Using Call Monitoring in the Bio-Pharma Call Center to Ease Money Problems

February 18, 2013

Bio-pharma companies have a big problem as they settle into 2013. In the first half of 2012, venture capital for the industry plunged by 42 percent.

Without venture backing, an innovative industry like bio-pharma suffers. New drug companies can’t get funding, which means fewer replacements for both companies that are bought out and companies that fail. With fewer drugs in the pipeline, the pharmaceutical industry has fewer future moneymaking opportunities.

Bio-pharma companies can’t afford to lose more money by either alienating customers or giving up unnecessary fines for lack of compliance in the call center. Proactive call monitoring in bio-pharma call centers, according to call center consulting firm CenterFirst, can raise compliance and call quality by as much as 75 percent.

One key to effective call monitoring is to make the objectives clear to all stakeholders. Internal agents and vendor agents should not perceive call monitoring as some vaguely threatening overlord.

Instead, agents should know exactly what managers look for when they monitor a call. In essence, agents then have the answers to the exam. They’re more likely to follow correct procedures when they know exactly what their supervisors want to hear.

Managers should also take call monitoring public. Instead of lurking in a dusty, badly lit back office listening to calls by themselves, managers should let agents listen to important calls in a group setting.

At first, agents may balk at their new public vulnerability. However, as long as management spreads the publicity equally so that no single agent feels targeted, the whole group will benefit greatly from learning together and supporting each other.

Also, managers can reinforce the objectives of the monitoring program to the whole group instead of through individual meetings.

Additionally, agents need a forum to discuss common challenges. As they review their results and discuss trends, they cement a sense of teamwork that allows them to take ownership of the call center’s aggregate performance.

Agents are already paying for call monitoring services to halfheartedly monitor compliance. The next logical step is to leverage that investment to explore customer experience, reinforce procedures and boost agents’ customer service skills.

The bio-pharma industry will see better days. Companies shouldn’t make bad times worse, however, by neglecting the role of the call center.

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