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What is Internal Quality Score (IQS) in customer service and why it matters

You might already be using popular customer service metrics like the NPS or CSAT scores, but they just don’t seem to give you a complete look at the quality and performance of your support. Well, that’s exactly what the Internal Quality Score in customer service does.

What is the Internal Quality Score (IQS) in customer service?

The Internal Quality Score (IQS) is a metric you use to measure the quality of your customer service team’s interactions. Here you rely on quality standards set up beforehand (also known as the QA criteria).

IQS helps you quickly understand the level of quality in your agents’ conversations. IQS target will help you quickly distinguish between the agents reaching your quality standards and expectations and those with quite a few opportunity points. 

The criteria will give you the necessary insights into what exactly went wrong or right on the ticket. You can also see where the focus should be placed when coaching the agent in the future.

Why IQS matters

CSAT provides a general overview of customer satisfaction. NPS indicates the likelihood of customer recommendations. And CES measures customer effort in obtaining query responses.

But none of these metrics focuses too heavily on how your team actually performs.

That’s exactly where IQS in customer support comes in to help you:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service team and individual agents
  • Find and focus on the agents that need more support and coaching from their team leads
  • Understand the root cause of results by pairing it with other performance metrics, such as CSAT, AI-driven metrics of Sentiment, and overall productivity

Simply put, IQS is a better metric because you can finally focus on getting custom insights strictly related to the quality of the support services you offer. With other metrics such as CSAT or NPS, customers are always influenced by the quality of your product before all else.

Plus, you can use IQS when you want insights into specific support quality standards. For instance, you might want to find out how well your agents follow the company processes, how accurate the solution they’re providing to customers is, or how well this solution worked for customers.

How to measure Internal Quality Score in customer service

This is a challenging task, as you want to include all the essential aspects of the expected quality level of the agents. At the same time, you might want not to overcrowd your QA Expert that will use this checklist when reviewing the tickets

The defined criteria might include everything from soft skills usage, correct understanding of the customer’s inquiry, and the procedure following. Some companies also look at the speed of service provided to the customer, as there are some expectations set for the agents.

Note: Taking varied factors into consideration to calculate IQS and defining different impact weights (based on points per criteria) helps you quickly understand what mistakes were done by the agent or how well the agent manages to comply with all the quality standards.

It doesn’t matter if you have a team of seven agents with a single team lead or 20 different teams with the proper QA department. The beauty of IQS that it doesn’t care how big you are. Users simply need to be consistent with their QA ratings and feedback. 

You will, however, want to define a good limit for the expected weekly QA ratings per agent. This lets you cover random cases and have a better overview of the QA level of your support service.

Evaluators will then listen to the selected calls, read transcripts of chats and emails, or conversation summaries, and score all of them based on defined and customized categories and criteria.

QA criteria examples

  • Case handling: Did the agent provide correct and complete information? Did they initiate ticket escalation?
  • Customer support skills: Did the support representative show empathy and understanding for the customer’s challenges and requirements? Did the agent adapt to a new request?
  • Language: Did the agent use correct grammar/spelling? Were relevant emojis used? 
  • Critical errors: Was information given to the wrong customer? Did the agent share sensitive information?

Without using some sort of checklist that guides you towards exactly what you should look for it would be difficult to evaluate or measure the value of IQS for any conversation. 

By defining the values for the criteria and category, we can further define the importance of specific criteria. 

The Kaizo Scorecard feature allows you to set up your own QA checklist and optimize your QA rating:

rating a ticket in Kaizo

There are no limits. Once the QA Admin sets the QA Scorecard, all the raters will be using this checklist to evaluate agents’ tickets. The advantage of the setup is that you don’t need to adapt to anyone else’s standards or criteria. Instead, you create the ones that are important for your company.

IQS rating in Kaizo

Now, onto how to interpret the results.

Kaizo will give you an overview of your Internal Quality Score for a specific time frame, like one month in the example below:

Internal Quality Score in Kaizo

Having a high IQS score indicates that most customer interactions are of high quality. This means customers are likely satisfied and the company’s customer service is performing well. It also means you are doing a good job of listening to your customers and providing them with the information they need to resolve their issues. 

But you’ll need to dig deeper into exactly why the score is high.

That’s because a low IQS score can indicate lots of impactful issues within your team that you might have been ignoring or were not aware of. Disengaged employees, poor team productivity, undefined or ambiguous processes, and a lack of training are among common points to keep an eye on. 

You should always aim to improve your IQS score to reach higher customer satisfaction levels. And IQS results will help you spot just the right areas you need to work on.

How to set up IQS targets

You’ll want to set your own IQS targets and goals to continuously improve the quality of your customer service over time. With Kaizo, you can set IQS targets from your QA House:

IQS targets in Kaizo

Before setting up a new target, the average IQS should be calculated for the past 30 days for each team. This will give you a more precise look at how each team is performing and what a realistic IQS target could be. For instance, with an average IQS of 86%, an appropriate target would be slightly lower at 80% to make sure your team can hit it.

Once you’ve set up a new IQS target you can come back and check in on how your support representatives are performing based on the target you’ve just defined. 

Next steps

You’ll want to use quality assurance software to automate IQS measuring. Kaizo can help you:

  • Automate and optimize your ticket rating process
  • Track and compare team performance and zoom into every agent’s scorecard
  • Get real-time metrics as well as totals and averages to help predict progress
  • Organize your tickets by value to discover critical issues you might have overlooked
  • Keep your team’s performance at the top by always keeping them motivated

Note it’s still worth tracking other metrics like NPS or CSAT for a complete understanding of the performance of both your product and support efforts. In fact, these metrics only work together. A low CSAT score might not be easy to explain unless you look at your internal stats via IQS.

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