Departments in a BPO

In continuation in one of my posts earlier where we said that we would discuss about the various departments in a BPO, in this post I would discuss the QUality Assurance department.

The Quality Assurance department, as the name suggests is the department that ensures everything that is produced complies with the quality standards. When we say this, the biggest question that arises is what is “being produced” in a BPO? If there is nothing that is being produced, then what does the Quality Assurance team check and approve?

In a BPO, the product is the calls that are either made (in case of outbound calling BPOs) or, received (in case of Inbound BPOs). Now ensuring that this product complies would mean that the activity would only happen after the product is manufactured and delivered. Wondering why? This is because a call is a live call with the customer on the the other side of the phone and the moment the call is completed, the product is delivered. Then what is the purpose of Quality Assurance.

In an outbound calling BPO, every call that is made is to sell a product. Hence not all calls result in sales. Here the QA team actions only on calls that were sales and where a product was sold to a customer. The final processing and delivery of this product is done after the QA team approves the sales. Here what they do is monitor the sales call, which is also called as “verification” and check if the sales representative was transparent to the customer, disclosed all that the customer should know about the purchase, did not force the customer into buying and was polite to the customer. Once they have ensured that all of these were complied with, they pass or, qualify the sale.

In an Inbound scenario, the purpose of QA is different. Here since the call is complete by the time the QA listens or, verifies the call, the purpose is to ensure that all customer service representatives comply with basic customer service ettiquettes like apologizing to the customer in case of mistakes, speaking politely iwth the customer, understanding the customer, providing them with the correct resolution to their problem and so on. Hence the activity of a QA exceutive involves both “Monitoring (Listening to a call as it happens)” and “Verification (Listening to recorded calls)”. The verification is normally done to ensure that the Customer Care representative is given a feedback of the “Do’s and Don’ts” observed in the call.

Though the activity seems very easy, it is not just vague parameters that a QA executive follows to check the accuracy of the call. Every BPO formulates a guideline for every process that they handle which is called as the CTQs (Critical to Quality). It is based on these guidelines that the calls are evaluated and verified.

The activity is very interesting as it involves a lot of mentoring and feedback to the representatives and hence requires leadership skills.