What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger! Lifting dumb bells improves your physique, eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy, holding back on splurges saves money, and support QA enhances customer service standards. There is one point common to all of the above-mentioned examples; each one of these are hard to make habitual and needs serious determination to embrace into your routine.
When it comes to support quality assurance, many companies find it difficult to incorporate a well-functioning quality assurance cycle. Experts and veterans of the industry emphasize on the importance of support QA, but still companies fail to implement the process or don’t do it at all.
The failure to implement support QA can’t be attributed to a lax attitude in improving their service; mostly, the reason is that companies find it a tremendous task to add the process in their cycle.
It is difficult to implement, but not impossible.
Here are the usual challenges a company faces while bringing in support QA, and ways to tackle them:
1. A Sea Of Data
Every customer service department resolves tickets raised by customers. Though, the number of tickets resolved per day depends on the industry a company is operating in or on the type of product and services it provides. It might also depend on the season if it is usually associated with larger customer interactions. Call center outsourcing companies take around 2000-2500 calls every month and resolve more than a hundred tickets per week. Companies set different targets when it comes to resolving tickets; some set a target of 30-35 tickets per day while some take care of 20 tickets each day.
This poses a challenge to companies who want to bring in support QA; it isn’t possible to review every ticket, one can’t know for sure which tickets to choose, and it isn’t easy to have an unbiased analysis of tickets.
It is advised that you go the random way: select varying samples for reviewing. If one can’t go through every conversation, selecting random ones for sampling would be the best way to go about it. But be sure to check they refer to different types such as refunds, lost passwords, technical issues, and product tracking.
2. Time is Of The Essence
Establishing a program for quality assurance means asking managers to be constantly connected with quality check. It is a continuous process and any gap in between might affect the quality a company provides. Not only that, one must be wary of oncoming challenges and get on to improving the process frequently. Managers fail to focus on support QA because of the efforts required; they tend to think that managing quality along with other processes would amount to exceeding their capabilities.
The bigger problem here is that managers still cling on to old methodologies, not to the one that is required in this day and age: ‘work smart before working hard’. If the manager feels that he/she can’t take be a daily participant in support QA, he/she can offload some of the mundane routine tasks to team members. There are two ways he/she can choose to go here:
- Offloading support QA tasks- the manager can ask his/her team members to provide random samples of tickets, review conversations, and evaluate each based on the rubric you have sent them.
- Offloading daily tasks- This will pertain to you giving every responsibility of the job to your team members and focusing on the QA tasks yourself.
3. Cynics Against QA
Nobody likes being watched, none more so than people who are working. If a company decides to bring in quality assurance process in their work cycle, the first word, which comes to the employee’s mind, would be ‘scrutiny’. No employee wants to entertain the idea that every piece of work he/she is doing all day would be carefully looked at. Some companies bring in the system as a reactive strategy when there are a lot of customer complaints; employees of these companies are the most cynical of the whole idea. The announcement alone is enough to make the customer service department nervous and might demoralize many teams across the company.
The only path a company might go on to alleviate fears would be to maintain transparency throughout the whole process. The head of departments must come out and explain why the process is needed and how it will benefit everyone. The heads can tell the teams how it would be easier to evaluate performers and pave way for growth opportunities; the skills it will enhance throughout different departments and help the company become crème de la crème. Most customer service outsourcing companies have a dedicated QA department that is responsible to evaluate customer interactions regularly and share the feedback constructively with the team.
4. Linking Tools Across Departments
Be it corporations or startups, most QA processes start with spreadsheets in the initial phase. This is done for the purpose of documenting QA tasks of every team across departments. Going down this way is time-consuming and requires careful handling in order to make sure there is no mix-up of data or any harm to its integrity. The time wasted here can be better utilized in training personnel. The types of QA tasks might range from collecting conversations across communication channels, evaluating conversations with the help of tools, and inputting the data into spreadsheets by customer service personnel.
As time passes by, the level of efforts put in to keep the data updated seem futile looking at the strategic goals of the organization. Spreadsheets can’t tell you if there are problems in real-time, all a manager can do is tell you after analyzing the whole data. This might make many problems go unnoticed meanwhile your customers will be left frustrated.
What is the answer to this conundrum?
There a lot of QA software available in the market which can help out with such issues but having well-placed QA software is only one part of the solution. Companies ask their software technology departments to come up with tailored software targeted at support QA. The employees are fully aware of the problems support representatives face and can come up with a solution targeted at the specific needs of the company.
Some companies buy expensive QA software to take care of issues but that might mean spending a lot of man-hours into training the employees. Also, some features might be redundant in the software because it wasn’t tailor-made for the company’s problems. The best way here would be to first design a process yourself and then buy a software that is inclusive of the features you want in it.
5. Going Up And Beyond
Support QA activities aren’t as hard as made out to be. If you just want to know how to go about the whole process, here are the first baby-steps you can take:
- Select a conversation
- Go through the whole of it. See where the customer service representative was lacking and the way he/she could have dealt with it better
- Record the data, it will be useful when you lay the foundations of support QA process