Your call center exists for one reason: to serve customers and ensure they get what they need. Whether you accomplish this goal through sales, customer service, or technical support, making sure your call center delivers quality to each and every customer is vital.
How do call center owners and managers accomplish that goal? It usually involves a robust call center quality monitoring and feedback process. If you want to improve, you’ll need to figure out where the issues are and what you need to do to correct them. Monitoring helps you gather the data necessary to make these assessments.
If you’re not sure where to begin in establishing a monitoring program for your call center, here are ten steps you can take to start moving toward success.
1. Set Clear Goals for All Parties
Before you can develop a call center quality monitoring plan, you need a clear goal in mind. First, you need to know how you plan to monitor the calls and which infrastructure you need to do it. Then, you’ll need to set goals for the number of calls you will monitor and how often to conduct monitoring.
2. Choose Relevant Metrics
Once you have your monitoring goals in place, you need to choose key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you assess what you hear in each call. Start by making a list of what’s important to you in terms of customer service delivery. Then, set KPIs that will measure that. Some popular metrics call centers may use include:
- Average time in queue
- Call abandonment rate
- Average handle time
- First-contact resolutions
You can also monitor for soft skills, including language, tone of voice, and appropriate questioning.
3. Invest in the Right Infrastructure
You will likely need to invest in software and hardware to monitor agent calls. If your call center software already has monitoring features, you may not need to purchase much. You’ll want to ensure you choose a software solution with strong security and data analytics features.
4. Create Your Script
When you evaluate your contact center agents, you will do so against a uniform standard that all agents must meet. Before your agents can meet that standard, they need to know what it is. Developing a call script will make it easier to analyze agent behavior during calls. How well they adhere to the dialogue plan will become integral to the evaluation and improvement process.
5. Develop a Quality Assurance Policy and Forms
Having a published quality assurance policy is the only way to hold agents accountable for sticking close to best practices during each call. Once you develop your policy, consider creating a form or checklist to ensure that agents meet each standard set out in your policy.
6. Train Your Staff on Best Practices
Set your agents up for success by engaging them in rigorous training. This allows them to see quality calls in action and receive coaching and feedback on their performance in a safe and relaxed setting.
7. Filter Your Calls
You won’t have the time or resources to monitor every single call that comes in. Fortunately, you don’t need to. A random sampling of calls will tell you what you need to know about how consistent your agents are.
If your call center engages customers on more than one channel, make sure you are monitoring them all.
8. Make First-Contact Resolution a Priority
As you are monitoring calls, consider how often agents are able to solve a customer’s issue on the first try. Increasing first-contact resolution keeps call volumes reasonable and leads to greater customer satisfaction.
9. Help Your Agents Help Themselves
You’ll know your monitoring and feedback program are working when agents can spot and fix their own mistakes. Empower your agents with self-assessment tools that can give them a sense of self-efficacy to build roadmaps for improvement.
10. Garner Customer Feedback
One other way you’ll know that your monitoring program is working is that customers will begin to notice. Consider conducting periodic surveys to get customer feedback about how they feel after interacting with your team. Use this data to remind your agents why following best practices is so important.
Call Center Quality Monitoring Is Always Worth It
Implementing a call center monitoring program will take time, effort, and investment, but it will be well worth it in the end. It’s important to note that monitoring isn’t about catching agents off guard or trying to find something wrong with their performance. You should always execute your monitoring program with the customer in mind.
When you build your program with the goal of providing better service, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to have the buy-in you need from all parties and meet the goals you set out to accomplish.