Call monitoring is one of the essential call center software features that help ensure call centers provide the highest level of experience for their existing customers and prospects. By monitoring calls in real time, call center managers can get the most accurate understanding of how well agents are performing, how the experience can be improved, and where agents require additional training.
What is Call Monitoring?
Call monitoring refers to the process of listening in, recording, and analyzing phone conversations between a customer and a call center agent. It can be done for various purposes, such as maintaining high call quality standards, improving customer interactions and customer service experience, ensuring compliance with regulations, evaluating agent performance, and training new call center agents. A call monitoring system is typically part of call center software solutions. Call monitoring is usually performed by a call center manager or a supervisor.
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Types of Call Monitoring
- Quality monitoring:
Both outbound and inbound calls can be monitored for quality assurance and to evaluate the overall quality of interactions between call center agents and customers or prospects. When monitoring calls, managers can pay attention to such factors as language, tone, and adherence to company policies, procedures, and call center quality standards.
- Performance monitoring:
Calls can be monitored to evaluate the performance of agents in customer service or sales departments. The aim is to identify areas for improvement, provide actionable feedback and help agents enhance their customer service or sales skills, enabling them to deliver a better service experience or hit their sales targets.
- Compliance monitoring
This type of call monitoring is used to ensure contact center agents follow company policies and comply with laws and regulations and data privacy and security standards. Compliance call motoring is critical for call centers as it helps protect the company, the agents, and the customers from legal and regulatory risks.
Essential Features of Call Monitoring Software
With call whispering, the manager monitoring an agent’s live call can speak directly to the agent during the conversation without the person on the other end hearing or knowing anything. Call whispering is particularly helpful with new agents, who aren’t fully confident in their role yet, as managers can provide guidance and assistance without affecting the call. It can improve the interaction and ensure quality support is provided to the customer.
Call barging is another call monitoring tool that allows managers or supervisors to actively participate in interaction by speaking to the agent and the customer at the same time, which is similar to conference calling. It can be done to help a struggling agent, who is having a hard time during the call (such as when an agent is unable to solve an issue or the customer demands to talk to someone with higher authority).
With this call monitoring feature, the person listening in can take over the active call and continue interacting with the customer – while the original call center agent is cut off from the call. It can be necessary in cases when the agent’s actions might become detrimental to the customer relationship. This way, the manager can complete the call and ensure the customer is provided with a positive experience.
Unlike other call monitoring features, call recording is less intrusive as it doesn’t require managers to listen to real-time conversations between agents and customers. Instead, the calls are saved and can be retrieved later from the call logs for review or agent training purposes. Agents can also listen back to their own calls to find where they could improve – as well as review recorded calls of their senior colleagues to learn more from them.
Benefits of Using Call Monitoring Software in a Call Center
- Maintain high call quality standards
Call monitoring can help ensure your overall call center quality adheres to a high standard of excellence. Without an in-depth analysis of inbound and outbound calls, there is no way to be sure you are meeting the service level your customers expect, and know where your strategy needs improvement. In addition, AI-powered features of contact center solutions can even send automated real-time alerts to managers whenever a call needs to be actively monitored.
- Improve call center agent performance
As call center monitoring software can record calls and monitor calls in real time, managers can identify agent training needs and see where agents lack specific knowledge or skills, preventing them from performing at their best. Thus, managers can provide adequate training and boost agent performance and efficiency, which can ultimately reduce the number of escalations in the future.
- Enhance customer service experience
With live call monitoring, managers can join customer calls and proactively assist agents on the go, often without customers being aware that someone else is listening to the conversations. That enables reps to deliver a consistently excellent customer service experience, helps increase first call resolution rates, reduces the number of callbacks, and improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Simplify new agent onboarding and training
The onboarding and coaching process can be challenging for new agents. By having the ability to actively listen to calls of more experienced agents, they can better retain information, learn how to adapt to each customer situation, handle difficult customers and complex cases, defuse tensions, or simply how to respond to certain types of requests. That can also help new sales agents get a deeper insight into various sales techniques and methods.
Why is Call Center Monitoring Important?
Not only in-house teams use call center monitoring systems. Given that call center and contact center operations are often outsourced to third parties, call monitoring helps ensure outsourced call centers consistently meet the clients’ demands and expected quality standards and drives higher call center performance. It is also helpful for managing agents and maintaining quality control in a remote work environment, as more businesses are moving towards remote working models today.
How to choose the right call center monitoring software?
When selecting a call monitoring solution, pay attention to the range of call monitoring features critical for your call center, such as call recording and playback, real-time call monitoring and call coaching, quality assurance and scoring, call categorization and tagging, and comprehensive reporting and analytics. Apart from call center quality monitoring tools, you might also want to ensure the software includes other helpful features like advanced call routing and call queueing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), integrations with CRM and other business tools, etc.
How does call monitoring software work?
Call center monitoring software works by recording and storing inbound and outbound phone calls, which can then be accessed and evaluated by call center managers and used for quality assurance or agent training purposes. Call center monitoring tools also enable managers to listen to the active calls as they happen, without callers or agents knowing, speak to agents without callers knowing, or speak to the callers along with the agents. Advanced call monitoring features like AI-based speech analytics can provide even more real-time insights into the call monitoring process.
Which businesses can benefit from call monitoring software?
Call center monitoring software can be used by small businesses, mid-sized businesses, and global enterprises. In general, any company that handles inbound customer service calls and outbound sales calls in any industry can benefit from having the ability to monitor the live calls of their support teams or sales teams. That can help them improve their customer service and sales while increasing agent productivity and reducing operational costs.
Are all agents able to use call monitoring?
Based on the call centers’ internal policies, employees may have different levels of access to call monitoring features in accordance with their role and seniority. In most cases, call center managers, supervisors, and employees responsible for overseeing overall call center operations are able to use call monitoring tools. Agents may not have access to real-time call monitoring, except during the training period, but they are usually able to access call recordings.
What is the cost of call monitoring?
Since call monitoring tools are typically part of call center software solutions, prices may significantly vary based on the provider, its pricing model, and the set of other call center features included along with the call monitoring. It’s best to research and compare the options before choosing the right call monitoring software that meets your business needs and fits your budget.