While smartphones and the Internet are often blamed today as the great distractors in the workplace, the truth is that there have always been distractions in the average workplace. What today happens on Facebook (News - Alert) or via text message once happened around the water cooler, in the restrooms or outside in the smoking section of office buildings. Many employees will work as many hours as they need to without getting fired, and no more. And while it’s debatable whether the old-fashioned model of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a half-hour lunch is still viable and productive, in a setting like a factory floor or a contact center, time-wasting can cost companies a great deal of money.
In the contact center, time-wasting employees lead to a lack of adherence to schedule, poor quality customer support, long call queues and unanswered emails. According to a blog post by Justin DiSandro writing for third-party remote call monitoring solutions provider ISIS TeleManagement, the average employee wastes 1.8 hours per eight-hour shift.
“The key to regaining control over productivity is monitoring,” he wrote. “Perhaps 1.8 hours a day doesn’t seem that impressive. So, let’s put that number into perspective. Added together, about $544 billion is lost in productivity each year alone for U.S. companies. Is your company among the many that would benefit from monitoring employee call activity?”
Call monitoring is often done for quality management and to set goals and performance standards for contact center workers, but at its core, it serves the vital function of ensuring that workers are actually working.
“Simply implementing a solution that monitors phone use, a company can better manage their workforce,” wrote DiSandro. “Think about it. With call reporting and recording, any organization can get metrics on call volume, ring time, abandon call rates, and overall talk time.”
There are also, as mentioned, compelling benefits to the training and coaching process; using recorded calls, managers can be more proactive in guiding employees to improve in terms of quality and efficiency. Too often, managers are left guessing whether an agent is on the phone with a customer or his or her friends, family or landlord. Using a good monitoring solution, whether it’s in-house or contracted out to a third-party remote call monitoring services provider, supervisors can listen in on agent calls in real-time. They can even monitor instant messages between an agent and a customer when utilizing Cisco Jabber or Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync.
“This isn’t to say that a company should be encouraged to micro-manage their workforce,” wrote DiSandro. “Rather, with a call recording solution, they can keep employees accountable, and then leverage call recordings to enhance training and coaching for further development. Even more, with Whisper Coaching (available from Cisco (News - Alert)) and Silent Monitoring, supervisors can supply feedback to agents while the employee is interacting with a customer…in real-time! It is an effective way to ensure that your sales agents remain on top of their game.”