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The Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Quality Assurance Scorecards

Let’s Get Started with QA Scorecards

Are you new to building customer service scorecards or just want a refresher? This guide will take you through everything you need to know about building your first one (or updating your thirtieth!) and how they tie into your quality assurance process and program. 

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The Basics: What is a QA Scorecard?

A scorecard is a rubric against which a QA analyst, team lead, or manager uses to grade an agent’s interactions with a customer.

This ensures that support agents are interacting in a way that’s in-line with company rules and regulations, their brand, and more. QA Scorecards are also useful for documentation and record-keeping purposes.

Why Every Support Team Needs a Scorecard

Consumers expect more from support teams than ever before - because support is critical to brand loyalty. 

We see this in consumer behavior: they tell others about negative customer service experiences, they switch to competitors when they’ve had a bad experience, and often, they don’t tell the brand about the bad experience—leaving CX leadership in the dark. 

Around the globe, 96%of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.

The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience.

89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn, but only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain.

The inverse of this: amazing businesses tend to have amazing support teams. But how do you define “amazing”? And how do you know if your team’s amazing when only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain?

It’s tough, and even though the industry is obsessed with metrics, the way brands measure support is broken.

When support teams first came onto the scene, they were often viewed as a cost center. Seeking to make the most out of their spend, leadership placed an emphasis on efficiency and speed. This is how several metrics—like Average Handle Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), or solves/hourcame to be. These statistics prioritized efficient handling of support tickets and quick customer interactions. While quickly handling tickets isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be if it lessens the quality of an interaction.

To fill the gap left by productivity metrics, teams began to use satisfaction metrics to understand agent performance. These include measures like CSAT, NPS, or CES. While understanding customer satisfaction is critical, these metrics miss a lot. 

Let’s take CSAT for example.

Traditional Metrics: Relics of Old Quality Assurance Past

CSAT can tell you how a customer feels in a given moment, but that feeling could be the result of anything relating to your business. If an agent handled a situation perfectly but the customer was upset with your billing policy, they might give a low score. Not only does the low score reflect poorly on the agenteven though the billing policy is out of their controlbut the CSAT score itself doesn’t give any direction on how to make improvements to the customer experience. In a similar vein, NPS can tell you how a customer feels about your company as a whole, but isn’t actionable for support. These metrics also fall prey to selection biaspeople will only take the time to leave a good (or bad) score if their experience was exemplary (or horrible!). 

The main problem? None of these metrics give teams actionable insights into how to improve support operations or the quality of interactions. 

There’s a massive Experience Blindspot between what traditional metrics tell CX leadership and what customers are actually experiencing.

This Experience Blindspot exists on three levels for all companies: 

  1. The individual agent level 
  2. The CX team level - to see if there are any processes, documentation, or training that can be improved
  3. The business level - to understand how practices of other departments (like the company’s finance team or product team) impact the customer experience, and identify areas for improvement

Teams are now turning to QA to get the information they need to see through their Experience Blindspot on all three levels—putting their scorecards front-and-center.

With that in mind, we put together this guide to answer all of your scorecard questions. 

You’ll find guidance on building your first QA scorecard, how to know when it’s time to modify an existing scorecard, and tips and tricks from our customers who have gone through this process before. Use the links below to choose which specific topics on customer service QA scorecards you want to learn more about, or simply read the next chapter to continue reading part 2 in this series.