It’s easy to assume your own customer service strategy is purrr-fect. You’ve worked hard, you’ve trained your team, and you’ve built out processes that seem to have a positive impact.
But we all have blind spots. A customer service audit is one of the best tools in your toolbox to ensure your support is truly up to par.
Conducting a regular customer service audit forces you to step back and assess more objectively whether you’re delivering the quality customer experience you’re hoping for.
In this article, we’ll explore what a good customer service audit looks like, review the benefits of regularly auditing your customer service efforts and support team, and take a detailed look at how to audit your customer service effectively.
Stick around to the end for a handy customer service audit checklist to make your next audit the cat’s pajamas.
What is a customer service audit?
A customer service audit aims to analyze and improve the quality of your customer service processes. It involves evaluating various aspects of how your team interacts with customers.
The exact items included in an audit can be different across organizations, but common things you’ll review include tools and processes, customer feedback, team performance, and your knowledge base.
The goal of a customer service audit is to identify areas for improvement across your customer support and to make sure that your team is consistently meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
Benefits of customer service audits
A customer service audit takes work, but it’s well worth your time. Some of the benefits of performing a regular customer service audit include:
- Giving you valuable insights into your customer service experience. A customer service audit provides you with a clear understanding of what’s working well and what’s not. It’s an effective way to identify strengths to capitalize on and weaknesses that need to be addressed. You get to really understand what your customers are experiencing when they interact with your customer service team.
- Identifying training needs (which can help with employee retention). A customer service audit shows you if your customer service team needs more training in certain areas. When customer service agents have the necessary skills and support, they are more confident and effective in their roles, leading to better customer interactions — and sticking around for longer. Keep that in mind when designing a training program for your customer service staff.
- Fostering a customer-centric culture across your organization. Regularly auditing your customer service can help your whole organization to focus more on customer satisfaction. When everyone cares about providing quality customer service, it can only get better!
- Improving customer retention. An overwhelming 93% of buyers say they are more likely to buy again from companies providing excellent customer service. Auditing your customer service can reveal areas where customers might not be fully satisfied. Improving these areas can significantly increase customer satisfaction, foster customer loyalty, and help you ensure your customers keep coming back.
- Driving more revenue. 75% of customers are willing to spend more money with companies that provide quality customer service. What’s more, great customer service not only retains existing customers but also attracts new ones through positive word-of-mouth. Thus, enhancing your customer service through regular audits can directly contribute to an increase in revenue.
Most companies that perform regular customer service audits will do so quarterly or annually. Finding the right frequency is important, but it’s not make or break. The critical thing to achieve is to build a regular habit of objectively reviewing your customer service.
How to audit customer service
There are five general phases involved in a customer service audit. While the specific items will vary from business to business, these five phases are foundational to every customer service audit:
- Set goals. Start by defining your audit objectives. What specific parts of your customer service do you want to evaluate? What are you after? Clear goals help ensure that your audit remains focused and aligned with your support goals and overall business objectives.
- Collect data. Gather relevant data and information to assess your customer service performance. This can include customer feedback surveys, support ticket data, key customer service metrics, and quality assurance evaluations from conversation reviews. Try to get data from a variety of sources for a more comprehensive audit.
- Analyze the results. Once you’ve collected the data, analyze it to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Look for both quantitative metrics, such as average response time, and qualitative insights, such as common customer complaints or positive feedback.
- Identify areas for improvement. Based on your analysis, you can pinpoint specific areas and aim to improve customer service. Prioritize these areas based on their impact on the overall customer experience, your existing resources, your business goals, and the level of effort involved.
- Take action and measure progress. An audit that doesn’t result in any action is a waste of time (unless you’ve got a purrr-fect team — in which case, well done!). Empower your team to make improvements and track your progress to ensure those goals are achieved.
If you aren’t already, you may want to consider using customer service quality assurance software to make your audit process go much smoother.
Tools like Klaus often come with built-in analytics and reporting features that allow you to track key support metrics and gain real-time insights into your team’s key performance indicators. They’ll simplify your life by automating data collection and analyzing trends efficiently, helping you and your team make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.
Your customer service audit checklist
Having a clearly defined checklist for customer service audits ensures that everyone involved in the process is on the same page.
Treat the following items on the customer service audit checklist as the baseline, and add additional items based on your audit objectives and your unique business needs.
✔️ Review internal processes, including tools and automation (Are they up-to-date? Do you actually need them all? Is there anything to improve?)
✔️ Take a look at your customer service KPIs and metrics (How is the team performing? Are the tracked customer service metrics still relevant for your team?)
✔️ Evaluate your reports and dashboards (Do they still make sense? Is there anything to update or add?)
✔️ Review agent conversations (Is it the right time to launch or improve your quality assurance program?)
✔️ Revise your self-service resources (Is your knowledge base up-to-date and easy-to-use? Are there any content gaps to address?)
Keep reading to learn how to cross these items off of your customer service audit checklist.
1. Reviewing internal processes, including tools and automations
Every customer service process and software varies, depending on the company. Whatever those look like for you, your audit should ensure that they’re the right fit for your current and future needs. Start here:
- Check that your tools are up to date, that you’re using relevant features, and whether you still need the tool
- Review macros and other automated responses for accuracy
- Assess team onboarding and training materials
- Review your ticket escalation processes to ensure they’re still appropriate
- Assess your process for handling negative customer feedback
2. Monitoring customer service KPIs and metrics
Think about the customer service metrics you track to determine how your team is performing and where you need to improve your customer experience. You’ll probably have metrics at the agent, team, and customer service department level (and of course, you’ll also want to make sure they align with top-level business goals).
Whatever your preferred customer service KPIs are, your customer service audit is a great time to evaluate if those metrics are still the right metrics for your team and to identify ways to improve customer service. Customer service metrics — and related questions to ask — might include:
- First Response Time (FRT). What’s your average first response time? How does it differ across support channels? Are you meeting SLAs? Do you need to make adjustments to your scheduling and workforce management?
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). What are the key drivers of customer satisfaction? How have you seen your Customer Satisfaction Score evolve over time? What can you do differently?
- Internal Quality Score (IQS). What are your quality customer service standards? How is your quality score trending? What areas does your customer service team need more training in? Can you leverage customer service representatives who excel at quality to teach and mentor agents who are struggling?
- First Contact Resolution (FCR). How can you improve your FCR rate? What types of tickets require multiple contacts? How can you streamline the process for those tickets?
3. Evaluating your reports and dashboards
Every support team relies on reports and dashboards to visualize performance. During your audit, consider whether your reports and dashboards need to be updated or improved.
- Check the customer service metrics on your team dashboard. Do they still make sense? Do the filters need updating?
- Consider what reports are missing. Since your last audit, what questions were you unable to answer easily? What areas of your customer service representatives’ performance are you unclear on? While it’s not possible to measure everything quantitatively, a great customer service report can be a powerful motivator.
4. Reviewing customer service agent conversations
Customer service quality reviews are an incredibly important part of improving support quality, training your team, and providing a consistent customer experience. If you haven’t already, make them a part of your customer service strategy.
Your customer service audit is a great time to launch a QA program or evaluate if your existing customer service QA scorecard needs to be updated. According to Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report 2023, commonly evaluated quality categories are:
- Following internal processes
- Going the extra mile
Interestingly, the average number of rating categories on a scorecard is 14 (although the median is a far more reasonable 8).
5. Revising your self-service resources
- Are article titles clear and understandable?
- Do you need to update certain help center articles because of product changes?
- Are there content gaps or things your customers are searching for that your knowledge base doesn’t answer?
- Does the organization and structure of your help center still make sense?
Your customer experience is only as good as your customer service audit
A customer service audit is a critical process for assessing and improving the quality of support you provide to your customers. Without a regular audit, you risk blind spots, missed customer inquiries, and settling for a less-than-stellar experience.
Customer service audits don’t have to take a ton of time, especially when you can start with a customer service audit checklist like the one above. The more regularly you conduct an audit, the easier it will become and the more benefits you’ll see from it.
And while regular customer service audits are vital, the best way to ensure your customer support team is world-class is to provide consistent and ongoing feedback to your customer service representatives. There’s no easier way to do that than with Klaus.
Klaus’ AI-powered features identify gaps and customer service issues to help you improve customer service quality — regardless of support volumes or the size of customer service teams.