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How to build a QA scorecard: Examples + template

A QA scorecard can help you reduce customer churn and boost agent performance. Learn why it’s important and download our scorecard template below.

Door Hannah Wren, Staff Writer

Laatst gewijzigd June 17, 2024

What is a QA scorecard?

A quality assurance (QA) scorecard is an evaluation form that speeds up the quality assurance process and ensures specific, measurable feedback. It’s used in several industries, from software development to customer service.

Businesses must create outstanding customer experiences (CX) to build customer retention and stand out in the marketplace. And if you want to achieve a consistent CX, you should review as many agent-customer conversations as possible. According to the Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report 2023, 76 percent of organizations agree that conversation reviews help improve customer satisfaction.

QA scorecards can help you with that process by offering a systematic, repeatable evaluation system. In this guide, we cover different types and examples of quality assurance scorecards so you can improve your customer service interactions.

More in this guide:

Why do you need a quality assurance scorecard?

You need quality assurance scorecards because they can optimize service efficiency and help your team deliver an outstanding CX consistently.

Businesses need a reliable way to measure service quality, and simply monitoring customer service key performance indicators (KPIs) may not be enough. Per the Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report 2023, the average customer satisfaction score (CSAT) response rate is only 19 percent for chat and 5 percent for email and phone support. This means you can’t solely rely on customer feedback to understand how well your team is doing.

A stat showing the average CSAT response rate is 19 percent for chat and five percent for email and phone.

QA scorecards are internal evaluation forms that businesses use to address agent performance. A scorecard provides numerous benefits like:

  • Identifies areas of improvement: Businesses can use QA scorecards to highlight team trends and identify root causes of inefficiencies.
  • Enhances the customer experience: Measuring support quality can help you use QA for personalized interactions and spot customer service pain points that need to be corrected.
  • Boosts agent performance: Managers can proactively measure team performance, identifying individual training opportunities and establishing coaching sessions if needed.

Effective QA scorecards can facilitate conversations around improvement when your support team isn’t performing well. They also encourage your team to pause and focus on what matters most to your customers.

Types of quality assurance scorecards

Any business can benefit from customer service quality assurance. Below, we highlight a few QA scorecard best practices across email, chat, and phone conversations.

Line graph showing the most common customer communication channels.

QA scorecard for email support

Email can be a continuous, long-form support channel, requiring increased focus on customer service qualities like thoroughness and grammar in email QA scorecards. These scorecards can also help managers look for criteria like anticipating customer needs—by proactively addressing potential questions, you enhance the overall customer experience.

Chat quality assurance scorecard

Live chat support is fast-paced and often more casual than email or phone support. Support professionals must be proficient in multitasking, as it’s not unusual for teammates to juggle three or four chat conversations at once.

So, your live chat QA scorecard should evaluate metrics like resolution time to ensure customers aren’t left hanging with long, awkward pauses. You may also want to include scoring criteria highlighting how well the contact center agent matched the customer’s tone or embodied your brand’s preferred voice.

Phone quality assurance scorecard

Phone QA scorecards evaluate call center skills like pacing, volume, active listening, and any other customer service skills your team considers most important. Providing phone support is often more emotionally and mentally demanding than chat or email, so you’ll want to pay special attention to call center agent performance in light of those challenges.

How to build a QA scorecard

You don’t need an advanced degree to build a quality assurance scorecard—you only need to follow a few straightforward steps. Different companies may have different QA criteria based on their audience and needs, but every organization should abide by the following:

  • Consider using a template: A QA scorecard template can help you hit the ground running. Download the ultimate customer service scorecard below to get a head start on your QA strategy.
  • Define your goals: Start the QA scorecard process by defining your customer service objectives—both in terms of what you want your customer support to look like now and in the future.
  • Select rating categories: Next, use your goals to select rating categories that will guide conversation reviews. These categories can be criteria like how effective the solution was, the support agent’s customer service voice, how well they showed empathy to the customer, and anything else you deem important.
  • Choose your rating scale: Decide how you would like to score your categories—you may choose a 1 to 3 scale, 1 to 10, or anything in between. Also, determine if you want your categories to be weighted. For example, if you value empathy above all else, that category could be weighted to account for more of the total evaluation score.
  • Iterate and improve: The final step is to monitor your progress and evaluate your system. Track agent performance and key metrics to determine whether your QA scorecard is working or if you should make changes.

If you stick to these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating a systematic and repeatable evaluation system.

Get the ultimate QA scorecard

Streamline your review process with our customer service scorecard.

Quality assurance scorecard examples

Now that we’ve covered a few common types of QA scorecards and how to build one, we’ll provide some examples in detail. Below are three different scorecard examples for SaaS, fintech, and e-commerce businesses.

SaaS QA scorecard for chat and email

A screenshot of Replo’s quality assurance scorecard.

Image source

Our first example is from Replo, a SaaS business specializing in landing pages for Shopify. Replo uses Zendesk for chat and email communication, so its quality assurance scorecard is tailored to evaluate agent performance in these channels.

Replo’s QA focuses on five major themes that reflect the qualities it values in customer conversations. Each thematic category is weighted, allowing the company to fine-tune how these values contribute to the team’s overall performance score.

Beneath each major theme, there are a series of elements that give clarity to the overarching meaning of the category. Instead of a “required” list of elements, these items indicate the generic building blocks of good customer service:

  • Voice: Using a friendly tone, correctly naming product features, and effectively explaining technical concepts
  • Accuracy: Applying critical thinking, providing the correct answer to the customer, demonstrating product knowledge, and greeting the customer by name
  • Empathy and helpfulness: Understanding the customer’s needs, asking clarifying questions, and avoiding negative language
  • Writing style: Adapting responses to the specific customer, effectively using bullets and spacing, and including images or videos when appropriate
  • Procedures and best practices: Selecting appropriate tags for the conversation, assigning the right group, following internal policies, and applying defined troubleshooting techniques

Each theme gets a score between 1 and 3. For this scale, 1 means “needs improvement,” and 3 means “excellent.” Finally, each conversation review also includes an open space for feedback to expand upon scores, celebrate improvement, or offer words of encouragement.

Fintech email scorecard

A screenshot of a quality assurance scorecard from a fintech company.

Image source

Next is a scorecard from an email-only support team in the fintech space. Since it’s intended for a company in the financial sector, this quality assurance scorecard also includes specific elements about compliance and process adherence.

In particular, it highlights the value of asking the right questions and giving customers critical context. With the time gap between email responses, a customer can stay in limbo for days—a hallmark of bad customer service. This scorecard stresses explaining the reasoning behind your team’s questions to expedite the support process.

This scorecard uses a binary 1 or 0 for each category, indicated by a check or no check in the scorecard. Scores across all categories are averaged, both in the individual category score and the total score.

E-commerce chat scorecard

A screenshot of a quality assurance scorecard from an e-commerce company.

Image source

Our final QA scorecard example is from an e-commerce business that delivers customer support through its internal team and a customer service business process outsourcing (BPO) partner.

The business opted for a simplified scorecard to evaluate large volumes of conversations quickly. This strategy facilitates expanded conversation evaluations and also ensures support agents receive weekly feedback for continuous improvement.

Tickets are evaluated across four key categories: communication, responsiveness, procedure, and accuracy or clarity. Every category is further divided into specific attributes, with reviewers assigning a binary thumbs-up or thumbs-down for each ticket reviewed. Each thumbs-up counts as one point, for a possible 12 points total. Scores are expressed as a percentage, with agents aiming for a 70 percent or higher rating month to month.

Frequently asked questions

Improve your customer service QA processes with Zendesk QA

QA scorecards can help you deliver outstanding customer experiences in every interaction. That said, even with the most comprehensive quality assurance scorecard, you could miss out on valuable insights. For complete coverage, you need AI in customer service QA.

At Zendesk, we offer AI-powered quality assurance capabilities that can supercharge your evaluation process. With us, you can review 100 percent of agent interactions, automatically identify customer sentiment and churn risk, view comprehensive performance trends, and more.

Learn more about how Zendesk QA can help your business.

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