BPA Featured Article

Real-Time Call Monitoring Helps Prevent Problematic Calls

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
June 07, 2017

Call monitoring is a critical part of customer experience excellence in the contact center. Using recorded calls, managers and quality management personnel listen to calls, rate them, and provide feedback to agents. They discover which areas need reinforcement for training, and they often base worker raises or promotions on the calls. But while it’s an important tool for quality, after-the-fact call monitoring suffers from a major flaw, particularly with problematic calls: the damage is already done.

Real-time call monitoring has a number of benefits over after-the-fact monitoring. Managers can receive alerts that a call is becoming a problem based on speech recognition or other cues, such as excessive transfers of the call. It’s also a great way to monitor all calls for quality, not just one or two a month like in traditional monitoring programs. It’s a bit like third-party remote call monitoring, but it’s done on the premises to every call.

“Real-time call monitoring provides managers with call analytics, dashboards, and alerts and tracks speech patterns and acoustics for things like profane language, escalation attempts, compliance violations, and customer sentiment,” according to a recent blog post for CallMiner (News - Alert). “Real-time monitoring leverages speech analytics to provide call centers with 100 percent call coverage. A transcript of every call is automatically generated in real time and call playback is available to managers who can quickly remedy problem situations.”

They can enter the call and “whisper coach” the agent through it. They can also take over the call if the customer or agent is too heated, or transfer it to an agent who is skilled in soothing irate customers. Contact centers can define the language they want to raise alerts (competitor’s names, for example, or “close my account”). This provides companies with an opportunity to “save” a call – or even a customer – instead of having to backtrack or lose the customer for good.

“For instance, assume an unhappy cable TV customer wants to cancel their subscription,” wrote the CallMiner blogger. “Key phrases like ‘cancel,’ ‘termination’, or ‘close account,’ trigger the software to direct agents to respond by offering the customer a free package upgrade, a free DVR box, an additional cable box at no extra charge, or some other kind of bonus that will convince the customer to stay.”

In addition, because a transcript of every call is automatically generated in real time, companies can later search these transcripts easily for information to support (for example) a new marketing campaign, or research into customer behavior. A manual attempt to do this would require a human to listen to all recorded calls, and few contact centers have the resources or time to spare.