When it comes to doing business, relationships are everything. How you treat your customers and how you talk to your prospects can make or break your business. Here, keeping an eye on the conversations you have with them can be invaluable in understanding the things you’re doing well, but also the things you can improve on.
Depending on the size of your business, it can be impossible to listen in on every single call with a traditional phone system. Even more so if you have many agents and managers talking to customers every single day. This is where implementing a call center monitoring software can help you streamline your communications and obtain the right data to make meaningful changes.
From collecting data to driving the conversation via modes like call whispering and barging, call monitoring can transform your call center from a simple support and sales channel into a true business growth tool. Here’s how.
What is call monitoring?
Call monitoring is a business practice whereby a superior or a call center manager joins a support or sales call with or without notifying the other parties in order to understand performance and offer assistance.
This can be very useful when handling hundreds of calls per day as the data you collect can help you spot patterns and improve performance. Provided you use a dedicated contact center software, there are three modes you can use to monitor your calls:
- Listening - with this mode, you simply join a call in the background and listen in on the conversation without participating.
- Barging - call barging allows you to join inbound or outbound calls and talk both with the agent and the customer. This is very useful when customers escalate calls or the agent needs help with answering questions.
- Whispering - call whispering is a nice little trick you can use to coach your salespeople in real-time while talking to prospects without them being able to hear you.
Call monitoring goes beyond simply listening in on calls, though. Looking at metrics like total calls made per agent, average call duration or total talk time can all help you better understand staff performance and offer the right assistance where needed.
Call monitoring benefits
Businesses live and die by how well they treat their existing and prospective customers. That said, our research shows that only 27% of businesses monitor their support and sales calls. The rest leave a treasure trove of data behind which can help them optimize their performance.
Let’s imagine the following scenario. Lee is managing a team of 50 insurance claims reps who receive an influx of calls after a hurricane disaster. People are in distress and share harrowing details about the material loss they’ve suffered. Not only do these agents need to be empathetic and understanding, but they also need to be efficient and protect the business from any false claims.
In order to ensure that he makes the most of each agent, Lee looks at metrics such as agent’s average speed to answer, their average call duration and how many issues get resolved on the first call. Likewise, he jumps in on calls with difficult clients and coach agents on how to navigate more complex insurance policies. All of this improves overall customer satisfaction and prevents inefficiencies in a time-sensitive situation.
Call monitoring tips and best practices
A comprehensive call center software comes with a myriad of tools and metrics, so it’s up to you to decide which ones to focus on. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:
Set clear goals
Your data will serve no purpose if you're not clear on what you’re looking to achieve with your call center analytics. Do you want to improve sales performance without hiring extra staff? Or, perhaps you’re looking to reduce customer churn by offering better customer support? Defining clear goals and objectives will help you choose the right metrics to monitor.
Select the right metrics
Once you land on your goals, you can look at which metrics you need to track. For example, if you want to improve your sales conversions you may look at how many calls an agent is making per hour, what’s their average call duration and how many of these calls result in a conversion. In turn, if you’re looking to improve your support services you can look at things like wait time for a response, how many customers dropped off without speaking to an agent and how many issues get resolved on the first call.
In order to drive change, it’s not enough to just gather data. You need to act on the insights you gain and give your agents meaningful feedback so that they can improve. Are some of them struggling when receiving pushback from prospects? Can they do with an additional training on specific areas of your products? Giving constructive feedback can be an invaluable step towards improving your call center performance.
Review call data, regularly
The best way to spot patterns and uncover issues is to look at your call data on a regular basis. This allows you to account for seasonality in call volumes as well as any “bad day at the office” your agents may have.
Embed your call monitoring into your business strategy
Going beyond individual agent’s performance, your call center data can inform your business strategy as well. Since you’d have access to real-time data, your call monitoring can serve almost as a pulse check to ensure you’re on the right track in achieving your business goals. Are customers requesting new features that you haven’t thought of? Are your prospects sharing other problems that you aren’t aware of? Your call data can help you align your strategy to exactly what your customers need at any given time.
Unlike call centers in the past which were clunky and relied on on-site data centers in order to operate, modern cloud-based contact center solutions are easy to deploy and offer far more detailed data analytics. So, if you haven’t made much use of call monitoring to date, why not see how contact center software can support your business goals.
Are you ready to upgrade your contact center analytics? Check out our contact center page to see all the ways in which we can help you improve customer satisfaction and drive sales revenue.