Ten Considerations in Creating a Quality Monitoring Policy

While almost all call centers perform quality monitoring to some degree, many do not have a formal, well-publicized quality monitoring policy in place.  Here are some of the issues to consider as you develop a quality monitoring policy to ensure maximum performance.

  1. Know your legal requirements. You’ll want to research your specific state regulations with respect to monitoring calls to define who must be notified that monitoring will occur from both the caller and the agent side.  Customer notification will typically occur in a pre-call automated “this call may be monitored for quality purposes” message. A specific monitoring policy should be outlined in writing and presented to the employee for an agreement signature to cover this notification. In addition, many organizations have industry-specific requirements for recording calls, with many companies required to record every single interaction.
  2. Educate staff early. It’s never too early to inform staff of the monitoring process. You may want to talk to potential employees about monitoring policy during interview/hiring process so they know it’s an integral part of the job. Of course, a detailed description of how the quality monitoring process works should be a part of the early orientation and training process.
  3. Inform agents about the “when” of quality monitoring. Inform employees on a regular basis when they are to be monitored in accordance with legal guidelines. While you generally don’t want to announce the specific call that will be monitored, you will want to let them know when monitoring may be carried out (i.e., is it ongoing or will it be done only one week a month, etc.) and how many calls will be sampled.
  4. Inform agents “why” they are being monitored. Employees will buy into the process more if they understand the purpose of the monitoring and how it will be used. Help them understand that monitoring is all about helping them improve and not just a way to catch them doing something wrong. Those centers that use the monitoring system as a way to earn rewards find that agents welcome the monitoring process rather than dreading it.
  5. Confirm agent agreement with system. You will want to obtain agent signatures on monitoring consent forms up front. You will also want to get written agreement on any changes you make to the program to prevent future legal actions if practices change.
  6. Use a standardized evaluation form. Use a form that is standard across all employees and ensure that all staff are familiar with the form and all its categories, definitions, and scoring calculations. The form should follow the flow of calls to make it easy to use and follow. The form should also focus on the most critical performance information.
  7. Set objective standards for determining number of calls monitored. The optimal number of calls to be monitored will vary by organization, and may also vary based on the performance of each individual. Define the appropriate number of calls to be monitored each month based on the employee’s performance the previous month and communicate these standards to all employees.
  8. Determine how monitoring scores will be communicated. Define how often, by whom, and what communications channel will be used to share monitoring results. Determine how often a monitoring review will be held with each employee and how many calls will be reviewed. You’ll also want to think about whether this review involves the quality specialist and agent, supervisor and agent, or combination of the three. If all calls are not to be reviewed, then determine how the non-reviewed call scores will be communicated to staff (paper, email, posting, etc.)  Outline what information, if any, will be posted publicly and inform staff of posting procedures.
  9. Determine who will be allowed to monitor. It is important to permit only qualified personnel and those with a legitimate business reason to access monitoring capabilities. Consider the privacy concerns of each employee when sharing call content and monitoring results.
  10. Establish an objective calibration process. This process should include representation from all staff involved in the contact handling process.  Perform calibration sessions on a regular basis to continually improve the standardization process.