Whenever we start talking about remote availability and performance monitoring in contact centre’s there seems to be some confusion about the differences between this and call recording/agent quality monitoring and voice quality monitoring. This discussion describes the differences between each and where they are used.
Call Recording/Agent Monitoring/Quality Monitoring
This refers to an application that records and captures data from conversations between the customer and contact centre agent. This would include tracking the agent desktop during customer interactions. The application allows supervisors to playback an agent-customer conversation and at the same time see exactly what the agent was doing during the call. Some of these applications involve speech analytics to assist with call trends analysis. This information allows contact centre supervisors to assess agent performance and business rules in terms of efficiency and appropriateness, as well as to coach performance and offer self-paced training to agents who need it.
Voice Quality Monitoring
Good quality voice transactions are key in the contact centre. As contact centre’s move to a unified communications platform voice and data converge onto the same network. In the unified communication world voice quality can be really great in one spot, and really lousy somewhere else. Depending on the call path, voice quality numbers reported can be 100% accurate but misleading, i.e., the audio could be completely unintelligible for some reason, but the network could be carrying that garbled audio perfectly, resulting in a perfect score. On the other hand, the network may distort the audio somewhat due to packet loss or jitter, resulting in a less than perfect calculated score, yet the message could easily be intelligible by a real person.
You need to understand how a call sounded to your customer. There are a number of VoIP monitoring technologies that allow you to determine the voice quality whether that is passively watching the packets, independent verification using synthetic calls or pulling the information from the PBX itself. This can report on the packet loss, jitter, and delay that each call is experiencing and give you a quality score.
Remote Availability & Performance Monitoring
Is an external monitoring method that periodically calls or interacts with self-service customer facing solutions to ensure they are available and performing as expected. It is external because the transaction is generated outside the system being monitored just like a real end-user transaction.
Let’s think how a contact centre is put together. Now overlay the sequence of interactions a caller has with the self-service or communications technology and all its supporting functionality (e.g., switching, routing & hunting, speech reco and text-to-speech technologies, data access & retrieval methods, CTI screen pop, etc.). Now associate each step of a typical telephone call with a unique part of the contact centre’s self-service infrastructure including CTI and routing processes required to transfer a call to an agent as well. Because each test call follows a carefully defined script from the time the equipment goes off-hook and dials all the way through the end of the call, a remote availability and performance monitoring transaction acts just like a customer doing a specifically defined activity (such as checking an account balance, reporting a power outage, etc.). It verifies at each step that the system is saying exactly what is expected and responding to the end-user’s inputs within established response time thresholds. It is accessing and interacting with the self-service system. By doing so it is literally monitoring the availability and performance of that system. If the test call process determines the system is not saying what it is supposed to at any step, or taking too long to respond to end-user inputs, notifications alert someone specifically designated to assess the severity of the issue and to deal with it.
In monitoring your contact centre you need information in all three areas giving you the information on how different areas work together. Each will give you a view into your centre, but now you know the difference and what you get with – Agent Monitoring, Voice Quality Monitoring, and Remote Availability and Performance Monitoring