Contact Center Trends

A guide to contact center quality assurance

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

Guide Contact Center Quality Assurance

Modern customers demand nothing short of exceptional service, and the contact center is a crucial touchpoint to delivering memorable customer experiences. Yet, it can also be a ground for frustration, where even the slightest mishap can lead to negative reviews and lost revenue. A dedicated quality assurance framework that monitors, evaluates, and improves customer service can transform your contact center. 

When executed effectively, contact center quality assurance can take customer satisfaction to new heights, supercharge agent performance, and elevate overall service delivery. Find out how contact center quality assurance tools set the stage for a transformational journey toward customer-centric service.

This comprehensive guide will explain:

What is quality assurance in a contact center and why is it important?

Contact center quality assurance evaluates interactions to ensure they meet defined quality standards. For example, listening to calls, reading emails, and reviewing live chat transcripts to assess agent performance.

Quality assurance in your contact center helps maintain high service quality, ensures all interactions are handled professionally and effectively, and provides valuable feedback for your agents, helping them improve their skills and performance. It also allows managers to identify and address any issues or trends impacting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A data-driven approach to contact center management.

With the rise of AI and machine learning technologies, many organizations leverage AI-powered quality management software to streamline their quality assurance processes and gain deeper insights into their operations.

AI-powered quality assurance tools can automatically evaluate interactions, pinpointing improvement areas. This provides precise, actionable feedback to help your agents refine their service delivery skills and enhance overall customer experience.

These tools can also identify and understand patterns in interactions, predicting trends that could impact future performance. This predictive analysis allows managers to take a proactive stance, making informed decisions to boost service quality before issues escalate.

Exploring the criteria used to evaluate agents.

When evaluating your agents, it’s essential to define the appropriate KPIs and metrics that align with your business goals. With AI-powered tools, you can easily track these metrics and clearly understand your agents’ performance.

Customizing evaluation forms.

Customizing evaluation forms allows managers to focus on the specific skills and behaviors that are most relevant to the business. For example, in a tech support contact center, technical knowledge and problem-solving ability are crucial, while in a sales-oriented environment, persuasion and closing skills might be more important.

Customization also allows for a more nuanced understanding of agent performance. Instead of relying solely on broad metrics like CSAT or AHT, customized evaluation forms can assess specific parts of interactions. This could include the agent’s empathy with customers, adherence to scripts, or effectiveness in upselling or cross-selling products.

Interaction criteria.

Evaluate not just what agents says, but how they say it. This includes their tone of voice, capacity to listen and understand customer needs, and ability to communicate clearly and effectively.

Problem-solving is another critical agent skill. Your agents should be able to diagnose customer issues and provide effective solutions quickly. They should have a deep understanding of the company’s products or services to provide accurate information and advice to customers. Regular interaction monitoring and scoring help identify areas for improvement and ensure consistent service quality.

Compliance and ethical standards.

Compliance with regulatory standards and ethical norms is another non-negotiable. Your agents must comply with all relevant data privacy laws and regulations and company policies regarding customer information. This includes obtaining necessary permissions before recording calls, securely storing customer data, and maintaining confidentiality.

Ethical standards also play a vital role in agent evaluation. This could include their honesty and integrity in dealing with customers, respect for cultural and individual differences, and commitment to providing fair and equitable service. Regular training and reinforcement of these standards can ensure they are consistently upheld across the contact center.

Essential metrics managers should look at for success.

When managing a contact center, it’s crucial to keep an eye on key metrics that reflect the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations.

First contact resolution (FCR).

FCR measures the percentage of calls resolved during the first interaction. A high FCR rate is often an indicator of effective problem-solving and efficient service delivery. It suggests that agents have the knowledge and resources to handle customer queries or issues promptly. However, while striving for a high FCR rate, it’s also important to ensure the quality of service is not compromised.

Customer satisfaction (CSAT).

CSAT measures how satisfied customers are with your service. Regular customer surveys are a great way to assess this, but digging deeper into the feedback received is essential. Understanding why customers are satisfied or dissatisfied provides actionable insights for improving service delivery.

Average handling time (AHT).

AHT measures the average time spent handling an interaction. This metric helps assess agent efficiency and workload management. Keep in mind a lower AHT isn’t always better. If your agents rush through calls to keep their AHT low, this could negatively impact service quality and customer satisfaction. Instead of focusing solely on reducing AHT, consider strategies to make each interaction more efficient. For example,  Talkdesk AI-powered automatic summary  uses advanced AI to automatically summarize every customer interaction, reducing AHT by 30-60 seconds.

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Three effective contact center management strategies to help agents improve productivity.

To improve agent productivity, your contact center managers should consider the following strategies:

Leveraging technology wisely.

Utilizing the right tools streamlines processes and improves efficiency.  AI-powered contact center quality management software can automate routine tasks such as call recording and transcription, provide real-time feedback, and generate detailed reports and analytics. Ensure your team receives adequate training to use these tools effectively.

Embracing continuous feedback.

Creating a culture that encourages learning and continuous improvement can significantly boost productivity. This allows agents to assess their performance and identify areas for improvement continually. Additionally, it fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, as agents are actively involved in their growth and development.

Continuous feedback shouldn’t be one-sided. Encourage agents to share their thoughts and ideas too. Their hands-on experience with customers makes them a valuable source of insights that can help improve processes and strategies.

Agent-centric coaching.

Moving beyond monitoring to nurturing talent is crucial. An agent-centric approach to coaching focuses on individual growth and development, leading to improved performance and job satisfaction.

Start by understanding each agent’s specific skills, knowledge, and competencies. Then, design individualized coaching programs that target their specific areas of improvement. The objective is not just to improve performance, but also to foster professional growth and personal development.

Four best practices to monitor agent performance.

To effectively monitor agent performance, managers should consider the following best practices:

1.     Set key performance indicators.

Setting KPIs helps track performance against set targets. These KPIs should align with your business goals and customer expectations, providing a measurable way to track progress and success. Setting KPIs can ensure the team is focused on achieving key objectives and delivering high-quality service.

2.     Use performance analytics tools.

Performance analytics tools offer a wealth of information about individual and team performance. They can help identify trends, track progress against goals, and inform strategic decisions so managers can comprehensively understand their team’s performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

3.     Implement a scoring system.

A scoring system provides a quantitative measure of agent performance. Assigning scores to various aspects of an agent’s interaction with customers, such as communication skills, problem resolution, and adherence to scripts, allows managers to identify top performers and those needing additional training or support.

4.     Engage in call monitoring.

Call monitoring allows for direct observation. Listening in on live calls or reviewing recorded ones allows managers to identify strengths and weaknesses and provide targeted feedback and coaching. It also helps ensure agents are following company policies and customer service standards.

Elevate customer experience with Talkdesk quality management software.

Talkdesk Quality Management software leverages AI to enhance your quality assurance process. It offers:

  • Automated scoring to allow your team to focus on what truly matters—delivering excellent customer service. 
  • Contextualized feedback— give specific examples by adding time-stamped comments and reactions to interaction recordings.
  • Voice and screen recording of agents’ screen and audio simultaneously for a complete picture of very interaction.

Effective contact center quality assurance and management are crucial for delivering high-quality customer service. You can significantly enhance your contact center’s performance and customer satisfaction with the right strategies, tools, and practices. See how Talkdesk QM Assist makes it simple to evaluate agent interactions and give agents the feedback they need to provide exceptional CX.  Request a demo today

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Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.