BPA Featured Article

Call Monitoring: Why it's Preferable, Why Outsourcing is a Must

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor
December 02, 2009

With quality monitoring as a pivotal role in the success of any company, any organization in the call center or customer relationship management, or “CRM,” industries that implement a quality monitoring system is virtually guaranteed to improve sales, performance and operations.

And, while there are many ways to monitor the activity of sales agents and customer interactions, according to 3rd party remote call monitoring provider BPA International, the most effective way to measure call center quality is through call monitoring. 

BPA’s CEO Lisa Renda told TMCnet in a previous interview that, specifically, by listening to a statistically valid sample of customer telephone interactions and scoring them against various criteria, a company can learn how their agents are performing, and whether or not it’s up to par with management’s performance expectations. 

The findings are quite surprising. There are still many agents in specific call centers that are still in need of coaching. Call monitoring allows management to recognize these needs, and hone in on what needs to be fine tuned.

However, Renda said that a surprisingly large percentage of companies still do not perform call monitoring.

“And because resources are often stretched thin, this vital aspect of call center success can sometimes be overlooked,” Renda added. “This is a huge mistake, mainly because the success of any call center relies heavily on measurable ‘metrics,’ which can only be garnered through effective call monitoring and evaluation.”  

For companies suffering budget cuts in the economic recession, many companies try to perform call monitoring using internal resources. However, without the proper focus, a supervisor or manager who tries to attempt monitoring calls is often distracted and pulled in various directions, limiting the dedicated time one needs to perform the call monitoring properly and effectively. 

“As a result, the monitoring program is essentially ‘cannibalized’ in order to meet the business need of the moment. In a rapidly expanding business, where call volume is likely to increase at a much faster rate than in companies experiencing more stable or flat growth, this problem is greatly exacerbated,” Renda said. 

By outsourcing a company’s call monitoring needs to a company specializing in this task, such as BPA International, a company can stay focused while having others complete the tasks needed to accomplish end goals. 

According to Renda, there are three main reasons that outsourcing is a sound business strategy. 

“The first, quite simply, is that it gets done; there is no need to rely on supervisors whose primary function is to supervise, as well as handle phones when the need arises,” Renda said. “Secondly, it is, generally speaking, not part of a company’s core competency and should be left to the “professionals.” 

“Thirdly, a comprehensive program can be set up quickly - far more quickly than an internal program of comparable quality,” she added.

On top of Renda’s suggestions, which clearly exhibit why outsourcing is a necessity to improve operations and get sales agents on the exact track, there are other reasons to go beyond internal resources. 

For one, monitoring is a tedious and burnout job. If done internally, an individual trying to complete the task may not perform up to par. An outsourcer will perform sufficient evaluations to ensure that the data are statistically valid as they are highly trained and proficient in the schedule and requirements of the job. 

And, for companies worried about not being involved in the process, have no fear. 

“You can’t outsource and leave it alone; as a company, you have to stay engaged in the process, constantly evaluating the process and ensuring that everyone is “rowing in the same direction’,” Renda said.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire