Not having a proper feedback system in place
Knowledge gaps! 👻 eek!
No way to quantify agent improvement and performance 🏃♀️🏃♂️
I usually start our webinars by asking our guests “what did your QA team look like before you took over?” In Steph Jacobson’s case, she gave a wry smile and said: “It didn’t!”.
A Quality Assurance program had not been implemented when Steph joined the company as a CX agent, but to her, it was essential. Through advocacy and her own research, she slowly made the case for a QA program to be started at LevelUp, and was asked to to start the program for the company.
Here’s how she made the push for QA, and how that translated into agent empowerment at LevelUp.
Customer Experience teams at LevelUp
CX agents at LevelUp move up from Level 1 to Level 2 based on seniority, experience, and performance. These senior agents take escalated calls and help solve more complex issues for both clients and merchants.
Some agents choose to go down a more specialized route instead, picking an area of focus to develop deep knowledge in.
When the time came for Steph to pick her area of specialization, the decision was pretty clear to both management and her. Having advocated for a QA program to solve many of the quality and training-related issues at LevelUp, it was clear that she was passionate about Quality and was the right person to start the QA program.
Steph-ing up at LevelUp
Having previously been only on the receiving end of a QA program prior to joining LevelUp, it wasn’t the easiest jump to make to starting an entire QA program from scratch at a $400m company.
“My background in improv definitely helped. You received and gave feedback pretty much constantly and you got very good at it - especially couching feedback in a way that would allow the recipient to be most receptive to it.”
Steph also sought help from MaestroQA - our Customer Success team helped her with designing her first rubric, and imparted other best practices to help the whole team get behind the QA program.
Empowering Customer Experience Agents at LevelUp
The agents at LevelUp were initially a little hesitant (Steph had been a peer to them, which made this transition extra tricky), but her efforts eventually won them over.
“Intention is the most important word here. This QA program wasn’t supposed to find faults or punish anyone, but to help the team and the organization improve. It was easy to get support for a cause like that.”
The QA program was not only highlighting opportunities for systems and processes to be improved, but also empowering agents.
During performance evaluations, where there used to only be top-down feedback from team leaders and managers, agents could now point to irrefutable QA scores to show their improvement over time and make the case for promotions and raises. Agents were also constantly engaging with their QA scores on MaestroQA’s platform to track their own progress, and using graded tickets to improve over time.
Steph was an example of an agent who had moved up in the organization because of QA, and others were eager to do the same. The QA team became something to aspire towards instead of something to be afraid of. Agents now had another niche that they could specialize in and make their own.
The initial rollout of the QA program was deemed to be a successful proof-of-concept, and the one-woman-QA-show began auditioning for more parts. This gave Steph the chance to empower even more agents in the organization, and help them move up in their careers.
Giving agents a voice
Beyond providing paths for career advancement, QA also gave agents a voice.
“We encourage agents to ask questions about their graded tickets — and even challenge a grade if they disagreed. Nothing is set in stone and we aren’t the sources of truth when it comes to CX either.”
Adopting such a mindset when it came to grading and giving feedback created a more open and communicative culture within the CX team, and allowed agents to have their voices heard. This extended to all manner of things, including macros, giving feedback, and developing scorecards.
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