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Automated quality management (AQM): The complete guide

Embrace automated quality management to streamline your operations, reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and more. Learn the basics below.

Af Hannah Wren, Staff Writer

Senest opdateret April 18, 2024

What is automated quality management?

Automated quality management (AQM), or automated quality assurance, is a process businesses can use to automate quality monitoring. Compared to manual QA, AQM utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically review customer support interactions, identify training gaps, and enhance the customer experience.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, pirates infested the waters of the West Indies. Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, and countless other famous crews pillaged the region, looking for battles and buried treasure. While their tales live on, one can’t help but wonder how successful they might have been if they knew exactly where to find that treasure. Instead of rumors or dilapidated maps, imagine if these infamous scoundrels knew precisely where to go and where to dig to find their fortunes.

Snapping back to the present day, your quality management process may feel like those wayward expeditions as you scour through endless support interactions, hoping to find training opportunities and process improvements. Rather than endlessly searching, automated quality management can be your treasure map, guiding you to the exact areas you need to focus on. Read on to learn more about AQM and how you can use it to enhance your customer experience (CX).

More in this guide:

Why is automated quality management important?

Automated quality management is important because it helps you improve your customer experience faster and more efficiently than manual processes.

While a human touch is still vital in the review process, using manual QA as your primary strategy is becoming a thing of the past. In fact, relying on manual reviews has risks. For example:

  • Teams have limited scope, as only 2 percent of support conversations get manually reviewed.
  • Human reviewers can have unfair biases, leading to inaccurate evaluations.
  • Manual reviews aren’t scalable, so growing companies will find it more difficult to keep pace with rising call volume.

AQM tackles all these problems and more. With the help of automation, you can have complete coverage of every support interaction, allowing you to pinpoint problematic conversations, increase agent performance, and improve your customer experience.

Benefits of AQM

Let’s dive into the benefits of automated quality management. Below are some of the most impactful advantages.

A bulleted list details the benefits of AQM.

Reduces costs

When you introduce automation into your customer support strategy, you can see a reduction in costs. AQM can help businesses make strategic decisions, allowing managers to enact cost-saving initiatives quickly.

For example, you can use QA to spot training opportunities and knowledge gaps. This proactive approach creates a more capable team and higher-quality customer support—factors that can result in happier customers, lower churn rates, and more revenue.

Improves customer experience

As we’ve touched on, it’s nearly impossible to review every support interaction by hand, especially if your business is growing or experiencing a large call volume. With automation, however, you can.

AQM can help you analyze a large volume of customer interactions, review employee performance, and identify common customer frustrations automatically. This enables managers to make adjustments, use quality assurance to personalize interactions, and improve CX.

Increases agent performance

When managers can analyze more customer conversations, they can better identify where agents require training. Maybe, for example, a few call center agents are missing a critical part of the support conversation, such as addressing the customer by name. A manual QA process may overlook this seemingly innocuous omission—but not with automation.

Additionally, AQM can help accelerate employee onboarding. With the help of automation, managers can identify where new employees are excelling and where they need further guidance.

Streamlines workflow

Automation can streamline your team’s workflow by eliminating manual, repetitive tasks. With AQM, you can automate conversation reviews, data collection, reporting, and more. This allows your managers to focus on more important areas.

In a call center, for example, managers can spend less time fishing for performance data and more time on call center workforce management. This leads to a more efficient workforce and greater team-wide productivity.

Minimizes compliance risks

If you’re running a business in a regulated industry, you must comply with industry standards and regulations. In call centers, agents may need to adhere to scripts and provide disclosures to customers when necessary. AQM can automatically flag noncompliant interactions so your team members can correct those mistakes—a process that reduces the risk of legal penalties or compliance issues.

Key components of automated quality management

While AQM involves several features working together, three key components influence the entire process. Below are the most important aspects to note when conducting automated quality management.

Three icons show the key components of automated quality management.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the key differentiator that makes automated quality management so effective. As we’ve touched on, manual QA has its drawbacks—namely, a lack of coverage, limited scalability, and potential for biases during review.

AI solves these problems by acting as your first line of defense in your quality monitoring. With automation, you can remove bias and human error in your processes, scale effectively, and achieve 100 percent coverage across agents, channels, languages, and business processing outsourcers (BPOs). This helps your team do more with less and identify inefficiencies better than manual QA ever can.

Employee coaching and development

Because AQM reviews every support interaction, you gain access to unparalleled agent coaching and development opportunities. With AI, you can uncover training needs and identify top and low performers, knowledge gaps, and recurring issues. This can help you boost team morale and accountability by offering a regular flow of transparent and actionable feedback.

Depending on your provider, several AQM features aid employee coaching and development:

  • Spotlight helps you identify coaching opportunities that may have flown under the radar with manual QA.
  • Customer sentiment analysis pairs with AI to highlight conversations where the customer displayed frustration or delight.
  • Automated surveys capture customer feedback so you can see what your agents are doing right and where they may need further training.

Overall, automated QA tools enable your team to improve with every support interaction.

Advanced analytics

Automated quality management can provide comprehensive insights into the quality of customer interactions and organizational performance. With AQM, you can understand the true relationship between metrics, service quality, and what leads to the best and worst outcomes for your team.

For example, you may notice that agents frequently pass a specific issue to a higher support tier. You can use this information to determine whether this is an agent, team, or organizational issue before implementing proper training or process adjustments to fix it.

Explore our AQM capabilities

At Zendesk, we recently added AI-powered WFM and QA capabilities to our customer service software. Learn more about these tools and how they can enhance your operations and support quality.

How to bring automated quality management to your organization

Now that we’ve covered the importance of AQM, we’ll detail how you can implement it into your operations—whether you’re a growing business or an established AI call center. Follow our tips below.

A bulleted list details how to bring automated quality management to your organization.

Embrace a customer-first approach

Before you move forward with implementing AQM, you must embrace a customer-first approach. Being customer first means putting the customer at the center of decision-making rather than simply focusing on products or profits. When you use customer needs as your organizational North Star, you can make decisions that positively impact the customer experience.

Define your objectives

Next, identify your objectives and what you want to achieve with automated quality management. You may want to focus on agent performance, improve customer service key performance indicators (KPIs) like first reply time (FRT), or reduce your compliance risk. Establishing specific goals helps guide your strategy.

Involve key stakeholders

Automated quality management affects several areas of your organization, so you should involve key stakeholders whenever possible. Communicate with relevant members of your support team, contact center, senior leadership, and more to tap into their experiences and feedback. The more relevant personnel you consult with, the more comprehensive your AQM process will be.

Leverage the right technology

To harness everything AQM offers, you need to invest in the right technology. Look for automated quality management systems like Zendesk QA (formerly Klaus) that feature advanced automation, comprehensive analytics, customer surveys, and more. Also, factor in scalability and flexibility to ensure that the product can grow with you. Partnering with reliable software can help you develop a comprehensive AQM system.

Gather accurate information

Without accurate information, your AQM process won’t be nearly as effective. Ensure you capture relevant data from sources like support interactions, customer feedback, agent feedback, and KPIs. Accurate trends and figures drive informed decision-making and make your organization more efficient.

Review, adapt, and improve

AQM isn’t a set-and-forget approach. Consistently review your KPIs, employee data, and other performance figures to ensure your process works as intended. Also, it’s wise to consult key stakeholders periodically for feedback on the impact of AQM in their departments. When you commit to continuous improvement, you ensure your quality management efforts are consistently improving.

Frequently asked questions

Provide automated quality management with Zendesk

Automated quality management is your virtual “X marks the spot,” helping you identify exactly what your team needs to focus on to improve CX. However, just because pirate crews of yesteryear operated in a not-so-digital world doesn’t mean you need to—the future of quality management is AQM.

Zendesk QA is an AI-powered quality management software solution with powerful capabilities like AutoQA, 360-degree feedback, and comprehensive analytics and trends. With these new features, you can make measurable process improvements that benefit your customer experience. Check out the new Zendesk QA capabilities.

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