Call-Center FAQ: Automated Quality Monitoring

Updated: April 30, 2009

How can automated quality monitoring help my business? The technology offers several benefits, including enhanced customer service , more sales, fewer mistakes, improved government compliance and a more polished public image.

Why is automated monitoring better than manual monitoring? Automated solutions are less labor-intensive and offer more meaningful insight. They also cost less to run over time and generate more detailed records. That's why the technology is being embraced by a growing number of call centers . In a December 2007 report, DMG Consulting LLC estimated that sales of quality-monitoring and related solutions would total $2.3 billion in 2007, a 10 percent increase over 2006.

What should I look for in a solution? Compatibility with your company's existing call-center technology is critical, of course. It's also important to consider suites versus stand-alone solutions, pricing and delivery model — on-premise or SaaS (software as a service). Other points to ponder include security features, administration tools, recording/logging functions, retrieval/storage capabilities, the quality-monitoring environment, screen-capture support and reporting functions.

My call center has only 25 agents. Is automated quality monitoring a worthwhile investment for smaller call centers? According to quality-monitoring solution vendor Co-nexus Communications Systems, 90 percent of very large call centers use automated call monitoring, while only about 25 percent of small facilities (those with less than 30 agents) have embraced the technology. This is unfortunate, since small call centers have the same desire to improve call quality as their larger counterparts, yet they must tackle the task with fewer internal resources. This dilemma reinforces the case for automated quality monitoring in the small call center.

What's the best way to introduce automated quality monitoring to my agents? Be up front about the technology, and don't try sneaking it in (the agents will eventually figure out what you're doing anyway). Ask your agents for suggestions on achieving customer service and other goals. Be sure to recognize useful ideas with gift certificates and other rewards.

How do I counter agents' claims that the technology is designed to spy on them? Tell them the truth: that the technology's aim is to improve service, not punish agents. To back up your claim, show them how the technology will improve customer service and lead to enhanced interaction between agents and callers.

What percentage of calls should be monitored? Opinions vary, but most call centers seem to eventually settle on monitoring about 5 to 10 percent of calls. Call centers experiencing widespread or pernicious quality problems, however, may opt to up the percentage of calls monitored until the problem is resolved.

Which vendors offer automated quality-monitoring solutions? A variety of vendors offer solutions. Some of the companies to choose from include Autonomy , CallCopy Inc ., Envision Telephony Inc ., Interactive Intelligence , Knoahsoft , NICE Systems Ltd ., OnviSource Inc ., Telrex , Verint Systems Inc ., VirtualLogger LLC and Voice Print International Inc ..

What's the biggest mistake that call centers make when using automated quality monitoring? There are many ways to misuse an automated quality-monitoring solution, but perhaps the most grievous error is too expect too much from the technology. Seeking perfection is an impossible and wasteful task, so be satisfied with incremental improvements in key areas. Despite careful monitoring, agents will continue to make mistakes, and customers will still be annoyed — only to a much lesser extent than in the past.

How can I learn if the technology is living up to its potential? Don't expect immediate benefits. Supervisors need to learn how to use the technology to its full potential, particularly how to use the solution to pinpoint and fix specific problems. Analyze performance benchmarks periodically — at three-month intervals, for example — to see what impact the technology is having on various call-center activities.

Featured Research
  • The Role of Self-Service in Modern Contact Centers

    By 2020, 85% of customers' relationships with companies will be managed without any contact with human services representatives. What does that mean for your business? The data shows that companies need to offer effective self-service options in order to remain competitive. However, many contact centers are confused about how their core contact center software fits into self-service. more

  • Tips and Tools for a Positive Contact Center Environment

    When it comes to stressful environments within the business world, it is no secret that the contact center frequently makes the list of one of the most stressful. This elevated level of stress leads to high agent attrition rates, and thus subsequently additional costs on your business to find, hire and train new employees. more

  • 10 Tips for Scaling Your Contact Center Solution

    You might think that scaling your contact center involves just hiring more agents. While that might be the super simple solution, it isn't necessarily the correct one. As with any other aspect of your business, it is imperative to take the time to figure out what exactly your contact center will need in order to perform at its best. more

  • The 12 Vital Skills of Successful Contact Center Agents

    It's no secret that contact center agents have one of the most demanding jobs around. On a daily basis they are interacting with angry and stressed-out customers and working with them to explain technical details while fulfilling administrative duties. When looking to implement or update a contact center, there are certain practices to avoid and certain practices to make sure to implement if you want your business to find success. more

  • Cloud Contact Center

    Chances are you've thought of investing in a cloud-based contact center, and rest assured you aren't alone. The cloud-based contact center market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 23.6% from $5.43 billion in 2016 to $15.67 billion by 2021. There are significant advantages to utilizing a cloud-based contact center and these range from cost benefits, functionality, and strategic value. more