Customers Don’t Care About Your Quality Assurance Checklists

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Quality assurance (QA) is often the cornerstone of a contact center’s management efforts. QA practices help enhance the quality of a service team by ensuring associates are following company standards like using preferred terminology with customers and not disclosing private information.

Ideally, QA standards should focus on whether, and how effectively, associates are addressing customers’ needs and expectations. But these evaluations often turn into a checklist approach to QA follow-through. Customers, however, don’t care about QA checklists. They just want their support issues addressed promptly and completely. Such resolution requires alignment of QA and Voice of the Customer (VoC).

Part of the reason for the misalignment is that the checklists that associates go through often don’t match what customers want, which is personalized service, quick resolution, and knowledgeable associates.

Another reason is that many voice of the customer surveys are flawed in that they ask customers questions about their satisfaction with the brand and with the interaction they just completed. These surveys are most effective when they can uncover what the customer expected, identify root causes for any pain points prior to reaching customer support, and then drive the changes needed to deliver the experiences that customers want. 

quality assurance checklistAddressing what matters most to customers

To address gaps in the customer experience and meet customer expectations, contact center leaders should regularly evaluate those aspects of the customer service interaction that matter most to customers.

For instance, does an associate have total control over customer satisfaction outcome? In many cases, an associate does not, due to insufficient customer data available to them and scope to resolve a customer’s issue. Whether it’s receiving intelligent support, fast and complete problem resolution, or the empathy expressed by an associate, customer care leaders need to identify the most important aspects of customer care from the customer’s point of view and take the steps that are necessary in meeting those expectations.

Securing quality “anchors”

In addition to the aspects of the care experience that matters most to customers, organizational leaders should also pay close attention to the three quality anchors that customers look for when they engage with a care associate. These include:
  • Whether a care associate diagnosed the customer’s request or issue effectively and efficiently.
  • Whether the care associate resolved the customer’s request or issue to the customer’s satisfaction.
  • Whether the care associate communicated with the customer in a way that reinforces the customer’s expectations of the brand and the services that he or she pays for. 

Taken together, these three anchors can drive the right behaviors and align to the outcomes that customers express in VoC surveys. It’s also important to note that the degree to which customer care associates address these three anchors will align to both good and bad customer experiences.

TTEC has built a framework using this criteria that has helped our clients move from poor quality-VoC alignment to very strong alignment. In one example, TTEC worked with a major U.S. retailer to correlate quality with customer satisfaction. By applying a data-driven approach, we were able to help the retailer identify correlations between high QA scores for associates and high likelihood to repurchase/revisit (LTR) scores from customers.

Next Steps
  • Determine if your organization’s QA process is predictive of VoC outcomes.
  • Uncover areas for building customer experience into the company’s QA process methodology.
  • Drop quality parameters that force a checklist call flow between associates and customers.

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