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'Your Call May Be Monitored'

Your conversation is being monitored by the U....Image via Wikipedia

We hear it almost any time we pick up the phone to call for customer service. "Your call may be monitored for training purposes." When I explain to people that call monitoring and assessment make up a large portion of what our group does for clients, I get one of two questions:

Q: "So, do companies actually listen to all the calls?"

A: No, companies do not listen to every recorded call. Some companies are required by law to record every call and keep them for a period of time, but listening to all of the calls would be inefficient and unproductive.

Like a research company who can determine the opinions of 200 million Americans by asking a random sample of 1,000, a sound analytical Quality Assessment (QA) method can objectively determine how a company, or an individual, is performing by analyzing a relatively small, random sample of calls. Companies generally listen to a few calls to learn a lot about what's happening in conversations with customers. Select calls can be pulled and used for training and coaching. Some companies with very strict legal compliance issues use the calls to manage compliance. In some other cases, an angry customer may call to complain "you never told me..." and the company can pull the call in question to prove that they did.

Q: Doesn't that make Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) feel weird that their calls are being recorded?

A: It's so common place today that most CSRs expect it as part of the job. Think about it: the idea of recording and replaying performance for training and coaching goes far beyond the work place. Professional athletes regularly spend a large amount of time watching "tape" of their performance - or of their competition - to figure out where they made mistakes and how they can improve their performance.

Musicians pour over recordings to get the sound just right. Call recording is a variation on the same theme. When it's done well, call recordings coupled with effective coaching can help hone CSRs into customer service champions. And remember, call monitoring doesn't have to be about catching people doing things wrong, but motivating agents by rewarding them for doing things right.

With today's telephone technology, the opportunity to record calls is readily available to small businesses, as well as major corporations. I've worked with some companies who had only one person on the phone talking to customers. The bottom line is that companies who effectively leverage call recording technology may be those who beat the competition in the race to provide customers with service that wins satisfaction and loyalty.

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