The Importance of Quality Assurance in Customer Service

Man with headset on call

It’s likely safe to assume that you’ve poured significant resources into your customer service team and invested in call management technologies that streamline its delivery of support, but you need a way of knowing whether all of these efforts have had — and are making — an impact on the customer’s journey.

Enter customer service quality assurance (QA), which provides real-time, actionable insights about the efficacy of your customer support strategy. It helps you determine whether customer interactions are exceeding customer expectations, falling well short, or standing somewhere in the middle.

Below, we invite you to join us as we explore the answers to common QA questions, including “What is customer service QA?” and “Why is customer service QA important?” We’ll also provide some practical tips you can use to measure customer service quality.

What Is Customer Service Quality Assurance?

Altogether, customer service QA is the systematic process of determining whether your customer support services meet the needs of consumers. It establishes a set of requirements and standards, gathers data about your processes, and compares actual customer service performance to set thresholds. 

Customer service QA serves several purposes: For one, it demonstrates your commitment to doing right by your customers while simultaneously increasing consumer confidence in your brand. On top of that, customer service QA provides detailed information about what you are doing right and what needs improvement.

Why Quality Assurance in Customer Service Matters

Quality assurance in customer service is all about ensuring consistency, accuracy, and a high level of service. It is what makes the difference between a customer who feels heard and helped and one who’s left wanting more.

Customer service quality assurance also acts as a checkpoint, ensuring that the service you provide meets your company’s values and standards. Without periodically checking in on your progress, you can end up way off course. Through customer service QA, you can ensure you are heading in the right direction and pivot to get back on track, if necessary.

Ultimately, QA sets the stage for great customer service, granting you the opportunity to keep your customers happier, more loyal, and more willing to spend money on the products and services you offer. At its core, customer service QA is about creating an experience that customers love, one interaction at a time.

The Keys to Customer Service Quality Assurance

Customer service quality assurance is a dynamic process that requires a multifaceted approach. With that said, as you work to implement a sound QA strategy, you’ll need to do the following:

Be Consistent

Each time a customer interacts with your brand, things should remain consistent in terms of quality and efficiency; customer service QA helps maintain that consistency by establishing clear standards and then comparing each interaction to those thresholds.

For instance, suppose that one of your QA metrics is average call answer time, and your target is two minutes or less. Every call that is answered in under two minutes meets your QA standard, but each call that takes longer to answer fails. The goal is to achieve consistency in call answer times, and such a metric helps make it clear where your times can be improved.

Ensure Accuracy

Inaccurate information — more often than not — only leads to customer frustration and a loss of trust in your brand. Ensuring accuracy across your entire support ecosystem can be quite hard, as each interaction is unique, but QA processes help catch and correct these factual errors, ensuring that your team provides accurate and reliable information to customers. 

Track indicators like first-call resolution rates and escalation percentages, and then make inferences about what these metrics mean in terms of accuracy. For example, if 85% of your calls are resolved on the first call, it’s likely that at least 85% of customers are being provided with accurate information.

Invest in Training and Development

Far too often, the act of deploying QA strategies devolves into nitpicking and pointing fingers. Support team managers often blame their agents for poor customer satisfaction rates and any other issue that arises, but that is not what customer service QA is about.

Through proper quality assurance, you can measure key aspects of the customer journey and then systematically address your weaknesses, and doing so means administering targeted training to your support agents based on recognized needs and deficiencies.

How to Measure Customer Service Quality

Though, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing and measuring customer service quality, there are some general steps you can take, which are as follows:

Set the Bar

The first step toward establishing proper quality assurance is setting clear, achievable standards. While there is nothing wrong with setting lofty goals, you must ensure they are also realistic. Define what excellent customer service looks like for your company, and — during the process — identify the non-negotiables and quantifiable performance thresholds.

For instance, instead of just saying that you want to reduce call hold times, be more specific. You could say you want to decrease average call hold times to two minutes or less, which, in turn, would give your team a target to aim for.

Establish Feedback Loops

Monitoring customer interactions and providing regular feedback is vital. You can accomplish that through things like call monitoring, email reviews, or customer feedback surveys. The goal is to identify trends, both good and bad, and use that data to improve service quality.

Above all else, though, you must make sure that feedback is a two-way street. Seek input from your support agents and be open about their performance; they can provide unique insights that may not be apparent from your point of view.

Empower Your Staff

Lastly, be transparent with your team about QA processes and outcomes. The intent here is not about keeping score; it’s about empowering your team to deliver their best. When they know what is expected of them, they are more likely to embrace your QA strategy.

Reward top-performing agents, as well as those who are showing measurable improvements, to demonstrate that you care about and value their contributions to the organization.

What’s Next?

Measuring quality assurance in customer service is only the start of your optimization journey; the next step is to apply what you’ve learned through targeted training and a holistic approach

If your quality assurance protocols and customer service operations need an immediate boost, consider outsourcing, through which you can tap into resources, support, and well-trained agents who will serve your customers with ease and empathy.

Receive a Free Consultation & Proposal

Contact us to learn how we can help you increase sales, optimize customer experience, and reduce your service costs.

Contact Us