Want to improve your e-commerce metrics? Focus on your QA score

I think most of us are aware of the fact that customers are important. Throughout the shift from traditional commerce business to the current focus on e-commerce enterprises, concepts like “the customer experience” and “the customer journey,” continue to ring true. In fact, in many cases, they’re more important than ever. That is to say, even in the online retail space, there’s no doubt that the customer remains a focal point in all things business. When customers are able to Google everything, customer experience can be a way to differentiate your business and stand out. Businesses are continually morphing and…This story continues at The Next Web

I think most of us are aware of the fact that customers are important. Throughout the shift from traditional commerce business to the current focus on e-commerce enterprises, concepts like “the customer experience” and “the customer journey,” continue to ring true. In fact, in many cases, they’re more important than ever.

That is to say, even in the online retail space, there’s no doubt that the customer remains a focal point in all things business. When customers are able to Google everything, customer experience can be a way to differentiate your business and stand out.

Businesses are continually morphing and evolving the various elements of how they operate. Things like managing remote workers, orchestrating complex e-commerce customer service, and scaling along with the steady increase in online shopping are rewriting what the customer experience is in the first place.

And yet, I still firmly believe that quality assurance remains one of the biggest factors impacting every startup‘s or company’s CX. In fact, with so much competition in the e-commerce space, the quality of the experience that you can offer to your clients is one of the biggest differentiating factors any organization can cultivate.

While the customer is key, though, catering to an e-commerce customer can be challenging. If you don’t have solid, customer-related metrics to guide you, creating a winning strategy can be impossible.

That’s where your QA score comes into play.

What is your QA score?

While quality assurance has always been a mainstay in business, tracking traditional QA in a spreadsheet-focused, 21st-century enterprise can be challenging.

The question is, how can you track, analyze, and improve your customer experience?

Traditionally, businesses gauge CX with things like customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. The problem is, these can be skewed by external factors. They also tend to be simplistic, more often than not merely requesting a general opinion about a customer’s overall experience. This generates data that is non-specific and does not suggest specific areas of improvement…

Enter the QA score.

A quality assurance score is a metric that you can customize to the specific customer experience that your brand is attempting to offer. In addition to using basic CSAT information, a QA score can take into consideration critical elements like:

  • How your customer service rep is doing in their interactions with customers
  • If a rep is following your customer service protocols
  • If a rep is reflecting the tone, voice, and posture outlined in your brand guidelines
  • Any other company-specific standards or values worth tracking

These additional factors make a QA score much more effective at capturing detailed, relevant interaction data.

By tailoring your QA scorecard to your brand, you can judge the quality of your agent’s interactions with your customers. This can provide specific areas of improvement and growth rather than generic feedback that does little more than reflect initial customer emotions.

The measured difference between CSAT and QA scores

Traditional customer service surveys have been the go-to option for CSAT as they are used as a proxy for quality. However, I’ve found that they can be a bit misleading. In fact, at times, they can even contradict the more accurate data offered by a QA score.

Quality assurance software platform MaestroQA recently conducted an analysis of 265,000 customer support tickets. In the review, the company compared classic CSAT scores with more robust QA scores and discovered that even when only considering interactions with a 90% QA score or higher, nearly a third (31.8%) of the support tickets had negative CSAT scores.

In other words, even when customer service was stellar, more than three out of every 10 tickets looked like a failure from a CSAT perspective.

The critical nature of a QA score

Examples like the one I provided above help to highlight the weakness and overall shallow nature of a customer survey. On their own, these simplistic questionnaires tend to fall flat.

Rather than provide meaningful data, they cloud the problem with emotional responses. If a customer is upset after an interaction, it doesn’t matter how professional an agent was, or whether they followed their training and instructions from their team. The feedback will likely be negative. A case can be made for the opposite to be true, as well.

When you use a QA score, however, it can pinpoint precise areas of both strength and weakness. To reiterate, this is due to the fact that a QA scorecard can be:

  • Customized to gather specific data
  • Used to define detailed success and failure points
  • Used to read into feedback and data and then come up with meaningful changes

Compared to a CSAT score, a QA score provides a robust, well-rounded set of data for understanding whether or not agents are performing to set company standards. It can be tailored to meet each company’s needs, and can provide critical feedback.

Using your QA score to perfect your business

The e-commerce industry comes with many metrics — data in the CX area, in particular, can feel overwhelming at times. If you’re looking for a way to cut through the clutter and pinpoint where you really need to grow, look no further than your QA score.

From personalization to specificity, a QA score provides a quality metric that can redefine both your e-commerce data analytics and, by extension, your customer experience as a whole.

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