What is a call center audit?
Audits are one of the ways by which you can evaluate the performance and effectiveness of your call center. The exact processes will vary based on the type of call center that your organization is running, but ultimately share the same goal - to improve overall performance.
Reasons to conduct an audit
An audit can give you a wide range of information, all of which you can use to make strategic decisions about the future operations and procedures of your call center. For example, you may want to conduct an audit to get an overview of how the call center is performing and a snapshot of the health of the organization.
When conducted correctly, audits can be used to highlight inefficient or outdated processes, risk factors that might otherwise go unnoticed, and other areas of weakness that would benefit from improvement. Being made aware of the “problem areas” your call center currently faces allows you to begin implementing the changes necessary to address and while monitoring those specific areas - ensuring they don’t reach a point of criticality.
An understanding of the current status of your call center derived from the data of a well run audit provides the opportunity for you to make educated decisions about future goals, procedures, and strategies that you may implement in the future. It will also allow you to identify technology gaps and provide a thorough framework that can be used to implement new business initiatives.
Tips for Call Center Audits
Due to all the moving pieces, departments, and individuals that are likely part of your call center, setting out to complete an audit can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you successfully prepare for - and execute - an audit.
- Set clear objectives
A successful audit is predicated upon ensuring that you (and other management members) understand exactly what the intended goals and outcomes are. Whether your objective is to identify places where agents could be more efficient, evaluate the benefit of the current call scripts, or improve customer wait times, it is important that you have a clear goal that will guide your decision making as you begin the audit.
- Define timelines and milestones
An audit will be performed over a set period of time. Make sure that everyone involved is aware of how long the audit will be taking place, and which areas will be audited during which time. You will also want to define the milestones that will occur during the audit, or specific things that will be relevant to consider in your timeline.
- Assign responsibilities
An audit can be a big undertaking – especially if your call center is very large. Assign individuals responsibilities, and be clear about what those responsibilities entail. Align the data collection methods, so that everyone gathers the same information in the same ways.
- Focus on high-impact issues
Throughout the course of your audit, there are likely to be many options of areas to consider. However, some things will have a higher impact than others on the objectives you set at the beginning of the audit. For example, if your objective is to increase customer hold times, spending a significant amount of time auditing inefficiencies in outbound calls isn’t going to work towards the hold-time objective. Ensure that your focus areas are aligned with these objectives. Additionally, you will likely take many things from the results you would like to implement in different areas. Ensure that your actions following the audit also align with your objectives.
Key areas to assess
As we discussed above, there are many areas that your audit could focus on, but you will want to make sure that you focus on areas that are going to help you achieve the goals and objectives that you identified. Here are some areas you should consider assessing as part of your call center audit:
- Customer satisfaction: How satisfied customers are with the service they received.
- Overall call center performance: How productive and efficient agents are, and how that leads to the overall productivity of the call center. Productivity is usually measured by specific KPIs chosen for your organization.
- Agent efficiency: How quickly agents move through specific tasks, including how much work they’re required to do between calls as well as the policies and procedures they’re expected to follow.
- Call center script performance: How the scripts that agents are given for each situation enhance or complicate their tasks. This includes making sure scripts are up to date and efficient. It also entails evaluating where agents are relying on scripts and where they are developing their own pathways.
- Agent onboarding and training: How agents are taught and trained. This also entails evaluating areas where agents are lacking in order to reinforce training in these areas.
- Agent turnover: How frequently agents find employment outside of the call center, and tracking the motivations behind the change in order to address agent frustrations that may be driving them away.
- Processes and procedures: Overall processes and procedures, requirements, and policies, including how these affect agents and customers.
- Compliance: How your call center handles compliance, including policies surrounding the rules and regulations of your industry.
Improve performance with Hiya Connect
Call center auditing is one of the best ways to evaluate the performance of your call center and outline areas for improvement. If you’re wanting to further improve your call center performance, consider utilizing Hiya Connect. Hiya Connect also provides you with intuitive analytic dashboards that you can use to track your specific goals and objectives as you complete your audit and implement your findings. To learn more about what metrics are best to track for your specific goals, download our Call Center Metrics eBook.