“This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.”
With ever-rising customer expectations, it’s critical for agents to get every interaction right. This is where BPO quality assurance processes come into play. In this article, we’ll dive into the BPO quality assurance process, the benefits and key components, and how organizations can successfully implement their own BPO quality assurance strategy.
BPO (or Business Process Outsourcing) quality assurance is a process that evaluates agent-customer interactions across channels and ensures that performance is aligned with their client standards. Typically, agents are scored on criteria specific to their channel that usually includes overall quality, consistency, errors, and customer satisfaction.
BPO quality assurance processes help improve agent performance and operational efficiency while boosting customer satisfaction. Here is a quick look at some of the benefits:
Identifying knowledge gaps BPO and enterprise contact center quality assurance processes can help identify where agents need more training. This includes internal systems protocols, product and service knowledge, and soft skills (such as communication and problem-solving).
Risk mitigation In regulated industries, monitoring interactions helps flag and improve (and ultimately, prevent) non-compliance situations, protecting the company from regulatory fines and other costs/damages.
Customer retention When enterprise contact centers have quality assurance processes in place, this helps ensure a great customer experience. When agents retain customers, the BPO retains clients.
Strengthening the workforce When interactions are monitored, agents will be especially motivated to deliver the best possible customer experience. And having a constructive feedback loop, along with continuous training and ongoing coaching sessions, will help keep agents motivated and engaged while improving their performance.
Building reputations and relationships Finally, the quality assurance factors culminate in the major benefits of retaining existing clients and boosting the BPO’s credibility and reputation – which can lead to new clients.
BPO and enterprise contact center quality assurance processes consist of some key components:
Quality monitoring involves a QA team member monitoring interactions. For example, quality assurance team members might listen to a call in real-time, or review and evaluate it later.
Performance evaluations reflect adherence to predetermined interaction criteria and will vary based on the interaction type. Criteria for calls might include greeting, hold time, adherence to the script, professionalism, and if the customer’s issue was resolved.
Data analysis helps operations leaders gauge customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness, and overall efficiency. It also helps identify improvement areas and inform targeted training and coaching initiatives.
Training programs and coaching are an enormous component of a BPO quality assurance process, and enable agents to fill knowledge gaps. Guided, targeted training and meaningful coaching sessions can help guarantee a successful program.
Quality assurance strategies enable BPOs and enterprise contact centers to meet service delivery expectations and keep their clients happy. We recommend taking a thoughtful approach to implement these strategies – here are a few things to consider:
Establish clear and comprehensive standards
Define your KPIs, making sure they are aligned with your clients’ objectives and of course, overall industry best practices. KPIs should cover the scope of interactions and can include CSAT, FCR, adherence to scripts and guidelines, escalation rates, compliance and accuracy, and more.
If agents aren’t clear on expectations, they will probably not meet them. Agents should clearly understand the BPO quality assurance process, its goals, how they will be measured, and how they can deliver against these goals.
Continuously train and coach
A comprehensive training and coaching program can help quickly fill knowledge and skill gaps. Reinforce training through supplemental methods such as microlearning to fight the forgetting curve and improve performance.
Create constructive feedback loops
When agents are evaluated, enable a dynamic discussion between evaluators, supervisors, and agents. Clear communication and understanding around scores help agents know where and how to improve their performance.
Having the right tech in place can make BPO quality assurance processes more efficient and add value. There are a lot of tech solutions available, including speech and sentiment analytics tools and employee performance dashboards.
Even the best-planned BPO quality assurance strategies can have their challenges. Below are a few commonly encountered pitfalls:
Static evaluation criteria
Evaluation forms can be problematic when they follow a single structure and uniform set of protocols and guidelines, and hold all agents to a single set of standards. For instance, agents will be evaluated on the same criteria regardless of tenure and history, and a veteran agent might be monitored at the same cadence as a new hire. This distorts the true reflection of overall agent performance and causes operational inefficiencies.
Evaluation forms are often challenging for agents to access, making it difficult for them to proactively examine their own scores and understand where they need improvement. Evaluations also tend to lack context and root causes, such as listing a training gap to explain why a newly-hired agent has long hold times.
Lack of transparency
A lack of transparency is another challenge of BPO quality assurance processes. Ideally, agents should have clarity about their evaluation scores soon after the interaction, but this unfortunately doesn’t always happen. In fact, agents might not have any insights until their next scheduled coaching session with their supervisor – which could be weeks away, causing the agent to make the same errors in the meantime.
Boredom and disengagement
The quality assurance team’s workday can be transactional and tedious, and largely consists of evaluating, noting, and submitting reports in a vacuum. When BPO quality assurance processes are reactive and transactional, and lack a feedback loop and intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, this can lead to boredom and derail motivation and engagement.
While there are indeed challenges in BPO quality assurance, there are a few best practices that companies can follow to deliver quality:
Evaluate the evaluation cards
Consider replacing the one-size-fits-all approach to evaluation cards and discuss a flexible, tailored approach instead. For instance, personalized forms can be created across clients that match the expectations of each, but are customized to reflect different factors, and segment agents so they are held to the most appropriate standards and monitoring cadence. Finally, when forms are editable, this can also help immensely with the feedback loop after a post-evaluation coaching session.
Provide access and transparency
Supervisors and agents should have fast, easy access to evaluation forms, scores, and the rationale behind the scores right after they are submitted. This better enables targeted training, makes coaching sessions more productive, and prevents prolonged errors.
Gamify the process
Quality assurance managers like to have fun like everyone else! With gamification, companies can cut down on the tedious, disconnected nature of the role. For instance, gamifying KPIs for completing required evaluations and awarding redeemable points and bragging rights (such as passing levels and earning badges) can help keep these employees motivated, engaged, and potentially even more productive.
The Centrical performance eXperience platform’s quality assurance capabilities help to modernize, scale, and optimize quality management processes with customizable and personalized forms and gamification, as well as transparency into agent scores. Additionally, Centrical supports training and coaching program with AI-powered, targeted microlearning and augmented coaching capabilities. Finally, Centrical helps makes training material creation processes simple and efficient for admins with AI Microlearning capabilities.
Watch the Centrical platform in action with a quick preview.
Quality assurance processes for the BPO are critical to meeting client expectations. While there are challenges, these can easily be overcome by defining success, establishing goals, and following best practices. Some key takeaways:
Centrical has partnered with leading organizations across the globe for over a decade, building strong frontline teams while boosting the customer experience (and reducing attrition!). Learn more about Centrical and how we can change the game for your BPO quality assurance processes by requesting your personalized overview today!