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Why Getting Buy-in for Quality Assurance is a Customer Support Best Practice

December 12, 2019

Getting buy-in is one of those "B-school buzzwords" that I don’t mind using. In fact, it's almost essential when you consider teams like Customer Experience, where relationships and conversations form the backbone of their operations.

In a recent poll, we asked our customers for their most burning QA questions.

Many responded with "how do we get management to place more emphasis on QA?" or "how can we get our agents to care more about our QA program?".

Looking at those submissions, we knew we had to act.

At the most basic level, they were asking the same thing: how do I get buy-in for my Quality Assurance program?

We’re here to help 💪

Why getting buy-in for your Quality Assurance program is important

If you still haven’t bought-in to the idea that buy-in is important, just imagine a situation where your agents didn’t believe in the value of the QA program.
How different would those 1-on-1 feedback sessions be? My guess is that they’ll trust the feedback less, and likely miss some (if not all!) of the benefits of having QA.

Alternatively, imagine a reality where management saw QA as just another cost center that could be trimmed. 

Feedback is already hard enough to swallow as it is, without another layer of doubt or side-glances 👀 thrown into the mix. Getting the buy-in of management, team leaders and agents allows QA professionals to literally do their best work: agents will get more excited about the QA process, be more receptive to feedback, teams will be stronger as a whole, and customers will have a better experience overall - how’s that for a virtuous cycle 👍

Start with Customer Support Onboarding

The best time to get buy-in is before you start building your QA program *insert house-building/ foundation analogy here*

Why? Because the QA process is inherently uncomfortable. Agents already have to pave a path to resolution, follow customer support best practices, follow internal processes, choose macros, and deal with irate customers - all within the same 5-minute interaction 🤯

The added pressure of having a QA analyst listening in on calls, grading tickets and pointing out every flaw doesn’t make their job any easier and is likely to generate pushback 🔙🤚 from them.

So before you pour any concrete, design any QA scorecards, shingle any roofs or export any reporting, make sure the following things are done to get buy-in.

Get everyone involved in the process

The easiest way to get buy-in is to get everyone involved in the process.Start by identifying all the stakeholders involved. Ask yourself - who would want to have a say in this project? Who would be directly affected by the implementation of this program? What are the sources of knowledge I can tap into to build this?

If you’re building a house, this would likely include neighbors, the HOA, the city, and whoever is going to live in the actual house.

For a QA program, speak to management, team leaders, CX agents, learning and development teams and other QA-adjacent roles.

Try to find out:

👉What they hope such a program would achieve

👉Their experience with other quality assurance programs (the good, the bad, the ugly)

👉What they think their input would have to be, in terms of time, experience or ideas

👉If the answer to “how to get buy-in from management” is different from “how to get buy-in from my team”

Frame it right

Just like no banker is a fan of the SEC, it’s hard to imagine that CX agents would take kindly to have a QA program constantly hovering behind them.

👆That 👆 is an example of how not to frame Quality Assurance in a pitch to your agents. 

Those meetings you have with stakeholders are a perfect opportunity to frame the QA program the right way from the very start and get that sweet, sweet buy-in from your co-workers.

Just be mindful that this should not involve hard-selling or being duplicitous about the nature of QA - trust between the QA and CX teams is the key to success here.
Here are some ways you can frame QA for your team:

1. QA as a boon to career advancement. 

Just as we’ve seen in our webinar with LevelUp and Attune Insurance, QA scores have been used to justify promotions, raises or even extra time off as a reward. A QA program allows CX agents a quantifiable way to track their progress and make the case for themselves to take the next step up in their career.

2. QA as a goal for agents

Similarly, our friends at Attune Insurance have the QA analyst role as a natural next step for experienced and accomplished CX agents. This gives agents a goal to work towards while also positioning the Quality Assurance program as a positive addition to the team’s workflow.

3. QA for skilling up

Customer Service Training and Quality Assurance go hand-in-hand 🤝

When opportunities for growth are identified through the QA process, agents can be trained to do that part of their jobs so much better, and achieve better overall CSAT scores. These issues might not have been identified if not for the presence of the QA program.

Check in frequently with your CX team and stakeholders

One last thing: keep an open line of communication with your stakeholders, as well as an open mind - your QA program will always be a work in progress! Taking such an approach will also be highly encouraging to the CX team - allow them to feel heard and be included in the process, and they will be much more likely to support the QA program.

Whether you’re looking to build a QA program for your organization, or you’re inheriting a less-than-popular one, the steps above form a good foundation (gotta round out the 🏠 analogy) on which you can acquire the buy-in needed to run your QA program!

In agents we trust 💪


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