5 ways optimising your contact centre QA can save you money


Do you ever feel like you struggle to make the business case for investment in quality assurance (QA) in your contact centre?

You’re not alone.

On the one hand, the underlying logic is simple – low morale, undertrained agents, and inadequate workflows lead to low productivity, repeat interactions, underperformance, and high churn. Financial losses are inevitable.

But the problem is… Traditional QA is often so broken, it’s difficult to prove when it isn’t working.

Perhaps we’re looking at:

  1. QA that costs time with unclear results
  2. Silos between QA and Performance Improvement
  3. Lack of integration and no single point of truth
  4. Inability to report the impact of your QA on agent performance

But when we do QA the right way, every conversation counts towards cost efficiency. Keep reading to find out what broken QA looks like, its hidden costs, and how to fix it to optimise your contact centre operations.

What does broken QA look like?

QA stops working when it can’t keep up with the pace of your operations.

It might even be that your QA, coaching, and training are wilting by the wayside, thanks to the ‘greener grass’ mirages that software vendors constantly promise (and rarely deliver).

Or maybe your QA used to be enough. But as your company, team, or tickets grow, pressure mounts and once-useful spreadsheets and software prove to be unscalable and time-consuming. So, despite doubling down on effort, the only thing growing is frustration.

If your QA is broken, it might look like this:

Poor efficiency

Manual workflows, spreadsheets, and multiple data systems lead to double the effort without the reward. QA becomes an admin sinkhole, eating up time in exchange for out-of-date reports.

No actionable insight

Low coverage and sparse insights mean that senior teams have little visibility into what agents are saying to customers. Agents become demotivated because they don’t understand their performance data.

Untracked coaching

When insight and action fail to join up, agents often receive inconsistent feedback – both in quality and quantity. The lack of integration means performance becomes a tick box exercise, unable to monitor how feedback impacts performance.

What are the risks and hidden costs of broken QA?

When QA is broken, it becomes impossible to tell where your agent-customer conversations go right – and where they go wrong.

This is a big red flag because every poorly-handled conversation is a risk to your business.

Lack of investment in QA may seem like a shortcut to savings. But, without cost-effective infrastructure supporting your growth, you’ll struggle to reduce the long-term costs and risks of your day-to-day operations.

Here are just some of the mounting risks:

Operational inefficiency:

As the pandemic continues to disrupt services and chatbots deal with simpler enquiries, our human agents have a lot on their plate:

  1. more interactions
  2. more channels
  3. more complexity

We’re being asked to do more, with less. Get it wrong, and the service level spirals out of control.

Avoidable repeat contacts

Most repeat interactions are costly and unnecessary. In our 25 years of working with almost 300 clients, we found that up to 17% of all incoming contacts are repeats caused by service team errors and poorly handled conversations, such as:

  1. sharing inaccurate information
  2. poor signposting
  3. incorrect actions

It comes with a price tag: Repeat contacts cost around £3,150 per agent per year.

Agent churn

This year, the average annual staff turnover for contact centres is 20%, and recruitment and training costs soon add up. It may be time to ask ourselves; are we doing enough to support and guide our agents? Is our QA helping or hurting our agent morale?

Regulatory fines

In regulated industries, the costs and consequences of non-compliance are greater than ever before. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million. Non-compliance can mean the end of a business line, restricted ability to sell certain products or even the end of the business itself.

Lost customers

In an internet fuelled world, it’s easier than ever for customers to go elsewhere, switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations. Broken QA means lack of coverage, lack of insight, and lack of training that can quickly manifest as low customer satisfaction and lost business.

How optimised QA increases cost-efficiency

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “how does QA help contact centres reduce costs?” There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but the contact centres that get it right all have something in common. Their QA allows them to increase productivity and reduce risk across the breadth of their operations, ultimately becoming more cost-efficient.

Faster evaluation

Put the heavy-lifting of QA on autopilot, allowing your team to focus on what matters most. Automated scoring doesn’t replace your QA team, it supercharges their efforts to focus on value-added activity. For example, EvaluAgent’s approach helped one FinTech increase QA auditing productivity by 285%.

Better training

When QA is done right, it puts all your insights in one place and focuses your agent’s training. Rather than buckling under the pressure of feedback they don’t understand, agents are empowered and coached to better behaviours. A happier team leads to a healthier bottom line.

Root cause analysis

Measure how your current practices lead to avoidable repeat contacts and low customer satisfaction. Armed with real insights, you can direct the efforts of your analysts to where they can make a real difference. If you used this approach to reduce average handle time by just 10%, you could save £1,335/agent/year.

Risk reduction

Traditional QA monitors less than 3% of conversations, which are cherry-picked for evaluation. It’s a wafer-thin approach that does little to manage compliance risks.

Increased coverage means you better manage risk across thousands of daily customer conversations and reduce the risk of costly compliance breaches.

Proven results

Don’t just talk the talk – walk the walk. By closing the loop between evaluation and engagement, you can track and demonstrate how your QA efforts impact performance. Turn the dial up on strategies that work and stop losing time on those that don’t.

Ready to start your QA journey?

Find out how EvaluAgent can help you make every conversation count.

By Tom Palmer
Tom is EvaluAgent’s Head of Digital and takes the lead on developing and implementing our digital and content management strategies which results in creating a compelling, digital-first customer marketing experience.

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