Improving Service Quality

30/09/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

The actual steps required to improve service quality will depend on the specific situation, but they can be grouped into three categories: understanding, performance, and communication.

The best way to improve understanding of customer needs and expectations is to increase the amount of time that members of the organization, including management, spend observing and interacting with customers. This can include customer visits and shadowing those performing front line services. Customer surveys can also be used to collect information, although surveys do not remove the need for observing and interacting with customers directly.

Internally, customer personas can be built to help everyone in the organization try to visualize and understand one or more stereotypical customers. This can include information about the customer’s background, needs and expectations. Exercises can be performed where employees take turns trying to argue from the customer’s point of view.

Improving performance will depend on the specific services being performed. The approaches however fall into two categories. One approach is to invest in creating service quality standards and developing rigurous training so that all employees understand how to properly perform services. It is also important for management to observe how services are being performed in order to identify gaps in service quality standards or additional training opportunities. This is often the approach selected by large organizations and when done properly it can lead to consistent service quality.

The other approach is to hire great people, work hard to retain and motivate them, coach them in areas where they need improvement, and give them the freedom to delight customers. With this approach it is particularly important for management to be intimately familiar with employees and the work they perform in order to be able to properly identify coaching opportunities. This approach can work particularly well for small organizations who may opt to do this instead of investing in standards and training. But relying solely on this approach can be difficult as the size of an organization increases. It is important to find the right balance between these two approaches.

Communication can easily undo all of the hard work put into improving understanding and performance. When it comes to improving communication, as it relates to service quality, it is important to make sure that communication to customers is prompt, that expectations are properly set up front, and that any changes or deviations are communicated as soon as possible. All communications should reflect an understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations and consider the organization’s ability to perform according to those expectations.

Tips for Improving Service Quality Management

When brands seek to refine their customer engagement strategy, a critical aspect is ensuring that contact center customer service operations are running smoothly. To achieve this, it is necessary to assess not only individual agent performance but also the quality management practices in place. Here are seven tips for improving service quality management in the contact center.

  1. Encourage agent feedback

Agents are on the front lines of customer service and have a detailed knowledge of what customer expectations may be. Encouraging agent feedback regarding improved customer service practices is therefore crucial, while peer feedback can also encourage team building and allow agents to learn from peer experiences.

  1. Have agents listen to their calls

During coaching sessions, agents should be given the chance to listen to their calls when discussing which points to improve. By breaking down the process and closely analyzing points such as tone, thoroughness, and ability to achieve first call resolution, agents can get a better sense of what their service looks like and make improvements.

  1. Send post-contact surveys after every interaction

No matter what priorities are set in place in a contact center’s customer service operations, the customer should always come first. This means that customer feedback is just as critical as any peer or supervisor feedback, and quality management demands consistent requests for feedback after each service interaction. Post-contact surveys should include questions that directly address the customer’s needs and preferences with a free-response section for additional comments.

  1. Establish clear KPIs

It is important for all contact center employees to know what KPIs to strive for, so establishing clear goals is necessary. Agents and managers alike should be able to view KPIs alongside their personal achievements, and tools such as gamification can motivate agents to deliver their best and meet their goals.

  1. Evaluate regularly

Agents should be coached and evaluated on a regular basis to consistently aid them in improving their performance. For example, monitoring calls once a week and providing swift feedback allows agents to work on their performance regularly and improve before each subsequent call monitoring session.

  1. Give all agents clear and consistent standards

All agents should have an equal chance for success, so it is important to set clear and consistent standards. Establishing clear points such as whether first call resolution is a top priority or reducing average handling time, which tools should be used and how, and what call scripts should be followed and when to deviate from a script are all steps toward setting clear expectations for agent success.

  1. Take a team approach to eliminate bias

Quality management can be subjective, so taking a team approach to analyzing employee performance is a great way to eliminate bias. Having managers coach agents from another contact center team or exchanging peer feedback across teams are great ways to gain perspective across the contact center in a more objective manner.