What is call center monitoring?
Call center monitoring is the evaluation of the conversations between customers and your call center agents. At the top level, it’s to help with quality monitoring and evaluating agent performance, but it can be a much more effective tool for customer experience.
With 63% of consumers believing companies need to get better at listening to their feedback, measuring call quality by using call center monitoring methods is vital for improving customer relationships.
Ideally, you can use qualitative analysis to determine how your agents and call centers are performing and transform your customer experience. Your center monitoring software can use features such as speech analytics to pinpoint the reasons why customers are contacting you, how they feel about your brand and how best to go about improving their interactions with you.
What is speech analytics?
Speech analytics or conversational analytics allows you to monitor every call and understand the emotion, intent and sentiment from every customer, giving you the true voice of the customer. By monitoring in real-time, you can quickly understand trends, areas that need to be fixed, and then resolve them before the customer decides to leave or the issue spreads.
You can also understand better how your agents are performing – are they friendly, knowledgeable and understanding? What areas do they need to be coached on? Conversation analytics can help your agents to see precisely how to handle customer issues and queries and help you to develop a best practice framework for agents to follow.
By blending direct feedback from customers and this indirect feedback, you get the whole picture of what’s happening in your call centers.
Why is call center monitoring important?
There are many reasons why a business should engage in contact center quality monitoring – here are the main ones in our view:
Quality monitoring is vital for improving agent performance
Without in-depth analysis of all the phone calls your customers make and your agents receive, there’s no way to be sure if you are meeting and exceeding expectations for service. Call center managers may hire brilliant agents, but understanding how they adapt to each customer situation, defuse tensions and turn around negative sentiment is key to maximize agent effectiveness and making sure they’re being coached in the right way, on the right things.
Call center software can be the eyes and ears of leadership, scanning calls in real time to get the most accurate understanding of how well your agents are performing. Better yet, it can provide insights for training purposes to improve performance across the board – you can develop key performance indicators that actually reflect how you want customers to feel and act, instead of just focusing on first call resolution rates.
You can improve the agent experience
How your customers feel is only one side of the coin – your agents are valuable assets to your business and the front line face (or voice) of your brand. Your agents’ experience is important as well, and the quality monitoring process should improve their ability to handle queries and feel satisfied that they’re able to do their job well. There’s a strong statistical link between happy employees and happy customers – so improving the agent experience is worth your time.
Monitoring helps you increase customer satisfaction
Customers have certain expectations from contact center experiences and from you as a brand. Call center monitoring software can help you to identify customer emotion, intent and sentiment, helping you to provide the right response in the present and anticipate future behavior.
Customer feedback is a critical part of making a call center effective. Ideally, you predict customer behavior and intercept negative interactions before they even happen. If you monitor agent activity across all calls, your call center software can identify patterns and offer valuable insights.
For example, perhaps a new product has been launched and customers are calling because they find the instructions too difficult to follow – that issue is being flagged to your contact centers, but really it’s a problem that can be resolved further upstream. By pinpointing this trend, you can develop an efficient response to handle customer queries and set other teams outside your call center to work on creating a solution.
Investing in call center monitoring improves your ROI
When you invest in call center quality monitoring, you’re ensuring that your agents are being as efficient as they can be while also meeting the quality standards that your customers expect. Whether it’s from a compliance or a brand perspective, understanding what is currently happening on calls, assigning quality scores and providing agent training for improvement is important for ROI. A call center can be a valuable tool instead of a burdensome financial outlay with the right approach.
It puts you ahead of the competition and increases customer loyalty
Your brand’s competitiveness is directly related to how customers feel their needs are being met. With excellent customer service, your audience knows that they can come back to you again and again and your team will take feedback to enact change. Call center monitoring allows you to continually tailor and consistently improve the experiences you offer.
Call center monitoring best practice
1. Make sure you’re not just “chasing the numbers”
Brands can often suffer from the mindset that call centers and agent performance should be geared entirely towards efficiency and cost reduction, with metrics such as average handle time guiding opinions on whether a not a call is successful. However, this approach can lead to bad customer experiences and employee burnout.
While efficiency is always important, the best method provides your agents with the information they need to exceed expectations and intuitively understands and provides solutions for your customers’ needs. If a brand focuses only on reducing call center costs, they might be damaging morale and their customers’ faith that their issues will be fixed.
2. Pinpoint what “quality” looks like
Call center agents need specific goals to aim for when providing customer service, meaning you need to define what your version of a “quality” customer interaction looks like. Here are a few examples of metrics you might choose to use as a guide when call center monitoring:
- What is your brand tone, and should your agents use the same tone on calls?
- Do your agents have a welcoming, calm approach?
- Are compliant standards met?
- Is there a rapport built between your agents and customers on calls?
- Do your agents ask the right questions?
- Are your wait times kept short?
- How fast can your agents resolve problems?
This idea of “quality” may change over time, so to ensure your contact center agents are up to speed, give them regular training based on the insights you glean over time through your call center monitoring software.
3. Monitor all phone calls in real time for maximum accuracy
Often, businesses monitor or review a sample of each agent’s calls to ensure that they’re meeting standards. However, this isn’t always a great representation of how that agent is performing, and it makes it difficult to see the bigger picture with all agents’ performance taken into account. Ideally, call center monitoring needs to take as much data as possible into account.
Using quality monitoring center software to review all phone calls means you get the most accurate understanding of what’s going on when your customers call you. Better still, if this happens in real time, agents can get extra information as they’re on the call to improve the customer experience and their performance. Is the customer frustrated, and how intense is this emotion? Is this their second call on the same subject? They can then tailor their response for better interaction.
4. Use feedback to tailor your agent coaching
Your contact center agents can only improve when you provide them with training that’s informed by what customers are feeling and saying. Your employees should be able to access information on how they score on interactions and receive coaching to help them not only change individual interactions but to help drive business outcomes. Help your agents understand the point of quality monitoring and give them coaching that’s based on targeted feedback, and you’ll encourage engagement and improvement.
Monitor and maximize call centers’ performance with Qualtrics
Continuous listening on a large scale is the most effective way of surfacing issues, improving agent experience and performance, and ultimately offering customers the best interactions possible with your call centers.
With Qualtrics, you can improve customer satisfaction, develop loyalty, decrease the cost to serve, and improve agent productivity by getting insights on the deepest level possible. Your call center monitoring becomes a natural part of your business practice, with insights delivered in real time to whoever needs them to improve the customer experience.