Great customer service should be a top priority for every business. When your customers are happy, they remain more loyal, are more willing to spend more with your company, and can make or break your reputation simply by posting about their experience with you online.
One of the key tools for achieving great customer service is through Quality Assurance (QA) feedback. QA feedback is essential in improving customer service and call center efficiency, as it provides a way for managers to monitor and evaluate the performance of their agents, identify areas for improvement, and to provide agents with a feedback loop to help them improve their skills.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of QA feedback in call centers, discuss best practices for providing quality feedback there, and give specific examples of QA feedback to use in reviews. We’ll also introduce Idiomatic’s AI platform and explain how it can help call center managers improve their QA feedback processes.
- What are the benefits of providing constructive feedback in the workplace?
- Balancing positive and negative feedback
- 20 call center QA feedback examples
- Tips for giving effective QA feedback to an agent
- Techniques for providing constructive feedback
- QA performance reviews
- Using AI technology to improve QA feedback processes
What are the benefits of providing constructive feedback in the workplace?
Effective QA feedback is a critical tool for improving customer service and call center efficiency.
By monitoring interactions and providing helpful feedback, managers can identify areas where agents can improve their service delivery, such as being more empathetic or responsive, ultimately leading to happier customers.
In addition to improving customer service, QA feedback can also play a key role in improving call center efficiency. Managers can identify areas for improvement and address them through training or process changes to reduce the number of call transfers or escalations, saving time and resources. Improvements in efficiency can lead to a reduction in customer wait times and an increase in the number of calls that can be handled per day, leading to improved customer satisfaction.
Take Zappos, for example. They have a team of full-time coaches who work with employees to identify areas for improvement and provide ongoing training and support. They also use a unique approach called “Self-Check Sessions,” which allows employees to listen to their own recorded calls and provide feedback to themselves. This approach to QA feedback has helped Zappos to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Consequences of not providing effective QA feedback to employees
- Decrease in motivation and morale: Without feedback on their performance, employees may feel undervalued or unsure of how to improve, leading to decreased motivation and morale. This can ultimately lead to decreased customer satisfaction, as employees may continue to make the same mistakes and provide subpar service.
- Decreased efficiency: If employees don’t know how to improve their performance, they may continue to make the same mistakes, which can slow down call center operations and decrease efficiency. This can lead to increased turnover rates and additional costs associated with recruiting and training new employees.
- Lost business and decreased revenue: This can be particularly detrimental to call centers that rely heavily on customer retention and loyalty. In fact, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
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Balancing positive and negative feedback
Both positive and negative feedback are important for effective communication and employee development. Positive feedback helps to boost morale, increase motivation, and reinforce good behavior. It also helps employees understand what they’re doing well so they can continue to do so in the future. On the other hand, negative feedback provides opportunities for improvement and helps employees understand where they need to grow.
It’s important to balance both types of feedback to ensure that employees feel valued and supported, while also understanding what they need to work on. If an employee only receives negative feedback, they may become demotivated and lose confidence in their abilities. Conversely, if an employee only receives positive feedback, they may not be aware of areas where they need to improve, doing them a disservice.
20 call center QA feedback examples
With this in mind, here are some specific examples for providing clear and effective call center quality feedback.
Positive feedback examples
- “Great job on handling that customer’s issue quickly and professionally.”
- “Your positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile for customers is appreciated.”
- “You demonstrated excellent product knowledge during that call, which helped the customer feel confident in their purchase.”
- “Your patience and empathy in dealing with that frustrated customer was outstanding.”
- “Your ability to effectively de-escalate a tense situation and turn it into a positive experience for the customer is impressive.”
- “Your empathetic approach to the customer’s issue was really appreciated.”
- “Your communication skills are excellent and you are able to convey complex information clearly.”
- “You did a great job resolving the customer’s issue on the first call, which helped to improve customer satisfaction.”
- “Your attention to detail in ensuring that all the customer’s needs were met was impressive.”
- “You were able to provide a personalized experience for the customer, which made them feel valued and important.”
Constructive feedback examples
- “Your hold time was longer than our target of 30 seconds. Please work on answering calls more quickly.”
- “Your tone of voice came across as uninterested and unfriendly. Please work on conveying more positivity in your interactions with customers.”
- “You did not address the customer’s specific issue, but instead provided a generic response. Please focus on actively listening to customers and addressing their specific needs.”
- “Your use of industry jargon and technical terms was confusing for the customer. Please work on communicating in a way that is easy for customers to understand.”
- “You did not follow the established company protocol for handling the customer’s issue. Please review the protocol and ensure that you are following it consistently.”
- “Your tone of voice sounded a bit rushed during that call, which may have made the customer feel unheard. Try to slow down and take the time to actively listen.”
- “You missed an opportunity to offer additional products or services that could have benefited the customer. Remember to actively look for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell.”
- “Your response to the customer’s complaint was not fully resolved. Make sure to follow up on all issues until they are completely resolved.”
- “You interrupted the customer while they were speaking, which may have made them feel disrespected. Make sure to listen fully to the customer’s issue before responding.”
- “Your call ended abruptly without offering any further assistance to the customer. Make sure to always ask if there’s anything else you can do before ending the call.”
Tips for giving effective QA feedback to an agent
Now that you’ve seen some examples of effective QA feedback, here are some tips for providing feedback in the future so that it’s received well by the agent.
- Be specific about what the agent did well or needs to improve on. For example, instead of saying “You need to improve your customer service skills,” say “I noticed that you interrupted the customer several times during the call. Next time, try to let the customer finish speaking before responding.”
- Use “I” statements to avoid coming across as accusatory. Instead of saying “You were rude to the customer,” say “I noticed that your tone of voice sounded a bit harsh during the call. Could you try to speak more politely next time?”
- Provide examples of what the agent did well or needs to improve on. If the agent did a good job of diffusing an angry customer, mention that specifically. If the agent needs to work on their product knowledge, provide examples of questions they struggled to answer.
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- Focus on behavior, not personality traits. Avoid making comments about the agent’s personality or character. Stick to the specific behaviors that you observed during the call and focus on the behavior or action that needs to be improved.
- Be direct and simple. Don’t use overly complex language or beat around the bush, and communicate the specific behavior or action that needs to be addressed. Avoid general statements like “you need to improve your customer service skills” and instead be specific about the issue. For example, “when the customer asked for a refund, you seemed unsure of the process and weren’t able to provide clear instructions.”
- Use active listening. When giving feedback to an agent, give them your full attention, avoid interrupting, use positive non-verbal cues (more on this below), and ask questions to clarify unclear points.
- Communicate empathetically. When providing feedback to an agent, approach the conversation with a sense of compassion and understanding. Acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments while being mindful of their emotions. For example, you might say “I appreciate the effort you put into trying to resolve the customer’s issue, but I think we could have handled the situation more effectively if we had used this approach instead.”
- Watch non-verbal cues like facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice. When giving feedback, make sure non-verbal cues match your verbal message.
- End with positive reinforcement. Let the agent know what they did well and how their actions positively impacted the customer, leaving them feeling motivated. For example, “Overall, you did a great job of resolving the customer’s issue. They sounded much happier by the end of the call.”
Techniques for providing constructive feedback
Giving negative or constructive feedback can be uncomfortable for all parties involved. Here are a few techniques to make this process smoother.
The sandwich technique
The Sandwich Technique is a popular approach for providing feedback to employees. This technique involves starting and ending with positive feedback while including constructive feedback in the middle. By using this technique, call center managers can provide feedback in a way that is more easily received by the employee. It also helps to maintain a positive and constructive relationship between the manager and the employee.
|Start with positive feedback||“I appreciate your excellent customer service skills. Your ability to handle difficult customer situations with empathy and professionalism is commendable.”|
|Provide constructive feedback||“I’ve noticed that there are opportunities for improvement in your call handling time. It would be beneficial to work on reducing call durations while still maintaining high-quality service.”|
|End with positive feedback||“Overall, you have shown great dedication and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Keep up the good work and continue refining your skills. I believe you have the potential to become an even more exceptional call center agent.”|
3:1 ratio method
The 3:1 ratio is a guideline that suggests providing three positive comments for every one constructive criticism. This technique helps to balance out the negative feedback and create a more positive and encouraging environment for employee development. By emphasizing the strengths and positive aspects of an employee’s performance, it can make the constructive feedback more effective and well-received, while helping to build trust and rapport between managers and employees.
|Positive Comment 1:||“You consistently demonstrate excellent communication skills, conveying information clearly and effectively to customers.”|
|Positive Comment 2:||“Your ability to handle challenging situations with grace and patience is admirable, and it contributes to positive customer experiences.”|
|Positive Comment 3:||I appreciate your consistent punctuality and reliability, as it sets a great example for the rest of the team.”|
|Constructive Criticism||“I’ve noticed that there are occasional instances where you could improve your active listening skills by paraphrasing customer concerns to ensure accurate understanding.”|
Continue and begin model
The “Continue And Begin” model focuses on both the positive and negative aspects of an employee’s performance.
The “continue” aspect of the model involves identifying behaviors or actions that the employee is currently doing well and should continue doing. This helps to reinforce positive behavior and can provide a sense of encouragement and motivation to the employee.
The “begin” aspect of the model involves identifying areas where the employee could improve and suggesting specific actions they can take to improve their performance. This can be framed as a suggestion rather than a criticism, and can help the employee feel empowered to make positive changes.
|Continue||Positive Aspect of Performance||“Continue providing exceptional customer service by actively listening to customers’ concerns and addressing them effectively.”|
|Begin||Area for Improvement + Suggestion for Action||“Begin focusing on reducing call handle time without compromising the quality of service. You can start by utilizing pre-prepared scripts for common customer inquiries to streamline your responses and improve efficiency.”|
The ERIC model is a framework for providing critical feedback, that stands for:
- E: Explain the behavior you observed
- R: Explain the impact or results of that behavior
- I: Inquire about their perspective on the behavior and results
- C: Clarify what you expect to happen in the future based on the observed behavior.
It’s designed to facilitate a constructive conversation and promote mutual understanding between the manager and agent.
Here’s an example of using the ERIC model to provide positive QA feedback:
E: “During the customer call, I observed that you provided accurate and concise information to address the customer’s query.”
R: “As a result, the customer was satisfied with the resolution and expressed gratitude for your knowledge and efficiency.”
I: “Could you please share your perspective on how you were able to provide such effective information and how you think it impacted the customer’s experience?”
C: “Moving forward, I expect you to continue demonstrating your expertise and efficiency in addressing customer inquiries. This will ensure consistently positive customer experiences and contribute to our team’s success.”
Time feedback appropriately
Feedback, especially constructive feedback, should be given as soon as possible after an interaction with a customer, so the agent has a clear memory of the conversation. Also, consider the frequency of feedback. Providing feedback too frequently can be overwhelming for an agent, while too infrequent a feedback session can result in missed opportunities for improvement.
QA performance reviews
Although giving employees feedback in a timely manner is preferred, conducting QA performance reviews is an important way to give employees an overall picture of their performance, identify skills gaps, and build on their strengths. Here’s how to make sure you’re conduction effective performance reviews:
Set SMART goals
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals provide a structured way to evaluate an employee’s performance and ensure that goals set for employees are both meaningful and achievable.
- Specific goals provide clarity for employees about what’s expected of them. For example, reducing the average time it takes to resolve a customer complaint by 20% is more specific than setting a general goal of “improving customer service.”
- Measurable goals allow managers to track progress and quantify success. By measuring customer satisfaction scores or the number of customer complaints received, managers can determine if employees are meeting their goals.
- Achievable goals ensure that employees are motivated to achieve them. Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. By setting achievable goals, employees are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their work.
- Realistic goals take into account an employee’s skills and resources and ensure that goals are set at an appropriate level of difficulty. Unrealistic goals can lead to employees feeling overwhelmed and stressed, which can ultimately lead to lower performance and burnout.
- Time-bound goals provide a deadline for employees to achieve their goals. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages employees to focus their efforts on achieving their goals within a specific timeframe.
Conduct regular reviews
Conducting regular reviews is essential to track employee progress and ensure they are meeting their goals for call center quality assurance performance. Managers should set a regular review schedule, gather data and feedback, provide constructive feedback, listen to employee feedback, establish a plan for improvement, and follow up regularly.
Use data to drive improvements
Using data to drive improvements in employee performance is critical for call center quality assurance. Some examples of data points for managers to call upon include:
- Performance metrics
- Benchmarks against industry standards
- Analyzing call recordings
- Root cause analysis to identify underlying causes of poor performance
One effective way of providing data-driven feedback to call center agents is by surveying customers. Feedback points like CSAT Surveys can be used to gather feedback on specific interactions with agents or on overall customer satisfaction. This valuable feedback that can then be used to identify areas for improvement and to provide targeted feedback to individual agents. When surveying customers, it’s important to ask specific questions about the service they received. Open-ended questions can be especially helpful in identifying areas for improvement.
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Letting agents self-evaluate empowers them to take ownership of their performance. When agents are allowed to self-evaluate, they’re more likely to be invested in the feedback process and take responsibility for their actions. To implement this technique effectively, provide clear evaluation criteria, give agents control over the process, encourage honest self-reflection, and provide support.
Using AI technology to improve QA feedback processes
Manual data gathering could work for your performance reviews, but using technology to improve your QA feedback processes is even better.
Segmenting personal performance metrics like Close Rate, or Average Handle Time according to customer issue can give you deeper insights into why an agent may not be performing up to par. If an agent is underperforming, it may be because they need coaching on a particular type of case. This can allow you to get granular on what exactly they need to improve on to improve their metrics, and provide coaching to improve those specific skills. When providing QA feedback, you can also identify which user issues depend on agent performance, including their tone or sentiment. Some user issues may not depend on agent performance specifically, and can be filtered out during performance reviews.
Idiomatic is an AI-driven customer experience platform, which can allow you to get further insight into exactly what types of cases an agent is underperforming on or struggling with, allowing you to understand the root cause of their subpar personal metrics. By using machine learning, Idiomatic tags, categorizes, and sorts through tickets at scale, delivering human-quality insights within minutes.
👉 Ready to revolutionize your QA feedback process? Request a free demo and discover how Idiomatic can help you gain valuable insights to improve agent performance and customer satisfaction.