Business

The importance of quality management in call handling

Businesses invest a huge amount of money into their call systems, as it is important that both the systems and the staff are working as effectively as possible. This will go a long way to ensure that customers are left satisfied with the service they have received.

 The monitoring of calls should form part of the business’s quality management procedure.

Regional Control Centre (RCC) Operator, Quinton, November 2009.

(Thanks to the Highways Agency for this photo, via Flickr)

 What is the purpose of call monitoring?

 A clever business would want to monitor their calls to constantly improve the level of service they are giving to their customers. According to Premier Patient Line, who offer call recording to GP surgeries, it is to ‘listen to their personnel’s customer service, their adherence to the medical practice’s guidelines’. Each industry and each business will monitor their calls for different reasons, but ultimately it is to improve the service offered and help internal staff.

 Businesses set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) metrics against which call performance and quality is measured against. It is important to have these benchmarks as something to work towards. For example, some KPIs could be based around; how quick the call was answered or how quickly the callers issue was resolved. It is good to support these KPIs with some other metrics, including customer satisfaction surveys.

 What choices are there when considering call monitoring?

 A business must consider several options when deciding how to monitor quality performance. Is it something that can be achieved by using an internal team, or internal staff, or is this something that should be undertaken by an outside firm?

 It is recommended that you use a third party to undertake the call monitoring, even if you have a Quality Department (or similar), for the simple reason that; an outside monitoring company can provide an objective approach to call monitoring, and capture more valuable information that will help your business going forwards. They also offer an unbiased account of your calls, with a focus on improvements.

 Another advantage of using a third party call monitoring service is that they are held accountable for reaching Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This, for example, could mean that they can monitor a level, or amount, of calls that you previously agree with them. This agreement again removes any risk of using a biased internal group, team or leader.

 As mentioned, a third party can also provide an insight into any call problems, or potential call issues, that only call monitoring can identify. It is the consistency that is the key, and it helps the third party build up a good understanding and relationship with the business they are working with.

 Feedback is useless, unless it is acted on. If a third party identifies issues or potential problems, they should also be able to recommend a course of action that will help remedy these. It is then up to the business to ensure that these actions and recommendations are acted on, in order to remove potential or current problems and issues. A business can then improve their customer communications.

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