The Next Normal –– coined by renowned management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, describes what a post-viral era may look like. We’ve recently seen ‘remote work forever’ statements being issued by technology heavyweights like Twitter and Slack, however, a hybrid model is being touted as a more reasonable future state.
But what impact will this hybrid model have on how we engage with our customers? How do you maintain the quality of service to your customers in this new world?
This is where QA Software for customer-facing becomes vital. Here are the 3 key benefits:
1) Maintain the Standard
In the “before times” with centralized customer-facing teams, this wasn’t a problem. At the very least, your managers had direct, immediate connections with your employees: they could sit in on calls, watch demos to customers, and so on. But without physical connection, how do you maintain the standard? At the risk of micromanagement and excessive control, how do you ensure that ongoing customer interactions, whether at home or in the office, is meeting or exceeding the standards you expect?. With QA software, you can define the assessment criteria for each different type of customer communication, set a schedule to present an agreed random subset of the interactions (e.g. 10%), run the assessments, and then provide instant feedback to the Agents/Executives. This will ensure customer interactions are maintained to the highest standards.
2) Remove the Bias
You may have a monthly meeting with your supervisors, whereby you discuss ad-hoc assessments of the standards of new hires. Or, you may have an on-going assessment process that you run as a supervisor for your team that helps you determine the standard. Some of the big challenges here occur with bias and most likely unconscious bias. These software tools allow you to remove those challenges in several ways. Take, for example, you have 10 supervisors working for you within a customer care center with 10 Agents on each team. You may configure the assessments for a supervisor from one team to continuously assess the customer interactions of another team and then change that every month, so they’ll never assess their own agents in this context. You may have dedicated QA Evaluators, separate from the day-day management of Agents, who will continuously independently assess the agent’s performance. There are many different ways to implement this, but the key goal is to achieve fair assessments and remove the bias.
3) Identify Trends/Skills Gaps Instantly
Let’s imagine 200 customer care agents working across 10 teams. A new product has been added to the mix and you’re taking all the right steps – you’ve trained up your support staff; brought in the product experts to run walk-throughs, provide demo videos, etc. Now your product starts selling really well and naturally, the calls/emails/webchats start coming into your customer care desks. You’re noticing a varying degree of success/failure on these interactions but where exactly are the challenges and with whom? With the right QA software and processes in place, you’ll be able to run a trend assessment and identify the gap. In this scenario, 12 people across 4 of the teams are continuously poor at troubleshooting issues with the new product and you’ve quickly setup a re-training program for these team members.
With any QA Software that you introduce, the ‘how’ you implement the technology can be just as important as the ‘why’. Ensure that they trust the solution, reinforcing this through full transparency of their scorecards results so they can learn for themselves. Include pro-active coaching tasks at the end of assessments. Give rewards – implement gamification features to reinforce while empowering your teams to achieve. All this comes together to maintain the standard.
Neil Young is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Leaptree, a Revenue Performance Platform software company serving the Salesforce ecosystem. Find out more @ www.leaptree.com.