Call Center Quality Monitoring: Definition and Best Practices

Call Center Quality Monitoring: Definition and Best Practices
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: December 14, 2022

How many times did you hear the automated voice message, “Please note that this call is being recorded for training and quality purposes” and forget it as soon as you heard the agent asking how he may help you?

People tend to ignore this and similar call center announcements, which is understandable, until they realize that their company needs a call center that provides high-quality customer support.

That’s when call center quality monitoring begins to matter.

Call center monitoring helps detect pain points and improve the service you deliver. Also, it is a deciding factor of positive customer experience (CX) and your customers’ attitude customers toward your brand.

To answer all your questions about quality monitoring in call centers, we created this ultimate guide to help you implement best monitoring practices and achieve great results.

Let's start with some basics to build a complete picture of call quality monitoring's importance.

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What Is Call Center Quality?

Call center quality involves monitoring and evaluating the quality and efficiency of your customers' calls. Tracking call quality will provide insightful information about call centers’ effectiveness and warn of any issues you need to work on before they endanger your business’s reputation.

Although each call center has slightly different customer satisfaction standards, some elements of quality calls are mutual for all of them:

  • The respectful and pleasant tone of voice.
  • Adequate speed of speech (120 to 150 words per minute [wpm] is considered a normal speed; below 110 wpm is slow and above 160 wpm is fast).
  • Appropriate language with minimal jargon usage.
  • Emotional stability.
  • Active listening.
  • Effective questioning.
  • Resolving issues on a first call.
  • Short waiting time.
  • Script following.

All the listed elements determine call quality.

After the call, customers should feel satisfied. Customer service representatives should solve their product-related problems and answer all the questions to avoid future similar issues.

77% of customers declare they are loyal to brands with flawless customer support services and customer loyalty isn't an attribute you want to compromise.

What Is Call Quality Monitoring?

Once you know what elements make quality calls, call center quality monitoring sounds self-explanatory. However, monitoring takes more than just checking the criteria from the list.

It requires setting goals, recording interactions between agents and customers, ensuring the quality of each step of the support process, choosing metrics you will track, analyzing results and applying improvement measures.

Adequately done, call quality monitoring will provide valuable insights into the agents’ performance and the chance to improve all gaps that may occur while providing customer support.

Why Is Call Center Quality Monitoring Important?

Customers today have more choices than ever. If unsatisfied with your service, they will take their money to your competitors.

Things are even more challenging, considering you have just one chance for a first impression. Bad experience repels customers rapidly — one out of three people (32%) says they will give up on a brand they love after just one incident.

82% of U.S. consumers emphasize the importance of human interaction over automated services. In comparison, almost 80% cite speed, convenience, knowledgeable assistance and friendly service as the critical components of a positive customer experience.

These stats demonstrate the importance of call center quality monitoring. Providing customers with a satisfying support experience will bring many benefits to your business:

  • Credibility
  • Customer loyalty
  • Improved brand image
  • Positive sentiment toward the brand
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Increased revenue

As much as call quality monitoring is beneficial for customer experience, it is helpful for agent training, too.

Whether your company has an in-house or outsourced call center that uses SIP calling or IVR in the cloud, quality monitoring should be one of your priorities.

10 Steps to Effective Call Quality Monitoring

The right call center monitoring strategy can vary, depending on the company and its unique requirements. However, these 10 steps are general guidelines companies should follow when setting up their call center monitoring systems:

1. Set Call Center Quality Monitoring Goals

Setting goals is the first step of every strategy that should improve your business's functioning. With call center monitoring, the goal is apparent — improving customer service outcomes.

To achieve this, you should ensure that agents follow scripted procedures and reach productivity targets and that they can deliver satisfying customer service.

Determine the following:

  • How many calls daily are you going to monitor?
  • How often are you going to monitor calls?
  • How are you going to monitor calls?

2. Form a Quality Assurance Team

Before monitoring call quality, you should establish a quality assurance (QA) team.

This team, which often consists of your contact center managers, supervisors and top call center agents, must be well familiar with your customer care quality standards.

The QA team will ensure your company services meet call quality standards and prevent potential problems.

Provide QA forms that QA teams will fill out to track customer satisfaction or other KPIs.

3. Choose the Metrics to Monitor

Setting quality standards and key performance indicators (KPIs) will help the QA team to estimate how agents are performing and to identify areas that require improvement.

Quality Standards

Choose standards that cover customer experience and agent engagement since they are closely related.

Customer Quality Standards:
  • Customers’ satisfaction
  • Customers’ brand sentiment
  • Customers’ brand experience
Call Quality Standards:
  • Agents' behavior (attitude, tone of voice, expression style)
  • Agents’ problem-solving effectiveness
  • Agents’ overall competence

Apply given quality standards on all communication channels — calls, SMS, email, and social media messages.

KPIs

Metrics that show quality scores or KPIs can be divided into call center and customer KPIs.

Call Center KPIs
  • Agents’ engagement during the call.
  • Agents' productivity through a work day.
  • Agents’ flexibility to handle large call volumes and different clients.
  • Customer satisfaction after the call.
Customer KPIs
  • Average handle time (AHT) or call duration.
  • First call resolution (FCR) — was the problem solved during the first call or did it need follow-up?
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4. Choose Call Center Quality Monitoring Software

Most call center software provides some analytics features, but for complete insights you will need call center monitoring software.

Some key features your call center monitoring software should have are:

  • Monitoring of agents' calls in real time
  • Agents' performance dashboards
  • Ticketing system
  • ACD and IVR
  • Digital channels support
  • Voice recording
  • Time frames for different types of tickets
  • Basic CX and contact center performance analytics
  • AI voice bot

When choosing call center monitoring software, consider the following factors:

  • Will the program easily integrate with your system? Will agents understand how it works?
  • Will you be able to expand software as your business grows?
  • Does the software price fit your budget?
  • Does monitoring software provide security for your and your customers' data?

5. Create a Call Center Script

A call center script serves as an operational guide for call center representatives. It should contain the steps needed to resolve customers' issues or questions:

  • Introduce themselves.
  • Ask how they can help a customer.
  • Take all the information about the issue and put a customer on hold when needed.
  • Present problem-solving answers in a way a customer will understand.
  • If they cannot solve the problem on the first try, set a follow-up call.
  • Thank a customer for their time and trust.

Agents must be aware of the tone of voice and language they use the entire time, regardless of the customers' behavior.

After providing agents with a script, monitor and analyze their interactions with customers and implement the changes needed to improve customer experience and satisfaction.

6. Ask for Customers’ Feedback

The best way to find out how satisfied customers are with your service is to ask them.

Provide quality assurance forms that will be available to all your clients. You can add an automated message asking customers to stay on the line after speaking with the agent and evaluate satisfaction with the call.

Another option is to send an email or SMS to each customer who calls your call center and ask them to share their opinion.

Customer feedback is the best indicator of your service quality.

Gather valuable insights and include them in a script; that way, you’ll tailor call center services to match your customers' expectations better.

7. Monitor All Communication Channels

Although calls are the primary communication channel for most inbound and outbound call centers, multi and omnichannel should not be neglected.

Monitor emails, SMS, socials and other communication means’ metrics to evaluate customers’ satisfaction with your call center.

8. Analyze Monitoring Results

After you've collected monitoring data, it's time to analyze it and determine which aspects of the business could use a change.

Evaluate the agent’s engagement and competence and compare it to the quality standard and KPIs, and then decide how you will improve the results.

Identify recurring problems across multiple employees and uncover the root cause. The most apparent reason doesn’t have to be accurate.

For example, longer customer hold times don’t necessarily mean your agents are negligent. The issue may be related to a new product that requires additional processing time.

Understanding the problem will help you to resolve it.

For instance, the abovementioned problem won’t require training (although training is always a good idea). Online tools will help your team's efforts and increase their effectiveness.

9. Organize Agent Training to Improve Customer Experience

Call center reporting would be meaningless without a plan to make changes that will improve customer satisfaction with your brand.

Agents undergo training programs while onboarding, but education shouldn't stop there.

You should organize quarterly training to improve the knowledge and skills essential for agents' work, but also after the monitoring if you notice gaps in agents' performance.

Training can teach your agents how to solve many common problems:

  • How to deal with angry and dissatisfied customers
  • How to politely end a conversation with customers chatting on unrelated topics
  • How to solve refund problems
  • How to shorten AHT and many other issues

A lack of training can demotivate your agents, negatively impacting your customers.

Although training can be expensive, it pays off in the long run and brings a return on the invested funds.

10. Communicate About Monitoring Results and Improvements

Maintaining constant communication and strict adherence to the established KPIs and quality standards is crucial for all team members.

Open communication will give customer service representatives an idea of what they are doing well and where they are making mistakes. More importantly, those mistakes don't necessarily have to be their responsibility — try to seek ways to improve training as well.Ask agents about their progress and difficulties working in a call center; be open to their suggestions — after all, they are the ones that actually talk to the customers and probably have some interesting insights.

Listening to your employees will send the message that you value their opinions and will make them more motivated and committed to their tasks.

Call Center Quality Monitoring: Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, here are some fascinating statistics that illustrate the importance of customer service quality:

  • 94% of customers satisfied with CX will recommend a company to others.
  • 78% of customers will continue to do business with a company, even after a mistake, if their customer service is top-notch.
  • 50% of customers will give up on a brand after just one bad experience.

Positive CX is essential for business growth and quality monitoring will ensure you have a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your call center functioning.

However, call center quality monitoring isn't just about identifying problems but also finding solutions that can help improve the complete customer service streamline.

Implement the 10 steps of call service quality monitoring and watch your business thrive.

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