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Quality Assurance

Driving Business Impact with Targeted QA: Insights from an Expert

July 24, 2023
0 minute read

A Comprehensive Approach to Unleashing the Power of Targeted QA

Traditionally, QA has been conducted through random sampling, where agents' performance is evaluated against a set of indicators. However, a more focused approach called Targeted QA is gaining traction in the industry. While random QA has long been the norm, targeted QA is emerging as a powerful approach to address specific issues, identify root causes, and achieve tangible results. In this educational blog post, we will explore the concept of targeted QA, its benefits, and provide practical insights from an interview with Michelle Vanchieri, Director of Customer Success at MaestroQA. By following these guidelines, QA teams can enhance their practices and drive business impact.

Defining Targeted QA and Random QA

Random QA has been the primary method for evaluating agent performance for many years. It involves the random selection of tickets from various channels and the assessment of quality based on predetermined indicators. In contrast, Targeted QA goes beyond random sampling and focuses on addressing specific business problems or areas of improvement by delving deeper into particular situations or critical issues. Its aim is to understand the underlying causes of problems by analyzing tickets with specific criteria or metrics. For instance, it may involve surfacing tickets based on customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores or average handle time and grading them against more tailored rubrics. While random QA emphasizes agent performance, targeted QA seeks to obtain insights into specific areas of concern or improvement for the overall business. Michelle explains, "Targeted quality is more about proactively addressing a problem and conducting quality assessments to understand its root cause, as opposed to random quality, which mainly revolves around evaluating agent performance through random sampling."

MaestroQA Workflow Automations Set-Up
MaestroQA Workflow Automations Set-Up

Implementing Targeted QA

QA teams often employ targeted QA when there is a problem that needs to be addressed or an opportunity for enhanced efficiency and cost savings. By aligning targeted QA with business-critical objectives and metrics, organizations can optimize their quality efforts. For instance, targeted QA can be utilized to address customer churn by providing insights into its underlying causes and strategies for reducing it. It can also be implemented in a positive context, such as analyzing successful customer win-backs to refine agent training and improve customer retention efforts. Michelle emphasizes, "It's often about identifying and fixing issues that are deemed business critical. Even if there isn't a problem, there are always ways we can enhance our performance."

Benefits of Targeted QA

Targeted QA offers numerous benefits to organizations. Firstly, it aligns quality initiatives with business objectives, ensuring relevance and maximizing impact. By focusing efforts on areas of concern, targeted QA drives meaningful changes that directly impact the bottom line. Secondly, targeted QA provides an opportunity for data gathering and insights generation. Michelle emphasizes, "When you start with a business problem and implement targeted quality measures, the information gathered becomes highly valuable." By delving deep into specific problems or opportunities, organizations can make informed decisions and drive continuous improvement, not only in agent performance but also in product, process, or policy changes. Lastly, targeted QA optimizes resource allocation by directing time and effort where they matter most, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness within the CX team.

MaestroQA Root-Cause Analysis Reporting
MaestroQA Root-Cause Analysis Reporting

Impact of Targeted QA

When considering the impact of targeted QA, it is crucial to assess its effects on three levels: the business, the agents, and the QA team. At the business level, targeted QA directly addresses critical issues, enabling organizations to improve key metrics, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. By leveraging insights from targeted QA, businesses can make informed decisions and take proactive measures to drive positive change.

For agents, targeted QA presents an opportunity for growth and development. By focusing on specific aspects of their performance, agents receive feedback tailored to their strengths and areas for improvement. This personalized approach enhances agent training and empowers them to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. As Michelle wisely stated, "It can impact agent growth in a more holistic manner, not just focusing on individual agents, but as a team of agents. If we understand what drives our DSAT and we can change the way in which we interact with customers to create better experiences, then as a whole, our agent team is growing and learning. Similarly, we can make their jobs easier if we uncover what is driving up our efficiency that's within the agents' control and coach them on how to improve." 

From the QA team's perspective, integrating targeted QA into the existing quality program requires careful consideration in terms of bandwidth. While random QA remains important, it is often recommended to adopt a hybrid approach that combines both random and targeted QA. This approach allows organizations to gain valuable insights into agent performance while also addressing specific business objectives. By strategically managing random QA, such as prioritizing low-performing agents, teams can create the necessary space to engage in targeted QA without overwhelming their resources. Michelle suggests starting with agile deployments of targeted QA, such as running focused sprints, which can provide valuable information without requiring a complete overhaul of the quality program. She emphasizes, "This doesn't need to be running targeted QA for a whole quarter. You can do a sprint on DSAT for two weeks and gather a statistically significant number of tickets to understand the drivers. So when it comes to greater bandwidth, I always try to caution that we don't have to reinvent our entire quality program. Can we be agile in the way we deploy it to gather a little bit of information?"

MaestroQA Agent Performance Dashboard
MaestroQA Agent Performance Dashboard

Tips for Implementing Targeted QA

To embark on a successful targeted QA journey, starting with a clear focus is vital. Michelle advises, "Begin with something that is more business critical or holds importance for the leadership." Defining a specific objective, such as reducing customer churn or improving satisfaction rates, ensures that targeted QA efforts directly contribute to the organization's goals.

It is then necessary to select relevant criteria. Michelle suggests developing customizable rubrics that capture key behaviors or metrics. She explains, "Tailor the evaluation criteria to the specific problem or area of improvement to gain more insights."

Starting small, iterating, and improving are key aspects of the process. Michelle advises, "Implement targeted QA in short sprints to gather a little bit of information at a time." This iterative approach allows teams to collect data, analyze results, and continuously enhance their targeted QA process.

Challenges may arise when implementing targeted QA. Michelle advises, "Review your selection criteria and refine your approach accordingly." By gathering feedback and making necessary adjustments, teams can optimize the impact of targeted QA and overcome any obstacles.

Utilizing Workflow Automations, Customizable Rubrics, and AI Classifiers in MaestroQA

MaestroQA provides valuable features to streamline and optimize targeted QA initiatives. Workflow automations enable teams to automate ticket selection based on specific criteria, ensuring efficient resource allocation. Customizable rubrics allow the creation of tailored evaluation criteria that align with the targeted areas or issues, ensuring that the evaluation process focuses on desired outcomes. AI Classifiers can be utilized to analyze data, identify patterns, and gain deeper insights within targeted QA evaluations.

Setting up a targeted QA program in MaestroQA follows a structured approach. Michelle provides insights into the process, stating, "The first step is to identify the problem & the next step would be to build out the rubric." The rubric should focus on collecting specific data related to the targeted issue, such as the drivers of the problem or relevant categories. MaestroQA offers rubric options, including checkboxes, to effectively narrow down the root causes.

Workflow automations play a crucial role in streamlining and optimizing the process. Michelle explains, "Typically, when we're doing targeted quality, we're focusing on specific types of tickets. In Maestro, you can use ticket attributes to specify which tickets to evaluate, such as DSAT tickets or tickets with specific tags, narrowing down the scope to the desired ticket types." By leveraging ticket attributes, teams can ensure that graders receive the appropriate tickets for evaluation, optimizing their efforts.

MaestroQA Ticket Automations
MaestroQA Ticket Automations

Additionally, Michelle highlights the future impact of AI Classifiers in targeted QA. She explains, "Identifying the problem is where AICs or conversation analytics come in, and then deploying quality to address it by thoroughly examining those tickets." AI Classifiers enable teams to identify patterns and potential issues across 100% of conversations. This data-driven approach empowers organizations to proactively address issues, highlighting areas for targeted QA and improvements.

As organizations adopt MaestroQA and its capabilities, they can efficiently structure and execute targeted QA programs. The tool's robust features enable teams to define rubrics, automate workflows, and leverage AICs for actionable insights. By utilizing MaestroQA's functionalities, QA teams can optimize their targeted QA initiatives and drive continuous improvement in their customer service operations.

MaestroQA Performance Dashboard Powered by AI Classifiers
MaestroQA Performance Dashboard Powered by AI Classifiers

Drive Business Success through Targeted QA

Implementing targeted QA is a game-changer for businesses looking to address specific problems, drive improvement, and make quality a business-critical function. By following the insights and advice from Michelle Vanchieri, QA teams can define clear objectives, select relevant criteria, and align targeted QA efforts with organizational goals. With a focus on continuous improvement and agility, targeted QA can deliver tangible business benefits and enhance customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more? 

To learn more about Targeted QA, listen to our recent webinar with luxury bedding brand, Brooklinen, where Senior Associate of Customer Experience, Corinne McClure, delves deeper into the practical implementation of targeted QA, shares her team’s best practices, and provides actionable tips to ensure success. By leveraging the capabilities of MaestroQA, QA teams can effectively structure and execute targeted QA programs, optimizing their quality assurance efforts and driving continuous improvement in their customer service operations. Request a demo today!

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