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What does the future hold for Quality Assurance?

the future of quality assurance
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Let’s face it, Quality Assurance will always play a part in the ongoing review and maintenance of our business. We love to monitor and track what we do, we love to measure how well we do it and all of this gives us the confidence and reassurance that we are doing what we say we will do.

Recently I shared how Quality Assurance and Customer Experience are the ‘Dream Team’, how combining an ‘inside-out’ (internal perspective) and an ‘outside-in’ (customer perspective) approach will enable you to quality assure not only how well you follow process, but also how good your customer experience is.

And it is this part in particular, how good your customer experience is, that opens up the discussion on the future of Quality Assurance – does your Quality Assurance assure the quality of the experience you provide to your customer? If not, why?

Customer Experience has been a hot topic for years (and rightly so), yet despite us knowing how valuable an expertly designed, delivered and cultivated Customer Experience is, so few companies weave the assurance of that experience delivery into their regular practice. 93% of customers are likely to make a repeat purchase with a company that offers excellent customer service (HubSpot), but how do we know if we are delivering excellent customer service? It’s not by ticking a box when an agent completes a data protection check or when they shared the T&C’s (despite how important that may be, that isn’t why a customer would refer you to a friend!).

So how do we make Quality Assurance more than just a process check?

Journey Mapping! Customer Experience Journey Mapping is an amazing tool that every business should utilise, and not just singular Journey Mapping, but Journey Mapping Management that accelerates Quality Assurance to aspirational heights.

What is journey mapping?

There’s a lot I can say about Journey Mapping but for right here and now, here are the highlights:

  1. It enables you to look at the experience you provide from a different perspective, the perspective of your customer.
  2. By focusing on your customers’ wants, expectations and feelings, you can understand if you provide what they truly want, if you meet their expectations and if you make them ‘feel the feels’.
  3. Journey Mapping challenges the perception of the experience you provide by showing you the reality of the experience you provide.
  4. It drives you to proactively search for friction – to find the pain points and fix them.

Journey Mapping naturally draws an eye to your policies and process (you literally watch them in action) but it also places huge importance on how these impact your customer, thus quality assuring the experience you provide.

What are the benefits of journey mapping?

Again, I could write pages about the benefits but bringing it down to business, the benefits are:

  1. Optimising efficiency
  2. Reducing waste
  3. Increasing customer satisfaction

In essence, by focusing on delivering the best experience for your customer, touchpoint by touchpoint, you can identify where your process is going wrong. You can make the process more efficient, saving time and money and of course, making your customers happy and more likely to remain your customer.

What do you need for successful journey mapping?

Aside from skilled people who are willing to critically challenge the status quo, adding Journey Mapping to your Quality Assurance process also needs insight. You can’t just make up what you ‘think’ your customer experiences (bias creeps in), you need the data to show you, and you can get this from the systems you use.

Let’s take a look at some example data points that can support the creation of a Journey Map:

  1. Did your customer interact with you through your social media?
  2. Did they use your live chat? Did they call? Did they e-mail?
  3. Did they set up an account but never make a purchase?
  4. Did they return something?
  5. Did they complain?
  6. Did they leave feedback? Did they provide a review?

There’s a multitude of ways that your customer interacts with you, and they leave footprints at every touchpoint. Capture and review these footprints in your Journey Mapping, scrutinise them like this:

  1. Did you engage back through social media? (did you like? Comment? Tag? Repost?)
  2. Did you respond to their contact quickly? Did you answer their query? Did you sound human? Did they need to use more than one channel to reach you?
  3. Did your automated marketing send the right level of communication? Was it correctly targeted? Was it personalised? Did they read it? Click on links?
  4. Did you respond to their feedback? Did you act on it?

Customer Journey Mapping requires you to put on the customer hat, walk in their shoes, and truly embody the persona. You aren’t just looking at each touchpoint, your are critically reviewing the experience it creates, the experience that all of the touchpoints create over time.

Having good tools (like a great CRM) is helpful to the production of Journey Mapping, and likewise, having a robust Quality Assurance platform will make the task easier. Evaluagent integrates with CRM, WFM, telephony, call recording and ticket management systems, putting much of the data you need at your fingertips, making the process of mapping a customer experience easy and quick.

Evaluagent both supports the valuable and well established, ‘inside-out’ (internal perspective) approach to Quality Assurance as well as the future of Quality Assurance, the ‘outside-in’ (customer perspective) approach. Be confident in not only how well you follow the process, but also how good your customer experience is.

By Katie Stabler
Katie is a Cheshire based customer experience specialist and published author, dedicated to cultivating high-value customer experience through data, design and culture. Her work is driven by the principle “Make your bed, and then make their day!”, meaning get the basics right and then create those ‘wow’ moments! She has spent over a decade in experience design working within both the not for profit and commercial sector and now runs her own customer experience consultancy, CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design.

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