Call Center Monitoring: 7 Best Practices for Call Center Managers
Call centers are critical for many different operations ranging from sales to customer support. The right monitoring and management practices can help your call center run more smoothly and, in turn, improve customer satisfaction. Sounds great, but is it easier said than done?
Not anymore, as we will discuss best practices for call center managers. With a few handy tips, you can improve call center monitoring in your organization with ease.
What Is Call Center Monitoring?
In short: call center monitoring means tracking various aspects of interactions between your agents and your current or potential customers.
You might be wondering: why would I want to monitor my call center activities and my agents anyways? After all, the whole point of a call center is to make and take calls, right?
Wrong. A call center that operates as a well-oiled machine needs constant monitoring and tweaking to keep running as efficiently as possible.
Call center monitoring is the key to delivering excellent customer service to ensure that your call center agents are providing top-notch service and meeting (if not exceeding) your customers’ expectations.
Such data can help you identify issues and bottlenecks, as well as understand what’s working well and where your call center could improve. With call center monitoring practices in place, you may be able to improve a variety of metrics such as first call resolution rates, average handle time, average queueing time, and many others.
Call Center Monitoring Types
There are two types of call center monitoring: quality assurance and performance. They go hand in hand.
#1 Quality Assurance
This type of monitoring helps you improve employee performance and customer satisfaction at the same time.
With a set of quality assurance guidelines in place, you can evaluate calls and give employees feedback on how they can improve, while also catching any potential customer service issues before they escalate into crises.
To carry out quality assurance monitoring, you’ll need to listen in on calls and take note of the following:
- how well agents handle their calls
- whether or not agents are following company procedures
- the overall tone of the calls
- how well customers’ questions and concerns are answered
- if up-selling and cross-selling activities take place
- the average call length across different departments
After listening to a call, you can provide feedback on what they did well and where they need assistance. You can also use this information to make changes to your company’s procedures.
#2 Performance Monitoring
Performance monitoring is used to track employee productivity and measure how many calls they are able to handle in a given period of time. You can also measure how many customers abandon calls, or how many have their issues resolved on the first contact, for example.
To monitor performance effectively, you’ll need to track the following metrics:
- number of calls taken
- average call length
- average talk time
- hold time
- after call work time
By tracking these metrics, you can identify areas where your agents might need additional support. For example, if you notice that a particular agent has a high number of calls with long average durations, they may need additional training on how to handle calls more efficiently.
Both Quality Assurance and Performing Monitoring are important to the success of any call center. You can improve your call center on many levels by tracking different aspects of employee performance and customer service.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of call center monitoring, let’s discuss some best practices for call center managers.
Looking for a call monitoring tool? Try how it works in CloudTalk.
Best Practices for Call Center Monitoring
#1 Start Call Center Monitoring from Day One
Imagine that your call center has been up and running for a few months without any monitoring in place. You’re suddenly getting a lot of customer complaints and your employees are starting to get frustrated. It’s going to be much harder to identify the root of the problem and make the necessary changes at this point.
You can avoid these issues if you start with call center monitoring from day one. You’ll be able to identify problems early on and make the necessary changes to keep your call center running smoothly.
#2 Establish Clear Goals So Everyone in Your Team Knows What to Aim for and What to Avoid
For starters, understand why you’re monitoring your call center performance. What are your goals? Are you looking for ways to improve customer service? Reduce agent turnover rates? Cut down on costs?
Design your monitoring program accordingly. Everyone in your team has to know what your call center monitoring goals are so that they know the direction to aim for. Set goals that are clear, achievable and realistic.
Some examples of call center goals could be:
- reducing average call handle time to a certain duration
- improving first call resolution rates to a certain percentage
- increasing customer satisfaction scores to a certain number
When setting goals, make sure they are always measurable. So, don’t simply aim for “reducing AHT”, but go for “reducing AHT by 15% by the end of Q3 2022”. This way, you can track progress and see if you’re actually achieving your SMART goals.
#3 Define What a Successful Call Is
As a call center manager, be specific about exactly what components make a successful call. You should have a clear understanding of call scripts and the various customer service scenarios that agents will encounter.
Know your company’s products and services, as well as those of the competition. This way, you can ensure that agents are meeting the needs of customers and successfully representing your brand.
You can even create an anatomy of a successful call to help you and your team to identify its key components.
Some of these components could include:
- a greeting within the first 15 seconds
- an offer to help within the first 30 seconds
- active listening
- asking questions to understand the customer’s needs
- providing relevant information about products and services
- offering solutions to meet the customer’s needs
- handling objections effectively
- ending the call on a positive note