How to Give Great Customer Service QA Feedback
A high-functioning, continually improving customer service team requires frequent coaching from leaders and peers. Implementing coaching practices into your regular discussion is an important way to improve your service levels. Within a customer-facing context, ticket quality assurance is an excellent way to evaluate both the mechanics of working on a customer issue and to review the service provided qualitatively.
From these observations, you will observe trends earlier and pinpoint areas of improvement for an individual or a team. Let's explore how to put QA feedback to work to improve your business!
Using QA to gather Feedback
For your QA program to return maximum value it needs to focus on two main areas of your customer service: Ticket Process and Ticket Quality. Each of these areas breaks down into specific categories within your QA Scorecard.
At a high level:
A significant part of providing a high-care, low effort service to your customers is an aligned process of handling tickets. This includes ensuring metadata is filled in and correct, statuses are correct, notes are clear and detailed, etc. Overall, you are answering the question "Did this ticket flow correctly?"
This area of the QA Scorecard focuses on the customer service quality. It should be used to answer questions such as: Was the ticket handling representative provided the quality of service you expect? Was the communication clear, timely, accurate? Was the right tone used? Were the right resources reviewed and provided to the customer?
Using Ticket QA to review both of these areas will give you a detailed view of how your team and the individuals are performing, as well as a starting point on where to focus your feedback. For example, do you see a downward trend in process adherence, even if the quality of the responses are high? Do you see one particular individual struggling with clear communication, even though they are strong at following process guidelines? Both of these examples will result in a different form of feedback.
The 3 Types of Feedback
There are three types of feedback you should consider and each should be delivered differently and for different reasons:
Constructive feedback is based on one or more observations and is issue-focused. This type of feedback typically relates to either a specific example or trend in current behaviour, or in adjusting future behaviour.
💡 On ticket #13542, you failed to set appropriate expectations on next steps with the customer, resulting in a three-week delay for the customer to receive their refund. In the future, you should verify the customer has filled out the refund form in its entirety with the correct details related to the refund and then provide clear submission instructions that the customer can follow.
💡 Recent examples show that you excelled in providing clear, technical details on fixing a customer's broken product. You walked the customer through the steps on the phone and followed up with an email reiterating the conversation and outlining further steps if the solution did not work. This is an example all team members should follow for their tickets.
Praise is feedback that celebrates the individual's achievements or behaviours. Praise does not have to be about one issue, but could be overall success or a recognition of consistent positive impact.
💡 This ticket was handled in a friendly, technically strong, and incredibly customer-focused manner. It is clear that you went above and beyond to do what is best for the customer. You should maintain this clear communication style on all of your tickets.
Criticism is feedback that is a judgement of an individual. It is very focused on what is wrong, and rarely on correct action. This type of feedback is less likely to improve future behaviour and should be replaced with forward-looking constructive feedback instead.
💡 You are occasionally rude with customers who don't understand your requests. You also come across as frustrated when you cannot easily find the answer to an issue.
Each of these feedback types serves a purpose in improving an individual's or team's behaviour. A mature customer service QA process should inform all three types of feedback.
How to Write Good Feedback
Bad feedback is almost worse than no feedback, as it can leave the recipient confused as to what is necessary to improve. The goal of feedback is improvement. Some feedback, such as the following, does not lend itself to improvement easily:
“Every now and then you fail to meet expectations of the role”.
“You are not handling enough tickets”
“About six weeks ago, a customer complained they didn't like your tone”.
Each of these statements could be true, but they are missing key traits to provide an opportunity to improve. Let's examine the keys to writing good feedback and fix the above examples.
Be Specific and Spot Trends
Everyone has bad days and often one-off bad behaviours can be dismissed. For example, if you forgot to fill out the priority on a ticket once, that might be a bad day, but if you forget to do it on 90% of your tickets, that trend could indicate a performance or training issue. The best quality feedback helps to use specific examples that highlight trends. Feedback needs to be specific, tangible, and relevant. Each example should exhibit the behaviour clearly so that the employee understands how it pertains to the feedback and the corrective actions.
🚫 Every now and then, you fail to meet expectations of the role.
✅ In the last month, we have seen several examples where your quality does not meet the team’s standards. Specifically, we have seen your tone become too casual, and you are not following up in the timely manner we expect. Please review our response guidelines to learn more about each of these expectations.
Give a Clear Action
The feedback should result in a clear action. It is always vital that you provide enough context to the receiver of the message to know what is expected of them. The feedback you are presenting needs to point to a clear change in behaviour and, when applicable, how the change will be measured and facilitated.
🚫 You are not handling enough tickets.
✅ Our expectation is that each representative handles 50 tickets in each shift. You are averaging around 35. Our QA form indicates you are spending more time on each interaction that we would expect. Let's work together to understand what the gap is so we can improve your answer rate.
Share Frequently and Be Timely
Feedback should not only be an annual event. Make feedback sharing, both positive and negative conversations, a regular part of your communications. Both in team settings, or in 1-1 reviews, feedback should be explored and followed-up on regularly. Getting into this practice also allows for more timely feedback. The example should be still fresh in mind of the receiver, not something they are going to have to recall from months or quarters before. Timely feedback helps correct course faster, especially if you stop a bad habit from forming altogether.
🚫 About six weeks ago, a customer complained they didn't like your tone.
✅ In ticket #3265 from last week, a customer felt that you were dismissive of their problem. It is important that we take all customer concerns seriously and we expect that your tone focuses on empathy.
Getting the Most Out of Your QA Solution
As you conduct reviews, you will end up writing a lot of feedback. The problem is that it can be time-consuming to follow the guidelines above and to explain exactly when someone is making an error or providing context. With a QA solution, you can make comments related to specific questions within a scorecard so that the agents know what part of future interactions they need to focus on. Pinpointing the feedback to a specific question will save you, as a reviewer, hours as the reviews build.
Consistently applying high quality standards to your tickets, and using clear, actionable feedback is a differentiator for your support team. Feedback driven by Customer Service QA facilitates striving to be the best in your craft, adjustments to your customers' needs, and aligning your whole team with the same goals. By utilizing the right combinations of Constructive, Praise and Critical Feedback, and doing so frequently with clear actions, your team will thrive and allow you to improve your customer experience.
Want all of our Quality Assurance tips? Get the full Customer Service QA guide!