Four Steps To Simplify Your Mystery Calling Program

Have you been looking for a way to give your call center Quality Monitoring (QM) program a boost?

Mystery Calling is seldom a stand-alone process for QM, but it is the best “add-on” program we know of for giving call center leaders more confidence in their center’s performance.

Mystery Calling is simply having someone trained in the objectives and processes of your call center place a “real-life,” scenario-based call into your center. The interaction is recorded and assessed like other calls and used as a component of your QM program.

Here are a four steps to simplify your Mystery Caller program.

  • Use qualified Mystery Callers. The Mystery Caller must be knowledgeable about the call center’s purpose and customer experience performance standards. They need to know what “good” sounds like. For example, if your pharma call center receives Medical Information calls, it is best to have a healthcare professional develop and make the Mystery Calls. If your center is for a patient support center, then being qualified simply means that the Mystery Caller must know the details of how a patient might be challenged by the disease or therapy.
  • Don’t wing it. The mystery calls must be based on real-life scenarios and have a purpose of testing a specific skill or knowledge area. The scenarios should be thorough and planned out with a beginning, middle, and ending. The scenario need not be scripted, but should be followed in order to provide the most objective results.
  • Stay in the role. It is best for the Mystery Caller to stay in the role of a real caller throughout the interaction. While it’s fine for agents to know that test calls may occur from time to time, there’s no reason to disclose a mystery call until the very end of the call. Disclosing that the call is a mystery call at the end of the call is the best practice for allowing agents to remove fictitious data or document the mystery call in the customer management system.
  • 10% Rule of Thumb. The number of mystery calls to perform depends on the complexity and risk of the interactions handled in your center. If you seldom get a Product Quality Complaint, but handling it correctly is critically important, then Mystery Calling is a great way to keep your agents sharp. We recommend 10% of the total QM call volume as a good starting point and you can adjust that percentage up or down depending on your initial results.

While it takes a little planning to set up an effective Mystery Caller program, there’s nothing that compares to its value as a QM booster. If you have any additional thoughts on Mystery Calling or want more information on our lessons learned, please drop me an email at pete@center-first.com or call me at 317-797-2244.