Moving from a small business or “startup” mindset and stepping out into the possibility of rapid growth is a daunting experience for many small business owners. One day you’re successfully peddling your goods and services, adding clientele at a nice clip, and the next day you feel you’re losing control over the quality and consistency you aim to deliver each and every one of your customers. What's the deal?
If you think Quality Assurance is a term reserved for major corporations, think again. Whether large or small, no company can possibly ensure positive customer service without first defining and measuring what it means. Consider the advantages of having a QA system:
Whereas some companies struggle with how to begin measuring quality, others who have already implemented a system may wonder if it’s actually benefiting the company and its customers. There are several factors to consider when implementing or improving a QA program.
To establish a QA system that is valuable to your company and its employees, you must begin with a clear definition of what your standards of excellence are. What do you ultimately want your customers to get out of their experiences with your company? These goals should take the form of broad statements that align with your company values.
For example: Every customer should feel valued as an individual.
Next, decide on the metrics which can best indicate your success toward these goals. Translating these metrics to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your service agents will give you a foundation for measuring and improving your customer service.
Create a scorecard using clear, objective, productive language that provides actionable insights for agents to improve. An example of an objective criterion for the aforementioned goal of customers feeling valued as individuals might be whether or not the agent asked for the customer’s name and used it at least once during the call.
Chances are, your customer care is being delivered through more than just the telephone. Chat, email, SMS, and social media interactions require slightly different skill sets and finesse than traditional phone-based service.
Language that sounds natural on the phone may sound stilted, or worse, rude, when expressed in text form. While your standards of excellence should remain consistent across all channels, measurement and assessment may vary by channel.
**9 Tips For Consistent Quality Across Channels**
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding how frequently to assess quality for individual agents, departments, or your overall customer service workforce.
You may wish to bring agents together for a weekly or monthly review session which remains relatively informal, though productive.
**Coaching: The Art Of Providing Meaningful Feedback**
You may also wish to conduct quarterly and/or annual reviews of individual agents, especially as it relates to incentives or changes in pay. Regardless of your company size or approach to QA, monitoring with consistency is important for all stakeholders.
The satisfaction of your customers is the ultimate insurance plan for your bottom line. One bad service experience can turn a loyal devotee of your company into a vocal detractor to a captive audience of the social media masses.
When it comes to customer service, burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best is a recipe for mistakes that can shrink your customer base quickly and irrevocably. Don’t let the next customer service horror story told around a water cooler be about your company. Invest your time, energy, and money in assuring the quality of your customer service. Your customers — and your shareholders — will thank you.
Publish Date: June 23, 2017 5:00 AM
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