According to the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the definition for Quality Assurance (QA) is: “the planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system, so that quality requirements for a product or service are fulfilled.”
Quite frequently, people will confuse the term Quality Assurance with Quality Control, nevertheless, before we begin our learning journey, let us understand the difference between these two concepts.
The Quality Assurance process begins its life during the project. It helps to verify certain product or service meets the established quality standards. On the other hand, Quality Control will focus on the end result of a product and determine if it meets quality requirements.
We will normally encounter Quality Control in a manufacturing company, where mass produced goods need to look and feel the same way. However, we need to center our attention in Quality Assurance and, most importantly, QA in a Service Desk.
Quality assurance in a Service Desk can be measured through different methods. These can cover a wide variety of processes that can go from CSAT, call monitoring, ticket monitoring, feedback and coaching.
The Quality Assurance process begins its life during the project.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a metric that helps evaluate services offered by a company. These evaluations can come from email surveys sent to the customers. These surveys can be one question long or even several inquiries, depending on the services offered. These questionnaires can be done by a staff member kindly asking via phone for the customer level of satisfaction. The survey can also be automated by a machine contacting random customers.
Call monitoring is an essential method to determine quality assurance in a Service Desk. This process can be implemented without the agent’s knowledge in real time or recorded for later retrieval. The monitoring lets managers listen to calls in order to identify problems, increase department performance and improve customer experience. It will later help with coaching and feedback.
Like the previous one, ticket monitoring helps managers follow the progress of any ticket in a system. This process is done to verify that tickets are being well documented and answered in the expected period. This way, managers can also easily spot and discover problems by proactively monitoring the interactions between the agents and customers.
Feedback and Coaching
Proving frequent and private feedback sessions to agents will help them develop the highest level of skills in handling user interactions. The agent should be aware of what has been done right and what is there to be improved. It is easy as well to implement a self-evaluation of the service, where the agents offer and conclude some clear and measurable improvement objectives.
In summary, all the previous methods mentioned are measurable. This means that for every agent involved in an operation, there is a scored associated. This helps the agents improve their weak points, so the service can grow and mature as they get better and the company benefits from the constant growth of a stronger service.