Rod Jones

In the competitive world of customer service, quality assurance (QA) plays a crucial role in maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty and driving incremental revenue and lifetime value. QA refers to the process of monitoring and evaluating interactions between agents and customers to ensure that they meet the desired standards of quality. QA aims to identify areas for improvement and provide feedback to agents and managers to improve performance. QA is also an incredibly valuable source of quantified and qualified business intelligence when implemented correctly. This is exactly what the boardroom needs to appreciate the value that the contact centre brings to the organisation and to be able to maintain a competitive advantage.

Traditionally, in the context of contact centres QA has been a manual process involving the assessment of a small percentage of interactions. Sadly, in many of the contact centres that I have audited, the actual number of assessments carried out is surprisingly small; as few as one or two calls per agent per month being monitored, assessed and scored. Yet many contact centre operations base far-reaching strategic and tactical strategies on a sample size of less than 1%. It is a small wonder that many contact centres struggle to maintain operational efficiencies and sound customer satisfaction scores.

However, with the advent of speech analytics, it is now possible to automatically monitor and assess 100% of all voice interactions and produce accurate dashboards and reports (including extremely valuable exceptions and outlier reports). This technology uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to analyse and categorise key components of interactions, such as specific words or phrases and combinations of these. Speech analytics tools give operational managers deep insights into both sides of the conversation, the customer and the agent. ‘Listening’ to the Voice of the Customer has never been this easy or as cost-effective.

Why is QA Important?

QA is important for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that agents are providing a consistent level of service to customers. This consistency is important for building trust and confidence in the company and its products or services. Secondly, it helps to identify areas for improvement in agent performance, such as communication skills or product knowledge. This, in turn, can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is also important for contact centres to ensure that all calls are compliant in terms of the organisation’s policies, processes and procedures. It is of particular importance for contact centres transacting or providing services to the financial services sector where regulatory compliance is critical. QA can also help to identify trends and issues in customer interactions, allowing companies to take proactive measures to address them.

Benefits of Speech Analytics

Speech analytics offer several benefits for contact centres. Firstly, this powerful technology provides a comprehensive view of all customer interactions, allowing managers to identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent through manual QA. Secondly, speech analytics can be used to identify areas for improvement in agent performance, allowing for targeted training and coaching. Finally, it can help reduce the workload of QA teams, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks and identify outliers and significant breaches in terms of compliance. Speech analytics empowers quality assurance staff to become skilled insights analysts; their reporting can become valuable business intelligence.

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