By leveraging Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partners to scale customer support, CX leaders can mitigate risk and control costs. But how do you measure the success of your outsourced customer support to ensure you're getting the most out of the investment?
In this blog, you'll learn how to craft a powerful KPI plan based on alignment scores, AHT, and FCR to measure the quality of your outsourced BPOs or Call Centers and ensure they perform to the highest standards. Drawing on insights from a discussion with Sydney McDowell, the Quality and Training Manager at Handy, an industry-leading online directory that connects consumers with local home service providers, we'll share how this trending organization, with over 150 million service requests, regularly assesses its outsourced customer support performance. Find out how you can use these key insights to set benchmarks and maximize success and customer satisfaction with your BPOs.
Let’s jump right in.
Onboarding a new BPO can be a daunting task, especially when a brand has multiple BPOs supporting different aspects of the business. Such was the case for Handy. The first step the company took was to get everyone on the same page and simplify the number of BPOs it used. The next step was to develop specific contractual obligations to ensure they had a strong way to manage each BPO to performance expectations. This meant creating explicit guidelines for performance (qualitative and quantitative), staffing, and training that the BPOs had to adhere to.
When setting BPO performance expectations, it's important to tie these expectations to your BPO KPI’s Quality Assurance (QA) scores. For example, “we required that each BPO ensure that graders had the necessary skills and qualifications to grade four tickets per week per agent with an alignment score of x% or higher. If the alignment score drops below the required level for more than two consecutive weeks, graders should be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Adherence to efficiency metrics such as AHT (average handle time), FCR (first call resolution), or tickets per hour (number of tickets an agent handles in one hour) was also critical. Establishing this level of specificity was key to providing our customers with the best service possible," said McDowell. “If the KPIs were not met, we had clawbacks in the contract, which meant that BPOs would be required to reimburse us for not meeting these KPIs.”
Standardizing quality assurance doesn't have to be a chore. With the right tools, such as Team Calibrations and Grader QA features, you can streamline internal and external QA processes to ensure that your BPOs are aligned with your brand’s voice and that customer interactions are in line with expectations.
Since we’re on the subject of the right tools…
Developing a powerful KPI plan requires having the right tools, plus support, to help manage and assess performance. “QA ensures agents are receiving the appropriate feedback and that the graders are performing their duties correctly. MaestroQA provides a reliable and robust way to ensure this process works efficiently and effectively,” said McDowell.
With easy-to-use, one-click LMS integrations, MaestroQA allows Handy to seamlessly assign training to agents without leaving the MaestroQA platform. This provides the brand with the confidence that BPO agents are receiving the proper guidance and feedback to help them reach their goals. “Our Learning Management System (LMS) helps us to more accurately track what agents are reading updates, keeps everyone up to date on the latest information, and allows us to monitor agent performance. With an LMS, we can ensure that the right information is unpacked and easily accessible to the team leads at our BPOs, giving them more control and visibility into their team's conversations. This empowers team leads to make more informed decisions and better support their agents.
Key Takeaway: Having an internal knowledge base and a QA program in place has helped Handy provide support to BPO agents that are struggling and improve customer satisfaction.
Optimizing BPO performance requires reliable quality assurance metrics to ensure that BPOs meet performance expectations. While some BPOs may have their own QA programs, it's important to scrutinize them to ensure that the BPO is not cherry-picking the calls they grade. This can inflate the QA scores and leave brands with inaccurate and unreliable performance data, which is why it is important to have a comprehensive and reliable Quality Assurance (QA) program in place. Getting the BPOs to understand and buy into the QA processes, however, can be a challenge. "At first, the BPOs we work with were apprehensive," explained McDowell. This is why collaboration is key; both sides need to be willing to provide and accept feedback, and communication is of the utmost importance.
Leveraging MaestroQA’s reporting platform, Handy was able to gain valuable insights into the performance of each BPO. This granular level of detail allowed them to make informed decisions on where to affect changes and optimize their processes.
Once the BPOs started to see how the data-driven metrics from the QA program uncovered the challenges the agents were facing, they were onboard. This enabled the two sides to work together to overcome the challenges, leading to a true partnership mindset.
If you would like to learn more about how MaestroQA can help you gain insights into your BPOs' performance, request a demo today.