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How to Pick The Right Customer Service Quality Management Platform (A Buyer’s Guide)

Conversation reviews26 MIN READJul 8, 2021

How to Pick The Right Support Quality Management Platform (A Buyer's Guide)

The quality of your customer service has a huge impact on your business results.

It can be a central tool in driving customer retention, loyalty, and revenue. 

Or the reason your customers switch over to your competitors. 

This is why we’re seeing more and more companies trying to improve the quality of the service they provide by using a Support Quality Management Platform

But with so many tools out there, it can be hard to pick the one that best suits your needs. 

Well, until now. 

We’re going to be breaking down:

Plus some bonus resources:

 

So, by the end of this article, you’ll be in a position to pick the perfect tool for your business. 

Let’s dig right in! 

What is a Support Quality Management Platform?

goals of using support quality management software

A support quality management platform is software that allows you to systematically train and onboard your agents by reviewing their support interactions.  

Support QA is a bit like code review for software developers or the editorial process for writers. 

Quality management in customer service is the practice of monitoring support quality with regular conversation reviews. Reviewers read support interactions and listen to agents’ call recordings to assess their team’s performance and provide feedback for improvements.

The main goal of support quality management software is to maintain and improve support quality across your organization by:

  • Tracking your support team’s performance
  • Aligning your training, coaching, and quality monitoring procedures with your internal quality standards
  • Detecting the conversations that need your attention
  • Creating a random sample of conversations for review
  • Facilitating custom scorecards where rating categories reflect your internal quality standards
  • Notifying agents about the feedback they’ve received

📌 You’ll find that Customer Service Quality Management Platforms are sometimes also referred to as Customer Service Quality Assurance, Conversation Review, or Customer Service Quality Control software.

Why do you need a Support Quality Management Platform?

Why do you need support quality management platform

The ultimate goal of a support quality management platform is to help you improve the quality of your support by making the process of conversation reviews systematic and easy.

And this results in…

Precision to onboarding and training 

To provide the best support possible to your customers, you’ll need your agents to excel at their job. And this can only be possible by providing them with relevant and timely feedback. 

For example, if you notice a lot of your agents struggling with certain technical questions, you could devote more time to this during onboarding or hold an education session to bring everybody up to speed. 

Or if you notice issues with a certain agent’s communication style, you might leave notes on how they can improve upon it or schedule a one-to-one meeting with them. 

Consistency across your support team

While there are probably several customer service metrics you monitor, you’ll find that the majority of them are your customers’ perceptions of the support they receive. 

But it’s equally important to track your performance against your internal quality standards (with an internal quality score).

Using a support quality management tool helps you establish a shared definition of what good customer service is and align your entire support team with company-wide goals.  

Eliminating the need for manual work

If you’re reading this it’s clear that you’re serious about improving the quality of your customer support. And that means you’re performing conversation reviews in some form or the other. 

But doing so without a dedicated tool means you’re most likely copy-pasting vast amounts of data. And you’re probably constantly having to remind agents to look at the feedback they’re receiving.

A good support quality management tool eliminates the need for all this manual work. The process of reviewing conversations, giving feedback, and notifying agents can be seamlessly done from a single dashboard. 

Identifying trends and actionable insights quickly

If you don’t know how you’re performing, it’s hard to improve. And that’s where using such a tool really comes in handy. 

It allows you to represent vast amounts of data in the form of meaningful charts.  

So you can see areas where your support team is excelling, where there’s room for improvement, and ones that need your immediate attention. All at a glance. 

It allows you to gain insight into how your agents are performing individually and as a unit. Which ultimately helps you take measures to improve the experience your customers receive. 

Customer Service Quality Management

When do you need a Support Quality Management Platform?

So, does every organization need a support quality management platform? Well, no.

But does every organization need a way to systematically review support interactions? Absolutely!

If you’re in the early stages of starting with QA, with just a few users, you’re probably using some combination of spreadsheets, Slack, and email to do conversation reviews

And the process might be just fine for now if: 

  1. You can structure all of the following data in a way that’s comprehensible to your whole team:  
  • ticket name, date, time, content;
  • agent’s response, date, time, content;
  • reviewer’s name, date;
  • rating categories (e.g., product knowledge, tone, solution);
  • rating scales;
  • comments and suggestions;
  • total internal assessment score
  1. Have a well-defined system to give feedback where your agents read the feedback they’re receiving. 
  1. Can create meaningful charts and reports that help you identify trends and actionable insights

If you’ve established a system where you can do all of the above without having to spend too much time or do excessive manual work, then you’re probably good for now. 

However, keep in mind that your team must also enjoy this process. 

✨ If the process isn’t fun, the reviews won’t get done. ✨

customer service quality assurance

So if it’s seen as something to just tick the boxes, the quality of feedback will suffer. Which will ultimately reflect in the support you provide.

And if that’s the case, you should consider making the switch to a dedicated conversation review tool. 

📌 You may want to read more about switching from spreadsheets to a dedicated tool. Or how such a switch helped Education Perfect push CSAT beyond 96%

What are the criteria you need to consider while selecting a Support Quality Management Platform?

questions to ask before picking a support quality management platform

Alright, so it appears that your existing way of doing support QA could use an upgrade. 

Whether that’s making the switch from spreadsheets or another software that doesn’t quite cut it for you. 

Let’s take a look at the different criteria you should take into consideration while selecting a support quality management platform for your business. 

Help desk integration

You want to make sure that all your support interactions are automatically synced and always up to date. 

This is why the software you select needs to be fully integrated with the helpdesk you currently use. Whether that’s Intercom, Zendesk, or any other solution. 

This will ensure you can access and review data from a single screen eliminating the need to constantly switch tabs or manually copy-paste data. 

Check your help desk’s app marketplace to see if there’s already an existing integration. 

While building custom integrations is possible, this will take time and act as an unnecessary hurdle to getting started immediately. You should only consider this if the QA software is head and shoulders above the other alternatives you’re considering.  

Additionally, if your tool offers a browser extension that allows doing conversation reviews on any site or platform (like we have at Klaus), there’s nothing like it! 

customer service quality management platform

Features 

Customizable scorecards and weighting

Support QA

The most popular support quality criteria used by teams include:

  • Solution
  • Process (Compliance with internal processes)
  • Product Knowledge
  • Tone and Style
  • Validation

However, every business has a different definition of support quality

Perhaps there are other categories more important to you like security, empathy or grammar, etc. 

And you’ll want to be able to build a scorecard that reflects your own needs and customer service goals

Apart from selecting your own categories, you’ll want to be able to adjust the weighting of the different categories to demonstrate what is most important to your company. And how much they should contribute to the overall score. 

Additionally, you’ll also want to be able to create multiple scorecards whether that’s for different teams, languages, or channels. 

Multiple rating scales

Rating Categories

The rating scale that you use for evaluating your customer service conversations has a significant impact on the review process and its results. 

So once again, you’ll want the option to customize it and make your rating scale as general or granular as you want. 

Look for software that gives you the flexibility to choose a rating scale (from binary ratings to scales with scores of up to 5 or more) that works best for your team. 

Grading calibration

To get meaningful results from conversation reviews, you’ll need to ensure consistency in the review process. That is, different reviewers similarly grading conversations. 

A QA calibration feature helps you ensure just that. And while there are multiple calibration strategies, the end goal remains the same. Consistency. 

So how does it work? 

Most commonly, different reviewers will review the same set of tickets without seeing how others have been grading them. So that they can do so in an unbiased manner.  

This way you’ll be able to see firsthand if there are major discrepancies in the way tickets are being reviewed.  

This is then followed up with the reviewers discussing their reasons and thought processes together. So that a consensus can be reached. Which ultimately prevents such disparities in the future. 

User roles and Permissions

User Settings Klaus

You’ll want to set different user roles and permissions for the members of your team based on how you want them to use the QA tool. 

For example, here’s what you may want different team members to be able to do: 

  • Agents: View their own tickets, statistics and reply to received feedback
  • QA specialists: Review other agents’ tickets and view general statistics about the entire workspace
  • Customer service team leads: Set up rating categories, assigns roles and view detailed statistics about each agent & reviewer separately
  • Head of customer support: Manage all workspaces, edit all workspaces’ settings and managers’ roles, etc. 
  • Account owner: Everything including manage payments, edit all account roles or delete accounts, etc. 

Dashboards and reporting

Support Quality Analytics

A major part of using support QA software is to be able to view large amounts of data in an organized and meaningful manner. All at a single glance. 

Here are some things you’ll want your tool to show you:

  • Your overall support performance against your internal quality standards
  • How much your internal quality score is changing from month to month 
  • How many tickets are being reviewed 
  • How your agents are performing across the different categories of your scorecard

And you’ll want to make sure you can view all these reports in the way you’d like to see them whether that’s in a tabular form, line graphs, or something else.  

Root cause analysis

Root Cause Analysis

Another important aspect of improving your support is identifying the root cause for negative interactions. 

Here’s how it would work: 

Every time there’s a negative rating for a category, the reviewer will be prompted to either write a comment or choose a reason from a predefined list. 

This allows you to gather more in-depth feedback on the root causes of why a category received a negative rating. So that you can take the necessary corrective action to address it. 

Goal setting

The stats show that setting a daily QA support goal brings the best results. So ideally you should aim for that. 

But based on your needs you’d want a feature where you can set a goal for how many reviews you wish to complete on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Peer-to-Peer reviews and Self-reviews

Generally smaller teams lean towards a distributed setup (self-review, peer review) and larger teams towards a setup with dedicated resources (manager reviews, QA specialist reviews).

But it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, you can even find large distributed teams like Automattic using peer reviews with great results

So you’ll want to make sure your QA tool facilitates different types including self and peer reviews. 

Assignments

Peer Review Assignments

This is especially useful if you’re doing peer reviews

This feature will allow you to automatically pair your agents together on a weekly or monthly basis and assign tickets to each agent without having to lift a finger. 

CSV export

A CSV file is easy to parse and can be read using almost any text editor. All while keeping the file size extremely compact. 

So a CSV export feature will allow you to quickly export a large volume of data to a spreadsheet or more concentrated database of your choice. 

AI features

Sentiment Analysis Filter

The last set of features you’ll want to check for are ones powered by AI and Machine learning that can help your team save time and effort. 

For example, with a sentiment analysis feature, you can filter out all the tickets in which the customer sentiment is judged to have been either positive or negative.

And with a complexity feature, you can see the most complex conversations you have had with your customers with the click of a button. 

CTA - QA

Other integrations 

You want to make sure that the support quality management platform can integrate with the existing tech stack you’re using. 

This could be to receive instant notifications on Slack when reviews are done. Or to see how your knowledge base is being used within conversations. And everything in between. 

Go through the product’s integrations page to see if the tools you use regularly are already integrated. 

Pricing

There are tools to suit every budget. 

And you can find pricing for different support QA software ranging from free to $50 per agent/month. 

But to add some context, support teams on average spend $184 on software per agent every month. With approximately $29 of this accounting for their QA tool. 

So once you’ve identified the tool with the features and integrations you need, you can eliminate software that doesn’t have pricing that matches your budget. Which helps you further narrow down your list. 

Scalability

Different tools are built for different-sized teams. 

But a factor that often gets missed when selecting QA software is scalability. 

Perhaps a certain tool might be a good fit for you right now. But will it continue to be when you hire a lot of seasonal staff? Or when your operations eventually scale?  

So in addition to finding out if the tool fits your team’s current needs, make sure it can do just as well in the future as your team grows. 

Go through different case studies to see how the tool has worked for companies in a similar position as you’re in. As well as the position you’re planning to be in. 

User experience

The software you select will be used by your team on a day-to-day basis. 

So it’s of paramount importance that it’s easy and enjoyable to use. 

And there’s no better way to find out than by requesting/utilizing a free trial. 

Here’s what you’ll want to check for when you’re trying out the tool:

  • Is it easy to figure out while getting started? 
  • Is it fast and intuitive?
  • Can you see your team using it on a daily basis? 
  • How much training and onboarding will be required? 
  • What are the training resources available to bring your team up to speed? 

A complicated interface or workflow usually means that the quality of feedback will suffer. Which ends up defeating the purpose of using such a tool. 

Reliability and compliance 

It’s important to find out if the makers of the product:

  • have implemented organizational and technical controls that ensure the safety of your data 
  • have clear internal policies
  • follow a detailed onboarding process for employees
  • provide regular security training

You can check for this by going to the company’s security page on their website.  

Learn what processes they have in place and which certifications they possess to make sure there’ll be no issues with security or compliance. 

Some keywords to look for include SOC 2, GDPR, and OAuth, etc.

support quality

Support 

Lastly, the provider you go with must be accessible and responsive when you reach out to them for support. 

Go through their profile on review sites like G2 and Capterra where others leave unbiased opinions on their experience with their support team (and the product as a whole). 

Which are the Best Support Quality Management Tools?

Finally, it’s time to look at the best software available in the market. 

We’ve listed the 15 best Support Quality Management Platforms out there with a brief description and highlight of their most noteworthy features.

Let’s dive in! 

Klaus

Klaus Screenshot

Klaus is a quality management platform for support teams that makes giving feedback to agents easy and systematic.

✅ Create custom scorecards.

✅ Review conversations and leave comments.

✅ Advanced reporting and a dashboard to track and report your team’s performance.

✅ Calibration features to keep everyone on the same page about conversation reviews.

✅ Impactful coaching sessions and 1-1s based on performance metrics and conversation examples.

✅ Slack integration for notifications and a browser extension.

✅ Machine Learning features to focus on where learning and coaching are most needed.

🔗 Used by companies like Epic Games, Wistia, Automattic, PandaDoc, and others.

Observe AI

Observe.AI Call center quality assurance tool and alternatives

Observe.AI allows to rapidly transcribe customer conversations, evaluate agents, improve CX quality, and coach high-performing teams.

✅ Access highly accurate transcripts. Search and filter through 100% of conversations in real-time.

✅ Automatically surface interactions to review. Dig deeper into areas like supervisor escalations, dead air, and hold time.

✅ Learn what drives a positive or negative customer experience. Scale the best practices top agents use with customers.

🔗 Used by companies like ERC, City Cruises, and Care Sherpa.

Calabrio 

calabrio screenshot

Calabrio Quality Management allows you to understand the complete agent and customer experience and provide more targeted coaching, no matter where your employees are working – all while helping ensure compliance and improving overall contact center performance.

✅ Create a quality command center. All your evaluation tools in one place.

✅ Streamline processes and reporting – Stop manually creating reports.

✅ Automatically monitor system issues. Get immediate notifications. Examine potential errors. Stay ahead of problems and minimize downtime.

🔗 Calabrio integrates with popular help desks such as Talkdesk, Five9, Gladly, and more.

Kaizo

Kaizo support QA

Powered by gamification and AI, Kaizo transforms performance management for

customer support teams.

✅ Analyze performance with real-time agent & team metrics, dashboards, and trends.

✅ Improve service quality with advanced QA integrated into your processes.

Empower agents to understand and proactively improve their performance.

✅ Save time on manual report building with real-time dashboards & KPI management.

🔗 Kaizo integrates with Zendesk.

Summatti

Summatti support QA tool

Summatti is an AI-powered QA platform that analyzes your support interactions and alerts your team to any shortcomings in customer satisfaction.

✅ Analyze interactions across all multiple channels. 

✅ Identify issues, patterns, predict escalations & take actions in real-time.

✅ Use AI to automate your QA processes.  

🔗 Summatti integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, and ConnectWise amongst others. 

Aprikot

Aprikot

The easiest solution for improving QA for Zendesk or Help Scout teams.

✅ Assign scores, leave comments, and complete reviews without opening up another application or tab.

✅ Quickly view team or agent-level performance to see averages, trends, strengths, and areas for improvement. Easily look up feedback by date, agent, or specific ticket number.

✅ Customize the rubric based on what works best for your operations and QA needs.

🔗 Aprikot integrates with Help Scout and Zendesk.

EvaluAgent

Evaluagent-screenshot

EvaluAgent is a QA and Performance Improvement platform that helps Quality Assurance teams increase coverage, unlock actionable insight, and coach agents towards better conversations with your customers.  

✅ Save time and money by storing all conversations, QA, and performance data in one platform.

✅ Quickly identify at-risk conversations and correlate customer feedback with your internal quality scores to ensure your QA framework measures what matters.

✅ Increase QA coverage by classifying and auto-scoring every call, email, and chat session for CX and regulatory compliance.

🔗 EvaluAgent integrates easily with all major CRM, WFM, telephony, call recording, and ticket management systems.

CallSource

callsource-screenshot

CallSource’s Performance Management tool is a call center QA software that allows companies to analyze their phone support performance and receive call coaching.

✅ Monthly report cards track call handling behaviors and trends. 

✅ Their team analyzes and scores your sales calls. 

✅ Lets you compare your appointment-to-conversion rates. 

🔗 CallSource offers various call center tools from support QA to lead scoring and marketing analysis.

Miuros

miuros-screenshot

Miuros turns your data into actionable insights with AI-powered analytics, quality assurance, and automation.

✅ Based on your selection criteria, Miuros’ QA system will unbiasedly choose and assign the most important tickets to be reviewed – so you don’t have to cherry-pick. 

✅ Across all communication channels for all teams. Have all the results centralized, giving you quick and easy access to improvements.

✅ Benchmark your agents, teams, or business process outsourcers in an instant – and let your agents assess their own performance on the go.

🔗 Miuros integrates with Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout, and 4 other help desks.

👉 You may also want to check out how Miuros compares with Klaus

Aspect Quality Management

Aspect Quality Management

Aspect Quality Management Call Center solutions combine speech analytics technologies and internal quality assessments.

✅  Allows customer interactions to be evaluated by supervisors, agents, and automated analytics systems.

✅ Retrieve full-time recordings of call and screen interactions. 

✅ Automate the Quality Process with Speech Analytics. 

🔗 Besides call center QA tools, Aspect offers different contact center and workforce management solutions.

Playvox

playvox screenshot

Playvox equips modern businesses and BPOs with the most comprehensive, collaborative, and insightful agent optimization suite of Quality Assurance, Performance Management, Coaching, Learning, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Management, and Agent Motivation software.

✅ Improve CSAT, NPS, and the customer experience.

✅ Create powerful and beautiful scorecards in minutes.

✅ Clear-cut filtering, prioritizing and evaluating.

🔗  Playvox integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, Helpshift, and 9 other help desks.

👉 You may also want to check out how Playvox compares with Klaus

MaestroQA

MaestroQA

MaestroQA is customer service quality assurance software that helps teams improve customer experience.

✅ Create customizable scorecards for your unique business needs. 

✅ Get full visibility into how tickets are handled with a screen capture feature. 

✅ Schedule automated reports to team leads and management.

🔗 MaestroQA integrates with Intercom, Zendesk, Freshdesk amongst other helpdesk solutions.

👉 You may also want to check out how Maestro QA compares with Klaus

Clearview

Clearview

Clearview is a call center performance management tool that includes QA rubrics for call recordings and a convenient flagging system to mark calls of high priority or special concern.

✅ Listen to call recordings, identify areas of improvement and give relevant feedback.

✅ Challenge agents to meet QA performance objectives by integrating QA with gamification. 

✅ Generate holistic reports that reflect every aspect of your contact center by connecting QA metrics with all other customer service KPIs. 

🔗 Clearview consolidates QA, surveys, time clock, and other workforce management solutions.

Stella Connect

stella connect screenshot

Stella Connect by Medallia is a platform that connects customer feedback, QA, and coaching. Giving CX leaders visibility into performance and driving the improvement of frontline teams. 

✅ Stella Connect makes it easy to launch QA reviews off actual customer feedback. 

✅  With Stella Connect, team leaders can view a real-time list of interactions and instantly launch a review.

✅ Fully customize your scorecard based on your team’s specific needs. Leverage auto-fail questions, weigh your scoring on a per-section basis and categorize questions into sections.

🔗  Stella Connect integrates with Zendesk, Salesforce, Kustomer, and 17 other vendors. 

👉 You may also want to check out how Stella Connect compares with Klaus

Scorebuddy

scorebuddy-screenshot

Scorebuddy is a cloud-based quality assurance software that evaluates customer interactions across multiple channels, calls, emails, live chat, and social media.

✅ Create the scorecard you want with Scorebuddy’s intuitive Scorecard builder. Set up as many different scorecards as you like to evaluate phone calls, emails, chat, etc.

✅ Scorebuddy’s powerful analytics tool allows you to spot trends and exceptions so you can manage, coach, and improve. 

✅ Give agents their own dashboards showing their quality scores and any coaching tips from the evaluator. They get alerted when a new score is submitted.

🔗 Scorebuddy integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, Five9, Talkdesk.

👉 You may also want to check out how Scorebuddy compares with Klaus

📌 Here’s a template you can use to compare the different tools you’ve shortlisted from the list above. Make a copy and compare away! 

And we’re done! 

Selecting the right support quality management tool for your business can greatly impact the quality of your support. 

For example, just look at how it helped: 

So we hope we’ve helped make the process of selecting the right tool a little easier for you. 

Still have any questions? Join Quality Tribe and leave a message to get insights and recommendations from other CX quality experts just like you!  

Written by

Jay
Jayanth Padmakumar
Jay loves all things mindfulness, sports, and craft beer. Sometimes, he also writes.

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