Featured article

Ensuring Excellence: A Customer Service Audit Checklist

Customer Service Audit Checklist
Source: Freepik

Regular customer service audits are crucial to delivering the best customer experience (CX).

Around 80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services.

Even if you provide excellent customer service, there is always room for improvement. Audits help you understand which areas of your customer service (CS) you could be better at.

At Loris, we think customer service audits are a great opportunity to look at your business as a whole and spot weaknesses that may affect CX, like recurring product issues or confusing policies.

But a customer service audit can be a huge headache. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of effort on your part.

Luckily, there are ways to get your customer service audit done fast. This article guides you through the quickest way to perform an audit, with a comprehensive checklist you can follow.

What Is a Customer Service Audit?

what is a customer service audit
Source: Freepik

A customer service audit analyzes the quality of your customer service processes and identifies tangible ways to improve your customer experience.

It’s an internal audit where you use customer interaction data to identify your main customer service issues. It also allows you to determine how your process, tools, and strategies can be better aligned to eliminate these issues.

Audits also involve evaluating how your customer support team interacts and engages with customers to determine whether they’re getting these conversations right.

The results of your audit will typically help you develop a plan to address areas where you could:

  • Provide a better overall CX.
  • Coach your agents more effectively.
  • Improve your product or service.
  • Change the way complaints are handled.

How Often Should I Perform a Customer Service Audit?

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

The frequency at which you conduct customer service audits will depend on your business.

For example, a small start-up may need to review its processes regularly as it builds its client base and the business scales.

On the other hand, if you’re a large enterprise with an established product, large-scale audits may only need to be done quarterly to ensure your processes continue to work well.

In general, we recommend that businesses perform a customer service audit at least once per year to ensure your support center is on track to deliver an excellent CX.

Two Steps to Take before Your Customer Service Audit

Before we share our customer service audit checklist with you, there are two important steps you should follow to prepare for your audit:

➡️ Start with the right insights

customer service audit insights
Source: Freepik

The focus of your audit shouldn’t only be on your customer service processes. You should look at your business as a whole and identify how you can improve customer satisfaction.

To do this, you need the right data. You must gather valuable insights by analyzing every customer interaction rather than just a sample.

This gives you a complete picture of customer issues, enabling you, for example, to determine whether your customer service processes are failing or whether a product issue is to blame.

  • Should your insights reveal that customers are contacting you because the quality of the product they purchased is poor, you know you need to make improvements to your product to avoid this becoming a larger issue.
  • On the other hand, if customers are reaching out because they’re unhappy with your customer service and their product issues aren’t being resolved, this may be an indication you need to address your CS processes.
 

The right insights can also help you:

  • Objectively determine whether you’re delivering a high-quality customer experience.
  • Compare the results of your previous audit to your current one to see whether your improvements have been effective.

💡 Get All the Data for Your Audit

For an effective audit process, you need a platform that can give you all the insights discussed above. 


An AI conversational intelligence platform like Loris can provide insights from all your customer interactions so you can conduct an in-depth audit. This results in better customer service quality.

➡️ Identify areas for improvement

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

Using the data you’ve collected in the step outlined above, you can identify the biggest problem areas and find ways to improve them.

By analyzing all your customer interactions, you can identify patterns, such as the issues that are causing the most customer frustration.

As already mentioned, you shouldn’t just look for customer service issues. We’ve found that 70% of customer sentiment is directed toward the company, not the agent. This means that some of the CX issues you face could be related to your products and policies, not agent performance.

For example, you might route product issues to responsible teams to fix. Or you might adjust the wording of your policies and procedures if there is confusion over the wording.

Loris’ Customer Service Audit Checklist

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

Now that you’ve followed the two steps above, it’s time to audit your customer service performance. Here’s a checklist you can use to ensure you don’t leave anything out:

 

✅ Customer service processes

Examining your processes should be the first step of your audit. After all, your processes determine how your entire support center is run.

You need to review each customer service process to ensure it’s still efficient enough to resolve customer complaints quickly. 

The insights you’ve gathered will help you identify parts of your process that need improvement. Let’s say a high number of escalations have been left on hold for a long time. 

This signals that you should adjust your process to make escalations smoother. Perhaps you could offer to ring customers back, for example.

If you haven’t done so already, it might be helpful to map out each step of your processes so that you have a visual representation to guide you through your audit. A map of your escalations process might look like this:

Audit Checklist for Customer Service

✅ Tools

The second aspect you need to audit is the tools and platforms you use to run your processes. An example would be your QA platform, which should help you monitor customer interactions and score your agents on how well they handle them.

You need to assess your tools to see whether they are still the right fit for your company and whether they’re able to adapt to your future needs, such as your business scaling up.

Checking that your tools are up to date is also important. You may want to determine whether your tools have new features that you’re not using efficiently or whether you even need the tool at all.

💡 If the software you’re using to collect customer feedback—such as sending out surveys that requires a lot of manual input and is wasting your QA team’s time—it might be necessary to invest in a platform that analyzes customer sentiment automatically.

 

✅ Key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics

There are two reasons why you should monitor customer service KPIs and metrics as part of your audit:

 

Are the metrics the right fit?

You need to determine whether the metrics you’ve been using to measure your customer service performance are the right ones. 

For example, your first contact resolution (FCR) KPI may no longer be a relevant KPI to track when your product becomes more complex, which means several conversations would potentially be needed before issues could be resolved. 

💡 In this case, a better KPI to use in your customer service strategy may be first response time (FRT), which is how quickly your agents respond to customer interactions.

 

Are you meeting your goals?

If you have specific KPIs and metrics in place, an audit is the perfect way to measure how well you’re meeting these. Metrics are how you measure whether consistent customer service standards are applied across your agents, team, and department.

If you’re not meeting your KPIs and using the wrong metrics, you need to consider how you can improve these. 

 

💡 By refining these, you could:

  • Provide your agents with more targeted coaching.
  • Implement efficient customer feedback loops.
  • Give your agents real-time guidance during live interactions with a platform like Loris.

 

✅ Customer service channels

Your customer service team likely deals with customer interactions on various platforms, including calls, instant messaging, and email. 

As part of your audit, determine whether there’s any variation in the quality of customer service you’re providing across these channels. Is there a particular channel that needs improvement so you can better meet customer expectations?

💡 If your email responses don’t result in a positive sentiment at the end of each interaction compared to your calls, you may need to rethink how you serve your customers via this channel.

In some cases, customers get impatient waiting for an email response, so they call instead. Understanding things like response time, given the severity of the issue, can help you prioritize problems and highlight these nuances. 

 

✅ Reporting

Customer service managers and teams rely on reports with performance analytics. These reports also play a larger role in your company, as they provide departments with feedback on aspects like product issues.

Your audit should include reviewing whether the content of these reports needs updating or improvements to make them more insightful.

💡 If, for example, your reports are focused on team performance and don’t include how individual agents are performing, it’s time to start including those insights.

💡 If your product development team is working on new features, they need reports that provide them with customer feedback so they know what to include or improve, as well as how easy it is for customers to adopt these new capabilities.

 

✅ Agent onboarding 

How you onboard your agents will significantly impact how they perform and how well they serve your customers.

Your audit should include a review of all your current training materials to determine whether there’s new information you should add. Some aspects may no longer be relevant and can be removed.

Check that your materials clearly state what you expect from your agents and how their performance will be tracked. If your onboarding materials don’t reflect this, agents might be confused about how they’re being monitored and scored.

 

✅ Agent and team performance

Although the performance of your agents and your team as a whole is something you should monitor regularly, you may want to use your audit to measure performance on a larger scale.

For example, are your agents turning negative sentiment into positive sentiment quickly enough? How many customer interactions end in an escalation?

Reviewing agent and team performance will help you determine where they may need more support and guidance, which leads us to our next point.

 

✅ Agent training and coaching programs

The best way to determine whether your coaching programs are working is to track agent performance—as outlined above. 

If you provide coaching on how to speak to customers empathetically, and you notice this isn’t improving, your coaching program needs to change.

We believe that gathering customer service insights is pointless if you aren’t using them to inform your agent coaching programs. You should use the insights you have gained to determine whether the training you provide makes a difference in the service you deliver to your customers.

Our Top Tips for a Successful Customer Service Audit

Once you’ve worked your way through our customer service audit checklist, there are a few further steps to take:

👉 Speak to your customer service agents

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

Your customer service representatives have their finger on the pulse of the inquiries and complaints you receive. They know best what frustrates your customers.

It’s crucial to speak to your customer service team to find out what they believe is going wrong and where they think you could improve.

Additionally, your agents form part of a larger process within your contact center. Ask them where your processes are falling short and what they think the solution could be.

💡 Top Tip: Combine Agent Knowledge with Conversational Insights

Your customer service agents spend more time with your customers than anyone in your company, so they are a great resource for understanding individual customer conversations. Many organizations use Google Forms to create a questionnaire for your agents to complete, asking them for feedback during your audit. 

This may work for smaller scale operations, but an even better approach is to use data from across your organization to uncover these patterns, such as which topics agents struggle with the most. 

Instead of asking agents for this data and getting dozens of different answers, you can come to them with the top issues to get their insight on why these things are happening and how they deal with them. 

This will remove any subjectivity or defensiveness and allow you to focus their knowledge on top questions like:

  • Why do you think “X” is the biggest complaint we receive from our customers?
  • “Y” issue seems to take the longest to resolve—how do you handle it? 
  • Where could our processes be improved to serve our customers better?

Don’t miss out on this valuable source of insight by not consulting your agents.

👉 Keep an eye on your competitors’ performance

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

You’re likely not the only business in your industry that provides your product or service. To stand out from your competitors and win over customers, you have to do better than the rest.

One way to set yourself apart from your competitors is to deliver a better customer experience. Auditing their customer service would be a good first step. It will help you benchmark your Customer Service organization and give you another avenue to determine what you could do better.

Ways to do this include:

✔️Follow your competitors on social media.

✔️Sign up for their customer service channels.

✔️Look at what people say about them on forums and review platforms. 

 

This gives you insight into the customer experience they’re providing and how you can go above and beyond this.cus

👉 Monitor for improvements

Audit Checklist for Customer Service
Source: Freepik

You should monitor the changes you’ve made to your customer service efforts to see whether the improvements you’ve made are paying off. 

This is also the starting point for your next audit. You’ll need to review your processes to see whether the improvements you’ve made are working or whether further changes are needed.

Make Your Customer Service Audit a Breeze with Loris

Although they may be challenging to perform, regular customer service audits are essential if you want to provide excellent customer service.

The quickest way to perform an audit and ensure you’re delivering quality customer service is to use an AI conversational intelligence platform like Loris.

Our platform analyzes all your customer interactions rather than only providing you with data based on a small sample of conversations.

These insights can help you find out what isn’t working (and what is) so that you can make improvements where needed. This applies to your product, business, and customer experience.If you’d like to see how Loris can help you fast-track and simplify your audits, visit our website to speak to an expert. We’re excited to show you how our platform can give you the insights you need to provide quality customer service at every turn.

Heading to CCW Las Vegas June 4th to 6th? 

Stop by booth #1201 to connect with the Loris team or reserve your time in advance before schedules fill up!