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How does Quality Assurance Improve Customer Satisfaction?

Quality assurance6 MIN READFeb 1, 2022

from CAT to CSAT

Unless you’re hitting 100s across the board, chances are you are on the perennial path to improving your CSAT score. While there’s no magic formula, an airtight quality assurance program will improve customer satisfaction. 

If some of your customers are suffering from a bad case of the Mick Jaggers (they can’t get no satisfaction), you need to roll your stones back a few paces to find out where things started going downhill. 

Quality assurance helps you take a proactive approach. 

Customer satisfaction is an ever-moving target. Expectations consistently rise and evolve, which means there’s no quick-fix method. It takes consistency to keep your CSAT high.

Ding ding, here’s your problem

Conversation reviews are the best indicators of areas where you can improve. When you set up your quality assurance program, customer service reviews need to be at the core of your efforts. Dig into your interactions to understand not just how agents are interacting, but to understand what customers are saying

By all means, you could pluck a few support interactions at random or even ALL conversations for a complete overview. But that’s not really the most efficient customer service review strategy

Be more specific about which conversations you review to find your Achilles’ heel(s).

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, but what can you control?

Within a customer service team, there are limits on how in control you are of customer satisfaction. 

Controllable factors include team performance and support processes. When you conduct quality reviews, you want to identify variables which you can change: agent knowledge or tone, for example. 

But you might notice that the customer dissatisfaction applies to factors outside your sphere of influence, like poor product performance or limited support channels. Maybe there are recurring issues with the product itself. Maybe they wanted to speak to you on the phone when you only offer live chat or email.

how to control CSAT

Your CSAT won’t differentiate between these variables – that’s up to you to investigate.

Don’t ignore what may appear to be out of your control. Customer satisfaction should be a company-wide goal – if you see recurring uncontrollables, take this to decision-makers and/or other teams who can make wider changes. 

Train your team to always ask the questions that get to the bottom of customer problems. Since listening is a key tenet of excellent customer service, your support reps might need to do a little probing.

How does your team measure up? 

Your CSAT will only be as good as your lowest-performing team member. 

So, when we talk about the importance of consistency, we’re not just referring to a QA program. 76% of customers expect consistency across agents and channels. This requires a methodical approach to identifying agent weaknesses and feeding that into a coaching plan that brings everyone up to par. 

Likewise, it works the other way around: use your top-performing agents as benchmarks of quality success. Find out more about in this customer service coaching article. 

Using quality reviews to improve customer satisfaction

How to identify agent weaknesses: 

Set up review categories that align with your internal standards
Rating your agents on Solution and Product knowledge is important, but remember to include the less tangible attributes like Empathy or Going the extra mile. Check out these rating category trends for more insight.

Monitor conversations over some time
Set review assignments to keep the QA kettle boiling. Think like a scientist and don’t muddy experiments with poor sampling – take a longer approach. Patterns and trends are more valuable to you than one-off conversations.

All about that IQS

Internal Quality Score is the key metric for customer service quality assurance.

And it’s calculated through internal reviews. The conversation reviewer (whether a manager, peer, or specialist) understands support goals and is thus qualified to rate support reps based on predefined rating categories. 

IQS has a knock-on effect on customer satisfaction. Customers cannot see that the cause of an unsatisfactory outcome was a lack of agent knowledge. Customers cannot tell you they may have given a 100% CSAT score had the support rep gone the extra mile. An insider can, though. 

Therefore, understanding how agents measure up to internal standards gives you a more direct path to improving customer satisfaction. 

If your IQS is high yet CSAT is low
This indicates that there are more uncontrollable factors at play. 

If your IQS and CSAT are low
It’s time to put on your coaching cap and get a handle on what your team can control. 

A coach’s toolkit

Helpful feedback and effective coaching is the last (but not insignificant) stop on the path from cat to CSAT. 

You need to provide regular feedback to your support reps based on their performance. But giving them feedback without constructive advice is as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

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 does Quality Assurance Improve Customer Satisfaction?
(a summary)

Conduct regular internal quality reviews

Rate agents according to categories that reflect internal standards

Measure your IQS against your CSAT

Coach agents up to par

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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