poor customer service loses businesses $75 billion a year. Improving customer service can prevent negative experiences that drive customers away, so it’s a good, even great idea to design a solid customer service strategy.
kpi tracking alone is not enough; You must set up a quality control program to ensure your success. The quality of customer service is closely tied to customer acquisition and retention, which is why many companies are investing resources in their customer service teams.
- what does a quality control program look like? conduct customer service reviews detect problems before they damage your reputation align processes with your goals train your team to perfection
- manager evaluations
- peer reviews
- reviews by specialists
- regular feedback loop between manager & manager; support representatives
- ranked scores for each team (one reviewer only)
- takes time and focuses away from other responsibilities
- may not be your top priority
- scores may vary between teams (if you have multiple teams and therefore managers/team leads)
- create open files & collaborative feedback culture
- support reps learn from each other
- leaves managers free for other responsibilities
- saves time having lots of reviewers
- support reps need to carve out time in their day
- colleagues feel less comfortable giving negative feedback
- scores may vary
- great for personal growth
- a proven method to improve nps
- gives your support reps a voice in what quality means
- some people find self-assessment a struggle
- ineffective as a solo format
- aligned expert comments
- doesn’t detract from anyone’s time
- significant insights
- more trend analysis and better reporting
- (generally) not a possibility for smaller teams
sounds like a long process? Don’t worry, this guide will help you learn the best practices and tools to make quality an easy, everyday activity for your team(s).
what are customer service quality reviews?
Customer service quality reviews are a systematic way to provide feedback on your team’s customer interactions. Reviewers rate support agent conversations against established quality standards and create a QA scorecard to provide feedback. managers, specialists or colleagues can review on any support channel.
This process is sometimes called customer service quality assurance (QA).
a programmer’s output undergoes a code review; the words of a writer go through an editor; conversations from a support representative should be reviewed qa.
Customer service quality reviews are suitable for all businesses that provide customer service on any platform, including email, live chat, and phone support. this can be done manually or using customer service quality control software!
why should QA reviews be part of your customer service strategy?
The main reason for conducting conversation reviews is to improve the quality of your company’s customer service (and therefore make customers happier).
86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. The more skilled your support team is at satisfying customers, the more how successful your business will be.
you need to check the data
Most businesses today track at least some customer service metrics. but the numbers alone do not tell the full story. being data-driven means understanding where those numbers are coming from: what are your agents doing well, where is there room for improvement.
Human interactions are complex! (almost as much as the feline type). tracking the right metrics can help you understand why some interactions end better than others.
Many customer service teams rely on the above metrics to measure the quality of their customer service. but how do you know that you are doing the right thing to improve them? this is where measuring internal quality score can help.
internal quality score (iqs)
This score tells you how well your team is performing by your own standards. define what a perfect customer interaction looks like from your perspective and find out where support reps fall short of internal quality guidelines.
Use your IQs to understand why other metrics aren’t where you want them to be, and adjust your support processes and training plans as necessary.
Our original question was: why conduct customer service quality reviews? because it’s the only way to know your IQ:
create rating categories ↓ review each conversation against these categories ↓ add for iqs result
iqs serve as the foundation for improving the quality of your customer service. qa reviews provide insight into the performance of your support team and provide regular feedback to your agents, which will help them to grow professionally.
Who should review customer service conversations?
There are four possible formats for customer service quality control:
each has its pros and cons, and some teams incorporate a combination of several (or all!) into their customer service strategy.
let’s examine the pros and cons of each.
Manager or team leader reviews are currently the most widely used way to provide feedback. Because they are responsible for the excellent quality of their support agents, it makes sense for managers and team leaders to evaluate customer interactions.
peer reviews are the most efficient way to conduct customer service reviews. promotes shared learning and makes quality a focus for the entire team.
Self-assessments are one of the best ways to foster professional growth. Reflecting on their own performance helps agents understand their communication patterns and review how they interact with customers.
assessments by quality control specialists
Larger and growing companies find it highly beneficial to employ specialists in customer service quality assurance. A quality control specialist focuses on measuring and reporting quality, then developing and introducing improvements.
Improving the quality of customer service and keeping it at a consistently high level requires a long-term strategy. With a dedicated specialist to handle the review workload, they can make it a much more meaningful effort: analyzing KPIs, sculpting training and onboarding programs, etc. however, this is not an option for smaller teams with fewer human resources.
Are you considering hiring (or becoming) a quality control specialist? Check out these resources:
customer service quality control job description customer service quality control specialists interview questions
so which one should i choose?
Some companies combine manager reviews with self-assessments, while others combine peer feedback with assessments from quality assurance specialists. The way that works best for your business depends on your goal, available resources, equipment setup, and ticket volume. they all have the same purpose: to increase quality through comments.
Are you a small team? we recommend a combination of self-assessment and peer reviews.
Are you a large or growing team? We recommend hiring a QA specialist or allocating enough time for team leaders/managers to conduct reviews.
continue reading: who should do customer service quality assurance reviews and why is it important?
How many customer service tickets should you review?
The number of customer service reviews you should perform depends on several variables. The total volume of support tickets and the capacity of your reviewers are decisive factors.
As a general guideline, most companies aim to review between 2% and 10% of their total ticket volume. while some companies review a lot more, others review less. For example, pandadoc’s customer service strategy includes reviewing almost all tickets during specific periods, e.g. for new employees as part of their onboarding process.
If you’re not sure what amount is right for you, don’t let fate decide. you have several options:
- set a percentage goal if your goal is an overview of team performance, then 10% of your total volume is a good sweet spot. this gives you a good summary of common problems, covering all agents.
- Set a goal of tickets per support rep If your goal is more about fine-tuning your training, try reviewing a certain number of tickets per agent. for example, 5 tickets per agent, per week.
- set a ticket goal per reviewer this is useful for peer reviews or management reviews. a target of a certain number of inputs, e.g. 10 per week, ensures your review schedule is stable and everyone shares the responsibility.
Of course, if you have a dedicated QA specialist or review team, it’s possible to address a higher percentage or number of tickets. but quantity shouldn’t be your only line of attack, as illustrated in the next section.
read more: how buffer quality control went from manual to masterful with klaus
which customer support tickets should I review?
what you check is just as important as how much you check.
many teams simply choose to review at random; It seems to be a logical way to review that provides an accurate sample of your help desk interactions. but chance does not give you diversity.
and when you review customer service interactions, the atypical interactions are the most valuable, not the average ones.
Focus on the conversations that matter.
Conversations that are most important to review include:
- longer interactions in conversations that have more back and forth between the customer and the support representative, the problem is clearly not clear. Dig deeper into problem areas by selecting the simpler dialogues and spending time on the longer ones.
- more complex interactions maybe the conversation went through a couple of support reps, or there wasn’t a single issue at stake. review these tickets to understand how to streamline processes or find weaker links in your team.
- interactions where the customer was dissatisfied there’s no easy way to say it: sometimes the customer just isn’t happy. low csat conversations help you understand what’s wrong and how to improve for next time.
- product knowledge
what rating categories should you use on your scorecard?
Choosing your qualification categories for your customer service scorecard is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Think about your business priorities and support goals, as well as what you want to review.
For each conversation you review, these are the criteria by which you’ll judge the quality.
common rating categories:
Start by looking at your support goals and initiatives. for example, at klaus our values are ‘be human’, ‘be solution oriented’ and ‘follow up’ with customers. so, we choose ‘tone’, ‘solution’ and ‘follow up’. this gives our support specialists three pillars to focus on in every interaction.
89% of our clients use between two and four rating categories (but some use as many as ten!).
The floor is wide open for you to decide, as many tools offer the option of creating custom dashboards. if you choose too many, your reviewers will tire of making decisions. but if you choose too few, you won’t be able to accurately track trends and get insights for training purposes.
why is feedback important for customer service teams?
so, your quality control program is all set!
but not so fast: there’s no point in pushing yourself without seeing results. customer service reviews give you quantitative and qualitative data for your teams.
Conversation reviews don’t just help businesses increase their level of support; they are also crucial for the professional development of agents.
Check out some customer service feedback techniques!
There’s a fundamental reason why agents should play an active role in pushing their managers for regular reviews: feedback is the fastest and most efficient way to grow professionally. reviews Customer service quality indicators offer insights to improve interactions and make customers happier. often these are quick and easy things to fix.
professional development becomes clear and systematic with a strong customer service strategy. the more feedback you can collect, the more boxes you can check and the further you will go.