BPA Featured Article

BPA Talks 3rd Party Remote Call Monitoring

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor
August 11, 2009

Call monitoring plays a vital role in the contact center today, as focusing on customers and their experiences has become more important. Through call monitoring, it is possible to measure and maintain quality, improve training and sales, and ultimately achieve success.

To maintain quality without having to dedicate time and staff to monitor interactions, and to save on costs, 3rd party remote call monitoring often is a good answer.
With 3rd party remote call monitoring, calls are scored by an experienced team of researchers so the company can rest assured that data is being collected correctly and analyzed by trained professionals.
I took some time recently to speak with Craig S. Antonucci, Director, Client Strategies at BPA International, about remote call monitoring and what BPA has to offer.
Our exchange follows:
TMCnet: What role does measuring and maintaining quality play in the overall success of a call center?
Craig S. Antonucci: The goal of quality is to align the performance of call center agents with the expectations of the customer, and doing so efficiently, effectively and economically.  A good quality program should integrate with operations and training teams to measure and reinforce the objectives established as well as provide critical information and feedback to the training and operational department. 
TMCnet: How is call quality measured?
CA (News - Alert): It all begins with the development of a well defined standard.  Your agents will be unable to perform as the customer expects them to if they are unclear as to how they are to perform. Companies in various industries have differing ways of getting there, but in the end, your customer wants to feel confident that the person they are talking to can handle their issue and ultimately resolve that issue, no matter the degree. 
Development of key measures for activities in your organization, having complete involvement of the organization from top to bottom, and making sure the measures are clearly defined and readily understood, ensures a successful quality program.
TMCnet: What role does this play in training?
CA: Training is responsible for giving the agents the knowledge and tools needed to succeed as an agent. The role of quality with training is to reinforce the training, as well as provide the training group with feedback. A well integrated organization embraces the symbiotic relationship of Quality Monitoring and Training. 
TMCnet: How can teaming with a quality monitoring provider help improve results?
CA: The primary driver of any outsourced activity is to lower your costs of that activity.  However, in Quality Monitoring more than any other function, the greatest benefit is in the quality of the results and the overall impact on your business.  The first and foremost reason is that an outsourced quality partner, such as BPA, offers an outside and unbiased view of the activities, typically from the perspective of the customer.  There is no nepotism, no preconceived notions, no personality issues in the assessments instead, they call it as they see it.  Additionally, an experienced Quality Monitoring provider, such as BPA, can draw upon observations made in various industries when assessing the performance of a center - in other words, it possible to learn from the mistakes and successes of all of customers.
TMCnet: How can quality monitoring in the call center help to improve sales?
CA: Quality Monitoring can address the issues involved with success in any call type, including sales.  All call types have levels of success.  In this example, fundamentals are key. A good program will first identify if the agents are performing the basic sales tasks (Asking Probing Questions, Attempting to Sell, Attempting to Close the Sale, Overcoming Objections, Closing the Sale).  You'd be surprised how many organizations that are out there have "sales" teams that skip many of these basics.  Through a good QA program, an organization can provide the reinforcement to agents, getting them to a minimum perform of the basic sales function.  Once the basics are under control, the program can move to the nuances of a good sales call (Matching the Customer Need to the Product/Service Offered, Quality of the Sales Attempt, Offer of Alternatives, Avoiding Yes/No Questions, Quality of Close, etc.)
TMCnet: What are some key benchmarks BPA has found that make quality monitoring program a success?
CA: This is simple.  First, a successful Quality Monitoring program is built with the entire organization involved.  Nothing will kill a QA program, no matter how well developed, faster than forcing it down the throats of the agents.  A successful organization will take the time to involve all levels, getting feedback and suggestions, and begin once the needed buy in is in effect. Second, a successful Quality Monitoring program is one that has its criteria clearly defined. As noted above, it is extremely important that the agents clearly understand what they do well and what they do not do well.

For more, check out the 3rd Party Remote Call Monitoring channel on TMCnet.

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Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.