BPA Featured Article

Quality Call Center Monitoring Provides Significant Benefits

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
November 28, 2006

Call center monitoring could be viewed by some as micromanaging. When considered in this sense, it could be argued that the practice could actually be counterproductive in its attempt to improve processes.
The reality in the call center, however, is that monitoring is one of the most effective ways for managers and supervisors to measure an agent’s performance and evaluate if further training is needed and in what areas. This training and coaching is then used to empower the agent to be more proficient and productive in their position, leading to greater job satisfaction.
Before call monitoring can be used to make any improvements for the call center agent, the required skills and abilities of the customer service representatives must be identified before these individuals are even hired. Sure, there are certain skills that can be taught, but the managers must have a basis from which to start.
Once an agent is in place and begins to handle calls, monitoring can be used to track his or her performance. Beyond this knowledge, however, the manager can then use data to develop specific training programs and coaching strategies for agents struggling in a particular area. This data can also be used to help managers and supervisors to improve their own skills in delivering feedback and support of agent development.
The data that can be gathered through quality call monitoring can be invaluable in that it enables call center leaders to be able to identify trends. Instead of only identifying one agent struggling with a particular call, the data can point to problems with a script when closing a call that is being experienced by more than one agent. By correctly identifying the source of the problem, changes can be made to improve the call center overall.
There are a few things that call center managers can do to improve the quality monitoring program and thus overall agent performance. As these systems are constantly changing, call center leaders must pay attention to emerging trends. These leaders should listen to the monitors and determine if they are getting an accurate view of the customer/agent interaction; agents should be asked how they like the program and if they feel it is helping them to improve their performance; call center leaders should also measure performance improvement and then make the results visible.
Proper and quality call monitoring can provide significant benefits for the call center, but it is up to leaders to establish what and how monitoring should be implemented and what they hope to gain from such a solution. Productivity improvements and cost reduction can be captured quickly when the monitoring solution is managed properly. Once goals are established, call center leaders need only determine the methods for achievement.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.