Call center quality assurance should be the number one priority for all companies that provide this service to their customers.
When thinking about quality assurance in general, it’s always a good idea to consider the well-known golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
As a customer, you have probably had an unhappy encounter with what I think of as “phone mail hell,” which is the excruciating experience of dealing with a synthesized computer voice instructing you to push a variety of buttons and/or speak your responses (usually several times) to get the desired (or any!) result.
There are many systems available today that are designed to monitor call times, number of call responses, etc. These systems are created by well-intentioned individuals and companies for the purpose of monitoring and potentially improving Call center quality assurance procedures.
To that end, they track and maintain a variety of statistics that can be analyzed and used to make call center procedures more efficient and effective. Without detailing the features of these systems, they probably all have some merit. Automated system aside however, I believe that the most important aspect of Call center quality assurance is the focus on creating happy clients via personal human contact.
Some of the automated “push 1 for this choice, push 2 for the other choice” systems can potentially be replaced by a simple checklist/questioning strategy read by a real live human being. While I realize that for large call centers that take thousands of calls per day, this may seem like an impractical suggestion, the customer should at least be given the option to speak to a person upon request.
Whatever the methodology used, periodic customer surveys are also a good method of assessing the effectiveness Call center quality assurance procedures. While automated call systems will give you statistics on average wait times, duration of calls, etc., surveys will give you a better idea of the customer’s impression of your service, which ultimately may have a great impact on client retention.
Here are some suggested categories for a survey:
The value of the information received/relevance to job function
The courtesy and professionalism of the support staff.
The amount of wait time and whether it was well used (i.e., “dead air”, music, or useful recorded information provided?)
Follow-up/turnaround time for call backs
Those are just a few general categories to get you started on Call center QA improvements. Notice that the questions are subjective because they are meant to determine the customers mindset as opposed to simply gathering facts and figures. Ultimately, the decision to buy (or remain a customer) is based on emotion, not facts.