Imagine this: A man has been ignoring his health for years. Instead of going to a physician for regular check-ups, eating healthy and exercising, the man opted for the cheapest self-medication he could find on store shelves. After ignoring all the symptoms of his deteriorating health for far too long, he was finally hospitalized and diagnosed with a serious illness that needed expensive treatment with little or no hope of recovery. Does this sound familiar? Sadly, the majority of contact centers today often adopt this careless behavior. For years, call centers have been ignoring the need for quality control, and are now spending up to 26% of their entire budget on quality management. (Source: http://www.capgemini.com/thought-leadership/world-quality-report-2014-15) To make matters even worse, surveys conducted by contact centers have shown that 28% of contact centers still do not have any formal QA program in place. Now more than ever, today’s consumer is highly empowered as a result of unprecedented access to information, and businesses that lack a competent QA program have little or no chance of survival. And just to rub it all in, there is a special breed of business owners who have a QA program in place, but have no idea how to make use of it. If you have a QA program but only use it for one or two purposes, you might be in this group. Call center QA has so much to offer. Check out the following 9 ways in which you can maximize your quality assurance program. 1. QA provides a trigger for coaching Without a call center quality control program in place, it’s hard to specifically determine where your high performance areas are, and where your call center is struggling. With a competent QA company in place however, your center manager can gain vital insight on individual agent performance, allowing your business to shape your coaching around designated areas of weakness. 2. Correlating QA scores with customer feedback We all agree that quality customer service is crucial. However, once you get down to defining what quality actually is, not everyone is on the same page. Similarly, what you think of good customer service may not necessarily be what your customers have in mind. Therefore, matching up your QA scores and feedback against your customers’ feedback is an effective way to assess whether you are on the same page. Furthermore, QA service providers like Call Criteria specialize in identifying key behaviors that create satisfied customers and ultimately increase sales. 3. Improves customer experience Although your customers won’t love you because you provide a poor customer experience, your competitors will. In simple terms, the customer experience provided by your business should be unmatched if you want to maintain a competitive edge, and QA does just that. With the help of a QA program, you get to know both your top and bottom performers and why they are performing in such a manner. You also get to know whether your staff is presenting your product to the best of their ability and whether they are following the set guidelines. This allows you to easily pinpoint problem areas and correct them, to ensure your customers are smiling on the other end of the phone. 4. Enables regulatory compliance Is there a risk that your company isn’t in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)? Figuring out the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Plus, the penalty can be very severe if you get the answer wrong. However, compliance checks are often an integral part of call center quality control. In fact, Call Criteria offers to monitor your call center agents and ensure that they provide proper express written or verbal consent before leads are sold to prospective buyers. 5. Evaluate Agent Performance Did you know that call quality metrics were voted as the most popular metrics for measuring agent performance? According to a research carried out by Call Center IQ, 70% of respondents said that they used call quality metrics and found it to be most effective (Source: http://www.scorebuddy.co.uk/Blog/call-quality-metrics-most-popular-for-evaluating-agent-performance.html). The effectiveness of this metric is mainly attributed to the fact that agents have full control over call quality, unlike other metrics, since it is based fully on their behavior. A call center QA program therefore offers comprehensive and accurate call quality metrics, and reports on performance analysis to keep you updated on what’s working and what’s not working for you. 6. Call Center Quality Control Provides Insight Into Customer Behaviors QA is one of the best ways to gather customer feedback. According to a ScoreBuddy whitepaper that discusses effective ways of gathering customer feedback, QA was listed as having dual functionality; gathering customer feedback and performance management. Not only is this an inexpensive way to gain insight into what your customer wants, but it also allows you to apply this to other areas of your business and eventually improve both your customers experience and ROI. 7. Helps Design Training Programs for New Call Center Agents Perhaps one of the most underutilized functions of QA within call centers, quality control programs allow you to create a meaningful training program that imparts required skills rather than creating a training program that you assume is necessary. A QA program will allow you to monitor trends, peaks and pitfalls, thus providing foresight on what to expect next. Keeping in mind that customers seldom care whether it is your agent’s 1st hour of the day or their 10th, a well implemented QA program allows you to understand why your business needs an effective training program. 8. Facilitates Internal Process Improvements Call center quality control is not a one-way traffic communication as information flows in many directions. From call center agents to supervisors, from managers to supervisors, from managers to stakeholders, from managers to agents and so on. This means that during the flow of information, it is quite likely that a glitch in the system will be exposed, and eliminated or fixed to improve the functionality of the whole system. 9. QA Provides Information for Audit Trails Although this may not apply to all interactions, there are instances where a failure is recorded in a company. A good example of this is the highly regulated financial industry. In the event of an audit, such a company will have to show how the action was corrected when the failure was flagged. Consequently, some QA programs will have a flagging system in operation to show you where the error occurred and how it was corrected, thus fulfilling the audit’s requirement. —— The importance of call center QA cannot be ignored; after all, it is the final step before your ‘product goes public.’ Ensure that you invest in a premium quality QA program to safeguard the future of your business and that you are fully utilizing it for maximum benefits.