Call monitoring

The seven deadly sins of call monitoring

In the first in our latest blog series on ‘seven deadly sins’ in various aspects of call centre operation, Pete Dunn, Community Engagement Manager, discusses how to ensure your call monitoring is saintly.

Call monitoring is a fine art. It requires skill, knowledge, acute perception and the ability to turn observations into actions. So, there are some golden rules to follow to get it right. There are also seven deadly sins of call monitoring which will make the process a pointless exercise.  Here, we look at those sins and how to avoid them.

Monitoring without understanding the ‘why’

A business needs a full understanding of the importance of call monitoring to make the most of the process. Without questioning why you monitor calls then you will never understand the value it can provide for your business. If you monitor calls because an audit said it was required, or because a LinkedIn article said it was best practice, then you are going to struggle to discover the true value of Quality Assurance. Question what you’re doing and why to understand what quality monitoring can do for your business.

Overcoming alignment with business goals

Monitoring without alignment to your organisation’s vision and goals is almost always going to result in hard work for nothing. It is also likely to prompt questions of whether quality assurance is actually worth it. So, monitoring also needs to be aligned with the right business outcomes. The best frameworks ensure an aligned view of the activity being carried out across your organisation to highlight the good, bad and the ugly.

Focusing on a sample set which is too broad or too narrow

If you try and look at everything all of the time, chances are you’re not giving enough attention to the things which matter the most. This is never more important than in quality assurance. Without a sufficient degree of focus, you’re potentially failing to highlight best practice or unearth any issues within your business interactions. Conversely, too much focus is also an issue. Here at BPA Quality, we often see too narrow a focus on high risk interactions or a failure to highlight best practice. Ensuring the right things get looked at requires a regular review from an expert team.

Imbalance of assessment

Regular reviews of your frameworks are required to ensure the right balance for your customers, business and advisors. For heavily regulated organisations, that balance is likely to be weighted toward risk and process adherence. But, if you forget your customers and advisors within assurance activity then you will lose sight of the reason your business exists –  the paying customer – and of the advisors who are the face and voice of your business.

Lack of flexibility

A black and white approach does keep things simple. But trying to fit your quality assurance into a pre-existing framework disregards the uniqueness of your operation. Importantly, monitoring should never be a tick-box exercise. The changeable needs of an organisation, its people and customers demand flexibility. Otherwise, you risk losing meaningful feedback and insight. There is a need to capture a narrative response, to deliberately work within the unclear and to push advisor development and your interaction standards to be the best they possibly can.

Pride before a fall

You understand your business better than anyone. A quality assurance team should work alongside that to get the right results. It is more than acceptable to take pride in your quality framework. But monitoring becomes an impossible task when a business assumes it knows better. Never place what you want above that of your customers or your operational teams. Crowdsourcing standards, encouraging challenges and providing a forum for ideas will ensure everyone within your business knows your quality aims. It also helps them to understand their accountability to deliver them.

Failure to maximise outcomes

Data analysis is the backbone of quality assurance activity. Your QA data is a goldmine of actionable activity. In addition, your business needs to challenge what it can do with that data to raise standards. This includes improved customer experience, people development, process improvement, risk reduction and robust business decision making. Quality assurance can do all of this and more, when done the right way.

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