Technology

Service Quality Assurance: What It Is & How to Build Effective QA Process

In this article, we’ll explain what service quality assurance is, the best practices and tools used to create an effective QA process.

Introduction

In this day and age, a business cannot afford to have poor service quality.

Effective QA (quality assurance) processes are essential to ensure that your customers are satisfied with your products and services. 

Customers today are more discerning than ever, and they expect a high level of service from the companies they do business with. If you aren't meeting those expectations, you can be sure that your competitors are.

In this blog post, we will discuss what service quality assurance is and why it's important. We'll also provide tips on improving your service quality assurance program.

What is customer service quality assurance?

The quality assurance process involves monitoring customer conversations to ensure they are of high quality. By reviewing conversations regularly, you can measure how your team is performing and make improvements overall.

Examples of customer service quality assurance:

  1. Reviewing customer service transcripts to ensure that agents are following company procedures.
  2. Monitoring customer service calls to identify areas for improvement
  3. Identifying and addressing any customer service gaps.
  4. Analyzing customer feedback data to identify improvement areas.

Customer service quality assurance can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: to ensure that your team is providing the best possible service to your customers.

It's important to note that customer service quality assurance is not the same as customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction measures how happy your customers are with your product or service.

Customer service quality assurance, on the other hand, focuses on the quality of the conversation between the customer and the agent. This includes factors such as how well the agent handled the inquiry, how efficiently the problem was resolved, and how courteous the agent was.

A guide to QAing conversations: what to look for and when to do it

It’s important to remember that quality assurance is a process, not a one-time event. You should be constantly looking for ways to improve your customer service quality.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you're quality assurance testing your customer conversations:

  • Make sure agents are following company procedures. This includes everything from using the proper greeting to responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Monitor customer service calls to identify areas for improvement. Listen to conversations and look for patterns in customer feedback or complaints.
  • Analyze customer support data to identify trends. Analyze past customer service issues to pinpoint the root cause and find ways to address it.
  • Have a system in place for measuring customer satisfaction levels. This can include surveys, customer feedback forms, or even an automated system to track customer satisfaction ratings.

How to build a customer service QA framework

When building a customer service quality assurance framework, there are a few key elements to keep in mind.

Here are the steps to help you better understand it:

1. Define customer service quality for your company

What does customer service quality mean for your company?  This is a question that you should answer before you start building your quality assurance program.

Your definition of customer service quality will be based on your company's values and the needs of your customers. For example, if you value efficiency, you might define customer service quality as the ability to resolve customer inquiries quickly.

On the other hand, if you value a personal touch, then you might define customer service quality as the ability to build relationships with customers.

Once you have a clear idea of what customer service quality means for your company, you are much better off setting up the rest of the steps.

2. Establish a quality criterion

Once you have your definition of customer service quality, the next step is to establish a set of criteria that must be met for successful customer service.

A general rule should be that anyone in your team should be able to understand and follow the criteria. This way, everyone on your team will have a clear understanding of what customer service quality looks like for your company.

The following areas might be included in customer service quality rubrics:

  • Voice: Does the answer feel like it comes from our company? This is important to ensure that your customers feel comfortable with our agents.
  • Tone: Is the tone of voice professional and courteous? This will help ensure that customers feel respected and listened to.
  • Accuracy: Does the customer service representative provide accurate information? This is important to ensure that customers receive the correct solutions to their problems.
  • Resolution: Was the customer's problem resolved in a satisfactory manner? This will help ensure that customers receive the best possible solution.
  • Customer satisfaction: How satisfied was the customer with the solution provided? This is important to measure how successful our customer service team is in solving problems.

3. Decide who will perform the reviews

Once you have established a quality criterion, the next step is to decide who will be responsible for performing reviews. This should ideally be someone with experience in customer service quality assurance.

Different options for who can perform reviews include:

  • An outside firm specializing in customer service quality assurance: Especially popular in larger companies,  an outside firm can provide unbiased reviews and help ensure customer service quality standards are met.
  • An internal customer service quality assurance team: Many companies prefer to have an internal QA team who knows the company's policies and procedures.
  • Self-reviews:  Self-reviews can be done by customer service representatives themselves. This allows them to assess their own performance and make improvements. However, self-reviews should not be used as the only method of quality assurance, because it can be hard to identify the problem areas yourself.

4. Identify the conversations that need to be reviewed

To ensure customer service quality, it is important to identify the conversations that need to be reviewed.

Here are some ideas for what to review:

  • Frequent customer service inquiries: Since these are the most common conversations your team has with customers, it is important to review them to ensure quality standards are met.
  • Complaints: Complaining customers can be a great source of feedback on customer service quality and where improvements can be made.
  • Conversations of new team members:  It is important to review new team members’ conversations to make sure they understand the company's customer service quality standards and are following them correctly.

Also, many support teams examine all tickets rated by their users to ensure their internal quality standards are in alignment with their customers.

5. Establish a feedback flow in your team

It's not enough to just review conversations; it's important to establish a feedback flow in your team.

When reviewing conversations, it is important to provide constructive feedback that allows customer service agents to learn from their mistakes. You can do this by providing specific guidance on how they could have handled the situation better or what skills they need to improve on. 

Also, it's important to provide recognition for customer service agents who are providing high-quality service. Positive reinforcement will encourage them to continue to provide excellent customer service and meet the company's quality standards.

6. Use the right tools

Quality assurance can be made much easier with the help of tools.

Tools like Scribe for example, can help you automate quality assurance process by allowing you to record any necessary processes inside of your organization and create step-by-step guides for it.

For example, you could create a step-by-step guide on how to handle customer inquiries or create checklists for the different steps in order to ensure that quality standards are met.

7. Measure KPIs to identify customer service issues and track the success

To ensure customer service quality, it is important to measure key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics will help you identify any customer service issues that need to be addressed and track the success of your quality assurance.

Some of the most important KPIs to track:

  • Customer satisfaction ratings: This metric helps you measure how satisfied customers are with the customer service they have received.
  • First contact resolution rate: This helps you measure how often customer service agents are able to resolve customers’ issues the first time they contact them.
  • Turnaround time: This helps you measure how quickly customer service agents are able to respond to customer inquiries.
  • Average handling time: This helps you measure how long it takes for customer service agents to handle customers’ inquiries

Conclusion

Service quality assurance is an important part of any customer service team. It helps ensure that customers are receiving high-quality service and also provides feedback to customer service agents so they can improve their skills and provide better service.

To boost your quality assurance efforts, you can use Scribe to record any QA processes and turn them into step-by-step guides that can act as a reference when reviewing customer conversations.

These step-by-step guides can help set a baseline for customer service quality and make it easier to identify any issues that need to be addressed.