Managing a call center is by no means an easy task. You need to consistently deliver high levels of customer service and maintain customer satisfaction while keeping your call center profitable and ensuring it aligns with your business goals. That is why quality assurance isn’t a one-time event but an ongoing commitment.
Whether you’re looking to set up your call center quality assurance process from scratch or want to optimize your current call center quality assurance program, you’ve landed on the right place. Based on our 15-year experience in the call center industry and what we’ve learned from our customers, we’ve come up with the top 10 call center quality assurance best practices you can implement to ensure your call center operates smoothly and efficiently, serving your customers’ needs and your business objectives.
What is Call Center Quality Assurance?
Call center quality assurance is basically the process of ensuring that your call center operates in accordance with the business standards and maintains high service quality. It involves regularly evaluating agent performance, measuring adherence to established quality standards, and identifying and addressing inefficiencies in the processes and operations.
With a well-established quality assurance process, your call center can easily maintain operational efficiency, serve customers in a quick and efficient way, and keep agents performing at their best. Let’s explore some of the call center QA best practices that can help you do just that.
Top 10 Call Center Quality Assurance Best Practices
1. Clearly define your quality assurance criteria
The first and probably the most important step in your call center quality assurance process is building your call center QA framework. That includes defining specific criteria that you will use for evaluating and ensuring quality in your operations. Consider what specific metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you want to measure.
As there are dozens of metrics and KPIs to choose from, you don’t want to measure and optimize them all simultaneously; otherwise, you might get overwhelmed with data that has little or no value. That’s why it’s essential to keep track of those that match your contact center goals and objectives. For example, if you’d like to prioritize quick customer service, you might want to focus on the Average Speed of Answer, the Average Hold Time, the Average Handle Time, and First Call Resolution rate.
2. Utilize real-time call monitoring and call recording
Monitoring customer calls in real time and reviewing call recordings is a traditional, tried-and-true way to assess call quality and gauge agent performance and adherence to quality standards. Luckily, real-time call monitoring and automated call recording are the basic capabilities of most call center software systems.
However, considering that an average agent can handle around 1,000-2,000 calls per month, there is no way call center managers and supervisors can review them all. They can, of course, choose a targeted approach and monitor specific agents or call types, such as escalated calls. That may help reveal some hidden insights, but it still won’t be enough to acquire meaningful data and uncover trends or inefficiencies at a broader scale. That’s where AI-powered speech analytics tools can make all the difference.
3. Leverage the power of AI speech analytics
Speech analytics solutions can truly optimize the quality assurance process in contact centers. These tools utilize advanced technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to analyze live calls and call recordings, transcribe calls, and extract valuable insights that can help managers and leaders make more data-driven decisions.
E.g., with VoiceSpin’s AI-based Speech Analyzer, you can automatically analyze all calls for quality assurance, agent performance monitoring, and compliance monitoring to ensure your reps adhere to quality and compliance standards. By monitoring and analyzing large volumes of calls, the system can identify patterns, trends, and performance issues, enabling managers to timely address them before they turn to bigger problems.
To learn more about using Speech Analytics tools, head over to our article Speech Analytics in Call Centers: Unlocking the Potential of Voice Data.
4. Make resources easily accessible across the entire team
To enable your agents to deliver quick and efficient support and consistent service quality in every customer interaction, ensure you have a centralized hub of all the resources your team can easily access to and locate the relevant information while they are on a call with a customer. That includes call scripts, SOPs (standard operating procedures), answers to the most frequently asked questions, an internal product knowledge base, documented troubleshooting guides, etc.
When agents know where to find and can instantly access the information they need, they will make fewer mistakes and better adhere to your call center QA standards. Most importantly, make sure these resources are regularly reviewed, updated whenever needed, and kept relevant.
5. Incorporate customer feedback into your QA process
Customer feedback has always been a valuable source of information for call centers. Incorporating it into your QA processes can provide you with critical insights on where and how you can improve your customer service strategy, processes, and operations to enhance customer experience and customer satisfaction. One of the most efficient ways to assess customer feedback is by using post-call surveys and track customer satisfaction through metrics like:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
You can also use customer surveys with open-ended questions, encouraging customers to share more specific feedback that can be used to identify gaps in service delivery and areas where customer expectations are not being met. As customer preferences and expectations are continuously changing and evolving, collecting customer feedback should be an ongoing part of your call center quality monitoring and assurance process.
6. Consistently evaluate your team’s performance
Obviously, consistently tracking agent performance on a team and individual level is one of the best ways to ensure your agents adhere to your quality standards and deliver excellent service to your customers. To get a comprehensive view of agent performance, managers should track a set of KPIs that measure both quantitative and qualitative aspects of agent interactions. Some of the particular KPIs and metrics to measure may include:
- First Call Resolution Rate (FCR)
- Average Call Duration
- Average Handle Time (AHA)
- After-Call Work Time
- Call Transfer Rate
- Call Quality Score
- Agent Script Adherence
- Schedule Adherence
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
If you are running a sales-oriented outbound call center, you can also track metrics like First Call Close, Call Completion Rate, and Conversion Rate to assess the performance and effectiveness of your call center agents, campaigns, and QA efforts.
7. Provide timely training and coaching
The overall quality of customer service a call center delivers largely depends on how well agents are able to handle customer interactions based on their knowledge and skills. That’s why it’s critical to ensure agents not only have a deep knowledge of your products or services, but also have excellent soft skills required to handle customer interactions effectively (such as good communication skills, call handling, troubleshooting, script adherence, conflict resolution, objection handling, etc.).
While agent training typically starts from the onboarding phase, it should be a continuous, ongoing process. As part of your training, agents should be well informed of your call center’s quality standards and what happens if these standards are not being consistently met. Managers should also regularly look at KPIs like First Call Resolution rates and the Average Handle Time to see which agents might need extra coaching to improve their performance.
8. Encourage self-assessment and self-improvement
Include self-assessment into your call center quality assurance and encourage agents to regularly evaluate their own performance. Not only does it actively involve them in the performance evaluation process, but it also helps improve engagement and collaboration within the team, fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, and promotes continuous learning and self-development, taking your team’s efficiency and productivity to a new level.
Agents can analyze their interactions at the end of the working day when calls are still fresh in their minds through self-scoring, assess their own performance, and identify weak points and areas for improvement while also taking ownership of their professional development. It can also be done during one-on-ones or dedicated performance review meetings. No matter how you organize it, agent self-assessment should be part of your QA process.
9. Implement a reward and recognition system
Regularly acknowledge and reward agents who demonstrate top performance, deliver excellent customer service, and adhere to your quality standards. Considering that call center jobs are stressful by nature and are typically associated with high levels of workplace stress and burnout, employee recognition should be an essential part of call center workforce management.
You can publicly recognize your top-performing team members, share their success stories across the company, and provide monetary or non-monetary incentives to encourage, motivate, and maintain a culture of excellence and high quality in service delivery. That can also be done by employing call center gamification techniques.
10. Regularly review and improve your QA program
Finally, while having a well-thought-out QA program in place is the foundation to ensuring your call center operates in accordance with your quality requirements, you should be able and willing to review and modify your QA processes on a regular basis. As your business goals and objectives change, as you continue to receive feedback from your customers, and as you identify inefficiencies in your call center processes and operations – all that needs to be reflected in your QA program.
A call center quality assurance program is meant to empower your call center to deliver high quality service to your customers. By continually fine-tuning it as needed based on industry best practices and changing customer expectations, you can enhance the effectiveness of your QA processes and ensure your team provides customers with efficient service in every single interaction.
Why is Quality Assurance Critical for Your Call Center?
Implementing contact center quality assurance processes has a number of specific benefits for your business. These include:
Consistency in service delivery
Well-outlined QA guidelines ensure your call center agents clearly understand your call center’s quality standards and are able to deliver a consistent service across all interactions with customers.
Enhanced customer satisfaction
With a call center quality assurance program in place, customer interactions are handled professionally and efficiently while maintaining high service quality, which leads to improved customer experience and increased customer satisfaction.
Improved agent performance
By keeping track of your team’s performance through the right set of metrics and KPIs, call monitoring and speech analytics tools, managers can spot training gaps and provide additional training and coaching to underperforming agents.
Increased operational efficiency
Establishing and maintaining an effective QA strategy helps you identify flaws and inefficiencies in your processes and procedures and timely address them, resulting in improved overall efficiency of your call center operations.
Better compliance and risk management
Quality assurance helps ensure your team members adhere to legal requirements, compliance standards, industry regulations, and your call center’s internal policies. That, in turn, helps minimize the risk of non-compliance and legal issues.
Optimize Your Call Center Quality Assurance with VoiceSpin
Ongoing quality assurance is vitally important to the overall success of your call center and profitability of your business. When efficiently implemented and properly maintained, the call center quality assurance best practices mentioned above can give you a competitive edge and ensure your team delivers high-quality service today’s consumers have come to expect.
That said, you also need the right call center technology to back up your quality assurance strategy. With VoiceSpin’s call center solutions, you can leverage call monitoring and call recording, AI Speech Analyzer, real-time and historical reporting capabilities, call coaching, and tons of other features to maintain a consistently high level of service operations and ensure your team performs to the best of their abilities.
Book a demo now, and one of our sales reps will guide you through VoiceSpin’s offerings, helping you choose just the right set of tools for your call center needs.