Conversation Reviews: Quality Assurance for Support Teams

QA & Conversation Reviews3 MIN READJan 22, 2019

Conversation Reviews: Quality Assurance for Support Teams

Klaus cofounder Martin Kõiva explained conversation reviews on Help Scout blog. Here's a recap of what conversation reviews are for, and how they help to deliver excellent customer service.

If you have more than five customer support agents and thousands of customer conversations per month, you may feel anxious about your lack of insight into the quality of all those interactions. Conversation reviews — a quality assurance process for customer support — can relieve that anxiety.

What is a conversation review?

A support conversation review is the process by which an organization systematically evaluates the communication between its support team and its customers, in order to identify ways to deliver higher-quality service.

Reviews can vary by:

  • type: peer-to-peer reviews, manager reviews, QA agent reviews, self-reviews;
  • frequency: daily, weekly, monthly;
  • breadth: how many interactions are reviewed of total ticket volume;
  • complexity: informal verbal reviews, written reviews, using spreadsheets or purpose-built software.

Some call it “support quality assurance” or just “support QA.” At Klaus we call it “conversation review” and it's also known as "interaction review" and "ticket review".

Editor’s note: While this process has multiple names that are used interchangeably, we at Klaus have come to prefer “conversation review”.

The term “QA” can easily be confused with software QA and, besides that, we don’t really like the image that term inspires in our mind (somebody standing next to an assembly line with a clipboard, passing judgement).

Read more: Customer Service Quality Assurance Job Description (Template)

How to set up a conversation review?

We have put together a 7-step practical guide to get your quality review efforts underway.

1. Understand your motivation – the problem you’re solving. For example, are you worried about your CSAT, negative feedback or new agent onboarding?

2. Define your ideal outcome of the review process. For example, would you like to make sure all agents have up-to-date product knowledge, or that they display empathy in every interaction?

3. Decide who will do conversation reviews:

  • Peer-to-peer ticket reviews work well in medium-sized companies;
  • Full-time person dedicated to ticket review is a common practice in large companies;
  • Self-review for smaller teams.

4. Set up the review instance. Bear in mind that, in the end, the best review process is a process that is being used.

  • Written feedback section is a great starting point, but even a free-form commenting option will work.
  • Rating categories help you conduct quantitative analysis. Reviewers give positive and negative ratings to different aspects of the conversation (e.g. product knowledge, empathy), which make up the ticket review score.
  • One-on-one meetings are essential for coaching new agents. These should take place at least once a month.

5. Use the right tool to track reviewers and reviews. This can be a simple Google Sheet or a more specialized ticket review software like Klaus.

6. Document the process and communicate it to the team. Put extra effort into talking review processes through with all the involved parties. Make sure that everyone is on the same page on why you’re doing this and how it will help the business.

7. Launch, test and iterate the process. See what works and what doesn’t. Iterate as your organization and team change.

Read more: Customer Service Quality Assurance (QA) Software Guide for 2020

One final — but important — reminder

While everything above is important for implementing a great conversation review process, there’s a crucial prerequisite to everything else:

You have to actually do the conversation reviews.

Elaborate processes are useless if you don’t do the work. It’s an easy trap to fall into, because adding complexity and tweaking processes feels like being a responsible manager, when in reality it’s creating barriers for reviewers. So when in doubt, put more emphasis on consistency.

As a Greek goddess once put it — just do it.

Read the full article on Help Scout blog.

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