Valid Call Monitoring Sample…What is the “right” answer?

This question is a widely disagreed one…there are many answers…but the “right” answer is “as many as it takes to improve performance, while not exceeding the cost of quality.”

There are those who subscribe to the requirement of a statistically valid sample per agent. If you are looking for the typical 95/5% confidence level and interval, you simply need to know how many calls your agents take in a month’s time to derive a “statistically valid” sample. You can use one like on this website:
http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

For instance, if your agents take 1000 calls a month, you’d need to sample 278 calls in a month’s time for it to be significant for that specific month. Time is the key variable in determining this…over what time period is it relevant to you.

That being said, frankly, 278 calls being monitored is overkill and the benefit you’d get out of it would be outweighed by the cost of doing so. You can augment this with tools such as Speech Analytics, however, while SA is a great tool, it cannot be a  replacement for human auditing, coaching and feedback.

When we recommend a sample to a client, we recommend no less than 2 monitors per week per agent. The idea is to create an environment of coaching and feedback. You want the agents to know that they will be getting feedback and have that present in their minds as they take calls…you want them to perform. If you only do one call, and they are coached early in the week, they will figure out quickly that they aren’t being monitored for the rest of the week. We also tell our clients that ideally, more is better, and a daily review and feedback is as close to ideal as you can get without breaking the bank. The statistics don’t necessarily support it, however, the human psychology does.  Agents will perform better, if they are being monitored.  The Hawthorne Effect demonstrates this in human behavior and psychology.

So, bottom line, when looking at how many audits are needed per agent, a call center would need to look at what would best benefit them and their agents.  Quality Monitoring should be used as a tool to make agents better at servicing your customers.

by Craig Antonucci, VP Client Services at BPA Quality