By alicia.sandino on August 22, 2017
Small Business Growth Tips

You’ve heard it before, “This call may be recorded for training and quality assurance.”

But what exactly is happening on the other side?

Call monitoring features are helping businesses improve their procedures, especially businesses that heavily rely on them for daily improvements, like call centers and travel agencies.

Even if you’re not a large company or don’t have a lot of calls going in and out of your business, you can find value in using call monitoring features.

Here are 4 features I want to share with you to show you how easy it is to achieve quality assurance.

Call Recording

A florist has an event coming up and a client that’s planning that entire event by herself. A month before the event, she confirms the date of pickup and the types of flowers she’ll need.

Two weeks pass and she calls to confirm the date, except this time she claims she’ll be picking up the flowers a week earlier. The florist reminds her client of the initial pick up date but the client insists she did not confirm that date.

It’s certainly possible that she mixed up the dates, but she’s swamped in the logistics and won’t accept that she confirmed a different date.

She’s frustrated and the florist's hands are tied- the flowers are on track for the initial delivery date.

Instead of relying on he-said-she-said, the florist can use call recording to go back to the call records to confirm the pickup date that was agreed upon so she can proceed with her client accordingly.

Whether you buy yourself more time with your client after clarifying the error or you manage to rush your order in time to save the day, call recording helps professionals easily communicate and diffuse misunderstandings.

[Video: See how call recording works with our system]

Whisper

Don’t you wish you could help your employees while they’re on the phone with a customer? You wonder if there’s a way to be on the phone with them, helping them give callers the best answers to their questions.

That’s what Whisper can do for you.

It’s a live coaching tool that gives you the ability to join an active call and speak to your employee without the caller knowing you’re on the call.

It’s great for training new employees and developing their customer service skills.

[Video: Learn how to use Whisper on your Cisco Small Business Phone]

Spy

Also known as “Monitor,” the Spy feature does what it implies- it allows you to join an active call without the caller, or your employee, knowing you’re on the call.

How is this ensuring call quality?

You’re the boss. Let’s face it, people act differently when they know the boss is around.

Using the Spy feature gives you a genuine look at the interactions between your callers and employees. Are they following their scripts properly? Are they approaching callers in a friendly manner?

This call monitoring tool helps get rid of those uncertainties and can uncover individuals who may need more training.

[Video: Learn how to use Spy on your Cisco Small Business Phone]

Barge

Think of Barge as the impromptu conference call.

If a topic comes up during a call that requires your input, you can join the call with the push of a few buttons and get to the matter at hand.

By allowing individuals to join in on active calls seamlessly, there’s no need to place the caller on hold or transfer to a different extension.

The call can continue without skipping a beat while the third party joins in, creating a seamless calling experience and adding to the quality of your calls.

[Video: Learn how to use Barge on your Cisco Small Business Phone]

Call Quality Monitoring Tips

We’ve researched some of the ways other businesses are using their call quality monitoring features to consistently develop agents and procedures.

Here are some of our favorites:

Create (and update) a call quality checklist

Pay attention to your opening, how you facilitate a connection, whether or not you’re solving a problem, and if your closing ensures that the customer is leaving satisfied.

Include agents in the process of developing this checklist. They’re on the front lines day in and day out so they may have some insight on any phrasing or approaches that they’ve found useful.

This also engages your employees and instills a culture of empowerment.

Hold weekly reviews

Keep your employees accountable with goal-setting and consistent reviews. You don’t have to make it feel like judgment day. You can hold a review over your morning coffee or hold a team lunch with leadership and select employees.

Allow employees and managers to bounce off critiques and ideas for improvement. Getting feedback on performance will help employees pinpoint areas to focus on and aid in improving your caller’s experience.

Don’t forget the top performers

It’s easy to get lost in improving the underperforming employees, that we tend to forget that top performers need a pulse check, too.

Hold monthly or quarterly meetings with your top performers and go over their call recordings, talk time, and any other metrics you use to measure their success.

Always remember the main purpose

While Whisper, Spy, and Barge are useful tools for making significant improvements, there may be some users who take advantage of these tools and use them with ulterior motives.

Although there may not be many safeguards to prevent malicious use of these tools, it’s up to the business owner and leadership teams to ensure that these quality assurance tools are used for improving the caller experience and developing employees for success.

A little bit of reward goes a long way

After you’ve seen improvements from your team, don’t be afraid to show your appreciation.

Try these signs of appreciation the next time an employee goes above and beyond.

Work on your scripts

Getting a script that produces the results you want is like finding the Holy Grail.

But that doesn’t mean your script can use some sprucing up after a few months. Be sure to revisit your script every quarter and track success rates month after month to get a sense of any trends.

Include your employees and management team in this process, as well.

Review calls from the previous day

Just how professional athletes review the film of their last game, agents should be reviewing their calls from the previous day.

It lets you see the mistakes you made and how you can improve.

This shouldn’t take too long; just commit to 5 minutes in the morning and go over a few calls.

Take notes of your delivery, your greeting, and pick up on any nuances you may have missed while you were on the call. This creates the self-awareness you need to improve your approach and offer a better experience to callers.

Your Turn!

Now that you know why call monitoring is good for business, let us know what you think! Is this something your business can take advantage of?

Remember, even if you don’t have a large team making outbound calls or a customer service department handling large call volume, it can still offer peace of mind and help improve your caller’s experience.


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