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Does Support Quality Assurance Affect Customer Satisfaction?

Quality assurance6 MIN READFeb 1, 2022

from CAT to CSAT

Unless you’re consistently achieving perfect scores across the board, you’re likely continuously striving to enhance your CSAT score. While there’s no quick fix, implementing a comprehensive quality assurance program can significantly boost customer satisfaction.

If some of your customers are experiencing dissatisfaction akin to Mick Jagger’s famous song, it’s essential to backtrack to identify where things went awry.

Quality assurance enables you to adopt a proactive approach.

Customer satisfaction remains a constantly shifting target, with expectations continually evolving. Consequently, there are no quick fixes; maintaining a high CSAT score demands consistent effort.

Identifying the issue

Conversation reviews serve as invaluable indicators of areas for improvement. When establishing your quality assurance program, customer service evaluations should form the cornerstone of your initiatives. Delve into your interactions not only to assess agent performance but also to understand customer feedback.

While you could randomly select a few support interactions or even review all conversations for a comprehensive overview, this may not be the most efficient customer service review strategy.

To pinpoint your Achilles’ heel(s), it’s more effective to be specific about which conversations you review.

Zendesk QA (formerly Klaus) AI and data intelligence features pluck out areas of weakness for you:  

  • Sentiment filter
    We use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to detect customer sentiment. To examine customer dissatisfaction, use this filter to look at all the ‘negative sentiment’ conversations.
  • Complexity filter
    Like Avril Lavigne, customers can get frustrated when things get complicated. Use this filter to find the more complex back-and-forth conversations – ones in which you’ll find the most potential for learning and coaching opportunities.
  • Conversation Insights
    Use these neat data visuals to segment your conversations and pull out those with low CSAT for a deeper understanding of how these interactions play out and which agents are involved. 

So, you want to improve customer satisfaction? 

Let’s explore what’s within your control.

When it comes to a customer service team, there are limitations to how much control you have over customer satisfaction.

Controllable elements encompass team performance and support processes. During quality evaluations, the goal is to pinpoint variables that you can modify, such as agent knowledge or tone.

However, you might observe instances of customer dissatisfaction stemming from factors beyond your sphere of influence, such as poor product performance or limited support channels. For instance, there may be recurring product issues or a desire for phone support when only live chat or email options are available.

how to control CSAT

It’s on you to delve into these variables, as your CSAT won’t distinguish between them.

Don’t dismiss what may seem beyond your control. Customer satisfaction should be a shared goal across the company—if you encounter recurring issues deemed uncontrollable, escalate them to decision-makers or relevant teams capable of implementing broader changes.

Empower your team to always inquire deeper into customer issues. As active listening is a cornerstone of exceptional customer service, your support representatives may need to engage in some probing.

How does your team measure up? 

Your CSAT score will only be as strong as your weakest team member.

When we emphasize the importance of consistency, it extends beyond just implementing a QA program. Research indicates that 76% of customers expect consistency across agents and channels. Achieving this necessitates a systematic approach to identifying agent weaknesses and integrating them into a coaching plan aimed at leveling up everyone’s performance.

Conversely, leverage your top-performing agents as benchmarks for quality success. Learn more about this in our article on customer service coaching.

Using quality reviews to improve customer satisfaction

Identifying agent weaknesses

Establish review categories that correspond to your internal benchmarks
While assessing agents on Solution and Product knowledge is crucial, ensure to encompass intangible qualities like Empathy or Going the extra mile. For further insights, explore these trends in rating categories.

Track conversations over an extended period. Assign regular review tasks to maintain ongoing quality assessment
Adopt a scientific mindset and avoid contaminating experiments with inadequate sampling—opt for a longer-term approach. Patterns and trends gleaned over time offer more valuable insights than isolated conversations.

All about the IQS

Internal Quality Score (IQS) stands as the pivotal metric in customer service quality assurance.

This score is derived from internal reviews. The reviewer, whether a manager, peer, or specialist, possesses an understanding of support objectives and is thus equipped to evaluate support representatives using predefined rating categories.

IQS significantly impacts customer satisfaction. Customers may not discern that insufficient agent knowledge was the cause of an unsatisfactory outcome, or that they might have awarded a 100% CSAT score had the support representative gone the extra mile. However, an insider can.

Therefore, gauging how agents measure up to internal standards offers a direct route to enhancing customer satisfaction.

  • High IQS but Low CSAT: This suggests that there are more uncontrollable factors influencing outcomes.
  • Low IQS and CSAT: It’s time to don your coaching hat and address what your team can control.

A coach’s toolbox

Providing constructive feedback and effective coaching serves as the final—and significant—step in the journey from mediocrity to customer satisfaction.

Regular feedback tailored to support representatives’ performance is essential. However, offering feedback devoid of constructive advice is akin to offering a chocolate teapot.

Klaus for coaching

Use Zendesk QA to manage how you coach and make sure you’re giving agents the time and tools they need to impurrove:

  • Pins for coaching
    Pin specific conversations to an agent or reviewer’s folder. So, when feedback sessions come around, you have examples at your fingertips.
  • Quizzes
    Scientifically proven to help humans learn AND you can make them fun. Design custom quizzes based on which skills they need to brush up on, e.g., Onboarding quiz, Product knowledge quiz, etc. 
  • Coaching sessions
    Everything in one place: your sessions dashboard tracks talking points and action items. It also gives you an overview of the agent’s key metrics, so you can track their progress. 
How to make sure QA improves your customer satisfaction? (a summary)

  1. Perform consistent internal quality evaluations.
  2. Evaluate agents based on criteria aligned with internal benchmarks.
  3. Compare your Internal Quality Score (IQS) with your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rating.
  4. Provide coaching to ensure agents meet expected standards.

Written by

Grace Cartwright
Grace is perpetually working on a self-help book entitled ’Where Did I Put My Keys?’. In her free time, she writes for Klaus.

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