If there’s one thing that businesses look for when working with call centers, it’s quality. The better service your customer-facing representatives provide your clients, the better your sales results will be. Happy customers equal happy businesses.
All successful contact centers know that regular conversation reviews are key to ensuring consistency and quality across all support channels. But which team should be performing those internal evaluations?
We asked this question of Ahmad Baydoun, Contact Center Manager at a leading customer experience management company, for our article series The Call Center Stories. Ahmad has more than a decade’s worth of experience in working with, growing, and managing call center teams – so he is just the person to know which departments can handle internal quality reviews in a way that brings value to the business.
From the chat we had with Ahmad we learned that there are two departments that play a crucial role in implementing Quality Assurance procedures:
- Hiring a Quality Team, aka the traditional way of ‘proofreading’ agents’ responses, and
- Building collaboration with the Operations Team who aligns these activities with the company’s business and product strategies.
There are pros and cons to both of these approaches. However, one of them clearly stood out as a fresher and potentially more impactful way of managing call center QA. Let’s discuss which one and why.
Why hire a quality/QA team for a Call Center or customer service team?
Call Center Quality Assurance (QA) – the process of listening to call recordings and providing feedback to agents – is undoubtedly an important part of most contact centers’ quality setup. It’s really the only way managers can be sure that all support reps deliver the same customer experiences across the entire customer base.
But support QA creates a lot of extra work for contact center managers who usually already have too much on their plates. Conversation review and support QA tools like Klaus can reduce some of that weight by automating most of the time-consuming and tedious tasks like pulling conversations in for review or notifying the team about the feedback they’ve received.
Still, at some point, most growing call centers realize that they need dedicated people to look after the quality program. Hiring Call Center QA Specialists to conduct regular conversation reviews ensures that your quality reviews are always done on time and to the extent that you expected.
Here are the main reasons why hiring a quality team for your Call Center or customer service team is a good idea:
- Trained people regularly listen to real-life customer calls and, by that, make sure that your company retains control over the quality of your phone support.
- It ensures a clear focus on aligning the team towards the same quality standards, assuring consistency in customer experiences across agents and support channels.
- Actionable feedback helps to improve agents’ performance already in the next support interaction.
Your dedicated Quality Team will make sure that your team checks these three boxes – and you can be sure that your customers are in good hands when they reach out to the Call Center.
But there’s more that can be done. Cooperation with the Operations teams can boost all the tasks mentioned above by stitching the QA goals to the broader vision of your business strategy and activities.
More resources on call centers
Why build collaboration between Support and Call Center QA and Operations Teams?
Ahmad has built quality teams in various companies and he sure knows the value of hiring qualified QA specialists who iron out inconsistencies in your customer-facing communications.
However, Ahmad explains that quality should always work hand in hand with operations teams and highlights that quality people should never monitor in isolation. Quality specialists have to “live and breathe operations” to have a very good understanding of the business because this will reflect a higher level of accuracy in their monitoring and evaluation.
There are strong arguments for this arrangement that one should be aware of when building a QA department:
“An ops team’s #1 mission is to manage and optimize the details that keep its organization running profitably. That means delivering the resources that enable other departments to do their job – at peak efficiency and effectiveness – and cost-effectively converting their efforts into products and services that meet customers’ needs.” John Rampton
Here are the main benefits of tying call center quality reviews to the functions of Operations Teams:
- Highlight business opportunities: while QA specialists are good at pinpointing which quality criteria your team is underperforming in, Operations Teams tend to have a wider perspective on customer interactions than what’s written in the scorecard. Your Operations Team knows how each customer call can affect sales, marketing, product development, and other areas. They notice missed business opportunities and find input to improve your company’s growth strategies – that’s why it’s essential for them to know what’s happening in the support calls.
- Quality is a moving target: what you’ve defined in the quality scorecard might not actually be the most optimal setup for your conversation reviews. To understand what your QA should be measuring, you need to understand your call center’s role in the entire business cycle. How you’ve defined quality support interactions today might not be what you want your call center to sound and feel like tomorrow. As your customers change and you expand to new segments and markets, you’ll need to review your quality criteria over and over again. Your Operations Team will be your best bet in getting it right.
- Dynamic testing, and development opportunities: quality checks are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can achieve when crafting the voice of your call center. There is great potential for driving your business results (read: revenue) if you go beyond the most simplistic QA procedures.A/B testing your scorecard, quality criteria, and different approaches to doing support can reveal dozens of business opportunities that you would never have figured out without knowing the connections between your call center and other departments. Let your Operations Team indulge in fine-tuning your customer interactions and reap the sweet benefits of knowing your customers and their expectations inside and out.
While most businesses have woken up to the necessity of call center QA and conversation reviews, you are now equipped with knowledge on how to take it to the next level. A more holistic approach to your customer interactions will help you amaze your customers every step of the way.
If you’re looking for ways how to boost your call center’s performance or drive your business growth through everyday support interactions, consider connecting QA responsibilities with your Operations Team’s efforts. They know how each customer conversation affects your business and can highlight and create new opportunities for growth.
That’s not all. We’ve got more golden nuggets from Ahmad to share with you in the next articles of the Call Center Stories series. Stay tuned for the next article and in the meantime:
- Enjoy the episode of Fireside Chats with Klaus and Valentina featuring Ahmad Baydoun
- Check out the previous article in the series: Call Center Stories: 3 Ways to Improve FCR in Contact Centers
- See what’s happening in the call center discussion in the CX Community Quality Tribe