Internal Quality Score – the metric of support QA and conversation reviews – is undoubtedly the hottest support metrics newcomer of the decade. The newly released Support Quality Benchmark Report by Intercom and Klaus reveals that IQS has officially become one of the leading customer service KPIs.
At the end of 2020, Intercom and Klaus teamed up to investigate how support teams measure and track the quality of their customer interactions. These conversations are usually the only human contact customers will have with the business, so agents play a significant role in portraying the voice and tone of the business.
“This year has taught us that when times get tough, retention becomes the new conversion. And with customer experience becoming a key differentiator for many consumers, your support team isn’t just fielding questions on the frontline – they have a tangible impact on your company’s bottom line.” Senior Manager of Customer Support at Intercom
The Support Quality Benchmark Report is available for download (for free) here. It’s based on a survey conducted among CX professionals from teams of various sizes and industries.
Here’s a quick overview of the most important findings from the report.
One-third of support teams track Internal Quality Score
The Support Quality Report proves what all of us have noticed when working with leading support teams: IQS is becoming more important in bringing consistency and quality to customer care.
“Internal Quality Score is an essential metric for all customer service teams. It really is the only way to understand how your team performs against your own quality standards.” Valentina Thörner, Product Empress at Klaus
81% is the average IQS across industries
Internal Quality Score is a unique support metric because it reflects how teams perform against their own quality standards. The criteria, however, vary from business to business, depending on how the particular company defines what ‘quality’ means for them.
81% is the average IQS score across all industries, while customer satisfaction scores average 78%, according to the survey. Read more about why CSAT and IQS are fundamentally different but make the best of friends.
Manager reviews are by far the most popular conversation review format: 68% of support teams that have QA procedures in place do manager reviews.
Manager reviews are the most traditional way of doing support QA. This setup is usually the easiest way to get going with conversation reviews as it allows leadership to retain control over quality procedures in the company.
Check out this case study with the Agorapulse customer care team to learn more about manager reviews.
43% of support teams have dedicated support QA specialists
Dedicated QA specialists conduct conversation reviews in a large proportion of support teams, including those that also do manager reviews. Having QA folks onboard reduces the review burden for other team members and can result in a more thorough quality program. This justifies the additional investment in human resources for 43% of businesses.
Wondering if you should hire a quality team or not? Check out this blog post about the benefits of having QA specialists in the team.
74% of large support teams have hired quality teams
The detailed insights of the report show that quality teams scale with support teams. In large customer service teams (with more than 200 agents), 74% of the teams work with dedicated QA specialists – compared to the average of 43% across all teams.
Contact centers are a great source of inspiration when you’re interested in learning how to make the most out of your quality team.
69% of customer service teams conduct regular conversation reviews. Another 11% are planning to roll out support QA within the next year.
Conversation reviews are here to stay. According to the Support Quality Benchmark survey, we’re projected to see 80% of support teams do regular support QA by the end of 2021.
And support teams really like conversation reviews:
“We continue to offer excellent support with a great CSAT score and impressive response times. But on top of this, we’re now sharing more information internally and providing ten times as much proactive advice between support agents as we did before,” explains Luis Hernandez, the VP of Customer Success at Geckoboard.
86% of support teams include “accurate solutions” in their score rubric, closely followed by Tone and Empathy, which is reviewed in 84% of support teams.
While the right solution and a correct tone of voice are some of the most common things to look for in support interactions, other quality criteria vary a lot from team to team.
Klaus’ 2019 study found that 76% of customer service teams do internal conversation reviews using 2-4 rating categories. However, almost 7% of companies use 10 or more rating categories in their conversation reviews. That’s quite an insightful rubric, isn’t it?
The details of what support teams track in their support QA depend a lot on the company’s customer service values and goals. However, whether or not to do conversation reviews in the first place is no longer a question.
Support Quality Bechnmark Report by Klaus and Intercom reveals that the majority of customer service teams are already doing systematic support QA – and there are more and more teams planning to roll quality programs out in the coming months.
Want to see the complete results of the benchmark survey? Download the full report here.
More resources on customer support quality management
- Customer Service Quality Assurance – The Complete Guide
- Free Download: Customer Service Quality Handbook
- Join Quality Tribe: CX quality community for customer service professionals
- Top Customer Support Quality Assurance (QA) Tools [2021 update]