How to Build the Ultimate QA Scorecard for Email and Chat

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Whether your mission is to generate leads, close sales, or retain customers, every communication is important. Your continued focus is on offering the best customer service experience. To ensure quality service and reliable connection, you must implement a streamlined way to measure quality with a rating scale that demonstrates an understanding of emotional intelligence.  

The easiest and most cost-effective way to do that is to use a Quality Assurance Scorecard as a grading or assessment rubric for your customer service teams. It’s also an effective guide or checklist for what your agents should keep in mind on every call. With a clear understanding of your expectations, your agent will be more successful and productive as they continue to deliver a high-quality level of service.  

What is a Quality Assurance Scorecard?  

A Quality Assurance Scorecard (or QA Scorecard) is a way to quantify the expectations you have for your call center agents. It’s a way for team managers to compare the standards you’ve set with the agent performance you’re seeing based on measurable results on a call, in an email, or even via a live chat and video chat.  

You’re constantly monitoring the quality of your communication with your customers. The best way to review interactions is by evaluating the skills and behavior of your call center agents as part of the customer experience and QA process. Your quality monitoring scorecard offers a quick checklist of what they should keep top-of-mind for every call. It’s also an important coaching tool.  

Why You Need a Quality Assurance Scorecard 

You need a Quality Assurance Scorecard because it’s the best way to determine the level of service you’re really providing. You could conduct customer experience surveys, but those are not always very effective in gauging customer loyalty. You don’t want the first warning signs of poor service to be when your customers stop using your service with no explanation or warning. That’s what happens with 52% of customers.  

When you use a call center quality scorecard, your goal is to improve customer service as part of your QA Program and to understand where gaps are in the customer experience. In one great example, Classpass streamlined its services by saving 6,250 days' worth of chat time. They retained more customers, with an 83% retention rate even during the pandemic.   

What’s The Difference Between Text and Voice Customer Interactions? 

Some 97% of smartphone owners text regularly. Studies show that 7.5 million Americans have trouble using their voices, but there are generational reasons a customer might want to use text instead of talking on the phone or the other way around. Each person you reach out to will probably have a different preference, and that’s not something you can change.

That’s why it’s so important that you offer a range of communication options, including text and voice interactions. You need to support and encourage communication in methods that feel right for every person, while still aligning with your company's values.  

Build Your Scorecard 

Step 1. Start with your values 

You should start by asking yourself and your team about your core values. These value statements will inform what you focus on as you build out your quality assurance scorecard.  

  • What are your company values?  
  • How do you apply those values to your customer interactions? 
  • What are the values that drive your customer interactions? 

You and your team may have different answers for what you consider core values, but this is still an important exercise. This exercise comes down to figuring out why you do what you do. If it’s a core value, then it just makes sense that you will purvey a sense of those values when you communicate with your customer.  

Step 2. Outline your goals

You should know what you’d like the outcome of your interactions to be. You could look at operational goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge the quality of your customer’s experience. You could look at these factors:  

  • Average Abandonment Rate 
  • Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • Average Speed of Answering (ASA) 
  • Average Time in Queue 
  • Customer Satisfaction Tracks (CSAT)  
  • First Call Resolution (FCR)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

These metrics offer insight into how effective you and your team are, but you can also determine how your productivity levels are directly and indirectly affecting the quality of your service and your customer’s satisfaction.  

Step 3. Identify pain points 

As part of your process of building your call center scorecard, reach out to your customers and agents to find out more about their pain points. As you listen to them talk about challenges, you’ll gain insight into where you could make improvements. Here are a couple of questions.  

  • What challenges are they facing?  
  • What are some areas for improvement? 

When you see crossovers between what you’re hearing from your agents and your customers, you know that it’s an area you should include on your call center quality scorecard.  

Step 4. Create a framework 

As part of the QA process, you need to create a framework to build your scorecard around, but what is that exactly? You need overarching themes that each represent a section in your rubric. You can use your framework to build out questions for your scorecard. At the core of that framework is an exploration of these four items:  

Communication Skills  

You’re really looking at how effective the agent is at communicating the message and achieving the goal of the call.  

  • Did the agent sound friendly?  
  • Did they follow the procedures and protocols?  

Based on this framework, you may determine some areas where you can coach the agent on customer service skills.  

Customer Connection 

If the agent can’t connect with your customer, it doesn’t matter how skilled they are. So, that’s the next part.

  • Did your agent connect with the customer?  

Correct and Complete Content 

Correct and complete content could overlap with communication skills because there are some of those skills needed as well. Your agent must provide accurate and complete details and information to your customers, not just a canned response. So, did they give out correct answers, and did they effectively use the tools to make sure the customer received those answers?  

Compliance and Security 

While compliance and security concerns vary depending on the type of company you’re working with, you still need to make sure that your agent is following your company policies and procedures to ensure their health and safety in the workplace, as well as broader compliance considerations.  

It’s the 4C framework. You should check in to make sure that every facet of the framework is being part of your call center scorecard.  

Step 5. Criteria for chat & email scorecards 

Your scorecard will include key areas which should fit in the rubric sections. Your goal here is to align these key areas or criteria with brand standards. Some criteria align with chat and email, but there’s also an overlap between written and oral communication methods.  

Quickness to Respond 

Responsiveness is tied in with the chat and phone interactions, but it could affect email responses as well.  

  • How quickly does your agent respond?  
  • For chat and phone calls, are there long pauses? 
  • Is it clear that the agent can respond to all questions with speed and accuracy?  

Problem Resolution 

When faced with a customer support issue, your agent should be able to resolve the problem. That should not discourage the agent from seeking help from a supervisor, particularly with an abusive client. Here are some questions to consider:  

  • Was the customer satisfied with the outcome?  
  • How quickly did the agent transfer the call?  
  • Was an attempt made to resolve the issue prior to transferring the call?  

Compliance with Regulatory Rules 

Healthcare and financial services often require additional regulatory rules and strict guidelines when communicating with those audiences. So the questions would include:  

  • Did the agent follow the strict guidelines and rules?  
  • Did the agent read the required script?  

Grammar & Spelling 

This issue is more prevalent via chat and email, but it can be a make-or-break issue. Here are some questions to consider:  

  • Did the agent use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling? 
  • Was the greeting appropriate in timeliness and conciseness? 
  • Was the communication clear and well-informed? 
  • Are grammar and spelling issues apparent in multiple channels?

Empathy 

Part of the goal of your interactions with customers is to facilitate human interaction, which is made possible with empathy. Not everyone has empathy, but it’s one of those soft skills that will help you and your agents to succeed.  

Authenticity 

Similarly, authenticity is a crucial part of delivering quality customer service. While there’s no one right way to be authentic with customers, you can usually accomplish a comradeship and easy-going vibe by being relaxed. Your agents might use less formal language, chat informally, and connect with your customers.  

Tone 

The tone of your agent’s voice usually comes across more strongly in voice communication, but you can get a sense of tone in writing as well. Whether it’s obvious or understated, you can get a sense of whether the messaging is positive, sarcastic, or even abusive.  

Etiquette 

You probably don’t have to worry about Emily Post, but you need to make sure that you’re using a professional tone, that you’re not being too familiar with your customers, that you’re not discussing controversial topics, and that you’re being clear and concise.  

Messaging  

Messaging should be professional. Communication should be clear, concise, and on-brand. Your goal here is to connect with your customers, but you don’t want to waste their time.  

Step 6. Create your questions for your scorecard 

Now that you have a sense of what information you’re gathering, you can now start creating questions for your call center scorecard. Here are a few examples you could use:  

  • Did the agent correctly tag the ticket? 
  • Did the agent use correct grammar?  
  • Did the agent correctly identify the issue in the customer interaction?  
  • Did the agent follow the correct process?  
  • Was the issue resolved to the customer’s satisfaction?  

Creating a call center agent scorecard template just shows how easy it is to create quality monitoring. Once you’ve started digging into pain points and determining the best way to gather insights, these quality assurance processes will be easier and faster in the future. 

How to Score Your Criteria 

The next step is to determine what you’ve actually learned from your Quality Assurance Scorecard. You can score your criteria using something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Or you could use QA software to score your criteria and gather insights. There are a few types of questions you could ask:  

  • Yes/No questions 
  • 0-5 scales  
  • Poor => Average => Good => Excellent 

Then, you attach a value to each weighted answer to evaluate the customer’s experience and the agent’s performance. When you’re asking questions about soft skills, it’s a bit more difficult to extrapolate performance based on your customer’s performance. It could just be that the caller got a poor impression of the agent, based on something that was completely innocuous. 

Analyzing Results: Compare Scorecards to Performance Data 

As you score your criteria, you also need to compare the scorecard results with actual performance data, like the CSAT score. It’s important partly because of the reason above. You need to gather as much information about the quality of your customer service as possible. Then, dig into the numbers and determine areas where you need to improve.  

Final Thoughts 

Remember, your QA Scorecard is simply a tool you can use to improve the quality of the service you provide to your customers. It’s not set in stone. It’s an evolving tool that will continue to offer insight into the level of service and support you’re offering.  


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