A customer service system is an important investment for an organization. Compliance, usability, integratability… There’s a lot of things to consider. The ultimate purpose of a customer service system is to improve work efficiency and make work easier for users so that they could provide a smoother service and better customer experiences.
You should also get a quality management system to complement your customer service system. Why? Because quality assurance is the key to the continuous development of the customer experience. A quality management system makes systematic quality development easier for the organization and also facilitates the improvement of the customer experience in a way that Excels can simply never manage. It also ensures that the organization will achieve its other goals, such as performance targets.
Next, we will go through five critical reasons why you should integrate a quality management system into your customer service system. They are:
1. Seamless information flow
Many organizations still continue to use Excel spreadsheets, memos and email for the quality assurance of their customer service. This fragmented data makes it impossible to gain an insight on the development of quality, and there is a big risk that important data will be lost. A quality management system gathers all the data in one place in a GDPR-compliant way.
By integrating a quality management system into your customer service system, you can bring the recorded calls of your customer interactions and your key performance indicators into the same system. You can then examine internal quality, past coaching sessions, contact handling times, after-call times, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, agreed development targets and their achievement, all the same view. This makes leadership much easier, saving supervisors thousands of working hours every year.
Once the essential data and tools are linked together, the development of quality becomes significantly easier. A quality management system helps ensure that every customer service agent knows what they should be doing in a customer interaction. The goals for activities come from the goals of the organization, ensuring that its ambitions are reached. Regular quality assurance helps you pinpoint what needs to be developed in order to achieve the goals and deliver an excellent customer experience.
The quality assurance of customer service is performed by monitoring customer interactions. This monitoring can be done using an evaluation form, consisting of the elements of the interactions that are under evaluation. These evaluated elements can include, for example, a branded greeting, identifying the customer, confirming the contact information, understanding the customer’s overall situation, additional sales and so on.
The internal guidelines of the company determine how customer interactions proceed. These guidelines are linked to the company’s strategy, brand and resources, among other things. It is therefore crucial from a business perspective that these common guidelines are followed so that the quality of customer service would be as consistent as possible and the distribution of resources for the service would be effortless.
The data provided by quality assessments quickly shows the average quality of the service by unit, team and individual. After seeing what actually takes place in the customer interactions and how well the internal guidelines are being followed, the persons in charge can quickly address any needs for development and provide training on essential skills to the employees.
3. Identifiable coaching needs
Imagine yourself in the customer’s shoes. You are a customer of company X, and every time you contact the company’s customer service, you get a different level of service. What kind of impression does this give you of the company?
Quality assurance helps recognize if someone is not following the internal guidelines so that you can address the issue immediately. A common reason for not following the guidelines is that the customer service agent does not understand what they should do or know in an interaction, or why things are done. This is why quality assurance is extremely important. Once the development targets have been identified, employees can be offered individual coaching on these topics.
Once the employees have clear guidelines and know what is expected of them, and their activities are systematically monitored, they will start doing the right things in every interaction. Consequently, more and more customer interactions will be consistent, and customers can be sure that they will receive the same level of service regardless of the channel.
4. Transparent expectations
Employees should have clear guidelines and goals for their work, starting from day one. This information can be added to the quality management system where everyone can access and view it. If any changes are made to the company’s internal guidelines or strategy, the forms can all be updated at the same time. Clear guidelines and expectations also generate better results.
The quality management system can also be used in the orientation of new employees so that the evaluation form provides support during the first phone calls, helping new employees learn the right procedure immediately. This also significantly improves the efficiency of orientation.
5. Anticipating resource needs
When a customer contacts a customer service line, a common cause of frustration is the waiting time. People contacting phone-in services are given an average handling time (AHT). In addition to AHT, other metrics that affect resource distribution are the answer rate, the number of contacts and the first call resolution or first contact resolution (FCR), that is, resolving the issue on the first contact.
Resource distribution in customer service is largely based on the anticipated number of contacts and the overall handling times. Quality assurance plays a key role in making sure that customer interactions include all the things that should be done in order to keep the contact handling times within the anticipated limit.
In order for employees to keep within the set limits for contact handling times, they need to be clear on what they actually need to do in a customer interaction to hit these targets. Quality assurance and coaching together will ensure that these targets are reached.
Quality assurance is one of the only ways to ensure that customer service objectives are met. But how does it happen in practice? We tell you everything you need to know in our article “How to achieve customer service goals?”