W. Edwards Deming said it best, “Quality is everyone's responsibility.” While this statement rings true in many aspects of business (healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, etc.), it is very apropos to the customer service community as well. Without every staff member buying into the concept of quality assurance, a customer service operation cannot operate at peak performance without faltering at some point. It just won’t happen.
And, statistics show every customer service operation could stand to improve in the area of quality.
The world’s most successful organizations focus on customer service. In fact, many use it as a competitive differentiator.
Without satisfied customers, companies won’t exist.
While everyone already knows this, how many businesses actually live it? Not many. Spending the greater part of my career in the customer service industry, I can tell you that most don’t take this simple concept to heart. Yes, many organizations claim to be customer-centered or customer-focused, but are they?
The only way to put customers at the heart of your business is to make the job of pleasing them everyone’s responsibility. When all staff are focused on quality assurance, everybody benefits—employees and customers.
Statistics show every customer service operation could stand to improve in the area of quality.
You may be thinking this is easier said than done, but it’s really not that challenging. With a comprehensive agent optimization solution, consisting of quality assurance, performance management, coaching, learning and motivation, a customer service team has everything it needs to put quality assurance front-and-center.
Get everyone involved
All your customer service team members can play a pivotal role in ensuring that customer service excellence is delivered every day, all day. Together, Agents, QA Analysts, Team Leaders and Managers can make sure quality is always being monitored, measured, trained, recognized and rewarded.
- Role: View real-time performance Key Performance Indicators and monitor their progress against the team. Complete personalized training models and quizzes when they are assigned. Interact with their peers online for motivation and support.
- Value: Gauge their own performance and collaborate with other agents to get the answers they need to perform at a high level and stay motivated.
- Role: Access real-time intelligence on agent performance and assign personalized training modules to correct identified weaknesses/issues.
- Value: Speed the QA process and close the loop on issue identification and resolution.
- Role: Share performance reports with agents in real time, create personalized training content, assess ongoing performance by creating and assigning on-the-spot quizzes that pinpoint specific issues, and closely monitor agent performance and learning progress intraday and over time. Also publicly recognize and reward agents.
- Value: Speed onboarding and agent performance management, resolve issues impacting performance quickly, free up time by automating the process of sharing KPIs with agents, and more easily and regularly inspire your team to deliver quality service.
- Role: View performance reports frequently to monitor team performance and gauge team leader success over time. Work with QA Analysts to resolve identified workflow bottlenecks and customer service issues.
- Value: Ensure quality service is being delivered and recognize team leaders who excel to further motivate them and to inspire others to achieve similar levels of success.
Recognize in order to galvanize
Recognizing staff for a job well done can go a long way toward improving performance. With an agent optimization solution and real-time collaboration and recognition communities, every staff member has the opportunity to recognize someone else. Managers can publicly recognize team leaders and agents with posts on the company’s internal social community wall or via email to all staff. Likewise, team leaders can do the same for their own staff, and agents can do so for their peers.
"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention," entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn has been widely quoted as saying.
The only way to put customers at the heart of your business is to make the job of pleasing them everyone's responsibility.
In addition to public recognition, managers and team leaders can also assign digital badges to high performers, such as “Today’s Best,” “Top Performer,” etc. These simple recognition tools lead to employee satisfaction, pride, and motivation.
According to Forbes, “87% of customer service agents who are ‘very satisfied in their job’ are willing to work ‘especially hard for their organization’s customers,´ only 8% of agents who are dissatisfied with their job are willing to do the same.”
What this means is that when you motivate and inspire your agents, they're happier. Happier, more satisfied agents, in turn, provide higher levels of service to your customers. A great way to achieve these levels of employee satisfaction is by awarding agents with Karma Points, which they can exchange for gifts. This will result in higher agent performance scores, which leads to improved customer satisfaction and retention.
Engagement is key
Motivated and engaged agents perform at higher levels and they stick around longer, keeping their skills and learning within the company. McKinsey reported that engaged and satisfied call center employees are 8.5 times more likely to stay than leave within a year.
When managers can garner voice-of-the-employee (VoE) feedback from their agents on their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their coaching and training, two things happen: team leaders have relevant, specific input on how to improve content moving forward, and agents feel involved and engaged in the learning process. In most customer service organizations, agents aren’t given the opportunity to share their feedback. When they can, good things can happen.
What this means is that when you motivate and inspire your agents, they're happier. Happier, more satisfied agents, in turn, provide higher levels of service to your customers.
Periodic electronic quizzes can also help keep agents engaged throughout their shift. When a particular issue arises during one agent’s interaction, for instance, a team leader can quickly create and assign a one or two question quiz to ensure all his/her agents are up to speed on the issue and know how to handle similar situations.
Quality assurance is indeed everyone’s job, and when all staff actively participate from the time they come in to the time they leave, everybody wins. What’s more, a company focused on quality assurance breeds excellence at all levels.
To make 2020 a year of great success, involve every member of your customer service team by using an Agent Optimization Suite like the one offered by Playvox. This is the new formula for creating a truly customer service-obsessed organization.
Bryon Thomas is Vice President of Marketing at Playvox, Inc. He has over 25 years of experience helping B2B technology companies build brand and create demand for emerging and established SaaS offerings and software products.