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Improve the Call Center With Call Monitoring

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Improve the Call Center With Call Monitoring

By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer
June 21, 2017

One of the smartest things to ever emerge from Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss was related to the need to set measurable objectives. Measurable objectives are important in nearly every business situation, and that's a big reason why call monitoring systems can be a big way to improve the call center's overall performance.

It may sound like some twisted logic, but the more that's known about a business component, the easier it is to spot what's going well, and not so well, and work to improve.  Thus call monitoring systems can help get that kind of information, with a few basic caveats and principles to follow.

First, this notion really works when every call is analyzed. Sure, in the past, a core sample or representative lot was chosen, often at random. Now, thanks to big data and similar systems, we no longer need to compromise on sample size, so hand over all your call recordings—you are recording calls, right? If not, check on that soon—to the proper analytics systems and start getting useful insights from them.

Second, remember why you're there. You're not there to accomplish business objectives; you're there to make money. That begins and ends with the customer, so make sure your customers' needs are your business objectives. The better job you do on that front, the better the end result will likely be. One excellent example of this is the average handling time metric. While it was once believed to be connected to better customer service, employees who actually helped customers were ultimately threatened with unemployment for not working to a counterproductive metric.

Finally, involve the agents. These are the people in the field, and the first ones who will know without doubt when a metric is a big flaming lump of stupid, and when it's a valuable measure of something that actually helps people. By having agent input, the call center is more likely to not only have buy-in, but also have a good idea of what will truly deliver value.

That last bit, buy-in, is especially important. Call monitoring has long had a problem with call center agents, who often—and not without reason—see it as a means to establish a “paper trail” ahead of layoffs. It's intrusive, and often an invitation to long meetings where the bosses lecture the call center agent and make a bad job even worse.

By getting that buy-in, the agents are more likely to stick with the plan and let the business get the most out of it. Call monitoring is valuable, and runs smoothly with basic principles, but it's buy-in that really makes it a powerhouse.  

Edited by Alicia Young

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