The Death of Call Quality Monitoring ( 'Sporadic quality Monitoring').

By Niels Kjellerup Editor and Publisher of  The Call Centre Managers Forum . Ashgrove August 18th 2001.

 The idea, that recording and listening to 2% of the Calls from your customers would be good enough to ensure consistent service delivery, has been proven wrong by the latest Customer Satisfaction released in June 2001 in the US. Substituting Don Peppers One on One marketing concept with a '2 in 100' analyses tool might win support from short term cost cutters, but in the real world of revenue creation it will be very short lived. Baffy, the Vampire slayer, in the form of customer satisfaction surveys, has driven a stick deep into the heart of what can benignly be called ‘Sporadic Quality Monitoring’

Customer Satisfaction is nose diving – and this, at a time, when investments in IT platforms and software to enhance service delivery has reached  record heights ( conservatively estimated at $ 20 billion from 1998-2001). Why didn’t the ROI promised by vendors materialise?

Because ‘Sporadic Quality Monitoring ’ was seen as a cost effective way to prolong the pretence, that you really cared about the experience the customer received in your Call Centre, you embraced the concept, meanwhile your call center continued to slide into Galley Slave Mode with bad or indifferent service and at the same time lost sight of the revenue value of building customer relationship. In short such a strategy which negates any ROI on investment in CRM.

 The flawed business model.

If a Call Center and its service delivery aren’t seen as an integral part of the sales process, the alternative model where service delivery is seen as a stand alone cost, along side garbage collection and archive function, will sooner rather than later lead to mass defection by your customers. Any business which doesn’t view service as sales and sales as service, is bound for the scrap heap, eventually running out of profits or customers or both.  

For more read the article "Why Customer Service Fails" of " The Flawed Business Model - How Customer Wallet-focus took over from Customer Focus".

 Light at the end of the tunnel.

Those Companies, which view each and every customer contact, as part of future or present revenue  creation, are thriving – growing in leaps and bounds. Customer interaction in the Call Center is viewed as Core business and critical to future sales and making CRM investments work. All calls are recorded & analysed – learning from the good call outcomes, as well as the bad. Each customer is viewed individually not as a scoring average. For those interested in statistics,  the Bell curve identifies not only the ‘average’ customer, who probably doesn’t exist, but good or bad practices as something to learn from. The representatives ( called ‘agents’ by vendors) are encouraged to learn from mistakes and take strength from successes. Training becomes more effective because of documented feedback in the form of the recorded calls.


Don’t ever think that only 2% of your customer calls count. The illusion that you’re driving quality monitoring this way, will get you and your Call Center in serious trouble and have an adverse effect on your business as well as your staff. Common sense will tell you that adopting a similar principle in accounts receivable will send your company broke in no time… Your interaction with the customers is the future receivables of your company, provided you focus on call outcome and the customers experience. All calls should be recorded and analysed to improve those business objectives. When you realise this, you will agree with me that ‘Sporadic Quality Monitoring’ is just that - a cost effective shortcut to the blind alley of the Galley Slave or worse The Toxic Call Center and failed CRM implementations..

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