Experience Driven Communication.

Quality Assurance

A BDC QA Process in 25 Easy Steps (Just kidding, there are only 7)

In a highly effective and profitable BDC, the significance of Quality Assurance (QA) cannot be overstated. 

A well-structured QA process is the cornerstone of ensuring that every customer interaction meets with the high standards expected by the dealership

However, it is surprising to note that many BDCs do not have a formalized quality assurance system in place. The result is missed opportunities for improvement, inefficient customer service, and inconsistent messages and experiences. So, here we will share what we believe are the 7 steps to a best-in-class QA process for your BDC. 

1. Begin with the End in Mind: 

Like any successful endeavor, knowing what you want the final product to look and sound like is a critical first step to mission success. Clearly defining measurable goals that align with the overall objectives of the BDC gives clarity to all team members, supporting the vision.  

When talking about quality assurance, for example, the vision might be to obtain an overall company QA score of 90 or higher. A clearly defined measurable goal. But it is not the only goal. There is rarely one goal. Most visions are a collective of team members and processes coming together in a consistent and high-quality manner to meet the overall experiences and outcomes expressed by the vision. 

I liken a vision to the box top of a jigsaw puzzle. This is what we are creating. Now team members place the pieces together, using the box top as a guide, easily identifying what fits the vision, and as importantly, what does not fit the vision. 

Clearly communicate what success looks like. 

2. Keep It Consistent and Simple   

Establish straightforward evaluation criteria across all channels for clarity. Evaluation criteria might include tone, clarity, etiquette, adherence to process, effective listening, and loyalty elements. Using language everyone can understand, apply the criteria values in all evaluations. 

Tailor QA forms to match different call types and other interactions (e.g., service, sales, email, text). Clearly outline criteria relevant to each type of interaction. 

Consistency will give the process credibility to the agents and make the evaluations feel fair to everyone.  

Check all the channels. QA assessments should cover all communication channels. Extend QA to include email interactions, live chat, texts and even work notes. Adapt evaluation criteria to the unique characteristics of each channel. Differentiating criteria for phone calls (tone and verbal communication) versus written communication (clarity and grammar). Provide training on channel-specific best practices. 

3. Bring In Self Evaluations 

Have agents conduct self-evaluations regularly and provide guidelines or a checklist for self-evaluations. This self-reflection enhances self-awareness, a critical part of personal and professional development. 

Self-evaluations prompt agents to focus on their own communication style in customer reinteractions and lead to a deeper understanding of what they are doing right and what they are missing. 

Next, use self-evaluations as a basis for coaching and improvement plans. Together, look at how each step of the QA process can be broken down into actionable items, providing clarity, guidance, and a personalized action plan for each agent.

4. Praise Progress 

Regularly display exemplary calls during team meetings. A “Call of the Week” segment in team meetings featuring standout communicating emphasizes the consistent QA process and gives agents real examples of “contributing to the vision.” 

Create a positive and motivating environment by celebrating success. Recognizing top-performing agents publicly and rewarding them with small incentives or shout-outs. Keep a motivator or performance board.  

5. Analyze the Outliers 

Identify top-performing agents based on consistent high QA scores. A good practice is to look at the top ten or twenty percent, depending on the size of the team. 

What attributes do they share? Which are unique to a specific agent? Act on the information! 

Identify positive personality traits of the top 20%. They may be positivity, energy or empathy and adaptability. This will help you as you add team members. Looking for people with similar personality traits gives you a better chance of recruiting another top twenty percenter. 

Highlight specific skills that contribute to high QA scores, conversions, adaptability, and problem solving. These are the skills to teach and consistently coach on with all agents. Give examples and success stories. 

“Rockstar agent Sarah consistently achieves top scores with her knack for sounding comfortable on every call. She projects positivity, effortlessly making her way through the process while staying within the guidelines and meeting conversion targets.” 

Nurture a growth mindset among agents. Encourage them to view challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. By reinforcing the commitment to continuous improvement, you motivate agents to embrace coaching and actively engage in their own development AND the development of their co-workers. 

6. Bring on the Feedback: 

Establish channels for agents, supervisors, and the QA Manager to provide feedback. 

The best time is in Quality Checks in which a coach reviews performance, accentuates the positives and works with the agent on improvement.  

Agents are individuals. Open and honest communication between the coach and agent goes both ways. A good coach is a good listener. Agents need to feel comfortable and feel safe to give honest feedback to the coach about their experience and the process. 

Even the Top Twenty Percent need coaching. Patrick Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, and he has a bunch of coaches, including personal trainers and a quarterback coach.  

Some feedback ideas: 

In the weekly Quality Checks devote time for the agent to speak and share their experiences and challenges.  

Regularly review and implement improvements based on suggestions. Agents suggest a new approach to handling specific issues, and the team implements a trial period to assess its effectiveness. 

To aid in building a culture of continuous learning and enhancement conduct monthly workshops or training sessions-based sole on feedback to address shared challenges and improve skills. 

7. QA the QA

Sometimes we must stop working in our business long enough to work on our business. 

Periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the QA process, itself is a great practice to assess the impact of QA and how well it is contributing to the vision. 

Solicit feedback from QA team members, supervisors, and call center agents using anonymous surveys to gather input on the strengths and weaknesses of the QA process. 

Own the Methods, Own the Game: 

Whoever oversees the methods is responsible for the results. Assuming the process was followed. 

Communicate the direct correlation between following methods and achieving desired results by sharing success stories where adherence to process resulted in positive customer feedback and increased appointment setting. 

These examples further illustrate how each step of the QA process can be broken down into actionable items, providing clarity and guidance. 



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