Call monitoring is one of the best ways to make sure agents are treating customers fairly and helping your company make more sales. Unfortunately, monitoring is only useful if it is done correctly. If you are concerned about the quality of your company’s call-monitoring efforts, follow these tips for improvement.
1. Provide Consistent Feedback
Call center agents need consistent feedback to improve their performance. It’s not enough to deliver feedback once every few months and expect employees to improve on their own. Schedule weekly or monthly call reviews so agents know where they stand at all times. During these sessions, give employees specific guidelines for improving their performance.
2. Listen to a Mix of Calls
Many call center supervisors make the mistake of focusing on bad calls during training activities. Using a mix of good and bad calls makes it easier to teach agents what they should be doing when they talk to customers. Try to use a mix of 50 percent good calls and 50 percent bad calls.
3. Ask for Customer Feedback
Monitoring calls is an important part of managing a call center, but you should gather feedback from multiple sources if you want your monitoring program to be successful. Even if an employee did everything right on a call, the customer might have some useful feedback for all of your agents. Make post-call surveys a regular part of your business.
4. Monitor Live Calls
Delivering feedback after an agent has already completed a call is not always the best way to improve performance. If you have enough supervisors on staff, have them listen to live calls and provide immediate feedback. Delivering feedback immediately makes it easier for agents to identify performance issues and understand what they need to do to improve.
5. Engage Employees in the Process
Your call-monitoring program will not be very successful if you don’t engage employees in the process. Instead of delivering one-way feedback, ask agents if there is anything they want to add about a particular call. If you know why an agent veered from the call script, you’ll be better equipped to handle similar situations in the future.
6. Use Independent Call Monitors
If you have a close-knit group of agents, it might be difficult to deliver unbiased feedback on calls. In this case, you should outsource your call-monitoring activities to a neutral third party. Independent call monitors don’t have relationships with your agents, so they are able to deliver constructive feedback instead of giving in to personal biases.
7. Stay Objective
It’s difficult to stay objective when providing call feedback to an employee you know very well, but you must be objective at all times. You don’t need to be rude to the agent, but you should avoid mentioning personal topics or going easy on an under-performer because of your personal relationship.
8. Use Standardized Evaluation Forms
Use an agent scorecard to ensure agents receive consistent feedback. The scorecard should address common metrics used in the call center industry.
9. Solicit Feedback from Other Departments
Requesting feedback from your marketing, sales, and customer service departments can help you identify issues that regular call-monitoring activities do not uncover. Use an objective survey to allow other departments to provide anonymous feedback about your agents.
10. Review Call Notes
Reviewing a few seconds of call audio isn’t the best way to identify problems and determine how agents should improve their performance. Before delivering feedback, review the agent’s notes from a particular call. In some cases, the call notes help you understand why an agent handled a call in a certain way.
11. Select Calls Carefully
For best results, select calls from different types of customers or calls focused on handling different issues. If every call you monitor addresses a billing complaint, you won’t know if call center agents are struggling with technical support problems or other customer service issues. Listening to a variety of calls can also help new agents learn how to handle calls faster.
12. Determine Customer Impact
Your call-monitoring program is only successful if it improves customer service or results in improved customer satisfaction. Any time you make a change to the way you monitor calls, find out how much of an effect the change has on your customers. Run reports to see if any of your key performance indicators improved, or ask customers for direct feedback.
Done right, a call-monitoring program has the potential to help you make more sales and deliver better service to your customers. If you aren’t following these tips already, start following them now to see improved results. Contact us if you aren’t sure how to implement these tips, or if you need to outsource any of your call-monitoring activities.
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