UK call centre monitoring and training is part of what makes the contact centre industry unique – a way for call centre managers to observe the language used by call agents, and to provide direct coaching and feedback based on those observations.
In a new book called Technology Mediated Service Encounters, Dr Anna Kristina Hultgren, a senior lecturer in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, writes about politeness in call centre interactions and the ways in which UK call centres compare with those elsewhere in the world.
Comparing Britain with Denmark, Hong Kong and the Philippines, she writes: “Call centres, regardless of type, sector specialisation and geographical location, tend to be extremely similar.”
She adds: “There is also evidence that call centres worldwide share ideologies on how agents should speak to customers, regardless of the country in which they are located.”
But while call centres around the world are similar to one another, they are unlike other industries – and it is the way they are managed that sets them apart.
Monitoring call centre language
Dr Hultgren notes that 43% of call centre training focuses on soft skills like customer service. At the same time, monitoring call centre language is a key area of investment for call centre operators.
“Call centres devote extensive resources to systematically monitoring and assessing whether agents adhere to these rules in practice,” she writes. “The practice of call centres to intervene in their employees’ language use is arguably one of the most distinctive features of call centres.”
In the UK call centre monitoring and training may already be more mature than in other countries – for example, Dr Hultgren found that in the British call centre she studied, calls were routinely recorded, while in Denmark they were only recorded especially for the research project.
She also found that the guidance given to call agents in the British contact centre included the most detailed instructions on rapport and small talk out of the four countries – urging agents in the insurance-industry call centre to ask customers about topics like the weather or any special events currently taking place.
Making the most of a mature market
The UK clearly differs from other countries in its approach to operating call centres, with much more focus on natural language and rapport, as well as on routinely recording calls for monitoring and training purposes.
With Daviker contact centre solutions you can also put in place end-to-end call monitoring and recording not only for training, but also for compliance purposes in regulated industries like the financial services and legal sectors.
Our call centre solutions can continue to record calls that are transferred to a third party, while our Speech Analytics tool is a powerful way to automatically scan the language used in calls and flag up any causes for concern.
This allows you to give your call operators more free rein over what they say, in the knowledge that inappropriate phraseology will be detected automatically and the call recording flagged for further investigation.
As a result, you can tackle problems as they arise and maximise the competitive edge of running a well-oiled British call centre with well-trained staff and cutting-edge contact centre technologies in place.