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Complaint Quality Assurance: More Than Just Customer Outcomes

Complaint Quality Assurance: More Than Just Customer Outcomes

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Complaint Quality Assurance: More Than Just Customer Outcomes

Jul 7, 2022

Eric Brown
A group of people reviewing data and charts during a meeting.

No longer just a tick in the ‘customer was satisfied with the outcome’ box, when it comes to complaints, quality assurance (QA) has evolved into a vital business tool. More businesses are going beyond the pass/fail approach, instead adopting a much more nuanced and multi-faceted QA program, touching on not only complaint resolutions, but customer experience (CX), employee experience, complaint management processes and customer detriment. By doing this, organizations can use QA data and insight as the foundation of continuous improvement, not just for the complaints team but the wider business too.

The Value of Good QA

Before attempting to optimize your QA, it’s crucial to understand exactly why good QA is so important. Firstly, it’s a core component of staff development, helping to identify training needs and areas for development by providing an accurate and timely view of performance. Additionally, it can help to highlight gaps in your complaint management systems: perhaps greater automation is needed or more intuitive workflows to clearly signpost next steps? All these issues can be pinpointed with the right level of QA.

It also helps to identify best practice, so how certain methods and tactics can increase customer satisfaction. These can then be rolled out across the business as best practice. Perhaps most importantly, a robust QA framework can help your business to fully appreciate the customer’s point of view, highlighting just what’s important to customers, not only in terms of outcomes, but with regards to the entire complaint journey and customer experience too.

Bearing all this in mind, how can you ensure that your QA is delivering the maximum levels of value and insight for your business?

Back to QA Basics

More firms are finding that a good starting point is to begin by stripping QA right back, simplifying complex processes and almost reverting to a pass / fail model initially. From here, they then take incremental steps to refine their QA to suit the specific needs of their businesses. What’s important here is that a tailored approach is required, with a one-size-fits-all agenda simply not appropriate nor effective when it comes to a QA program that will underpin continuous improvements across the business.

Once you have started to reassess your QA, it’s vital that you get as much QA information as possible – volumes matter. You need enough information to ensure your findings are truly representative of not only your customer base but your complaints team too. As well, it’s not just a one-off exercise but rather an ever-evolving process of continual learnings for the entire business. Therefore it’s important to close any QA loops that are identified too. For example, what if it comes to light that a prescribed process hasn’t been followed, but it hasn’t resulted in a negative experience (or outcome) for the customer? And, vice versa, what if a process has been followed to the letter but then the customer is still unhappy? What does that mean? The ability to constantly and consistently analyze QA insight and then apply these learnings back to the business is key.

Ownership of QA

In a similar vein, complaints QA shouldn’t begin and end with the complaints team. QA is often the very start of the process, helping to identify often systemic issues that then need to be remedied. And that’s not to say that it’s the responsibility of the complaints team to resolve any issues. QA findings must be shared with the wider business, with the relevant departments and people taking full responsibility for ensuring issues are tackled and resolved. Shared accountability is needed.

Turning Data into Insight

Ultimately, QA isn’t just about collecting data. Getting the right data is crucial, but it’s what you do with the data that matters. Turning data into insight is key, applying this insight right across the business to inform continuous, organization-wide improvements. What results are better complaint outcomes and better CX, as well as improved products and services.

So, where to start? Well, a robust yet agile complaint management solution can form the foundations of the most insightful QA program, delivering the timely, in-context customer and complaint QA data needed to underpin even the most transformative of improvements right across the business. Done properly and with the right tools in place, QA can provide the insight (and oversight) needed to inform valuable continuous improvements, resulting in better outcomes, an improved customer experience and a more effective complaint management function.

For more information on how Aptean Respond could be your springboard to QA excellence, contact us today.

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