Creating and implementing a quality assurance (QA) program as it relates to the customer experience is a major undertaking for any company.  Having said that, a QA program is what will thoroughly appraise how internal processes and procedures are serving your customers, as well as how employees are handling communications with your customers.  By taking on the task of developing company standards that crossover all areas of customer-interaction, along with establishing measurable objectives to be monitored and analyzed, a quality assurance program acts as a way to reduce instances of non-compliance, instances of poor customer experience, and other internal mistakes that will alleviate customer churn.

Here are a few steps to get started on building a QA program that aims to improve the overall processes within a company that ultimately makeup the experience that is encountered by the customer:
Step 1.  The first step in creating a quality assurance program for your customer service, sales, or contact center departments is to set clear standards for your business overall, and criteria to meet those standards. Be sure to include any relevant federal and state regulations that may apply to your industry as a starting point, including any applicable accreditation standards.  The standards, as you define them, will become the basis of your company’s QA program.
Step 2.  Next, set policies and procedures in conjunction with your standards, and that are department-specific (customer service, sales, service department, etc.), and then share those standards with all employees in the company so there is a sense of a cohesive front.  If it’s not possible to all meet together – either in person or via web conference – task each department or location head with rolling out the new QA program, using a 30,000 foot overview.  Then, work with the various department heads and group supervisors to develop standard operating procedures to adhere to while interfacing with your customers that support your quality assurance programs. Be sure to follow through with workforce training, broken into department meetings to meet individual nuances, so that employees are fully informed of the program, and are educated and empowered on the ways to implement the program while speaking with customers so that they can excel at meeting the standards and complying with the QA program.  More on employee training in Step 3 below.
Step 3.  Create a description of the quality assurance program that is easy to understand and include it as the opening point of your company-wide training program. This document should include the objectives of the quality assurance program, the top-level criteria necessary to meet in order to adhere to the standards.  Develop tracking reports to measure and validate the progress and success of your company’s adherence to the program, using metrics like the decrease in monthly customer cancellations, reduction in time spent on the phone with customers, and factor in any cost savings as a result.  Money talks – to all members of a company, no matter what department or job junction. Review and add objectives to the quality assurance program at least once a year.  After you start ticking off all of the standards you are adhering to, you can find ones that need refinement, and new ones to introduce as the company and marketplace shifts to meet customer needs.
Step 4.  Establish a quality committee that includes employees from every department.  This will make them feel empowered to implement change and take action, and they can be the voice of their employees as well.  For any employee, nothing is more empowering that sharing ideas or getting recognition for good work.  The committee should meet on a monthly basis at first, if possible, to share how the roll-out and acceptance of the quality assurance program is going, how it’s being perceived by employees, and then make changes if it makes sense.  At the same time, you can continue finessing the tracking reports to capture relevant data, and keep a pulse on the initial success of the program.

Step 5 is the most important!  Implement change – company wide and in individual departments – based on insights learned.  A quality assurance program is only as good as the implementation of actionable insights.

Technology exists to capture the knowledge necessary to create a quality assurance program based on the current state of customer experience you are delivering.  Using a call recording and speech analytic solution is an effective and affordable way to capture the voice of your customers to start analyzing their experiences in order to define the standards that will make up your quality assurance program.