Quality call monitoring is a simple and easy process that will produce significant results on your company’s bottom line. It is essential for any call center interested in improving service quality while decreasing costs.
Call monitoring allows managers to identify problems, maintain quality standards, improve the customer experience and improve agent, call center and departmental performance.
Below is a list of suggestions to help you improve your call monitoring methodology and practices.
1. Make sure that you have call center software that allows for call monitoring, recording and call barging
2. Involve call center agents, managers and stakeholders in developing scorecards/evaluation forms that will measure call center agent performance as they are on the call
- Scorecards should have measures that are in accordance with company policy, KPIs, external benchmarking and customer expectations for service
- Understand what your customers expect and how they want to be served (through customer research: interviews, focus groups and surveys) and ensure that you are measuring and monitoring the behaviors that align with your customer’s expectations
- Define what constitutes a quality interaction, what you are measuring and how it will be measured
- Provide examples of behaviors that will be assessed. Include examples that demonstrate excellent, average and poor quality of the behavior being measured
- Continually review the scorecards
- Ask yourself the following questions. Am I assessing the most important behaviors (as defined by company policy, customers, agents, costs, etc.)? Can I develop an action plan from the results of the scorecard? Can I communicate the results to the agents effectively? Am I able to identify outstanding performance as well as areas for improvement?
3. Train all managers on how to “score” agents performance and assess for inter-rater reliability
4. Use the scorecard to train agents so they have an accurate understanding of which behaviors will be assessed
5. Develop a coach and manager training program to ensure that they are most effective at monitoring calls
6. Use the scorecard to monitor live calls for:
- Honesty: Is the call center agent providing accurate information? Is the agent transferring the caller when the needs are too complex or outside of their skill base?
- Attention: Is the call center agent attending to caller’s words, needs and desires?
- Interest: Is the call center agent interested in the caller’s needs and interested in helping them? Is the caller using effective questioning?
- Empathy: Is the agent displaying appropriate empathy and concern for the caller’s situation?
- Friendliness: Is the call center agent friendly and welcoming? Is the call center agent polite (saying please and thank you)? Did the call center agent address the caller by their name?
- Personalization: Is the call center agent interacting with the caller in a personalized manner?
- Professionalism: Is the call center agent following company guidelines for professional behavior? Is the agent speaking clearly? Is the agent confident?
- Effectiveness: Is the call center agent offering the most appropriate solution? Is the call center agent answering the caller’s questions correctly? Is the agent pro-actively adding value?
- Adaptability: Is the agent being flexible and adapting to the caller’s needs? Effective listening behaviors; Is the agent demonstrating active listening skills? Is the agent interrupting or talking over the caller?
7. Provide agents with immediate, consistent and constructive feedback
8. Have an action plan in place for agents, departments and teams when their performance does not meet predefined standards
9. Routinely communicate performance expectations and results
10. Include call quality performance in the annual review process
11. Incorporate Call Quality Results into Employee Compensation and Incentive Plans
12. Acknowledge excellent interactions and reward them (match the reward to the person and the achievement)
13. Monitor the same calls that are being surveyed
14. Drop in on critical calls (ensure that you have call center software that allows agents to alert a manager when they need assistance)
15. Ensure that the call monitoring processes is standardized and consistent in order to gain a more reliable measure of performance
By engaging in systematic, standardized quality call monitoring practices, you will ensure that your team is delivering consistently excellent service. You will increase agent effectiveness, customer satisfaction and company performance while decreasing agent turnover and costs. It is a small investment with a huge ROI.