What is Quality Assurance?
Quality Assurance (QA) is the practice of maintaining consistent standards when delivering a product or a service to a customer.
QA is crucial for contact centers as it ensures a consistent level of customer service that matches predefined requirements. Customers increasingly view the experience they have when interacting with a company to be equally as important as its products. Therefore, ensuring both quality and consistency in customer experience is key to making customer care a competitive differentiator.
QA also improves contact center performance by enforcing consistent brand messaging, accelerating conflict resolution, and expediting identification of recurring customer issues.
What do current approaches to Quality Assurance look like?
Customers’ expectations are higher than ever, and companies who successfully meet these rising expectations have a tremendous opportunity to differentiate themselves. Heightened customer expectations and increasing standards mean that QA must also be optimized accordingly. For example, “customer-obsessed” Zappos describes its purpose as “to live and deliver ‘WOW!’” Therefore, a Zappos contact center representative who doesn’t deliver “wow” to a customer is not acting in alignment with the brand’s mission.
To maintain brand standards, most QA programs follow these main processes:
Traditional rubrics or scorecards often evaluate performance by examining the presence of desired behaviors, some of which may be easier to consistently measure than others. For example, a rubric might evaluate the presence of a required disclosure statement or whether a representative showed soft skills like empathy. While a disclosure statement is relatively straightforward to both communicate and identify, soft skills requirements are often fuzzier and leave much up to the subjective interpretation of both the auditors and the representatives themselves.
Contact centers evaluate a percentage of their representatives’ calls. Auditors evaluate adherence to expected behaviors; however, when done manually, this process introduces the potential for subjective variation and human error. Extreme sampling can also make it harder to find significant trends that inform smart coaching.
Coaches may work with representatives to review customer interactions and correct undesired behaviors. However, this approach focuses on punitive corrections and does not reinforce desired behaviors. Additionally, coaches are limited by the sample size, hours in a day, and the audit timeframe. Coaches may not give feedback to an agent until a month after a call, thereby making it very difficult for the agent to remember the interaction and learn from the situation, Additionally, a lack of historical records makes it challenging for agents and supervisors to track improvement over time.
Clarabridge’s approach to Quality Assurance:
With Clarabridge’s Intelligent Scoring (IS) feature, you can move from manual sampling to automatically evaluating 100% of contact center interactions by leveraging powerful rubrics curated to your own organization’s standards. By consistently analyzing each interaction in near-real time, you’ll obtain a more holistic picture of your representatives’ performance over time, as well as ensure transparency across your organization.
Additional benefits include:
• Decrease QA staff expenses
• Reduce cost of complaint handling
• Ensure compliance and avoid regulatory fines
• Improve KPIs such as NPS, CSAT, and OSAT
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