Introducing a Quality Assurance Process in Your Call Center


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Let’s dive into everything about quality assurance in your call center. It’s important to always strive to improve the quality of your associates, your QA program, and set one up if you don’t have one.

Most call centers put their training into how to run one specific program or channel. When the customer says this, you go to this screen, and click here. What most QA training programs fail to tackle is establishing tone, delight, empathy, and engagement. Many of these companies have poor customer service and don’t know why. Most often, the tone is off. Remember, the tone is the message.

Most QA personnel are concerned with checking all the boxes, dotting the Is, crossing the Ts, going through the scripts, etc. But they don’t care about the customer experience. They talk like robots. These are things the customer picks up on.

Customers talk. This is the age of social media. Someone that has a really good experience is going to shout it to the rooftops, and someone who has a terrible experience will do the same thing. You want your customers to sing your praises online.

The traditional QA training system needs to be flipped on its head. It’s important to focus on tone, speaking properly, understanding customer needs, and personal interaction.

Speech Analytics

Speech Analytics is an invaluable tool for call centers. Using speech analytics, you can score the sentiment or tone of your agents, and of the customers. You can tell, when a customer calls in angry, how many of those angry customers you were able to sway into being in a better mood when the call ended.

You can use speech analytics to listen to one hundred percent of your calls, emails, and chat sessions. Here at Expivia, we incent tone by paying commission to our reps who are able to create a positive tone in our customers. We do this by analyzing data from speech analytics. You can also tag calls to listen to personally if a particular issue has been identified.

Starting a QA Process

Start listening to your associates’ calls as a manager, don’t just let your QA team handle that. Schedule some time each week to just listen. You will never know what it is you need to fix, if you don’t listen to these calls. You will get frustrated, but remember that you have to start somewhere.

Next, break the calls into segments. For example, each call should have an opening, greeting, some sort of customer verification, listening to customer concerns, and then resolution. Associates should include some sort of call to action, like a cross-sell or upsell, as well as any necessary disclosures. Finally, a close to the call.

You want to educate your associates on each of these segments. Train your reps on the proper opening and greeting. Tell them exactly how it should sound. Do the same thing for the verification. Every segment is going to differ based on your company culture. It should all be trained, educated, and roleplayed. Keep in mind, it’s not just what your associates say, but how they say it. If people are pushing back against this training, maybe you can weed out some people who shouldn’t be on your floor.

Identify Pain Points

Learn what the top five or so issues are that people call in with. Make sure your associates know how to deal with these common issues.

When dealing with customer complaints, your associates need to show true empathy for the customers’ problems. Not the monotone, “Oh, I’m sorry about that, let me pull up your information.” Your associates need to put some emotion into it. Show the customer that you truly care about what they are experiencing.

Create a Scoring System

Once your associates have been trained and standards have been set, you need a way to score your calls. It doesn’t matter how you score your associates, like a number or letter grade, what matters is what you score them on. Score them on how they handle each segment of the call.

Determine how you give each grade and how the criteria is scored. How does someone achieve a high vs low grade? Educate your associates on how your scoring system works. Have all your supervisors grade all your reps, so you can all get on the same page of what is a good score and a bad one.

You Own The Call

If a score is below standard, pull your associate from the call center floor so you can both listen to the call in question instantly, right after it’s occurred, do not wait! Go over the score with the rep so they understand what they missed and need to improve. Send them back out, and within 30 minutes, listen to them again. You should expect a marked improvement. If they don’t improve, you may need to go through a progressive discipline program with them. Help your reps improve. Work with them to understand where they are failing and help them to develop better skills.

We love Speech Analytics as we stated earlier as we are “listening” to 100% of the calls. Something a CSAT or NPS survey cannot do. Those surveys seem to get only the two extremes to respond, those that were very pleased and those that were not. It misses everyone in the middle.

Live or Recorded

You can listen in on either live or recorded calls. Listening in on live calls can help you catch any issues immediately and fix them. By listening to recorded calls, you can catch trends and fast forward through them. Both will be an invaluable asset.

In Closing

When it comes to quality assurance, there has to be a standard on your call center floor but, your reps have to know what the standard is. If they are not properly trained or tested, they won’t know how to speak to people the right way. Make sure your associates know what to say, and how to say it.

Check out our call center operations, technology, and best practices podcast at

Thomas Laird
Founder and CEO of award-winning Expivia Interaction Marketing Group. Expivia is a USA BPO omnichannel contact center located in Pennsylvania. I have 25 years of experience in all facets of contact center operations. I have the honor of being a member of the NICE inContact ICVC Board. The iCVC is a select group of inContact customers selected to join as trusted advisors to help InContact validate ideas for new products and features and plans for future innovations. I am also the author of "Advice from a Call Center Geek" and host of the podcast of the same name.


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