Call quality monitoring should be at the heart of process improvement in contact centres. It will, of course provide you with invaluable information about people’s experience when they call you, but also with wider-ranging data such as requirements for training programmes, assessing whether your equipment and systems are delivering what your business needs, and ways to motivate your staff.

Here are a few tips on how to monitor your calls efficiently.

1. Make a plan.
For large businesses, it will involve dedicating a budget as well as staff, equipment and resources; for smaller companies, it may well be that it is to time to call an external company specialised in monitoring.

Whether you decide to outsource the monitoring or keep it in-house, you need to set out goals, evaluation criteria, and how you will implement whichever changes it suggests.

2. Monitor calls over a significant period of time.
Spot monitoring is unlikely to yield data that you can rely on as you won’t get enough variety of types of call to get a really informative picture of your customer’s experience. It is also important to keep your monitoring standardised so that you can compare like for likes over longer period of times.

3. Get your staff’s support.
Monitoring shouldn’t be about catching out your staff and you need to make sure that they know it. Call monitoring is an opportunity to improve your processes, devise training programmes and make your company more effective by identifying issues.

In addition, try to monitor calls in the background so as not to add undue pressure on agents who are more likely than not to perform less well if they are acutely aware that they are being listened to at a specific time.

4. Don’t neglect the small things.
It may well be that the results of your monitoring translate into a company-wide change, but more often than not, they will be about ‘small things’ such as reviewing greetings, using key questions to increase First-Call Resolution rates or making sure that you offer customers several ways to contact you.

5. Use call monitoring to motivate your staff
Being a call agent isn’t always easy and they sometimes have to defuse emotionally-charged conversations. You can use call monitoring to reward best practices and offer light-heated prizes to the “agent of the week” for example. Those ‘golden’ records can also be used as training material.