Call center monitoring is a key component to business success. By monitoring and evaluating agent-customer interactions, call centers can boost agent performance and ultimately, customer satisfaction. However, there are many parts to establishing a strong, optimized call center monitoring program and set of processes. In this article, we’ll cover some basics, a few call center monitoring best practices, and how to keep the momentum going.
Call center monitoring is a crucial part of customer service management and involves supervisors and quality assurance teams reviewing and evaluating customer-agent interactions. By monitoring communications, call centers can identify areas for improvement, maintain consistency, and improve agent performance. Call center monitoring ultimately improves the customer experience, helping businesses stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
There are many different types of call center monitoring. Below are three examples:
Call Recording Contact centers will record customer interactions for later review and analysis. These recordings can be valuable for training purposes, dispute resolution, and compliance verification.
Live Call Monitoring Supervisors and team leaders can listen in on live calls in real time without the customer’s knowledge. This allows for immediate intervention, coaching, and support if an agent encounters a challenging situation or deviates from standard procedures.
Screen Monitoring Supervisors can monitor agents’ computer screens to ensure they are accessing relevant information, following processes accurately, and providing correct responses.
Call center monitoring practices must include benchmarking and performance metrics to determine what success looks like and evaluate progress. These can include:
Average Handle Time (AHT) helps assess agent efficiency and productivity by measuring the average duration of customer interactions, which includes talk time and after-call work.
First Call Resolution Rate (FCR) is the rate at which customer inquiries are resolved in a single interaction, without the need for an escalation or a follow-up.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) indicates the likelihood that a customer would recommend the company/brand to others based on that interaction. This score is usually based on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest likelihood of referral.
Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSAT) reflects how satisfied a customer is with the level of service they receive during an interaction. Like NPS, CSAT is typically measured on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest level of satisfaction.
Call center monitoring is important for measuring and improving performance, processes, and customer satisfaction. Call center monitoring helps improve these interactions by identifying gaps in agent skills and knowledge and improving employee performance.
When implementing a call center monitoring program, there are some core best practices, including:
Establish evaluation criteria Define specific, measurable, and relevant call center monitoring criteria that align with your company’s goals and customer service standards. Communicate the criteria to supervisors and agents so everyone has a clear understanding of expectations.
Provide feedback and coaching Provide robust, timely, and constructive feedback to agents based on results. Supervisors should offer kudos and recognition for good or improved performance and identify any areas where improvement is needed.
Root out the cause Part of call center monitoring is identifying the underlying factors behind poor performance. For instance, long hold times might occur because of outdated technology or inadequate agent training. Long call handle times might be caused by ineffective scripting. Exploring the “why” can help deliver strong results.
Gamify the experience A gamified approach to call center monitoring helps to alleviate the tedious, transactional, and disconnected nature of the quality assurance team’s role. Gamification helps keep call center monitoring teams motivated and engaged and turns their work into a game, such as including KPIs for completing required evaluations that can earn them redeemable points.
Regular calibration sessions Maintain consistency by holding calibration sessions with your monitoring and quality assurance team. This can help align scoring and how criteria are interpreted among evaluators.
Use technology wisely Leveraging monitoring technologies offers benefits, including streamlining processes and identifying trends, compliance issues, and other areas for improvement. But don’t rely solely on technology – combine it with human judgment and empathy for a truly balanced approach to call center monitoring.
There are many tools and technologies available for call center monitoring. Call centers should look for solutions that enhance the process and experience, including:
Form flexibility Using the same form and evaluation standards block opportunities to optimize findings. For instance, a new hire shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a veteran employee.
Smart segmentation This takes employees’ tenure, performance history, knowledge, and other criteria into account to ensure the proper cadence of evaluations and clarify expectations. Smart segmentation also enables scoring on relevant areas, enabling better coaching and training recommendations.
Transparency Supervisors and agents should have easy access to scores and the rationale behind them. This helps agents to see where they fell short and why, and supervisors to better tailor their coaching and next training steps. This “single pane of glass” facilitates constructive, productive discussions and ultimately, better outcomes.
Gamification When leaderboards, levels, badges, points, and rewards are tied to call center monitoring KPIs, it adds a touch of fun to an otherwise repetitive and often tedious process, helping to keep both QA teams and agents motivated and engaged.
Enhancing Agent Performance and Confidence
Enhancing agent performance and confidence is the keystone to delivering an exceptional customer experience lies in three key areas – training, coaching, and transparency.
Well-trained agents are knowledgeable, confident, and efficient. To support training, consider implementing AI-powered microlearning. This helps fight the forgetting curve and reinforces their knowledge by delivering bite-sized training modules within the flow of work. Also look for solutions that leverage generative AI to help scale and streamline learning content creation. And when supervisors are able to coach in time of need, this helps accelerate call center monitoring efforts. Look for solutions that help streamline the administrative aspects of coaching and help supervisors prioritize their sessions. Finally, providing transparency helps supervisors and agents understand their scores and why they were issued, allowing for faster course correction.
Continuous improvement strategies in call center monitoring should cover the full scope of the call center and address a variety of aspects. Your overall call center monitoring improvement strategy should include:
Regular Data Analysis Continuously analyze monitoring data to identify trends, recurring issues, and areas for improvement. Look for patterns in customer interactions and agent performance to inform your strategies.
Feedback Loops Feedback loops should be inclusive, involving supervisors and the agents themselves. Agents often have valuable insights into customer pain points, process inefficiencies, and other root causes.
Agent Training and Development Call center monitoring results can help tailor agent training programs by identifying areas where agents consistently underperform and providing relevant, targeted coaching and training. Continuous learning and development are key to improvement.
Benchmarking Benchmarking helps identify where the call center stands in relation to competitors and overall industry standards. When establishing metrics, use industry benchmarks and best practices to help measure performance and highlight areas of opportunity.
Technology Enhancements Consider adopting advanced tools such as AI-powered speech analytics or predictive analytics. Also consider call center monitoring software tools that enhance the process, such as smart segmentation, flexible forms, and more. These technologies can provide deeper insights and streamline the monitoring process.
Continuous Process Review Periodically review your monitoring processes to identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Streamline workflows, eliminate unnecessary steps, and leverage technology to automate repetitive tasks.
Watch the Centrical platform in action with a quick preview
The Centrical Employee Performance eXperience Platform’s call center monitoring enhancements help to deliver modern, scalable, and optimized processes. Customizable and personalized forms, advanced gamification, and a “single pane of glass” for score transparency help optimize call center monitoring. Centrical also supports robust training and coaching programs with AI-powered, targeted microlearning and augmented coaching capabilities. Finally, Centrical helps make training material creation processes simple and efficient for admins with AI Microlearning capabilities.
We’ve just covered the basics of call center monitoring and some best practices. Below are a few key takeaways: