Who QA’s the QA Team?

Bigstockphoto_Business_Meeting_1264156 It’s a classic dilemma. The Quality Assesment (QA) team, whether it’s supervisor or separate QA analyst, evaluates calls and coaches Customer Service Reps (CSRs). But, how do you know that they are doing a good job with their evaluations and their coaching? Who QA’s the QA team?

The question is a good one, and here are a couple of options to consider:

  • QA Data analysis. At the very least, you should be compiling the data from each supervisor or QA analyst. With a little up front time spent setting up some tracking on a spreadsheet program, you can, overtime, quanitfy how your QA analysts score. How do the individual analysts compare to the average of the whole? Who is typically high? Who is the strictest? Which elements does this supervisor score more strictly than the rest of the group? The simple tracking of data can tell you a lot about your team and give you the tool you need to help manage them.
  • CSR survey. I hear a lot of people throw this out as an option. While a periodic survey of CSRs to get their take on each QA coach or supervisor can provide insight, you want to be careful how you set this up. If the CSR is going to evaluate the coach after every coaching session, then it puts the coach in an awkward position. You may be creating a scenario in which the coach is more concerned with how the CSR will evaluate him/her than providing an objective analysis. If you’re going to poll your CSR ranks, do so only on a periodic basis. Don’t let them or the coaches know when you’re going to do it. Consider carefully the questions you ask and make sure they will give you useful feedback data.
  • Third-party Assessment. Our team regularly provides a periodic, objective assessment of a call center’s service quality. By having an independent assessment, you can reality test and validate that your own internal process is on-target. You can also get specific, tactical ideas for improving your own internal scorecard.
  • QA Audit. Another way to periodically get a report card on the QA team is through an audit. My team regularly provides this service for clients, as well. Internal audits can be done, though you want to be careful of any internal bias. In an audit, you have a third party evaluate a valid sample of calls that have already been assessed by the supervisor or coach. The auditor becomes the benchmark and you see where there are deviations in the way analysts evaluate the call. In one recent audit, we found that one particular member of the QA team was more consistent than any other member of the QA and supervisory staff. Nevertheless,there was one element of the scorecard that this QA analyst never scored down (while the element was missed on an average of 20% of phone calls). Just discovering this one “blind spot” helped an already great analyst improve his accuracy and objectivity.

Any valid attemps you make to track and evaluate the quality of your call analysis is helpful to the entire process. Establishing a method for validating the consistency of your QA team will bring credibility to the process, help silence internal critics and establish a model of continuous improvement.

If you think our team may be of service in helping you with an objective assessment or audit, please drop me an e-mail. I’d love to discuss it with you.

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