How to Measure Customer Service Quality: Methods & Tools - Help Scout - Deepstash
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Measuring the quality of customer service

Measuring the quality of customer service

Customer satisfaction and customer service quality are not the same things.

A smiley face in your post-service feedback survey does not mean you gave your customers great service. They might love the product and consider the service okay enough. Or they might be happy with the answer, not knowing that the answer was incomplete or out of date.

Many customer service teams rely on CSAT and NPS surveys to judge their performances. However, it is critical to understand the difference between the two to measure the quality of the service experience.


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Define customer service quality for your company

Collect data from the following sources:

  • Your company and team values.
  • Your customer service vision or philosophy.
  • Existing CSAT and NPS comments that focus on positive or negative customer service interactions.
  • Reviews of your product or service that mention customer service.
  • Examples of excellent customer service your team has delivered in the past, as well as service failure.

Your data will likely reveal some common themes that can answer what great customer service looks like. This will form the basis of your customer service quality rubric.


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Create a customer service quality rubric

A rubric is a list of criteria that you can measure a customer service answer against.

A rubric might include these areas:

  • Voice, tone, and brand: Does the answer feel like it comes from our company?
  • Knowledge and accuracy. Were the correct answer given and all the queries addressed?
  • Empathy and helpfulness: Were the customer's feelings acknowledged?
  • Writing style: Was the answer clear and helpful?
  • Procedures and best practices: Were the correct tags added?

A light rubric is more likely to be used. Share it with your team to help identify missing or confusing elements.


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Select a quality assurance review process

Quality assurance can take many forms. The right choice will depend on your team size, conversation volume, and resources.

Four common options include:

  • Leader reviews. Team leaders review their direct reports' work or a manager reviews work for the department.
  • Quality assurance specialist reviews are common in larger companies with a permanent QA role.
  • Peer-to-peer reviews. Each support person reviews other support people on the team, scoring them against the agreed rubric.
  • Self-reviews. Each person selects a handful of their own customer interactions to measure against the agreed standard.


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Consider which conversations you'll review

You cannot realistically review every customer interaction. Below are some suggestions, so use what works for you.

  • Random sampling. Pick whichever conversations pop up from your QA tool.
  • New team members' conversations. Reviewing the work of a new support agent is critical to protect the customer and help the newcomer learn the right tone, style, and approach.
  • Complaints and wins.
  • High-impact topics. Use tags or workflows to find conversations on important areas of your product or service.
  • Highly complex conversations. Focus on detailed discussions where new scenarios lurk.


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Select a quality assurance tool

A simple spreadsheet scorecard is better than not reviewing interactions at all. However, if a spreadsheet is no longer working because of higher volumes, larger teams, or a need for better reporting, consider one of the customer service quality assurance tools on the market.

Key considerations include:

  • Does the tool support the style of review you want to do?
  • Will it integrate with your help desk?
  • Will the reporting options help answer your questions?
  • Can it identify the types of conversations you are interested in reviewing?


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Roll out your new quality assurance process

Launching a successful QA process needs the right environment for the team and training on how to review effectively.

  • Build trust and psychological safety within the team to help with identifying and improving quality issues.
  • Share your rubric and discuss quality as a team. Listen to your team's perspectives and understand together what quality service looks like.
  • Train reviewers on giving good feedback that is specific and includes suggestions for improvement.
  • Begin your chosen review process and pay attention to any confusion or training issues.
  • Share feedback and take action.


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