Intercom’s study on the future of customer service reveals that every tenth support team tracks Internal Quality Score (IQS) as their most important KPI. This officially confirms the trend we’ve seen with companies like Automattic (the makers of WordPress.com), Geckoboard, Wistia, PandaDoc, and others shifting their focus to internal support quality reviews.
Intercom – one of the most popular customer service help desk providers and leaders of the conversational experiences – was curious about the challenges and opportunities global customer service teams are facing as they move towards 2021. So, they created a survey asking questions about the future and trends in customer service – and received feedback from almost 600 managers from around the world.
One of the questions they asked was “Which metric does your support team most closely track?”
10% of the respondents selected “Internal quality score” as their most important KPI in Intercom’s survey, indicating the new wave of quality-oriented customer experiences that are reshaping the industry.
Want to join those progressive companies and shift your support team’s focus to Internal Quality Score (IQS) in 2021?
Here’s everything you need to know about IQS and how to make the most out of it.
What is Internal Quality Score (IQS)?
Internal Quality Score (IQS) is the aggregated score of internal conversation reviews that reflects how well agents’ responses align with your company’s quality standards. It’s the metric of customer service Quality Assurance (QA) and ticket reviews.
IQS calculations are based on each support team’s individual scorecards. All businesses have their own understanding of what they want their customer-facing interactions to sound and feel like, and how to impress their particular customers. All of these aspects are represented in the rubric as separate rating categories.
Reviewers analyze agents’ conversations (emails, chats, phone recordings, etc) and score their performance in each of the quality criteria. The results can be interpreted on three levels:
- The team level provides insight into your support team’s performance on the most generalized level. This helps you track QA results over time, notice any drops in quality as soon as they happen, and react accordingly.
- The rating category level enables you to follow the trends that are happening within a single quality criterion. This becomes useful if you want to find your team’s areas of improvement and help them become better at what they do through constant feedback.
- The agent level gives you insight into your customer service reps’ individual performance. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses, their progress over time, and the skills that they can improve with individual feedback.
IQS helps support teams measure their own performance, become aware of their communication patterns and knowledge gaps. Regardless of whether conversation reviews are done in the form of peer-, self-, or manager reviews, support QA is a universal way of boosting consistency and quality in customer service.
What’s the difference between CSAT and IQS?
Many companies use the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) to measure their support quality. However, CSAT doesn’t always tell you the whole truth.
CSAT provides an external viewpoint on how your customers feel about your support team and business in general. IQS, on the other hand, represents internal (i.e., your own) evaluations of your agents’ performance.
Here’s why one in ten support teams prefers IQS over CSAT when measuring support quality:
- CSAT doesn’t evaluate your support performance (only). Most of the time, it’s a mixture of product feedback, attitudes towards company policies, and other issues that are out of your support reps’ control. Only a fraction of customer feedback is actually dedicated to the quality of your support.
- Customers have unrealistic expectations. Customers don’t know the complexity of their requests and may become disappointed by not having a problem solved during a single phone call, or by not getting a new feature that’s not on your product roadmap. These can result in low CSAT scores regardless of how well your agents handle the situations.
- Customers don’t know your quality standards – you do. At times, customers may be satisfied with responses that fell below your expectations – and, other times, they might be dissatisfied with those that actually aligned with your company’s support vision.
Don’t make the customer responsible for assessing your support quality. You know what your customer service should sound and feel like, so it’s your task to review how well your conversations align with that vision.
How to measure IQS on Intercom
Intercom has partnered up with Klaus, a dedicated conversation review and support QA tool, to help you build a-meow-zing quality programs.
Klaus is an easy-to-use tool for doing conversation reviews, tracking your IQS, and providing feedback to agents to help them improve their performance.
- Pull your Intercom conversations into Klaus for review, or
- Use Klaus’ browser extension to evaluate agents’ performance on any platform.
Here’s how to start tracking IQS with the Intercom-Klaus combo:
- Create an account on Klaus,
- Connect your Intercom account with Klaus,
- Add rating categories to your scorecard,
- Select a rating scale for evaluations,
- Invite team members along,
- Start doing conversation reviews.
Setting up your Intercom helpdesk for internal quality checks on Klaus is just as easy as this. You’ll be ready to review your first conversations in no time.
Once you’ve set up your quality program on Klaus, you can start to enjoy the perks of tracking your team’s performance on Klaus’ quality dashboard. It’s the easiest way to notice any changes in your support performance and zoom into individual agents’ results. It’s also one of the most efficient solutions for reporting the impact of your customer service efforts to your execs.
? Pro tip: Measure your customer satisfaction with Intercom’s native 5-point survey and set your Klaus scorecard up with a 5-point rating scale, too. This will make it easy to compare your internal and external evaluations and provide you with a comprehensive overview of your team’s performance.
Internal Quality Score, the metric of conversation reviews and support QA, has made it to the topmost tier of important customer service metrics – and rightfully so. IQS is one of the essentials that all ambitious teams need to measure to know how well they perform against their own quality standards.
More and more businesses are becoming aware of their own role in evaluating their customer service performance. Relying solely on customer feedback is no longer enough to deliver world-class customer experience.
If you’d like to see how IQS and internal agent feedback boost your support quality and bring consistency to your agents’ responses, give Klaus a go. It’s easily the easiest way to level up your Intercom conversations.