Every business experiences an increase in sales volume and business transactions during the festive season. The entities try to lure as many customers as possible with exciting rewards and greater value for money. We must remember how critical the quality of products/services offered by brands is, upon which organizational success relies. The brand that is able to understand customer expectations, analyze competitors' offerings, and provide a better quality of services retains customers and wins the game.
In other words, there has to be synchronization in the quality of service offered and brand expansion. Studies show that 89% of consumers have switched to a competitor due to bad experiences. The festive season can be when brands improve their customer interactions at every stage, converting and retaining most of them.
Most of the brands have built-in Quality Checks however usually they miss out on the Maker -Checker balancing act. A broader view of Brand Promise can come from Checker, who dispassionately looks at customer interactions for insights. This mechanism enables brands to maintain CX quality even during peaks. So, what are the ways to improve the quality offered to customers & retain them? Understanding the gaps between perceived quality & actual delivery and customer interactions done at various touch points can be one way out.
Customer goes through multiple interactions with a brand from the discovery phase until the post-sales experience. The interaction can be omnichannel such as a store visit, phone call, or virtually through emails, WhatsApp, or even chatbots. Each conversation on any platform is an opportunity to positively influence the customer by delighting him with service quality. Everything from Greet & Meet to warm farewell matters and leaves a long-lasting impression on the customer. An interaction audit helps achieve these objectives and help brands increase their conversions and better customer experience. Such Audits are of two types: Manual & Automated; both are helpful in their own ways.
Manual Interaction Audits: A Stitch in Time!
Every customer interaction is an opportunity to deliver a delightful experience. Manual interaction audits (MIAs) help deliver the brand promise. These audits provide an insightful view of the user experience (CX) and help to identify areas where improvement across people, product, process & technology. The focus of interaction is on action, inclusion, and feedback sharing. The professionals who conduct these audits help businesses enhance their productivity. By performing these types of audits, it is possible to create a list of recommendations that will help mitigate the risks which lead to a customer leaving the brand. Businesses can then address these deficiencies and improve the customer experience overall. Some common examples include poor design and user experience, outdated or incorrect information, and insufficient training materials.
MIAs are done in three phases: quality assurance, feedback loop, and customer satisfaction. Auditors address the most commonly asked questions by interacting with some customer care agents as customers. They observe the agents while taking calls or their mail/text responses to understand their behaviour and mindset. They ask the agents follow-up questions to ensure they can understand the root cause of issues. They take proper notes about the conversations and issues so that company can solve the problems quickly. By learning the issues company can proactively implement the updates. It will result in fewer support calls, giving more time for training of the agents, facilitating better customer experience, and consequently growing in the right direction.
Going Beyond the Interactions!
Manual interaction audits focus on customer service and many other aspects of your business that involve human interaction, such as marketing, sales, and technical support. Various pre-audit and post-audit features (discussed ahead) help in this. By monitoring all such areas closely, auditors detect problems early on so they don't become entrenched and lead to worse consequences. Additionally, by engaging in regular manual interactions (and/or hiring a professional), companies are better equipped to recognize potential pitfalls before they cause major disruptions.
Case Study: A brand from an OTT industry recently opted for an interaction audit, where they identified in an interaction that a customer reached out to the contact center when he faced difficulty changing his username in the app and the agent helped him with the same by changing it for him & he resolved the issue. However, the purpose of interaction audit doesn't end here. Auditors compared the process with the industry standards, and it came out that the competitor brand provides the facility to change the username in the app itself. The brand took the requisite steps, enabling a better user experience.
Making it easier with the Digital Tools
With the advancement of time & technology, various tools have been developed that make this tedious task of selection, interaction, and interpretation easier for auditors & brands. Research confirms that around 84% of companies successfully use digital tools to accelerate their processes; interaction auditing is no different.
Quality control is a critical process that enables the company to achieve and improve the overall product. The methodology used for the customer experience should be practical and effective, enabling the identification of minor improvements. These tools are highly beneficial in estimating accurate input from customers. Such tools are effective in understanding whether the process is on the right track or not.
Here are some USPs that some of the QA tools offer these days:
1. Smart Sampling through randomization - It collects data from many people without risking bias or bias distortion and then randomly selects a subset of individuals from the population. This makes it easy to survey the sample about their experience with the product & service. Such tools, like QA Views, give an accurate picture of how people use it, what problems they're experiencing, and how satisfied they are with it. This pre-audit feature makes it easier for the brands.
2. Real-time analysis - Digital tools like these make it easy to track changes, giving organisations a real-time view of how user behaviour has changed over time and whether there have been any unexpected shifts in user behaviour. It works on the quality-driven assurance by displaying a single dashboard of survey results and performance data. The access to a real-time dashboard & the analysis ensures that organizations do not have to wait for the process to complete to implement the needed action.
3. Helping the top-level measure their agents through:
a. Agent Scorecard - The tool fetches the contact center scorecard to track agents' performance. The quality monitoring scorecard is available in the form of reports.
b. Alerts: An effective tool with real-time alerts and feedback that delivers on-time notifications and green/red alerts in case of any strengths/improvements. Here the predetermined parameters act as the metric for analyzing the score of interactions.
c. Agent Categorization: It helps create continuous improvement programs for the shop floor and firms can plan training programs for their agents and work on them effectively through this process-driven approach.
4. Customized Checklists - Businesses get professional assistance in setting up quality parameters per their needs with efficient digital tools. The tool helps companies to measure predefined quality and quantitative benchmarks that lead to improved KPIs, CSAT, and user experience.
Journey Benchmarking: As a part of the Manual Interaction Audits, auditing firms send email notifications and reminders about the audits, providing post-audit assistance. The reporting covers all the touch points of the customer journey in this process. Businesses can use the learnings derived from the journey as guidance and consultation for the employees and lag nowhere behind when compared to competitors.
Interaction audits benefit companies as they provide constant monitoring and opportunities to grow. Quality assurance improves the productivity and versatility of company customer care employees. Interaction audits enhance business growth and consequently boost the customer experience.
They enable the timely detection of gaps & opportunities in overall customer interactions. Top-level management/executives achieve many insights from the interaction audits. As they can access customer expectations, agents' performance, and industry standards all in one place. The analysis of detailed reports further supports it. The implementation becomes easier for them because they can make the changes accordingly and make meaningful decisions for the growth of the business.
Source: QDegrees, Nextiva, Hi5