In a perfect world, all call center agents should perform their duties while remaining patient, energized, eloquent, and truly interested in the customer’s issues. Unfortunately, the reality is very different. The monotony, verbal abuse and high expectations associated with working in a call center invariably take their toll on even the best reps. As a result, agents may behave very well only if they feel they are being monitored by the Call Center Monitoring team -AKA: Quality Control (QC). Once they feel that QA is not listening, agents may engage in questionable or simply unacceptable practices such as sinking to the customer’s level (In terms of verbal abuse), disconnecting calls, or simply avoiding calls altogether.
According to www.CallCriteria.com, the role of Call center monitoring is then to not only monitor agents as a tool for coaching and mentoring, but also to do it in a way that is not obvious or predictable. Many reps will tell you that they can tell that they are being monitored because of an echo or another sound that is audible during certain calls. However, this is rarely accurate. Even the most rudimentary call recording systems (tape) rarely affect call quality. Nevertheless, agents should always feel like they can be monitored at any time.
In order to help limit the predictability of call monitoring, QA should vary their recording schedules so that they are more random (This is easier said than done for manual systems, but is a snap for automatic recordings). Also, reps should never know when the quota for their monitoring has been filled. Even if they know that they should be recorded “X” number of times in a month, the figure should be a minimum rather than a limit. The idea is to foster the possibility that a few more recordings could take place after the quota is met.
What this will do is motivate the sales representatives to give their best shot even though they might have reached their goal in the middle of the month. What may happen is that some of the people aren’t that motivated to continue pursuing the upper limit after the goal is met. However, knowing that they will be heard will definitely play a role in their behavior. They might not stay late but they will certainly do their best.