How to Grade Customer Service Calls

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Regardless of the type of business you're running, one of your most invaluable assets is and will always be your customers and the interactions you have with them.

That, in essence, is why understanding what takes place on your customer service calls is so important: it helps guarantee that you're offering a level of quality, care, and attention to detail that people simply won't be able to find anywhere else.

But at the same time, how you interpret what happens on those calls is just as important as doing it at all. You need to consider what "quality" means within the context of your own organization, and even what your long-term goals are for the customer service component of your business.

Getting to this point isn't necessarily difficult, but it does require you to keep a few important points in mind.

Why Evaluate Customer Service Performance?

Evaluating customer service performance helps make sure that each touch point that someone has with your business is not only consistent, but is of a level of quality that they've come to expect.

Whether you realize it or not, that customer service call is a true reflection of your brand. If it's a negative experience, people will look at your products and services the same way - and that is not something you want to happen.

All told, the benefits of customer service quality assurance include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Increased customer satisfaction. People feel like they're getting something of value beyond just the purchase they've already made.
  • Superior financial performance. Satisfied customers don't just buy more, they also stay with your company longer. Not only that, but they're also more likely to recommend your products or services to friends and family members, too.
  • Improved brand awareness and brand loyalty. People who have high quality experiences with a company are far more likely to tell others about it, extending your reach.
  • Building better coaching programs. QA managers can help build a much better program for agent progression, thus creating a more consistent and helpful experience for every last customer who calls.
  • Improved agent engagement and reputation. The more engaged agents are, the better customer experiences will be. That improves the reputation of your company significantly, which in and of itself is the most important benefit of all.

Grading Customer Service Calls

When it comes to actually grading customer service calls, each individual interaction with a customer is graded by first recording and analyzing the call itself.

If you've ever called a company and heard a message before being connected to an agent that said, "This call is being recorded for quality assurance," you've been a part of this process.

At that point, a scorecard with questions is used that relates to specific criteria - meaning the goals that you want each call to accomplish.

Those are correlated with certain key performance indicators (KPIs) and larger company objectives, all to determine just how successful the call actually was.

Understand Your Goals for Customer Service QA

Having said all of that, there are still a few points that companies often stumble on - mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

For example, it's always crucial to make sure that the team of agents and managers are all on the same page - meaning that they all understand what needs to be done on customer calls, more importantly, why.

The quality assurance program cannot exist in a vacuum, siloed off from the rest of the company. All key stakeholders need to agree on a direction, as this is how you align the program with the larger vision of the company. Your QA scorecard that you’re using to grade calls needs to embody and represent these values to keep everything aligned. 

Define Your Criteria

As stated, one of the most important parts of any quality assurance program comes down to your ability to define the criteria that matters most to you.

All organizations are different - if you took a look at your closest competitor, you'd likely be looking at a very different business from your own with different priorities. Therefore, the criteria you choose need to be influenced with the exact same mentality.

Measuring the overall customer experience and team efficiency may be a priority, for example. You could judge your customer service program's productivity over time.

Here Are Some of the Most Important KPIs

While it's true that the metrics you choose will vary based on what you're trying to accomplish, there are a few helpful ones that will make evaluating the performance of your program as efficient as possible.

These include but are not limited to ones like:

  • First Call Resolution, or FCR. This keeps track of the number of customer issues that take only one call to complete.
  • Average Handle Time, or AHT. As the name suggests, this measures how long your average customer is spending on the phone.
  • Average Speed of Answering, or ASA. This measures the amount of time it takes for someone to reach an agent in the first place.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT. This dives deep into how pleased customers were with the experience of making that call.
  • Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This measures how loyal someone is to your business.
  • Agent's Tone and Language. This gives you a better indication of how agents are expressing themselves during calls.

The Best Way to Measure Call Center Quality Assurance Metrics

In the end, customer service quality assurance programs are a great way to improve the performance of a business by elevating the experience and satisfaction for customers. The first and most important step is to put yourself in the mind of the customer and imagine what would define a good vs. bad customer experience.  Answering an incoming call quickly (ie, low ASA) may not be as important as how long the caller has to remain on the line until a resolution (long AHT), or if they have to call back multiple times (low FCR).

When you consider the fact that serving customers is a large part of why a business is successful in the first place, it's easy to see why this is all so essential. MaestroQA can be a trusted partner in untangling the knot - if you're interested in learning more, request a demo today.

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