BPA Featured Article

Call Monitoring Isn't Just About Agent Performance

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
May 02, 2017

Call monitoring is a technique that’s often linked to employee performance in the contact center. Managers record calls to review employees, ensure script elements are being hit, sales pitches are fresh and soft skills are progressing. Monitoring may be used to train other workers (with recordings of best practices and worst practices), quantify raises and promotions and resolve “he said, she said” disputes.

But there are two parties to every call, and monitoring, whether it’s in-house call recording or third-party remote call monitoring, can also be used to measure customer behavior, drive development of new products and services and gain customer feedback on contact center processes that may be unrelated to employee performance. (How many times have you said to an agent, “It’s not your fault. You’ve been great. It’s your employer’s product I have fault with?”). You may have the best agents in the world, but your customers are still unhappy with your organization’s policies, and customer-reported ratings of contact center interactions might not reflect this.

Of course, most companies don’t have the manpower to listen to all its recorded calls for clues about customer behavior. This is where you may need to bring in new technologies or outside service providers. Analytics have gone a long way toward helping companies use more of their customer calls, according to a recent blog post by inContact’s Patrick Russell.

“New technologies like speech analytics can be used to analyze 100 percent of your customer interactions to ensure important issues don’t fall through the cracks” he wrote. “You can find calls by keywords to monitor calls for specific issues, discover trends and recurring issues, measure call drivers, and give your training team insight on what to cover.”

“Discovering trends” is more about customers than your contact center workforce. Customers may be increasing their mentions of a competitors’ product, or reporting more trouble than usual with something they’ve purchased before. They may even be delivering suggestions for new products and services. If you’re focused 99 percent on whether your agents are hitting the script elements, you’ll miss this valuable information.

If contact center managers lack the time to analyze calls for customer behavior – they probably already have their hands full ensuring agent performance – it may be worth turning over the calls to marketing, sales or a third-party remote call monitoring services provider. This way, you’ll get a much bigger return on your investment in quality monitoring solutions.

Above all, it’s critical that you regularly freshen up the goals of your call monitoring. The markers of success from last year may not correlate to this year’s goals.

“Business objectives and needs shift quickly,” wrote Russell. “A monitoring form should always reflect your goals, and should be thought of as a ‘work in progress’ always being adapted to meet the current needs. Doing so allows you to find the actionable opportunities that make the biggest impact on current objectives.”

“Actionable opportunities” are what makes businesses grow. If you’re using only 5 percent of the intelligence contained in your recorded calls, chances are that you’re missing excellent opportunities. 

Edited by Alicia Young