Fortunately, for those of us who are math-challenged, not every business problem can be solved with an equation. But quality management (QM) can – and the formula is a surprisingly simple one:
Call Recording + Speech Analytics = Quality Management
Why are more contact centers not aware of this? Perhaps they haven’t changed their approach to quality management for more than a decade. They have not considered the impact that speech analytics, which wasn’t even widely available until recent years, can have on QM.
Call recording has always been part of the formula – collect the calls, review the calls, score the calls, learn from the calls. That won’t change as long as people still use telephones to contact businesses.
The advent of speech analytics offers the possibility of gaining even more insight from every customer communication. When call recording is combined with speech analytics, the result is a strategy that increases the value and effectiveness of your quality management program.
Merging call recording with speech analytics can significantly boost lead conversion rates, as well as increase customer retention levels. At the same time, it’s a way to be 100% assured that your agents are always in compliance with federal and industry regulations.
Any opportunity to add or keep customers that is not acknowledged is one that, in effect, ignores potential sales and profits. With speech analytics, contact centers are assured of gathering all of the valuable data contained in every incoming call.
With all the different touchpoints now available to customers, and with call content changing as a result of these communication options, is it really still enough to just evaluate a handful of randomly-selected calls every month? How many sales opportunities may be missed? How many customer service issues will remain unnoticed?
The technology is here – now – to track and evaluate the entire customer experience, and use that data to improve contact center efficiency.
Publish Date: July 31, 2018 5:00 AM
Business goals are like destinations. The best way to achieve them is to determine the path forward that will be most effective. If you were driving toward an actual destination, you’d use a road map.
For a contact center goal, you can do the same thing.
Roadmapping is a process that refers to the actions that must be taken, the steps that execute those actions, and the resources needed to achieve those steps. It’s a plan that turns a vision into reality.
For instance – your goal is to increase first-call resolution. The road map here will have that as the final destination. How do you get there?
Start by gathering a team of those whose work is integral to that objective: agents, managers, coaches, trainers, and customers if you can – if not, conduct a customer survey that asks what went wrong with that first call. In this research phase you are gathering facts and opinions from those involved.
Now the strategic planning can begin. Take a fresh look at components, such as your script. Review your forecasting and scheduling procedures. Are there times when an insufficient number of agents are working, which may prompt those that are extra-busy to wrap up calls faster to cut down on wait times?
At the end of this phase, you should have a series of steps that should lead to more first call resolutions. The final step is creating that road map, and making sure everyone in the organization is using that map and heading in the same direction toward the same goal.
Try making road mapping part of your performance management efforts. Monet Metrics can help with this as well. It helps you to easily track, analyze and manage agent, group and center performance to optimize your call center performance. With Monet, you can create a culture of accountability and self-motivation.
Publish Date: July 17, 2018 5:00 AM
The old adage “you get what you pay for” may be true, but there are times when it is simply not possible to reward your best agents with the raises they may deserve.
Thankfully, there are other methods that can be just as successful, and keep those superstar agents from seeking other employment. Try these three ideas and let us know if they work!
Too often, training sessions focus only on what an agent did wrong. After too many of those, the agent will either quit or tune out the feedback.
Agents that only get things wrong won’t be with you long anyway, so it’s safe to assume that the rest are doing a generally good job – there are just some areas where improvement is possible. Make training about what went well – praise the areas where each excels. And when some correction is needed, help them to understand why the change is necessary, so it doesn’t sound like criticism for the sake of criticism.
“Customer service is our top priority” is a nice slogan, but by itself it won’t motivate an agent to a better performance. However, such messages are more effective when delivered not from the manager, but from the customers themselves.
Share any customer data you have with agents, from surveys to interviews to recorded calls. Or take it one step further and set up one-on-one conversations between agents and your best customers. Let them meet the people that rely on them for a quality experience. If they can picture a real customer in their minds as they take every call, it will motivate them to bring their ‘A’ game every time.
Divide the agents from each shift into two groups – boys against the girls, newcomers against the veterans, fans of opposing sports teams – and have them compete for better performance on specific customer service goals.
And here is one extra tip: Monet Metrics, which delivers the means to analyze agent performance, and personalized scorecards that motivate agents to self-manage their performance.
Publish Date: July 4, 2018 5:00 AM
Something great just got even better.
Monet Software is proud to announce the release of our next generation Workforce Optimization (WFO) suite. We designed it to empower contact centers and help desks to improve customer experience and agent productivity, identify performance gaps, reduce costs, and deliver outstanding and efficient customer service.
New features? It’s loaded.
Monet’s cloud-based Call Recording and Quality Management with Screen Capture integrates seamlessly into a cloud or on-premise contact center infrastructure to help deliver exceptional customer service. Businesses have access to a robust call search design, descriptive call, video and interaction tagging, desktop screen and call audio live monitoring, dynamic conditional evaluations, powerful group and personal inboxes driven by intelligent business rules, and descriptive reporting.
And of course, this solution integrates with our Workforce Management, Performance Management, and Speech Analytics solutions, enabling businesses to transform each customer interaction into actionable data, and to align each conversation with their business goals.
Create long-range forecast calculations using historical volume and arrival patterns, which generate accurate staffing requirements. Planners can customize flexible ranges of months as unique long-term forecasts, each with their own overhead cost values, allowing “what if” scenarios for long-term capacity planning and cost projections. Special closed dates like holidays are recognized in FTE requirements, and anomalous data can be excluded so that long-term planning with Monet is both easy and precise.
Our classic user-friendly UI has gotten a makeover! Our modern responsive UI makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes and increases the efficiency of performing day-to-day workforce optimization tasks by maximizing the available workspaces.
Improve the scheduling of deferred work tasks like email and cases. Using historical data from an ACD or CRM to drive the deferred work scheduling, Monet can find the optimal time of day to ensure deferred work tasks are handled while also meeting service level targets of immediate response tasks like calls and chat.
What could your contact center achieve with these capabilities?
Questions? Contact a Monet team member today
Publish Date: June 11, 2018 5:00 AM
If you work with people you like, going to work every day is a little easier. And if you work for a company that seems to not only care about its employees but about the community as well, it can make you feel a little better about your job.
One way to achieve both of these goals at your contact center is by supporting volunteer projects.
Encouraging agents and other employees to participate in community projects is not just good for morale – it’s the right thing to do. It allows agents to help organizations that are important to them and it can generate some positive media coverage for your company as well.
There are two ways to go about this: one is to give each agent a few days of paid leave every year to pursue projects that will have a positive effect on morale and on the community.
The advantage to this is that every agent will be able to make a difference for a cause they already care about. You should also encourage networking, as its possible agents will discover common causes, such as animal rescue, or cancer research, and work together for their benefit.
Another option is to have all of your agents, or all of the agents from a certain shift, choose a common cause that they can all help together. Perhaps that would mean giving up a few hours on a weekend to build homes for Habitat for Humanity, or organizing a fundraiser for a local nonprofit organization.
These are all good things to do in and of themselves. But you may be surprised at how much they will also help you achieve the quality and service goals you’ve set for your contact center.
According to a Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT survey, 61% of millennials said a volunteer program would be a factor “when choosing between two potential jobs with the same location, responsibilities, pay and benefits.”
Once on the job, employees also feel better about their corporations — and themselves — when they’re presented with the opportunity to volunteer. Deloitte found that over 50% of millennial employees that volunteer are very loyal toward their company, proud to work there, satisfied with their employer, and likely to recommend their company to a friend. their work culture as “very positive,” as compared to those who don’t volunteer.
Do you have any recommendations for nonprofit or other organizations that need volunteer help? Share them on our Facebook page
Publish Date: June 11, 2018 5:00 AM
By the time your average customer has punched in the ten-digit phone number for your contact center, he or she has already established expectations for what is about to happen. Customers know what to anticipate from an efficient and successful engagement, and that is what they want you to deliver.
This is what is on their minds. Is your contact center up to the task?
If a real person answers the phone, you may hear an audible sign of relief from the customer expecting a trying-too-hard-to-be-friendly recorded greeting, followed by a series of menu options that may or may not eventually get them to where they want to be.
Yes, they seem to be disappearing a little more each day, but most of your customers will still be delighted to hear a courteous greeting, an appreciation for their business, “please” and “thank you” when it’s appropriate, and conversation that doesn’t sound like it is being read off of a page.
Many of your contact center customers are calling with a question. And they will quickly grow frustrated if they’re not allowed to ask that question because the agent keeps asking them questions first. Obviously an agent will have to collect some information, but every effort should be made to keep it to a minimum. And if a call has to be transferred, make sure the information collected is transferred with it, so the customer doesn’t have to say it again.
When the customer finally gets to ask his or her question, they will expect an answer. As most will relate to the company’s products, services and policies, agent training should prepare call center personnel for responding to these queries. Occasionally, when a more unexpected question is asked, an agent should have access to communication with other agents or a manager who can deliver an answer quickly. Putting the customer on hold to obtain this is not a great option, but if an answer is forthcoming the customer will understand.
Ultimately, the most important result to strive for with each customer call is a successful outcome – an order placed, a question answered, or a problem solved. Well-trained agents and quality call center technology, working together, improve the likelihood of a successful resolution.
A Quality Management solution can help your contact center deliver great service and improve customer satisfaction. Find out how
Call recording is an integral part of quality management. Check out this free online demo of Monet’s call recording solution.
Publish Date: June 11, 2018 5:00 AM
Service level is just one element that contributes to a customer’s positive call center experience – but it’s an important one.
People are more impatient these days, and calls that are not answered promptly will turn into missed calls much more quickly than they would ten or even five years ago.
If your business is like most contact centers, you calculate service level by the percentage of calls answered within a pre-determined time period – for example, answering 80% of calls in 20 seconds or less. When you miss your goal, it is likely a result of one of these challenges:
When new agents take longer than they should, or product issues requiring longer explanations, the number of calls-per-hour handled by agents drops, creating a domino effect that impacts when new calls are answered.
If call volume or call patterns are different than what was anticipated, it will affect service level.
If scheduling does not take into account all activities, including non-call activities, meetings, etc. it can result in not having enough agents on the floor in a shift to maintain optimal service level.
When agents fall out of adherence, service level is certain to suffer.
What can you do to improve the situation? The answer is Workforce Management (WFM).
With WFM, call center forecasts will be much more accurate than spreadsheets. By utilizing call history data and running scenarios based on previous volumes and arrival patterns, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, and can plan accordingly.
Better forecasts mean better schedules, and with WFM it’s easier to build flexibility into scheduling so start times, end times, break times and training sessions won’t hurt service level expectations.
Finally, WFM allows contact center managers to track adherence throughout the day, while monitoring service level alongside other key metrics. By accessing this information in real time, managers can make adjustments and rapidly put things back on track, resulting in more consistent service levels, hour after hour, day after day.
Do you have any tips on improving service levels? Share them on our Facebook page
Find out more about the benefits of Monet WFM
Publish Date: June 11, 2018 5:00 AM
There are two types of people in the world: those who hate waiting, and those who really hate waiting.
Patience used to be a virtue; now it’s an endangered species. And that’s important when you run a contact center, as one of your most important objectives has to be the reduction of wait times.
You might think one minute on hold before an agent picks up is no big deal; but get out a stopwatch and let it tick off one minute while you sit and do nothing – which is what your customers are likely doing as they wait for an agent to respond.
So the challenge is reducing average speed of answer. One way to do that is to shorten all of your calls so agents can handle more calls each day. Here are a few ideas on how to make that happen.
Monet WFO is an affordable and easy to use cloud-based workforce optimization software solution that will boost your contact center’s efficiency in myriad ways, including the time it takes for agents to greet callers.
Publish Date: May 15, 2018 5:00 AM
You can’t make a great movie without a good script, and you can’t run a great contact center without one either.
The script your agents use should establish a helpful tone and encourage conversation that results in a positive outcome.
Is it time you took a fresh look at your script? If so, and rewrites are needed, here are five lines that will almost certainly make it better.
It’s simple, it’s straightforward and it communicates the empathy an agent should feel when a customer calls with a complaint. These callers want to know that the person at the other end of the line gets that they’re not happy.
Note the use of “Let’s" (let us) – that puts the caller and the agent on the same side of the issue, rather than the agent coming across only as a representative of the company that disappointed the caller. It’s a subtle change but it does make a difference.
Putting customers on hold is never a welcome action from their perspective, so when it becomes necessary it’s best to do it as a request and not with a “please hold,” that doesn’t give that caller any other option. Yes, asking the question could lead to some customers saying no and hanging up, but by the time they’ve gotten this far most will hang around to get the resolution they desire.
When an agent introduces him- or herself by name, it reinforces the fact that the customer is talking to an actual person and not a recorded voice.
While shorter calls are better for KPIs, this question can lead to an upsell or an additional sale. That’s always worth an extra few minutes.
What lines have proven most valuable in your contact center script? Share them on our Facebook page.
Want to make the most of every customer interaction? Speech analytics can help. Sign up here for a live personalized demo of how it works.
Publish Date: May 15, 2018 5:00 AM
Most of us learn the golden rule in elementary school: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
That’s pretty good advice for a help desk as well – when you treat customers the way you would like to be treated, you stand a much better chance of keeping that customer’s business.
Of course, knowing what to do and figuring out the best way to do it are often two separate challenges. So here are five more “golden rules” for service desks that, if followed, will result in efficient case resolutions and happier customers.
Agents have a field-tested script that usually delivers results. But help desk customers also want to be heard. Many of them will be angry or upset, and they don’t appreciate taking time out from their day to listen to your menu options. While a favorable case resolution is always the primary goal, it’s also important for help desk agents to allow callers to vent, and to express empathy and an apology when warranted (and not just one read from a page).
Agents may not enjoy listening to them, but a complaint often contains important advice that could lead to positive changes in company policy.
If this is your tenth call about the same service issue, you can save time and deliver better service by having the solution ready.
All help desks have procedures regarding how tickets are submitted and how issues are handled. Such rules are important, but they should never stand in the way of delivering the best service possible. It’s easier to change a rule than lose a customer.
At many helpdesks, agents log customer requests and schedule them for the next available specialist to either contact the customer or visit that customer’s location. Sometimes, that results in service delays and angry customers. While agents will never (or should never) be trained technicians, there are likely some common issues that can be resolved if agents can access real time information while speaking with a customer.
Monet Workforce Management for Salesforce can deliver that information, and reviews of recorded calls can help service desk agents recognize these issues and be better prepared with answers.
Faster, better service – and fewer service calls? WFM for Salesforce makes it possible.
Find out more about Monet Workforce Management for Salesforce
Download our free whitepaper: Workforce Management: A Beginner’s Guide for Help Desks and Service Desks
Publish Date: May 15, 2018 5:00 AM
There are many different call recording software solutions available. While their essential purpose remains the same, there are variations in functionality, implementation and cost that should be reviewed by contact center management so that an informed purchasing decision can be made.
The objective is to add all the advantages that call recording provides, without introducing new challenges. Like these:
The data stored on call monitoring software won’t be as useful if it takes forever to find it. If a manager needs to locate a specific call or series of calls, and the effort proves frustrating and time-consuming, the system is useless. The system should carry out the call retrieval function based on any number of “tags” that can be affixed to a specific call. Typically, the response to a command such as “Find Alan Martin’s most recent call” should be done in seconds.
At a time when there are too many news stories about security breaches, and customer data falling into the hands of hackers, it has never been more essential to utilize a call recording solution that is safe. It should assist in the prevention of information theft, and restrict information access to specific individuals or groups. Make sure data collected is secure, encrypted if necessary and protected from hackers and other threats.
Conversion to new call recording software will inevitably involve some business disruption, but it should be minimal. Find out how long it takes for initial set-up of the system, as well as how long it will take to train contact center staff on its proper usage. Another important element is the integration to other workforce systems. It is always beneficial to have call recording working with workforce management, as you’ll find in Monet’s Workforce Optimization solution.
Is there an initial upfront equipment/hardware investment and software license fee? Are there any costs that may be necessary for call center staff training, as well as internal operation costs and any future maintenance and subscription fees? Are there any other costs for implementation and integration with other systems? By investigating cloud solutions, even smaller call centers with limited budgets and resources can afford a system with the same benefits and advantages traditionally enjoyed by companies with much larger IT budgets.
Find out more about the benefits of Monet’s call recording solution here
Call recording can build a valuable knowledge base for your contact center. This blog explains how
Publish Date: May 15, 2018 5:00 AM
Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is one of the more critical contact center KPIs. In fact, some surveys have shown that more than 60% of callers will abandon a call if they’re not speaking to an agent after one minute. And no, those friendly “your call is important to us” pre-recorded messages aren’t doing much to change their minds.
To improve ASA, start by establishing clear goals.
Your contact center may already have a service level they strive to achieve; the most common is 80-20, meaning 80% of calls are answered within a specific time frame (usually 20 or 30 seconds).
Today, customers can reach out through other channels as well, requiring contact centers to set similar goals for email, chat and perhaps even social media responses. Do you want all of your emails answered in two hours, four hours, or by end of day? Is 30 minutes a reasonable goal for responding to a Facebook post?
Obviously factors will vary widely depending on the size and type of your business. But it is still important to establish a service level, measure results, and then fine-tune procedures to see if that level can be improved.
All of the burden for meeting service levels should not fall on the agent’s shoulders. The contact center must provide the tools necessary for that agent to do his or her job, as well as provide forecasting and scheduling that assures the presence of enough agents to efficiently handle incoming communications.
That used to be handled with spreadsheets but can now be covered with a workforce management (WFM) solution. With the advanced functionality and the more accurate forecasting and scheduling made possible by WFM, as well as the data it delivers on agent performance, schedule adherence and KPIs, contact center managers can always be assured the contact center’s resources are being utilized in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
What’s better than workforce management? Workforce optimization in the cloud! Find out more
Watch a demo of Monet WFM in action
Publish Date: April 9, 2018 5:00 AM
To make customers happy, we have to make sure our employees are happy first.
If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.
--Whole Foods Market
You have to be a place that’s more than a paycheck for people.
Those are quotes from three companies with little in common except for the following: They are very successful, and they recognize the importance of creating a positive workplace culture.
Can this philosophy be translated to the contact center? Why not? It may be more of a challenge here, because most people that become contact center agents aspired to do something else - it can be a good job, but it’s not a “dream job.” Add to that the challenge of dealing with demanding customers, and the tedium that accompanies repetitive data entry tasks and script reading.
Still, there are ways to encourage a positive culture. Let’s start with the obvious: a competitive salary with bonuses and incentives for those who excel, and a clean, pleasant working environment with a well-stocked break room. Also, make sure agents have the technology they need to deliver great customer service.
Don’t discourage a little fun, especially when call volumes are down. Music, games, and dress-up days can all make going to work a little more enjoyable.
The relationship between agents and management is critical to a positive work culture. Communication is key: when management listens to and welcomes feedback, and includes agents in decisions that affect the entire contact center, it makes for a more cohesive organization.
Some agents look on that job as temporary – a stepping-stone to moving up within the company. Those that do so should be encouraged in this and even helped along the way.
Do you have some tips for creating a positive work culture? Share them on our Facebook page
Publish Date: April 9, 2018 5:00 AM
The tough thing about bad habits is that they are so easy to fall into, and so difficult to stop.
These are five of the most common bad habits found at contact centers. If you are contending with any of them, here is how workforce optimization can make them go away.
Sound, accurate schedules are created consistently with workforce management software. It’s especially useful at a time when agents are balancing school, family and other obligations, and would appreciate more input into the shifts they work. With WFM it’s easier to provide personalized scheduling options and to allow agents to change their own schedules. Usually this results in better coverage, and better service.
Yes, that’s the way it’s always been done at some contact centers – every call automatically goes to the first available agent. It’s not necessarily a bad habit, just an inefficient one. But by routing calls to agents based on specific criteria, it’s possible to boost first call resolution and overall customer service. The most common strategy is a skill-based system, connecting angry customers with agents who can calm them down, buyers with agents who know how to upsell, and calls with technical questions to agents with product expertise.
There is no getting around asking for a customer’s ID information (date of birth), account information or contact information. But too many questions at the start of a call can be frustrating for the customer and time-consuming for the agent. A workforce optimization solution that includes analytics can deliver caller information more quickly.
As with item #2 on our list, the bad habit here is relying on systems that were used for decades because they were the only systems available. Now, there’s a better way. With speech analytics, every call can be monitored and categorized based on pre-set criteria. This provides more insight into business practices and will also improve your training efforts.
A shift ends, and you look at the numbers and see what went right and what went wrong, and try to make adjustments so the next shift is better. Instead, why not get proactive, with workforce management that provides real-time monitoring, so adherence issues and other problems can be corrected while they are still happening?
Monet Workforce Optimization contains the tools needed to help break all of these bad habits.
Find out more about Monet Workforce Optimization
Or see Monet WFM in action in this online video demo
Publish Date: April 9, 2018 5:00 AM
According to the new report Global Speech Analytics Market, published by KBV research, the international market size for speech analytics technology is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023, rising at a market growth of 17%.
Why is this happening? At the contact center the answer is obvious: merging call recording with speech analytics can significantly boost lead conversion rates, as well as increase customer retention levels. At the same time, it’s a way to be 100% assured that agents are always in compliance with federal and industry regulations.
Speech analytics generates automated alerts triggered by voice data, whether that’s the use of profanity, or the word “cancel,” or the mention of a specific new product or service. By being alerted to these calls in real time, managers can react in time to impact their outcome, which could mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer.
In addition, with speech analytics integrated into a call recording solution, the contact center can link customer feedback with specific customer interactions; that means you are not working from a random sampling, but with a subset of calls that have been flagged as important because of the key words or phrases used by the customer.
Sure, some of this data might eventually be collected through call recording alone. But time is money in business, and with speech analytics this vital information can be accessed far more quickly, and is more detailed as well. Now managers can delve into caller patterns that will further refine the company’s customer service efforts. What used to take weeks can now be achieved in just minutes.
These are just some of the reasons why the market is growing so quickly. If it’s time you took a closer look at this technology, please check out Monet Analytics. You can find more information here, or schedule a live demo to see Monet Analytics in action.
Publish Date: April 9, 2018 5:00 AM