards and procedures defined by a quality assurance program help prevent product defects before they arise.
Poor customer service can be enough to chase potential customers away, even if it only happens once. To give an example, 60% of leads will hang up after just 60 seconds on hold. No business can afford to be complacent or overlook the quality of interactions with customers (or lack thereof).
Why Is Quality Monitoring Crucial?
There’s more to monitoring QA than listening in to pick up on obvious issues. It’s about focusing on the customer’s satisfaction during the call. Were they frustrated for any particular reason that could have been avoided? How did the agent respond to that frustration? Did they have empathy, or did they shrug them off?
It is crucial to train and refocus your sales staff. They need to feel supported and empowered to hop on a call with confidence. They should have qualified listening skills, the ability to communicate and share information effectively and negotiation skills, but in addition to that, there needs to be ongoing, consistent training to enhance those skills. Enhancing those skills will help them deliver the service your customers need and expect.
How to Best Measure Agent Performance
We recommend that businesses implement scorecards for their sales agents to determine the effectiveness of their performance based on measurable benchmarks. Collaborate with your sales team to create benchmarks that make sense for them. Examples of these benchmarks may include establishing a report with the potential customer or scheduling a demo.
It’s vital that agents understand what the scorecards include and why adhering to them matters. You may want to hire a specific QA specialist to help analyze these cards and work together with the sales staff on professional development or any issues that arise. Having an informed, empowered and motivated sales team is the key to getting all those leads you want. By checking scorecards along with listening to interactions, you can determine how to accurately meet a customer’s needs and expectations.
Creating Agent Feedback & Action Plans
Analysis of customer interactions through call monitoring and scorecards should be used to improve service through constructive feedback. Providing feedback to agents in a positive way will improve the quality of your customer care. Rather than showing them where they are going wrong and criticizing them for it, work with your sales agents to find how they can grow as required.
This could vary from their style of greeting customers to how they handle complaints, but if they are delivering sub-par service, they’re letting more than the customer down — they’re affecting the entire company’s performance and reputation. Last but not least, we want to familiarize you with some important industry standards so you have a reference of what to base your metrics on.
Call Center QA Metric Industry Standards
Your business probably doesn’t operate exactly like a third-party call center, however, we’d like to share some important call center industry standards that may help your sales and customer service teams reach their goals.
- Service Level – 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds
- QA Scoring – Random scoring of four advisor calls per month (quality score would ordinarily fall between 75 and 90%)
- First Contact Resolution (FCR) – Industry standard for FCR is 70-75%
- Average Handling Time (AHT) – 6 minutes and 3 seconds
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) – Over 10
We know that all of this information can be overwhelming, but that’s why we’re here to help. Slingshot is more than your average answering service. Our goal is to help your business grow in sales by deeply understanding the impact of impeccable agent support and customer service. Many of our clients see an average of 4-8X ROI — will you be next? Schedule your demo to find out!