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 😍
Audio recording here:
Read on 👀to see how Spencer uses QA to efficiently scale his team.
Q: So you’re using MaestroQA while your team is going through a pretty big evolution. You're growing significantly and also moving internationally. Can you talk a little bit about how MaestroQA helped you with that transition?
A: Before we started working with MaestroQA, we were just doing spot checks and deep dives on people. We would randomly click on tickets which, especially considering how we’re scaling, takes up far too much time. In MaestroQA, you can integrate with Zendesk and have tickets sent to Quality Assurance graders with certain tags or rules.
Q: How has MaestroQA been helping you out? What do they do tactically to make your job easier while still staying human?
A: The thing is — they're always listening, but not in a weird way. If you have feedback, they dig into it. Their CEO, Vasu, never lets me give him just a note of what I’d like — he always asks why and figures out what I’m trying to accomplish. They're extremely available to help and it's been a really good relationship to grow our QA program out.
Q: There’s an argument out there that NPS is the only number to look at, or CSAT is the only number to look at. And I strongly disagree; I think that QA is the check and balance of all of that. Was that easy for you to communicate? What tips and tricks would you suggest to people who are trying to implement QA?
“We created an entire onboarding training program with lessons created from QA findings.”
A: I think that with CSAT and NPS, you’re only going to see very happy or very unhappy customers. With QA you have a platform that looks over tickets randomly, which gives us a much better idea of how we should train people. We created an entire onboarding training program with lessons from QA findings. It's a good way of increasing knowledge of your support team which lets you onboard and train more efficiently because you see what agents are doing instead of just hoping they're doing everything right. These are the benefits that we get long-term — we get to be strategic and having a lot resources for education, for onboarding, for career progression.
Q: I think one of the challenges companies face when they implement a Quality Assurance program is that QA can sometimes seem like Big Brother, and agents almost dread seeing scores come in. But you’re looking at that a different way, and you've offered your QA graders different ways of doing that.
A: As we build out the QA program, I really tried to stay away from being a process stickler. That type of quality assurance is going to hurt your team in the long term, morale-wise. We use QA more as a tool to share knowledge rather than a punitive measure to tell agents they’re doing poorly. Our QA leads hold ‘Office Hours’ where agents and QA leads can live chat together. We want to make sure that the QA team is also good at the work, so that they can create a fluid and effective QA program. It shows that we value the work that agents do on the front line enough to still do it.
Q: How do you think that feedback has impacted your agents and feed back into your customers?
“We’ve found that ensuring quality interactions keeps us closer to the team”
A: Actually, all our agents wanted more feedback and to go into more detail which wasn’t what I was expecting because I thought I’d playing the big bad wolf of QA, right? Or that’s how I expected to be viewed by support agents. We’ve found that ensuring quality interactions keeps us closer to the team, and we expect this to continue as we grow.
Q: Your organization is branching out into Sydney and as you’re moving, you have to adapt a philosophy that may be easier to maintain when you're smaller. What are your challenges in making sure that you still keep that close and intimate feeling as you grow?
A: QA is a great link to that because as we grow we'll continue to use a similar model where leads grade agents in their own office as well as offices across the globe. This lets us keep our finger on the pulse of the team at large, so when we see the process break down in one office, we can identify trends and areas of opportunity. It's more eyes looking at more cases, and I think it keeps us more closely connected.
Q: We’ve been talking, and it's re-inspired me to remember how to keep it human even when your business is going a million miles an hour. Do you have any advice for the teams out here on how to have those interactions that benefit you as a company while reinforcing why your employees love working for you?
A: I think the big differentiator is when you have QA leads who still “walk the walk.” They show agents they continue on doing the same job that you're doing, while they’re grading you. I think that just creates a closer knit team. You have to make sure that QA isn’t just the “other” team of people who are only around to get agents in trouble. Then when you need an extra hand you can call your QA team into chats, because they know how to do it.
We’re glad we could support Spencer during ActiveCampaign’s overseas growth and that he’s using QA to make his customer service more human.