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CSI's Top 10 Tips to Implementing the Virtual Observer Quality Monitoring Solution


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August 08, 2008

CSI's Top 10 Tips to Implementing the Virtual Observer Quality Monitoring Solution

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

 Coordinated Systems, Inc. has put together a list of the Top 10 tips to implementing the Virtual Observer quality monitoring solution suite in a customer service all center.  As the call center industry continues to evolve companies are continually looking for ways to better and more efficiently train agents. It is with this in mind that CSI has created its “Top Ten Ways Virtual Observer Creates Better Trained Agents.”

Call centers traditionally utilize some degree of agent monitoring to identify weaknesses and improve customer service strengths. Preparing for agent reaction to the implementation of automated call recording systems is an important part of the entire process. By no means is this a finalized list - it's more of a dynamic starting point to a really good white paper. The tips in this list are generated by actual client success stories.
1. Write a clear outline of the reasons behind bringing a call recording system into your call center's work flow:
- Benefits to agents
- Benefits to customers
- Benefits to company
It's always good to start with an outline before rolling out something new. It's like
using a recipe before you cook. Not sure if that's the best comparison, but you get
the picture. Your outline is your blueprint for success.
2. Introduce the concept of Virtual Observer / quality monitoring well in
advance and initiate tasks to empower agents to participate in the process
- The purpose of call quality monitoring is NOT to catch employees slacking off, but
to help improve customer service and meet overall performance metrics
- Employees can help define the quality assurance metrics and play a significant role
in continuous performance improvement
Always use the word "we" when addressing your employees. Make sure they know
that you're on the same side and that this implementation will benefit everyone in
the company - you aren't trying to catch someone playing solitaire or visiting illicit
web sites.
3. Reiterate company customer service goals
- Customers are the ones who actually pay salaries and wages
- It is often much easier to retain customers than get new ones
- Treat all co-workers as customers and good habits will form
This should hardly be done only for purposes of the call monitoring implementation,
but should be reiterated often. The most successful companies in the world are the
ones with the strongest customer service beliefs, unless of course, you count
organized crime.
4. Create a "team" atmosphere for your agents
- Set up a team recognition and rewards program
- Highlight stellar service examples via internal emails and newsletter articles/photos
- Sub-teams should be formed to make task management easier
Is it any wonder why basketball teams full of confident role players (2003-2004
Detroit Pistons) always overachieve while collections of individuals seem to fail
(2005-2006 New York Knicks)?
5. Make sure the Telephony and IT sub-teams know their roles and
responsibilities in carrying out their end of the plan
- All part of the same larger team along with the agents, managers and supervisors -
Create detailed project plans for each sub-team If your IT and Telecom teams are
uninformed about a new implementation, and they find out about it just as the call
recording servers are rolled in to the data center, there may be unforeseen
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complexities that could have been prevented unnecessary problems.
6. Educate your call center agents on their sub-team's specific quality
improvement goals
- Increase upsells
- Increase saves
- Increase new sales
- Call time to resolution
- Caller time on hold
- Ask them for other ideas
"Our common goals are to increase upsells by 40% over the next two quarters. We
believe we can accomplish this by focusing on improving our customer service
techniques in the call center."
7. Include agents in coming up with evaluation criteria and forms
- once the metrics are defined, your agents can help you define evaluation criteria, in
essence, creating the forms
- Self-evaluation is often one of the most effective building blocks to improvement.
More and more companies are asking their employees to perform self-evaluations -
and it's not because managers are lazy
8. Appoint a few a gents to a "system review sub-team" to represent agent
feedback on what could be improved with the quality monitoring program.
- System improvements wish list
- Team goal review
- Evaluation criteria review
This would be akin to asking Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera to
provide input to Yankees GM Brian Cashman relative to personnel additions, potential
team chemistry issues, etc. Their input is invaluable because they are out there
everyday in the trenches, just like their call center agent counterparts.
9. Throw a great kick off party
- Announce weekly performance goals and prizes
- At the party, allow your agents to evaluate supervisors' calls
Every great party needs a contest with fun prizes. Give the best evaluations a cool
gift, such as a Starbucks card or Ebay gift certificate.
10. Schedule a benchmarking session with another call center that has been
quality monitoring for over a year and seen improvements
- Exchange discoveries, stats, tips
Not only would this be a fun exercise, but watch people relate as they realize
common issues in their everyday jobs - and watch them bond as they solve these
problems….then watch your company's customer service goals be accomplished.
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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