Call Center Management Feature Article
October 10, 2013
Using Call Recording to Boost Employee Engagement in the Contact Center
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
As contact centers strive to attain the new goal of “customer engagement,” or building happy customers for an entire lifetime via any channel the customer chooses, most companies forget that without first attaining employee engagement, there can be no customer engagement.
Employee engagement is a serious problem in the U.S. Studies have found that some three quarters of the U.S. workforce is either not engaged or is actively disengaged. What this means, essentially, is that they have nothing invested in their jobs other than a paycheck. They don’t care about outcomes, they don’t believe they make a difference, and they generally dread coming to work each day. With employees such as this, the goal of creating engaged customers is impossible to attain.
Employee engagement generally begins and ends with robust performance evaluation. By setting goals for employees, encouraging them to excel and linking their performance to a greater good (helping customers, for example) and reviewing them regularly – not just once a year – a company can ensure they are putting an employee’s heart and mind where their body is.
In the contact center, this is particularly critical. In a recent blog post, Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo notes that having employees evaluate themselves using call recordings is an important step in attaining employee engagement.
“One might think that self-evaluation could take place without recorded calls – after all, the agent was certainly present for each of these engagements and knows how he or she handled specific questions and occasionally difficult customers,” writes Ciarlo. “But usually the agent is so engaged in the conversation that certain behavior can go unnoticed.”
Memories are imperfect, and by listening to a call recording, they can pick up on faults and errors they may not have perceived at the time of the call.
“Let’s say an agent encountered a customer who asked more than the typical number of questions about a basic transaction,” writes Ciarlo. “Following the call, that agent might be certain he answered every question and thus fulfilled his obligation. By reviewing the call recording, that agent might detect exasperation or impatience in his voice that may have been communicated to the customer.”
Nothing is more effective in correcting negative agent behavior than having the agent himself identify the problem and take the initiative to improve. (It’s a lot more effective than having a manager remind him every day…” in one ear, out the other,” as the saying goes.) By using call recording to help the agent hear his or her performance in context and for both bad calls and good, agents can take the first step toward becoming fully engaged with their work.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi