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Article : Linking Call Monitoring To Customer Satisfaction

Linking call monitoring to customer satisfaction is something that very few call centres have done. Most call centre managers assume their call monitoring is helping them achieve or improve their customer satisfaction performance. They don't link their call monitoring results with their customer satisfaction results. The call monitoring practices we see tend to focus on the things that are important to the organization such as, handle time, adherence to a script or call standards. At best, scoring is done with equal importance over the opening of the call, handling of the call and closing of the call measures. What is typically over looked is the resolution of the customer's inquiry which is by far the most important factor that determines customer satisfaction. 


What is best practice in call monitoring?
Leading practitioners have a lot of opinions on what constitutes best practice, or what really works for managing call centre service quality. Some call centres we work with believe using quality teams to monitor call quality is the best practice. Some think having the CSRs direct supervisor monitor calls is best practice. Others think having peers monitor calls is the best practice. Most often, we see the CSR's direct supervisor providing call monitoring feedback.

Other areas that are in much debate are how many calls to monitor, how to ensure the call monitor raters are consistent in their rating and giving feedback to CSRs. Is side by side call monitoring and then coaching the best approach or is call recording and then coaching the best approach? Other areas of debate are what system to use for call recording and screen capture and what the right measures are to use for call monitoring. 

All these areas are worth thinking about in choosing the right practice for your organization. However, at SQM Group, we think the real discussion should be around the central question of whether or not your customers are benefiting from your call monitoring practices.

Our database shows that 95% of call centres use call monitoring, yet very few can empirically say that as a result of their call monitoring practices their customer satisfaction has improved. 

In fact, we see only 4% of the 150 call centres we survey in a year attain world class levels of customer service. A full 77% of call centres provide average or below average customer service despite their call monitoring practices.

Call Centre Customer Satisfaction Levels…

When we look closely at the organizations that do achieve world-class service levels, we see a key difference in how they regard call monitoring. Universally, they align their call monitoring measures to what is important to their customers. Their call monitoring surveys are very similar to their customer satisfaction surveys. Linking of call monitoring results with the customer satisfaction results is a best practice, but practiced by very few.

SQM research also shows that the average call centre customer satisfaction for first call resolution is 73% which is at the best-in-class level. However, when the customer inquiry takes 2 calls to resolve, customer satisfaction drops to 58%, which is a poor level of customer service. The conclusion here is that first call resolution is vital to achieving world class customer service. 


It's dangerous to assume your call monitoring efforts are helping you achieve or improve customer satisfaction 
Again, most call centres do not link call monitoring results with customer satisfaction results. Therefore, there is no way for them to determine if their call monitoring practices are benefiting their customers or helping resolve customer inquiries. Consider this fact centres report to us that they achieve 84% first call resolution. However, when we ask customers directly, we see a 65% first call resolution. This is a 19 point gap between how management sees their efforts on first call resolution and how customers see it. 


Call monitoring is expensive 
We have found that 74% of call centres monitor 4 or more calls in a month. Further, supervisors claim that they spend a whopping 52% of their time on monitoring and coaching. We have also found that only 28% of CSRs are very satisfied with call monitoring. 

CSR Call Monitoring Satisfaction...

When we ask CSRs to share with us why they are dissatisfied with call monitoring, here are the things they tell us:

  • There's a lack of accuracy in the process

  • There's too much delay between the call and the coaching

  • It is always management's view of the call and not the customer's view of the call

  • The call monitoring process focuses on productivity rather than development and coaching

  • The focus is on adhering to the script versus listening to the customer needs.

The CSRs that are very satisfied with call monitoring and coaching tend to be new CSRs with less than one year of experience. However, CSRs that have high satisfaction working at the call centre also tend to have higher satisfaction with call monitoring and coaching. 


The next evolution for call monitoring
So, when we weigh all this data, it is our conclusion that most call monitoring programs benefit the organization more than the customers. And there is no question that the benefit to organizations has been huge in improving CSR productivity, CSR adherence to policies and standards, identification of CSR and call centre training needs and so on. 

However, an even bigger win is still in store for you, when you bring in the customer perspective. In working with this issue for a while, we'd like to share some of the practices we consider important to linking call monitoring practices to meeting your customer satisfaction needs. 


Linking call monitoring to customer satisfaction steps:

  1. Align call monitoring measures with customer satisfaction survey measures. You may find big differences and challenges in aligning call monitoring with customer satisfaction surveys.

  2. Understand how satisfied your customers are when they call your call centre. The best approach to achieve this is to conduct call centre customer satisfaction surveys.

  3. Monitor the same calls you survey customers on. This can be very challenging to monitor enough calls to survey customers on and coordinate that with your recording system.

  4. Analyze the results to determine if your call monitoring ratings are the same or different from your customer satisfaction survey ratings.

  5. Implement new call monitoring practices if necessary so that it benefits your customers.

  6. Retest new changes until you get close alignment with call monitoring results and customer satisfaction results.

About the Company
Service Quality Measurement Group is a service quality benchmarking, measurement and management consulting firm.

Today's Tip of the Day - Choosing A Solution

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Published: Thursday, August 8, 2002

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