In this article we’ll explore why many Customer Service teams are turning to IQS (Internal Quality Score) as their North Star metric to guide their customer service quality.

Fantastic customer service quality occurs when customer wants are met and surpassed through support interactions. But the ‘customer wants’ box is a difficult one to tick. Customer expectations are a moving target, and it takes more than a checklist to excel in this area – it takes a solid grasp of how customers are responding to your service.

You need some assurance that you’re doing it right. Please welcome to the stage: customer service quality assurance.

Customer service quality assurance is the practice of measuring team performance and support processes by reviewing conversations with customers. Through this, you calculate your Internal Quality Score (IQS).

How to measure quality

You’re likely acquainted with CSAT – the score (drawn from surveys) that indicates whether (or not) your customers are satisfied. You might also use NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CES (Customer Effort Score). These customer service data points all give you external validation that what your support team is putting out in the world is being well received.

But, as psychologists and customer service experts alike will tell you, you also need internal validation of your actions. Because, even though a customer can tell you whether or not they were overall satisfied with their interaction, they can’t tell you whether or not that interaction met your own internal benchmarks for quality.

Conversation reviews provide that internal validation. By reviewing a sample of support interactions, agents are assessed based on your own standards.

Predefined categories on a scorecard serve as the basis for each review, and further comments are encouraged for context. The support agent’s IQS is calculated by adding the ratings and dividing by each to express as a percentage. You then repeat this process for a sampling of conversations across your team so you can calculate the average IQS for a specific period.

Klaus is a platform that makes it easy to review, track and coach in one platform – with the help of AI, cat gifs, and a Geckoboard integration!

Customer service quality metrics (a quick debrief)

  • CSAT
    Customer Satisfaction Score
    This measures how happy customers are with your service via survey. A CSAT survey is surmised in one basic question: how satisfied are you with the service/product/experience you received? (Or words to that effect.)
  • NPS
    Net Promoter Score
    A metric designed to measure your customer’s loyalty, you survey customers on the likelihood of them recommending your company. It is a fantastic way to determine how you measure up to your competitors.
  • CES
    Customer Effort Score
    Also calculated via survey, this score reflects the amount of work your customers have to make to solve their problem.
  • IQS
    Internal Quality Score
    This rates your customer service conversations in the form of conversation reviews. The quality of your support interactions affects almost all relevant KPIs and metrics. By analyzing your interactions, you can find gaps in your knowledge and track this metric as a basis for improvement.

What to do with your IQS?

You’ve done some reviewing, and now have a better idea of how your support team is faring judged by your internal standards. So what now?

  • Start tracking your IQS.
  • Measure against other metrics to understand performance.
  • Use it as a reference point to make improvements (change processes and/or coach agents).

Including this metric in your KPIs makes outstanding customer service quality a goal for everyone to focus on.

It also helps you validate the results of customer surveys. If CSAT is low this month, but IQS is high, you know that the problem doesn’t lie within your support team’s performance – maybe customers are dissatisfied with the product itself. If CSAT is low and IQS is low, this means you need to make improvements within your support team/processes.

When it comes to improving customer service quality, a lot of it falls onto how you onboard and coach a support team.

Agents can only be experts if you give them the space to learn, grow and perfect. IQS is a fantastic indicator of where they need to improve and a valuable measure of their performance over time. Use reviews and internal quality scores to feed your 1:1s and coaching sessions.

Are you equipped?

If quality is something you’re serious about - and, um, we think it should be - setting up a robust customer support QA program is a prerequisite. 88% of support leaders believe that their current tech stack holds them back from better performance.

Klaus automates and improves your QA program - integrate with Geckoboard to track your IQS and progress.

Guest post by Grace Cartwright

Grace Cartwright is Klaus' Senior Content Specialist and regularly espouses the virtues of this feline-friendly quality assurance platform. Klaus is designed specifically for ambitious teams who want to keep on top of their customer service quality. Expect cat puns and expurrt knowledge in equal measure.