These days, the words “omnichannel customer experience” evoke thoughts of social media channels and messaging apps. For this reason, it’s important not to overlook the all-important voice channel: As many studies have shown, it remains a trusted channel for complex customer situations as well as a preferred method of contact among older consumers. With effective call quality monitoring practices, contact centers may ensure that customers who call for service are given quality experiences that parallel other channels. Here are seven best practices for effective call quality monitoring in the contact center.
To start, it’s important to record all inbound and outbound calls for proper analysis. Using contact center software with call recording capabilities can enable both efficient call quality monitoring and assessment of agent performance. Be sure to assess all calls and not just a random sample, as the goal is to gain a global view of what customers are looking for in your brand and how agents might better serve them.
Contact center agents should have a model for an ideal service call. After assessing both inbound and outbound calls, take note of the overall strengths and weaknesses among contact center agents and their practices, and then make adjustments in order to define an ideal call scenario. Revisions might include amendments to a call script, shifts in agent tone or language, better management of CRM software for greater seamlessness, or greater emphasis on first contact resolution. If possible, choose good examples among past calls to use in the revision process and for agent training purposes.
A critical aspect of call quality monitoring is asking for agent feedback. Their daily experiences with customers can provide important insights into improving voice practices, such as deciding what script revisions should be made, what kinds of phrases work best in tense situations, and how to simplify technical language for better customer comprehension, to name a few. In addition, agents should be given regular coaching and training to constantly refine their practice. Train agents in their soft skills through role playing and video tutorials, and keep them updated about company products, services, and events so they are better informed and confident in their roles.
Call quality monitoring also means agent monitoring, as the calls reflect the skills of the agents. Design evaluation forms for both agents and managers alike; this empowers agents to self-evaluate their performance and then compare it to a manager’s evaluation. Agents should be able to freely discuss their evaluations with managers and ask for clarification and tips for improvement when necessary. Lastly, when agents are performing at their best, managers should make an effort to recognize agent success and reward them accordingly.
Many contact centers strive to reach first contact resolution (FCR) and lower average handling time (AHT) at once, only to find the task challenging when cases are difficult. Sometimes, customer situations simply require more time for proper resolution. Agents and managers should never sacrifice quality customer experiences for the sake of reducing AHT, for example. Spending more time on a call with a customer can prevent a need for further calls and actually increase customer satisfaction.
Assigning specific contact center employees to a call quality monitoring team can make the process run more smoothly. Managers will have more time to support agents while allowing the team to assess calls and take notes on which areas need to be addressed in training sessions. Rotate team members from time to time to allow all agents a chance to participate.
Call quality monitoring should not be an occasional practice. From call recording to assessment to agent training sessions, improving customer service practices should be an ongoing goal and habit in the contact center.Voice remains a customer service channel of comfort: According to an American Express study, 46% of customers still prefer to call for service for complex issues. Contact centers therefore need to ensure that call quality monitoring practices are consistent, comprehensive, and always evolving to meet customer needs.
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