Digital Call Monitoring - Take Less Time, Achieve Greater Impact

by Steve Lamm

That's My Voice!

On Thursday, Sara received an e-mail that had her own voice attached to it. She recognized it as a conversation with a customer from a few days earlier.

She never liked the sound of her voice. She thought her voice sounded warmer than it did in this recording. "I sound sort of distant and matter-of-fact," she thought to herself.

Then she heard herself say something that made her smile, "I would be glad to talk with my supervisor to see if we could send that out today. Would that be okay?" ("Now that's more like me," she thought.)

She scored this first call with The 33 Points of MAGIC® and received a 29. "Pretty good," she thought.

Then she clicked on the second recording and scored it. "Hmmm, I only got 22 points on this one. What happened?" She listened to it again, made some notes for herself and her manager about how the two calls went and what she was going to work on for this month.

How Pulte Mortgage Streamlines the Monitoring Process

At Pulte Mortgage this scene happens every month for nearly all 600 employees, including team leads and managers. Pulte is largest builder of new homes in the country. Their representatives guide customers through the complicated process of obtaining a home mortgage.

Each employee, even those who have only internal customers, is recorded, monitored, scored and given feedback based on The 33 Points of MAGIC. Okay, this happens at many organizations every day. What's innovative is sending recordings as email attachments to each representative.

Here they can listen to their own calls in private, score the call themselves and compare their score with that of a Quality Service Professional who listens to each of their calls.

Each month Quality Service Professionals listen to five calls from every representative. The highest and lowest scored calls are then sent to each person. The recordings are attached to an email which also contains the 33 Point scoring form of each call. The form is complete with detailed anecdotes about the individual's strengths and areas of improvement.

Their manager also receives a copy of the 33 Point scoring forms and the attached recordings. The representatives are expected to meet with their manager once every month. Before each monthly coaching session, the representative listens to both recordings and comes prepared to talk about the feedback.

Jamie Twedt, a Regional Operations Manager has 22 people to coach each month. She came from another large mortgage company that also used MAGIC, but did not have the technology to have reps listen to their own recordings so easily.

She says, "It makes a huge impact to have the recordings so accessible. Eighty to ninety percent of the people listen to both calls before they come to the coaching session. They come prepared to give their point of view about how the calls went and what they can work on. They each pick two things that they can work on based on the recordings."

Jamie is starting to include the team leads in the feedback sessions to develop their ability to run coaching meetings themselves. She also has been meeting with six reps at a time to talk to each other about how they handle certain issues or how they are applying the 33 Points.

One of her goals is to see more reps monitor themselves and thus hold fewer coaching sessions with them. There's a large group in Jamie's area who are always striving to learn more. "I could start with some of them to have them monitor their own calls and let me know what they are working on." She adds cautiously, "I don't want to let go of it completely because the minute I let go of it, they let go of it."

Anyone who receives a score over 30 points also receives an e-mail of congratulations from the Chief Operating Officer. This e-mail is copied to every employee at Pulte Mortgage.

One member of Jamie's team set a goal for himself: Be the first on the team to receive an e-mail from the COO. He has now accomplished that. His next goal? An email congratulating him for a perfect 33 point score on a call.

Some recordings are forwarded to the Division President and it is not unusual to get a personal note from the CEO.

Investing in Success

Digital phone systems that run through a mainframe server are state of the art for many contact centers. These systems enable anyone to easily identify and sort calls. A most desirable feature is the ability to send selected calls to a representative's computer so that they can listen to and score their own calls.

Pulte uses a product from the vendor Interactive Intelligence. It is called Customer Interaction Center®2.3 and Interaction Recorder®2.3.

Also of note:
  • Pulte has a digital phone system. Digital phone systems that run off of a DSL or T-1 can be serious investments.
  • There are three Quality Service Professionals who are paid full time to listen to and score calls (and they are adding a fourth QSP soon). They listen to five calls per person. (That's 2,500 calls a month!)
  • There is no guarantee that representatives will listen to their own recordings and learn something from them without direction and support from their supervisor or manager. (Jamie had 80% to 90 % success, but she is committed to following up with the calls.) Thus managers need to commit to regular follow up.
  • One drawback for companies that have highly secure transactions is the potential lack of security if the Internet is used to transport the recordings. The right network security technology and professionals can help you make the calls and recordings secure.

Value of the Digital Call Monitoring

There is a significant opportunity for improving service when service representatives hear their own recorded voices in real customer interactions. Hearing calls on a consistent basis enables reps to see patterns and set goals.

With their own recordings in hand and the time to assess themselves, representatives tend to be quite invested in their coaching sessions and their own development. This leads to across the board improvements that not only continue month after month, but also take less time and achieve greater impact.
Before and After
Before and After
Just one "tragic" contact can influence your customers' perception of your company (and their buying decisions). Listen to the difference MAGIC® can make.