An effective quality assurance program is essential to a sales team that delivers significant results.
Quality Assurance or QA is an ongoing process which upholds the quality and productivity of your sales team. Every company’s sales team requires a QA program to not only measure how well sales agents comply with the company’s policies and procedures, but also to ensure their continuous improvement.
A well-designed and properly-executed QA program provides several benefits for a company, its employees and clients. It builds a performance culture that showcases the company’s expertise, promotes employee improvement via training/coaching and leads to an improved customer experience and higher levels of satisfaction.
The process could involve:
- - Measuring agent adherence to policy and procedure.
- - Identifying agent training needs that help to improve performance.
- - Identifying processes that frustrate or alienate prospects/customers.
- - Improving the quality and maintaining the consistency of customer interactions across various channels (phone, website, email etc.).
- - Assessing and fixing inefficient policies, procedures or operational issues across the company.
- - Identifying business trends in order to shape and improve processes.
A QA program should be tailor-made to suit the goals, culture and values of the organization. Ideally your team will have a dedicated Quality Assurance Analyst or Manager to oversee the process. This blog will take you through some techniques to use while creating a QA program for your sales team:
Program strategy: A QA program strategy sets out the number and frequency of evaluations, and feedback sessions assigned to your sales agents, which methods are going to be used, and how to select every interaction via email, telephone and chat etc. for evaluation.
Quality Monitoring Criteria: This involves defining the criteria which the QA lead will examine while evaluating transactions with a prospect/customer.
Recordings: All procedures, policies and transactions are documented so that they can be used as a standard against the evaluations which are undertaken. In addition, all calls, emails and other kinds of interactions, are also recorded.
Training: A training process aligned with the QA program is essential to address system issues, agent performance concerns and new content. In addition to policies and procedures, agents themselves must also be trained in the QA program as the more informed they are, the more effective it is.
Coaching: Effective coaching, another essential aspect of the QA process, helps to identify agents’ strengths and areas of improvement. Educational and supportive coaching sessions play a critical role as they provide agents with the resources to overcome their weaknesses, leading to a boost in satisfaction and retention.
Calibration: Establishing a recurrent process to align all the people involved in the Quality Assurance process to score all transactions consistently and equitably will make for a fair QA program. All Quality Assurance reviewers should interpret the questions on the monitoring form in the same way, and agree on its meaning. An additional procedure to ensure consistency is to develop a calibration delta process - this ensures that every QA score assigned to an agent is fairly and correctly assigned.
Reporting: Creating a daily, weekly and monthly progress report of agents’ performance will allow you to have an overview of their progress, strengths, weaknesses, training needs, system issues, procedural enhancements, business opportunities etc.
Alerts and Required Actions: A constant monitoring process gives you the opportunity to have real time information on hand to correct the agents’ behaviors and improve operational performance. Alerts and required actions will be pushed every time a misleading behavior is detected.
Recognition program: Acknowledging and rewarding top performers is essential for the success of a QA program. Developing a good recognition program and acknowledging best practices, motivates and encourages agents and others as well. Rewards do not need to be large; it could be a pair of movie tickets for instance, a plaque or a meal for two.
Effective Communication for a Successful Program
For the program to be successful, all agents must be educated about it, why it's being developed, how it will impact them (details of reviews, incentives and raises), as well as, its benefits. Encourage them to participate and make sure that expectations and updates are clearly communicated. Finally, roll out the program on a trial basis, and monitor results. This not only allows you to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, but also allows the Quality Assurance managers, analysts and agents get acquainted with the process.