This Call is Being Recorded: The importance of Quality and Technical Assurance

“This call is being recorded for quality and training purposes.”

You’re likely well acquainted with that all-too-familiar announcement, which for most customers is both a warning to play nice and a suggestion that they should expect a reasonable level of service quality. However, for contact center managers and technology providers, it’s just the tip of the iceberg known as customer experience (CX). With 80% of customers considering experience to be as important as services and products from a company, it should be important for organizations to apply tactics that continually improve and prioritize this aspect of their business.

According to a recent Rackspace report, despite the fact that 94% of surveyed companies have some kind of CX initiative or strategy in place, only 48% of them consider CX a priority.  Furthermore, over half of respondents credit software applications with enhancing their CX delivery to improve customer experiences. Given that an organization’s focus on CX can improve brand awareness by about 60% and lead to a 1.5x improvement in employee satisfaction, there’s a strong case for implementing and prioritizing CX, and ensuring it is delivered as optimally as possible.

Let’s investigate the differences between quality assurance (QA) and technical quality assurance (TQA), and why they are both integral ingredients for an effective, well-rounded CX strategy.

The difference between Quality Assurance and Technical Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance

Most consumers recognize QA (also known as quality control or QC) as the process of ensuring manufactured products meet specific standards before being sold or shipped to buyers. Similarly, the principle is the same for CX QA, the process ensures customer service performance matches the standards set by the company. It’s how organizations ensure their customer service or sales agents are following procedures, interacting with customers correctly, following scripts (and thinking outside the box when appropriate!), and ultimately leaving customers satisfied.

Contact center managers (or QA teams in some organizations) constantly monitor and review agent interactions to identify areas for improvement at both agent and organization levels. They know the value offered by quantitative sources like direct customer complaints, as well as key quantitative metrics like AHT, FCR, CSAT, ASA and NPS.

Obtaining a broad picture of CX through the lens of the above-mentioned sources is integral in revising training programs, coaching individual agents, determining changes in quality standards, updating agent scripts, improving operational performance, and ultimately reducing costs.

Technical Assurance

While QA addresses the front end of your CX environment, TQA (or Technical Assurance) is the driving principle that encapsulates the hidden inner-workings (or back end) of CXits technical components, software and infrastructure. It’s what validates if a technology solution is the right fit for an organization, is working correctly, will handle high traffic periods effectively, and is adequately maintained. Additionally, technical assurance assists in avoiding roadblocks and outages when making software and infrastructure updates and cutovers. Because this aspect of CX is largely invisible, it presents a greater challenge than QA.

Despite the critical importance of this facet of CX, technical assurance is the most overlooked component of many organizations’ customer care strategies. That is, until problems arise which can negatively affect operations, or more worryingly, cause critical failures that halt operations altogether.

Your CX’s front end can’t possibly operate optimally without a fully functioning and reliable back end, meaning a robust strategy for technical assurance can be just as important as QA on the human side. Whether you’re hosting natively or using location-agnostic cloud solutions, obtaining detailed and actionable data on its status and operation allows you to predict trouble, avoid outages and reduce the risk of losing customers due to even minor issues.

The technicalities of TQA

One of the biggest differentiators of TQA from QA, aside from the front/back-end dichotomy, is the complex processes involved with capturing data from your CX systems to assess them actionably. It requires a very specific set of skills and specializations, along with testing software that is specifically designed for the task of revealing potential weaknesses in CX tech.

Traditional CX TQA used to require substantial time-investment to manually test systems, software, and call pathways, leaving room to overlook problem areas because the specific scenarios resulting in customers encountering problems go unnoticed. Having experts at your disposal, armed with an arsenal of software and test cases means every possible scenario, pathway, and language can be identified and tested so no rock goes unturned in your CX environment. This also means it’s easier to obtain snapshots and institute an ongoing monitoring strategy to catch problems before they worsen, plus it’s handy to be able to pretest updates at the staging phase to avoid costly rollbacks or regressions.

Is technical assurance part of your CX strategy?

Whether your organization maintains on-premise turnkey systems, utilizes cloud-based solutions, or simply relies on a third party to handle contact center operations, it’s important to have a viewport into the inner workings of those systems to know if issues encountered by customers through customer service interactions are front- or back-end-related. As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. After all, there’s no point in coaching your teams [again] if your system is routing calls incorrectly, or your customers can’t understand what the IVR voice soundbites are saying. Nobody likes putting out fires that could have been avoided in the first place.

Making technical assurance a permanent part of your customer experience strategy can go a long way to ensure prompt, accurate service for your customers, , addressing poor audio quality, enabling and improving self-service efficiencies, as well as reducing dropped calls and call abandonment due to excessive wait times. Even minor improvements in these areas can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

If you’re interested in how TekVision can fulfil your technical assurance requirements, drop us a line!