Recording? It’s Not Just About the Agents

By: Steve Martin

Who are your best agents? Do you know? Are you sure? Do your best agents (at least the ones you think are your best) have the longest or shortest handle time? Does handle time even have anything to do with the level of service provided to your customers? If these are your best agents, do they handle all products/services with the same level of competency? Do they close all sales, always up/cross sell? How can you share their skills with the rest of your agent population? The list of business intelligence questions that can be answered by call recording is endless.

How Should I Record Calls?

Choosing between recording everything, recording a sample, giving agents the ability to record-on-demand, and other features can be difficult. The right choice depends on what you want to measure; whether you need to have all calls available, just a random sample; what data you need to have indexed to calls; whether you need to follow the call as it transfers through your company, and more.

Recording systems can provide virtually any type of recording you may need, although not all phone systems can host all types (total, sample, record-on-demand, selective, business rules driven). Your telephony environment also impacts how a system can be implemented as well. However, there are always ways to get what you want. Just be sure whoever you talk to listens to your complete list of requirements before they launch into the benefits of their system. Be sure you discuss the benefits of each type of recording in your application. Don’t be afraid of paying for total recording, in a lot of cases it is less expensive then random sampling.

Choosing a Call Center Solution Company

Your contact should be able to fully describe the integration without demanding too much change to your existing systems. For example, if you don’t have a computer telephony integration (CTI) package, you shouldn’t have to get it. There shouldn’t be additional wires on your agents’ desk or fill additional servers filling your IT department. If they can’t break it down to terms that you can handle, you should thank them for their time and move on.

If you already have a recording platform in place but want to incorporate a quality monitoring package, your current provider may be able to supply it. If not, there are packages available that can be added to any existing recording package. Some may not totally integrate with your recording platform, and others may. Some items this package needs to include to produces actionable results include the following:

  • Forms that will enable you to incorporate your existing form (I hope you’re currently using one)
  • You really need to be able to grade questions by yes/no, pick list, sliding scale and text to accurately evaluate a specific skill
  • The ability to weigh questions/sections in very important
  • Subsection scoring provides the ability to target general skill sets for training. Subsections also break down the call into manageable pieces
  • A robust reporting package is a must (graphical display of data, various relevant templates, trending reports, etc.)
  • The ability to deliver results to your agents, in a timely manner, will positively impact your center

Some Benefits of a Call Recording System

Let’s get back to the output, the good stuff, of a recording system. How do you benefit from it? Regardless if your center is an inbound, outbound or blended environment, the skill and knowledge level of your agents impact every metric in your call center.

Improving the skill and knowledge level of your agents will positively impact each and every metric.

  • Handle time
  • Time in Queue
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Revenue
  • Service level
  • Hold time
  • First call resolution
  • Call escalations
  • Whatever else you measure — go ahead, plug your KPI’s in here
  • Even agent retention

Please keep in mind, there is more to this process than just recording and evaluating agents’ interactions. If you record calls and have your supervisors or quality staff evaluate them, don’t stop there. Up to this point you have only collected data and parked it. This is where the real impact of your system is realized. Now you need to be able to organize that data in a comprehensible format in order to be able to act on it and answer the questions posed at the beginning of this article.

If you listen, what will you find?

  • Proactively address developing trends
  • Better understanding of customers and their issues
  • Product enhancements
  • Adapting process changes (reducing handle time and maybe even call load)
  • Impact of latest advertising campaign
  • Reaction to new features/services
  • Comments regarding competition
  • Better targeted training

Indexing calls with business data can provide great information that can be shared across the entire enterprise. If the ‘‘other side’’ of the house wants to hear what the customers are saying it is easy for them to access and play.

How about incorporating a couple of marketing questions right into the agent evaluation form? Your supervisors are reviewing calls for quality purposes anyway; put a couple radio buttons, drop downs, even text. It will only take a couple of seconds and now Marketing can pull reports based on this data. Pretty cool!

The great thing about this information is that it's real - no third party survey, no questionnaire, just your customers talking to your agents. Listen to their tone of voice, what they are asking, and what they are saying about your processes/products/services. In their words, where does your company really stand with them? If you can answer these questions, you've got valuable business intelligence!

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For further information, or if you have call recording questions, contact us for a no-obligation consultation with a call recording expert.

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