Creating a Customer Service Quality Assurance Form Doesn’t Have to be Scary (Here’s how)

Creating a quality form for your customer service team can be a scary task. Questions abound. How many items should it hold? What questions matter most? Which ones don’t? What type of scoring method should we use? The list goes on and on, and these are all great questions. But before we address them, let’s back up a bit and first discuss the “why” of quality assurance and talk about why this shouldn’t be a scary task at all.

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How FabFitFun Uses Customer Service Quality Assurance to Manage a Best-In-Class Support Team

FabFitFun believes that women should have easy access to products that enable them to live a good and empowered life (and that it shouldn’t cost a fortune). They help customers achieve this through sending a quarterly, full sized, subscription box with the latest beauty, health and wellness, fashion and home products.  

The company also believes that if a customer needs help with something, they should have an incredible customer support experience. To FabFitFun, the “Customer is Queen.” And this has led to some innovative and creative solutions in managing their large (and growing) support team.

We recently sat down with Caitlin Logan, Senior Director of Customer Experience at FabFitFun to talk about the metrics she uses to manage her 200 person team of customer support agents. The following is a Q&A from that conversation:

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Customer Service Quality Assurance is the Key to Unlocking Higher Customer Satisfaction

Traditionally, many discussions of Customer Satisfaction have excluded one of its biggest drivers — high-quality customer service. Over the past couple of years, businesses have been increasing the attention they pay to CX. With 81% of companies expecting to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX within two years, companies need to ensure that customers are consistently satisfied in order for them to keep coming back.

Maintaining a high quality of customer service is essential to keeping customers satisfied. Through the quality assurance process, support leaders can make sure their customer facing employees are consistently creating experiences that make customers come back.  

Read more for a look at the correlation between quality assurance scores and Customer Satisfaction scores!

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Customer Service Quality Assurance and Soft Skills: The Good, the Meh, and the Ugly

When companies begin to QA for agent soft skills, they’re overcome by a wealth of options. There are a million different levers they could pull to potentially create satisfied customers, and they don’t know which ones to prioritize.

You need to know which agent behaviors matter the most to your customers, and emphasize/train on those to create the best possible experiences. We analyzed over 150,000 agent interactions to see which agent soft skills are most correlated with positive CSAT.

Here’s what we found:

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It’s all about balance: Two types of agent technical skills that impact Customer Satisfaction

Companies in the early phases of building a customer service quality assurance process often begin by creating a rubric that focuses on agents’ technical skills. They want to make sure all of their interactions are PII compliant and in line with company policy.

But imagine that a customer calls into support because a product they’ve recently purchased just broke. If the quality review rubric focuses on technicalities and compliance, the agent might be graded on whether or not they tagged that interaction as “broken product,” but not at all on how that interaction made the customer feel, or how it impacted Customer Satisfaction (both of which are important, I think we agree).

We looked at 150k customer interactions to quantify the relationship between agent actions and Customer Satisfaction.

Here’s what we found:

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How ActiveCampaign uses MaestroQA to scale their support team, and improve team dynamics

Last week, MaestroQA took a trip ✈️ to the Windy City to attend Zendesk’s Future of Customer Experience conference. Our partner Spencer at ActiveCampaign spoke about how MaestroQA helps his team scale efficiently, onboard agents, and maintain the company’s close-knit culture 😍  

Click in 👀for an audio recording, and to see how Spencer uses QA to efficiently scale his team.

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Maintaining quality of customer support in the face of hyper-growth

Many successful companies today are faced with a similar problem at some point in their existence: they go through a phase of rapid growth in which they’re hiring like crazy to support a growing customer base.  

This recently happened to Hootsuite. Their support team grew across the globe, added four new offices, and the team went from sitting together in the same office to being spread across four unique time zones.

The training lead and QA specialist were tasked with ensuring that customers were happy no matter which support office they called – they had the challenge of making sure the support teams in each office were providing customers with consistent experiences.

They used QA to systematically identify differences between offices, and build processes for aligning their team in the face of being a global organization.

This webinar will walk you through how they tackled this challenge and and continued supporting their customers.

Get a webinar recording here!

Omnichannel support for agents and customers: A necessity

I recently had a rough customer service interaction. I was suffering from back-end issues that the agents were having, and they couldn’t help me effectively.

If they’d had the right platform, I would have been happier with them and, frankly, I would have been happier with the company.

Here’s how omnichannel support can solve this issue, and improve the experience for both agents and customers:

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The Two Agent-Controlled Factors Most Associated With Positive CSAT

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is one of the most important metrics in customer service. Given its importance to the customer and your business, many teams make it a top initiative to improve their CSAT – but there’s plenty to be done on the agent level as well.

Here are the 2 agent-controlled areas that are most correlated with CSAT, and some actionable tips to help drive your scores higher:

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How Shinesty Uses Alternative Positioning as a Customer Support Best Practice

If you reach out to customer support at Shinesty, your experience might feel reminiscent of a conversation with your best friend – support reps will casually swear, make jokes, and occasionally even call names. 

But this is nothing to leave a bad review for, this is all very normal. 

Shinesty is a company with one mission: to help encourage the world not take itself too seriously through selling outlandish and outrageous clothing for themed parties and events. They also have incredible customer service. Here's how they do it: 

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Customer Support Best Practices From the NYC Support Driven Meetup

Every American child has heard of the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s a nice message, but it really misses the mark – everyone has their own idea of what being treated well means.  

At the Support Driven Meetup: Customer Service as an Engagement Opportunity, panelists dug deep into what “good” customer service means for their teams and customers. 

Panelists included the Customer Experience Manager at Slice, Rich Lorenzo; the Director of Community and Support at Tumblr, Kimm Alfonso; and the Customer Experience Supervisor at Harry’s, Nick Martin.  

The key takeaway was that “good” can mean very different things – customers want to be treated differently depending on the service that the company offers, the business model, the nature of the product, and the platform on which they’re reaching out.

In life, love, and customer support, we should throw the golden rule out the window, and start treating others the way they want to be treated. Here’s what the panelists had to say: 

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How to Improve Customer Satisfaction Scores: A Three Step Framework

When Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with the words, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” he wasn’t thinking about companies struggling with low customer satisfaction scores. But if he were, he would have been on to something. 

Every company struggling with bad CSAT is fighting a unique fight. No two companies have identical pain points, and the cause of these pains differ widely. 

The good news is, there is some consistency in the solutions for this type of problem – companies can think about improving customer satisfaction scores using the following framework. Here’s a look at how it’s done, with an example of a company we recently worked with.

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Why Paving a Path to Resolution Is a Customer Service Best Practice

The nature of customer support is fast-paced, and even faster now that we can order guacamole or a jump rope and have it delivered to us within a couple of hours. These expectations then put pressure on support teams to send customers on their way, saying goodbye just as swiftly as they came through the door.

At Leadpages + Drip, we make a dedicated effort to guide the customer along the way, because we want to be there for that moment of success. We call this paving a path to resolution.

Here's how you go about doing that, and why it matters. 

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Fresh Take: How Peer Review Can Identify Improvements

The support doctor is in!

Today we shine the Spotlight on a conversation that shows how a second set of eyes can help improve processes, even on routine conversations. In our example, the agent adequately solves the customer's problem, but peer review identifies an inefficiency that would have otherwise been missed.

Read on for a deep dive into the customer interaction. 

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Why Failure to Provide Great Customer Service Is a Risk to Company Success

Dropbox, Shopify, Atlassian, and Mulesoft recently joined the ranks of startups that have reached an oft-dreamt-about milestone for founders everywhere – the IPO. But that’s not the only thing these companies have in common.

They all listed the failure to provide great customer service quality as key risks to the success of their company.

Here's why:

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Yes, we can say "Yes"! Craft Favorable Customer Experiences With Positive Positioning

"Hi Harry’s, Can I chat with Harry Styles?"

Harry’s is a grooming company that believes everyone deserves a quality shave at a great price. At the same time, our Customer Experience team can still answer “Yes” to all of our customers’ questions using Experience Engineering techniques – even if the question is about One Direction and not shaving direction.

Here's how we craft favorable customer experiences using positive positioning.

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See the Future: Be Proactive in Support of Your Customers

Since we love customer support quality so much, this week your Support Spotlight has a 2 for 1 special (even better than the Philly Special)!

First, this conversation showcases the technique of proactively reaching out when you know something is awry. It reduces customer effort, and increases engagement with your product.

Second, this conversation showcases how educating customers with additional context empowers them, helping them more effectively solve problems on their own in the future.

Check out the conversation below:

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Roger that! Assume Nothing Until You Get Confirmation

Your weekly Support Spotlight is here! Customers in need of good customer service don't take breaks, so neither do we.

This week's example highlights the importance of confirming things with your customers; making sure they follow through with your suggested solution, and more importantly, that the solution actually worked!

Take a look at the conversation below:

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