BPA Featured Article

Monitor Your Call Center Agents, Says BPA Quality

July 12, 2010

BPA Quality, a supplier of 3rd party remote call monitoring, has produced a white paper answering what some feel is a rhetorical question: Should you monitor your call center agents? After all, it costs time and money, can't you just, you know, get good people, train them, give them the script and let 'em rock?

In heaven it'll be that way, yes. Down here, no.

We don't want to go all academic on you here, but as the white paper recounts, 'in the early 1900's Harvard professors wanted to study the effect of light levels on productivity in manufacturing. Of the subjects they observed, they found no correlation between the light levels and performance.'

Right, that's not what we care about anyway. We care about what they did find: 'The employees they were studying performed better as they were observed. These employees performed better simply because they were aware that someone was watching their performance.'

This led to the Hawthorne Effect: 'An experimental effect in the direction expected but not for the reason expected; i.e., a significant positive effect that turns out to have no causal basis in the theoretical motivation for the intervention, but is apparently due to the effect on the participants of knowing themselves to be studied in connection with the outcomes measured.'

That's Harvardspeak for what every mother of a three-year old knows: People do a better job when they know they're being watched. There's Reason Number One why you should monitor your agents - and let them know you're doing it.

As an aside, if you have call center agents who object to being monitored, they're in the wrong profession, and the sooner you get them out, not only of your call center but of the field, the better off you and they will be.

Lots of other good advice in the paper, how to achieve ROI via monitoring and best practice guidance.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny