Did you know that only 4 out of 10 companies believe that their quality assurance process is properly optimized?
As businesses worldwide continue to recognize the significance of delivering exceptional customer experiences, quality assurance (QA) practices are becoming ever more essential. It’s important that these QA practices go beyond the mundane checklists; they need to embrace a proactive and holistic approach of improving customer service.
In this blog, we delve into the top 13 call center quality assurance best practices that can dramatically improve customer satisfaction levels and empower brands to elevate their support standards. Let’s dive right in!
What is quality assurance in call centers?
Quality assurance in call centers refers to a systematic process that is designed to ensure that interactions associated with customer service are consistently handled with precision, professionalism and efficiency.
It encompasses a range of activities aimed at monitoring and improving your customer service experience, especially activities associated with digital customer experience. Key components of quality assurance include:
call monitoring and evaluation
performance metrics analysis
continuous coaching and training for agents
You can identify areas of strength/weakness with comprehensive quality assurance mechanisms and establish benchmarks for customer service quality. Moreover, this process empowers call center agents to develop their skills, build confidence and foster a sense of ownership in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
In the next section, we’ll briefly explore why quality assurance has an important role in call center performance.
Importance of quality assurance in call centers
Picture this: a customer reaching out for support and experiencing consistently top-notch service that leaves them delighted. That's the magic of quality assurance in action!
Quality assurance is not just a process; it's a mindset that transforms ordinary interactions into memorable experiences.
By meticulously analyzing customer interactions, your call center can identify areas of improvement, take the necessary steps for better customer service and ensure that every caller hangs up with a smile.
The process of quality assurance also empowers agents to a great extent. With constructive feedback and continuous training, you can become a customer service wizard — turning every call into an opportunity to create loyal customer-advocates for your brand.
In the next section, we’ll be discussing the titular concept — the best practices that you can follow in your call center to enhance quality assurance.
13 Ways to improve quality assurance in call centers
In the pursuit of delivering unparalleled customer experiences, you need to embrace effective quality assurance best practices.
Here are 13 proven tips that will empower your call centers to optimize their service standards, nurture excellence and leave a lasting impression on every customer interaction.
1. Clearly define your call center metrics
It’s important for you to know on what basis you’re going to evaluate your customer service quality. Establish specific and measurable quality metrics aligned with your support goals, such as:
Plus, it helps determine the benchmarks for each of these metrics to quantify your current and expected performance levels.
Learn more: 10 important call center KPIs to track
2. Perform extensive customer journey mapping
Analyzing post-purchase customer journey is necessary to understand how customers interact with your call center — from first contact to resolving their queries/issues. Customer journey mapping and pain point evaluation helps you create quality assurance mechanisms that are focused to a specific touchpoint or a known problem, helping you reduce friction.
3. Monitor calls in real time
Real-time call monitoring tools can help you assess live calls, enabling immediate feedback and interventions for critical situations. You can schedule periodic call monitoring sessions with your supervisors/agents to evaluate agent-customer interactions, while recorded calls can serve as coaching tools to identify areas for improvement.
💡Call center quality assurance pro-tip #1: You can utilize AI-powered call center quality monitoring tools to automate call quality scoring — where the AI crunches the numbers for you and provides actionable, data-backed insights to improve customer service quality.
4. Automate quality management workflows
In addition to real-time monitoring, you can automate a variety of functions with AI to reduce time and manual efforts spent on quality assurance reporting.
AI-powered agent scoring can help you obtain reliable and comprehensive performance insights on your support activities, while eliminating any errors or inconsistencies that might arise from manual scoring.
The AI engine evaluates support performance on various metrics including soft skills (patience, empathy, courtesy) and hard skills (promptness, efficiency, grammatical accuracy) across all your support channels. With detailed reports that identify core performing areas and avenues for improvement at an individual and team level, you can then devise action plans to deliver better care to customers.
5. Reward good quality assurance initiatives
You can implement performance-based incentives and rewards tied to quality assurance metrics, which would motivate agents to consistently deliver exceptional service.
If you’re a supervisor or decision-maker in your call center, you can also introduce gamification elements to make quality assurance engaging — by awarding top-performing agents and encouraging a healthy competition among your customer service agents.
6. Train your agents to deliver the best service
There are several types of call center agent training in practice, including but not limited to:
Persona-based training: based on types of customer persona, which enables agents to adapt to different communication styles of customers.
Customer empathy training: to practice empathy and active listening, create meaningful connections with customers and enhance call experiences.
Knowledge base training: to develop and maintain a comprehensive knowledge base and train them regularly to keep them up to date with product information.
These might work on different models such as classroom, online or one-on-one based on the program, skill and the type of attention required for each agent.
If you’re an agent yourself, you can sign up for other training programs in addition to the mandatory ones to gain an edge and stay on top of your customer service game.
7. Integrate omnichannel insights in your call processes
Hear us out; being in a call center, we know you majorly assist customers over the phone.
But imagine this — you have access to all the customer info and interaction history across all your channels. You would have much more context about their issues and can provide relevant service from the get-go, right? That's the power of omnichannel customer service.
For agents such as yourself, having a 360° customer profile helps tailor all your support based on their issue history and get to resolutions much quicker. To do one better, some advanced call center solutions even provide agent capacity management — where your supervisor can also assign cases from other channels occasionally while working with call support.
You’ll still majorly handle tickets received over calls, but you’ll also get to hear what your customers have to say on other channels and gather actionable feedback on your customer care approach; it’s a win-win situation for both you and your customers.
8. Give continuous feedback
Provide constructive feedback to your agents based on call evaluations and offer regular coaching sessions so that they can address their strengths and weaknesses. Also encourage agents to self-assess their calls and identify areas for improvement, making them feel more accountable for their performance and helping them see where they can do better.
For customer feedback, integrate tools such as post-call customer surveys into quality assurance processes to gain insights directly from your users’ perspective.
💡Call center quality assurance pro-tip #2: You can also analyze advanced user data such as voice of customer (VoC) and customer effort score (CES) to evaluate pain points and customer expectations — and use this information to optimize call center processes for efficiency.
9. Root cause analysis
Every time a critical issue is resolved or is being resolved, conduct a thorough root cause analysis (RCA) of the situation. An RCA helps you detect and address any underlying previously undetected problems. It also helps in preventing any future occurrences, saving time and manpower that would otherwise be spent in resolving these recurring issues.
10. Ensure compliance with brand guidelines
Compliant messaging is key to any kind of customer communication, and support processes are no exception. Ensure you include compliance evaluations in quality assurance to ensure your agents adhere to industry regulations and company policies, while also maintaining the brand voice across your channels.
In addition, you also need to ensure compliance with any service level agreement (SLA) policies you have in place for yourself or your clients. SLA compliance is also an important aspect of quality assurance — since any violations can easily cause customer frustration and dissatisfaction, or maybe even lead to escalations.
11. Work closer with your team
Organizing "quality circle discussions”, where agents and supervisors collaboratively identify improvement opportunities, is a great way for all stakeholders to sit down together and implement solutions that can improve the overall quality of your call center operations.
Also, through peer learning and collaboration, you as an agent can share best practices and also learn from each other's successes, contributing to quicker knowledge transfer and better operational efficiency.
12. Perform periodic quality assurance audits
A periodic quality assurance audit is the compass that can guide your call center towards better support quality and high level of efficiency. Schedule a quality assurance audit once in every six months or a year to re-evaluate adherence to standards related to call interactions, agent performance and SLAs — and to identify areas for systemic improvement and course correction.
💡Call center quality assurance pro-tip #3: A unified call center quality management solution will enable you to monitor and manage all aspects of call center quality assurance from the comfort of a single console. If you haven’t tried one yet, now’s the time!
13. Adopt a customer-centric mindset
Cultivating a customer-centric culture throughout your organization is essential for great customer experiences. Customer support is only a part of the equation — and your brand needs to play as a team to win this game.
Emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction at every level with your peers; this will ensure all employees have a customer-first attitude, and ensure it is also at the heart of every single activity across your company. With a shared focus on customer happiness, your call center will deliver more positive experiences where agents are motivated to go above and beyond, creating lasting relationships that will drive business growth and customer loyalty.
Quality assurance emerges as the linchpin that transforms ordinary customer service into extraordinary customer experiences. You can try implementing the best practices explored in this blog to unlock your call center’s true potential and serve your customers better.
As quality assurance becomes increasingly ingrained in your call center's DNA, customer satisfaction will soar, brand loyalty will increase to levels never seen before — and your business can thrive in a fiercely competitive market. In this transformative voyage, put a powerful call center quality assurance solution at the wheel — and watch as your call center steadily progresses towards delivering unforgettable customer experiences consistently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Quality assurance in a call center ensures that customer interactions are handled effectively and consistently. It involves monitoring and evaluating agent-customer interactions, providing feedback and implementing strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, thereby driving overall call center success.