Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Monitor Calls Without Weirding out Your Staff

Bad communication between businessman and businesswomanAs every great customer service leader knows, call monitoring is a great way to make sure your
staff’s phone skills accurately reflect your brand. It's a perfect way to identify areas where you could have taken advantage of a sales opportunity with a customer. And it's a phenomenal way to eavesdrop on your employees and hound them for every little mistake they make.

Wait! One of these things is not like the others. The first two statements are true: Call monitoring is essential to protecting your brand image and making sure you take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. It shouldn’t, however, involve breaching your employees’ trust and sense of security. If an employee is dissatisfied, it affects their tone, their attitude and their ability to build rapport with callers.

To monitor customer interactions without damaging your relationship with your team, follow these four tips.

Let Your Team Know What You’re Looking For


Set concrete guidelines prior to reviewing calls. Review and understand your current call handling processes and establish parameters for labeling a call successful or not. Don’t assume they can read your mind.

Give Quick and Specific Feedback


No one likes enduring long harangues about what they did wrong — especially if the mistake happened days, weeks or even months ago. Approach your staff as soon as you find a potential problem and give very specific examples and reasons for the corrections. Don't be afraid to give honest, actionable feedback.

Look for Positives While Correcting Negatives


Reinforce employees’ strengths while driving home constructive criticism. Email each employee specific call recordings that demonstrate areas in which they need to improve. Periodically find examples of good calls and share them with your entire staff. Who doesn’t like a nice ego boost?

Use a Professional Opinion As Backup


If you use professional call evaluation services, you know they can be a life saver. The notifications you receive as part of the service allow you to quickly follow up on and correct mishandled calls. But these reports can also be helpful for staff coaching sessions. By referring to an objective, third-party assessment of an employee’s less-than-stellar phone performance, you don’t have to be the bad guy. 

Don't underestimate the impact of a well-designed phone training program. By letting your employees know what you expect of them and giving them the feedback they need to succeed, they’ll work hard to make the most of every phone call. For tips on helping your staff rock each conversation, check out our post on phone etiquette. (If you’re a fan of “The Voice,” you’ll want to read this.)