Customer service quality is a topic that’s becoming more and more relevant for all businesses these days. With 62% of B2B customers purchasing more thanks to a great customer service experience, companies feel the need to shift their focus to the quality of their customer-facing interactions.
Improving customer service quality and keeping it at a consistently high level is a long-term strategy that often requires dedicated staff to handle the workload. Often this dedicated team member is called a Customer Service Quality Assurance Specialist, or just simply “Support QA”.
As the makers of the customer service quality assurance tool Klaus, we’ve done a lot of research on the role that QA folks play in support teams. To make it easier for companies to establish successful quality programs, we’ve created this handy guide for hiring support QA to:
- Explain the hows and whys of bringing Support QA onboard, and
- Present a sample Customer Service Quality Assurance job description that you can use as a template or a source of inspiration when writing job ads.
Most companies that prioritize customer service quality will sooner or later have to decide whether to hire dedicated specialists for the QA job or assign additional tasks to the current team.
The responsibilities and activities that a thorough QA strategy creates are often too time-consuming for managers and agents to handle in addition to their daily duties. That’s one of the main reasons why teams hire full-time support QA specialists.
In addition to evaluating support interactions, quality folks are often responsible for taking that information and actioning it by, for example, analyzing support KPIs and creating meaningful agent training and onboarding programs.
Here are the three most common reasons why companies prefer to have QA specialists for internal quality assessments (instead of using peer feedback or manager reviews):
- More time and resources dedicated to boosting support quality without burdening the team or managers;
- Consistency in internal conversation review evaluations and a reduced risk of having multiple people assess tickets differently;
- An unbiased perspective to the quality discussions that makes it easier to provide (negative) feedback to agents without damaging manager-agent relationships.
Hiring a Customer Service QA Specialist is often the preferred solution for large quality-oriented support teams. It’s a great opportunity to introduce systematic conversation reviews to your customer service workflow and improve the quality of your support.
Though quality is indeed your goal when hiring customer service quality folks, think twice before using the term “Quality Assurance”. It’s a phrase that’s often used in the customer service field; however, it comes with a number of downsides to be aware of.
Most of the customer service QA job revolves around doing internal conversation reviews and giving feedback to support agents to improve their performance. But “quality assurance” does not represent all of that.
We suggest replacing the phrase “quality assurance” with “conversation reviews” for the following reasons (we’ve written more about the terminology quibble here):
- Conversation reviews are about providing ongoing feedback to support agents, not just labeling conversations good or bad, as “QA” might suggest;
- Conversation reviews refer to a systematic approach that looks at all customer interactions, including those that fall under the majority “That’s fine, continue” category (which is, by the way, is excellent feedback);
- “Quality Assurance” is already used in software development, so having separate terms for these different practices will help you avoid any confusion in your company.
For these reasons, you might want to ditch “QA” from the job title and, instead, look for a:
- Conversation Review Specialist/Manager, or
- Customer Service Quality Specialist/Manager.
Regardless of how you name the position, make sure you hire the right people for the job. Here’s an example of what a Support QA Specialist job description can look like. Use it as a basis to create your job ads and find the best candidates (maybe from within your team!).
Job brief: As a Customer Service Quality Assurance Manager your goal is to maintain a high and consistent level of support quality across the team. It is your responsibility that, regardless of the agent approached or the support channel used, customers always get similarly excellent treatment.
- Maintain and develop internal support and call center quality standards;
- Review a subset of support agents’ conversations (calls, emails, chat, etc) on Klaus;
- Assess support interactions based on internal standards;
- Accompany evaluations with meaningful and constructive feedback;
- Discuss and explain feedback with agents in regular meetings;
- Analyze all customer service metrics (e.g. CSAT, FRT, IQS) and how the support team’s performance affects those KPIs;
- Create strategies to improve support KPIs;
- Help agents improve their performance with specific instructions and constant support;
- Map the need for training and onboarding programs and initiate these projects;
- Monitor customer service performance on the agent and team level;
- Create reports that reflect support performance;
- Report support team’s performance to higher-ups;
- Participate in calibration sessions to maintain consistency in internal evaluations;
- Contribute to the team culture in a positive manner.
- Experience in the customer service space;
- Proven track record of analytical skills;
- Hands-on experience in quality assurance;
- Great people skills and ability to communicate (negative) feedback;
- Good organizational skills, knowledgeable in goal-setting practices;
- Examples of data visualization abilities and understanding of support metrics;
- Perception of basic business metrics and how support impacts those;
- Problem-solving capabilities to create meaningful strategies to improve support quality.
Questions to ask at the interview:
- How do you define quality?
- Give me some examples of quantitative and qualitative QA measures. Do you prefer one over the other? Why?
- Tell me about a situation where your QA-related findings had an impact on your support quality or business results.
- Share a story of your QA findings that were not relevant in the end. Why do you think this happened?
- How do you envision the impact your work can have at our company?
Use these lists and tweak them according to your needs to create thorough job descriptions for your customer service quality staff.
Internal customer service reviews can be quite time-consuming, especially if you’re managing them manually in spreadsheets. It can take hours every day to copy-paste tickets for review, send notifications and reminders, create reports, etc.
Conversation review tools like Klaus save 70% of the time spent on customer service QA. That gives you three times more time to focus on what matters the most: providing feedback to your support agents.
- Klaus integrates with all major help desk solutions like Intercom, Zendesk, HelpScout, and others. Pull all customer interactions automatically in for internal reviews.
- Build a scorecard that reflects your internal quality standards and assess how your customer service team performs against your expectations.
- Create meaningful reports in seconds and track your team’s progress over time. Zoom in to each agent’s individual performance to find their areas of improvement.
If you’re hiring customer service Quality Assurance staff, you should also invest in a decent conversation review tool. It will boost your quality specialists’ productivity and the effectiveness of your quality programs.
You can review 10 conversations per week for free on Klaus, so why not give it a go right away.