Monday 20 February 2023

Quality Management, Customer Retention & Satisfaction

Quality management:

Quality Management is an important aspect of any business. It helps organizations to ensure that their products and services meet the highest standards of quality at all times inclusive of all business aspects. This can be fulfilled using the various widely used quality control and assurance techniques, such as statistical process control, total quality management, Six Sigma, and many more. Quality management also involves ongoing improvement and the use of customers’ feedback to make necessary, suggested and required changes to the products or services to improve customer satisfaction and customer retention.

Quality management majorly includes four components, which are listed below;

  • Quality Planning: In this part we identify the quality standards relevant to the project and decide the path to fulfill them.

  • Quality Improvement: In this part we make changes to a process for improving the reliability of the end result.

  • Quality Control: In this part continuous efforts by the team members are made to uphold a process’s integrity and reliability for achieving the end result

  • Quality Assurance: In this part systematic or planned actions which are necessary to offer sufficient reliability are taken to make sure that a particular service meets the specified requirements.

The main focus of controlling and managing the quality aspect of a business is to ensure that the organization’s stakeholders are working together in improving the company’s processes, products, services, and the overall culture to achieve long-term success that stems for both business growth and  customer satisfaction.

The process of quality control & management involves a collection of guidelines that are developed internally by the team to make sure that the services that they provide are of right standards, correct purpose and right usage for the end user i.e. “the customer”.

Below mentioned is the basic framework used by service providers for ensuring that the quality is maintained throughout the process and the end result is as per the standards committed;

  • The process starts when the organization sets quality targets that are to be met. These targets are also agreed upon with the customer while the customer is on-boarded or when the contract is finalized.

  • The organization, after defining the targets, designs the way as to how the targets will be achieved and measured. It takes into consideration the collective actions that are required to be taken and measures quality.

  • The organization after this identifies quality issues, if any, that arise or may arise and find ways for improvement methods.

  • The final step involves the accounting of the overall level of the quality achieved.

The above mentioned process ensures that the products and services produced and/or provided by the team match the customers’ expectations and provide the expected end results.

Service Level Agreement metrics:

Service Level Agreement (SLA) metrics are specific measurements used to track and evaluate the performance of a service provider in meeting the terms of an SLA. These metrics are used to determine whether the service provider is meeting their obligations towards the customer in a timely manner in resolving the various requests, tasks and tickets. 

Monitoring the SLA metrics can be used as a measure to identify the areas where the service provider excels and also the areas where the service provider needs to improve and then take steps in that area to address the issues that may be impacting the quality of the service they provide.

We, as a company, use SLA metrics for measuring and meeting our service contract items. These metrics are criteria negotiated between us and our customers that lay down a road-map stating the quantitative targets that have to be achieved for the service we provide. We take readings to monitor and ensure that the services being provided matches what is defined in the service contract made with the customers.

Average Handling Time:

Average handling time (AHT), also referred to as Average resolution time is the metric used to measure the amount of time that is spent on resolving a particular request, starting from the time it is received till the time it is resolved. This includes the time spent on understanding the issue and research, time spent with the customer probing, time spent working towards the resolution and any other such time spent working on completing the customer's request. 

AHT is used as a measure to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of a process or service driven business towards customers’ interaction, satisfaction and resolution. AHT is measured in minutes. A low AHT indicates that the service representative is able to understand and assist the customer's requests and resolve the issues quickly and efficiently. A high AHT, on the other hand, indicates that the service representative is spending too much time on each resolution, which can lead to longer wait times for customers, resulting in reduced efficiency and effectiveness. 

Businesses such as ours use AHT to identify areas where we need to improve our customer service processes and train our team members to handle interactions and requests more effectively & efficiently and in a timely manner. We, as a team, also use AHT to monitor and evaluate the performance of individual team members.

First Contact Resolution:

First Contact Resolution rate or FCR rate is a metric that measures the number/percentage of customer cases that are resolved by a service provider in the first contact itself (be it on-call or via email). FCR is an important indicator of the service provider’s team’s success rate. 

For service providers, there are a number of indicators that measure resolution efficiency such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), agent productivity, etc. Out of those metrics, FCR stands out since it directly indicates the quality of customer experience an organization delivers via the medium of support that they provide. 

A high FCR rate means the support team as a whole is able to resolve a large number of cases in the first contact itself without the need of multiple emails/calls to & from customers. For

customers, resolution in first interaction is a very important concern when they do business with any service provider via support agent.

A high FCR rate helps the business with below mentioned points:

Team motivation: The ability of a team to address customer requests efficiently leads to improved productivity as well as a rise in morale, resulting in a flourishing business.

Customer retention: If a customer is satisfied with the service provided by the organization, they are more likely to do business with it again in the future.

Cost Benefits: In lieu of time spent by team members and affecting productivity, FCR eliminates the need for repeated callbacks and email chains.

Competitive advantage: The more satisfied a customer is, the less likely they are to go to another business partner or competitor and vent about your business. Instead, they will remain loyal to one organization until they have been successfully assisted.

Customer Satisfaction & Retention:

Customer satisfaction and retention is an important aspect of any successful business. Keeping customers happy and engaged is essential for long-term success.

Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction refers to the measure of how well a business' products and/or services meet or exceed the expectations of its customers and its end users. A business that consistently meets or exceeds customers’ expectations typically has a high level of customer satisfaction. High levels of customer satisfaction are important for a business as a whole because satisfied customers are more likely to return and make repeat purchases, and they also recommend the business to others which results in organic marketing without any additional costs.

Businesses can measure customer satisfaction through various methods, such as surveys, focus groups, and customer feedback forms. They can then use this information to identify the areas where they need to improve their products or services and meet customer needs and expectations in a better way.

To increase customer satisfaction, businesses focus on delivering high-quality products and/or services, providing excellent customer service, being responsive to customer needs and complaints, and continuously seeking ways to improve the customer experience.

Taking care of customers pays off. Companies that establish tight connections with clients or customers tend to experience better financial results as well. According to a study conducted, around ⅔ of buyers/consumers say that a positive customer experience largely determines their loyalty to the brand. Moreover, 32% of customers will completely stop interaction with their beloved brand if a negative experience happens. It seems that a good customer management system is a very important and an essential competitive advantage for companies that want to prosper in the market.

Customer retention: Customer retention refers to the ability of a business to keep its existing customers over long periods of time. A business with a high rate of customer retention is able to retain a large percentage of its customer base, which can provide significant benefits in terms of revenue as well as results in a profitable business over the time of its existence.

There are several strategies that service producers or providers use to improve customer retention, such as Delivering high-quality products/services, providing excellent customer service, building strong relationships with customers, continuously seeking customer feedback, personalization, on time resolution, etc.

Overall, customer retention is a key metric for any business to track its journey, as it provides a clear indication of how well the company is doing in terms of meeting customer needs and expectations.

By, Garvit Arora, Quality Assurance Analyst (

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