It’s something you hear on nearly every phone call to a business: “This call may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance purposes.” Most people disregard that part of the call and nothing ever comes of it.

But what do companies do with those recordings to follow through on the “assuring quality” element? Some companies do nothing. They may have good intentions of improving quality but don’t have the resources or internal champion necessary to follow through.

Smart companies, on the other hand, analyze and put those call recordings to work. They use what they hear to make improvements that benefit both the company and customers. Improvements such as:

  • Streamlining the customer experience
  • Enhancing agent and overall contact center performance
  • Delivering first-contact resolution
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Boosting the bottom line

Smart companies that make the most of their quality monitoring programs follow a multitude of best practices, including these four.

Set up for success.

One of the first steps is to make sure the goals of your quality monitoring program are clear before you move to implementation. Come to consensus with the team involved on details including:

  • What KPIs will you measure?
  • What does your scorecard include?
  • Who is performing the monitoring?
  • How many calls per agent, in what time period, will be evaluated?
  • How will the numbers be crunched?
  • Who will review the data and recommend changes?
  • How will you implement changes?

If you handle monitoring the right way, there will be a lot of data to review and evaluate. Look for trends and common complaints, as well as common compliments. Determine what changes will have the biggest positive impact and start there.

Focus on agent coaching.

Quality monitoring can be stressful to agents and that comes through in their interactions with customers. Try to avoid an “us vs. them” mentality by emphasizing coaching and improvement. Remember that metrics should be used as a guide, allowing room for subjective ratings as well. Take the time to put all the pieces together to understand the whole picture. Valuing your agents and helping them be successful will result in greater company success with more satisfied customers.

Target high-value calls for evaluation in addition to a random sampling.

Companies typically sample random calls for evaluation. That keeps things “even,” but it won’t provide a complete picture. To get the full picture, you need to dive deeper.

Take a closer look at high-value calls: those with VIPs, high dollar values and calls where customers are following up on an issue, for example. Monitoring these interactions will provide even more helpful/useful information to improve the process and indicate where agent coaching and education is needed.

Calibrate regularly.

Calibrating regularly is absolutely essential to ensure that your quality monitoring process, scorecards and evaluators are consistent. For example, ask all evaluators to review the same call and compare notes. Ideally, all of the notes are consistent. Data-driven feedback is most helpful to agents to improve—and calibration makes sure that feedback is solid, consistent and impartial.

Quality monitoring programs have the potential to make significant contributions to the success of a contact center—but they must be done right. Smart companies (and leaders) understand the importance and prioritize implementing best practices to make the contact center’s quality monitoring program count. And they then count each benefit that results. Check out my recent ICMI article for more details.