Improve the customer experience with call monitoring
Support the customer experience with call monitoring.
Even though call centers are well-established in customer service teams, they’re still evolving—and so is the technology for them. An example is call monitoring software, which enables agents and supervisors to listen to and learn from past customer conversations. Managers can also guide new agents in real time and take over when a support call goes astray.
Read more to explore call monitoring software and its benefits, features, and best practices.
- What is call monitoring software?
- 14 call center monitoring software solutions
- Call monitoring software solutions comparison
- Features of call monitoring systems
- Benefits of call center monitoring software
- How to choose a call center quality monitoring software
- Call monitoring best practices
- Frequently asked questions on call monitoring software
What is call monitoring software?
Call monitoring software is a technology that records phone conversations between customers and support agents. Generally speaking, customer service departments record calls to collect customer feedback and facilitate training for new agents.
In addition to creating recordings, call monitoring software allows other employees (like a supervisor) to listen in on a live support call without alerting the customer or agent—this is known as call listening.
How does call monitoring software work?
Call center quality monitoring software works in two ways:
- It enables managers to listen to customer support conversations in real time.
- It automatically records phone conversations for on-demand listening.
Most business phone software that you come across will include call monitoring features as native functionality.
Who uses call quality monitoring software in a call center?
Service agents, supervisors, managers, and other call center employees may use call monitoring software. Supervisors and managers use the software to provide feedback to agents on handling specific situations.
Support agents may also use recordings from call monitoring software to give themselves a chance to listen to and learn from their previous calls.
14 call center monitoring software solutions
There are many different types of call monitoring systems—the best ones enable supervisors to coach their agents, monitor call interactions, and glean insights from real-time metrics. Most call monitoring software solutions also use artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as chatbots, to help streamline workflows.
If you’re looking to integrate quality monitoring software for call centers within your business, gain some inspiration from this list of the 14 best call center monitoring systems.
- Zoho Desk
- Twilio Flex
The Zendesk omnichannel call monitoring software is integrated within the Zendesk Agent Workspace to help create a smooth customer experience. This tool supports growing teams by quickly solving issues while tracking and increasing phone support operations. It also functions on a single dashboard to boost the productivity of your operations and allows your team to deliver top-notch customer service.
When it comes to call quality monitoring, Zendesk gives supervisors the opportunity to track and assess all agent interactions with customers to help identify areas of improvement. This includes call recordings, customer conversations, and queue volumes that are shown with real-time metrics and reporting.
With these tools, agents and supervisors can use cross-channel reporting to see where voice performance stacks up against chat, email, messaging, and other conversational channels.
The cloud-based software is also easy to set up and can support full call center operations in a short amount of time. So, there’s no need to hire additional support or involve the IT team.
Plus, with omnichannel routing, calls can be routed to the right agent based on status and capacity. Zendesk offers several flexible plans to help businesses of different sizes resolve issues quickly and meet their other pressing needs.
- APIs, SDKs, and integrations
- Omnichannel support
- Priority phone numbers
- Embedded call back within the web widget
- Voicemail and text messaging
- Call recording
- Click-to-call capability
- Outbound caller ID
- Inbound calling
- Overflow, group, and after-hours call routing
- 90+ telephony providers
- Suite Team: $55 per user/month
- Suite Growth: $89 per user/month
- Suite Professional: $115 per user/month
- Suite Enterprise: Contact sales
- Free 14-day trial
2. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is a call monitoring software solution that helps improve agent productivity and simplify customer service operations. Agents can track customer requests across brands, products, departments, channels, and more.
Zoho Desk helps teams dedicate more time to customers, facilitates quicker resolutions, and makes doing business simpler with its easy-to-use dashboards. Additionally, the built-in AI allows support staff to provide strong customer service and manage day-to-day tasks.
- Ticket management
- AI and live chat
- Reporting and insight dashboards
- Task automation
- Standard: $14 per user/month
- Professional: $23 per user/month
- Enterprise: $40 per user/month
- Free 15-day trial
LiveAgent is cloud-based omnichannel call monitoring software with advanced features, such as unlimited call recording, call routing, call transfers, and HD video calls. Agents can improve customer communications with real-time monitoring, call center metrics, and a desktop experience that displays multiple conversation channels at once.
LiveAgent boasts a built-in knowledge base that provides customers with 24/7 online support, plus a self-serve knowledge base for offline support. It also has unique email features, including email forwarding, email notifications for new tickets, and customizable email templates.
- Real-time monitoring and call center metrics
- Omnichannel help desk software
- Internal call capabilities
- Third-party CRM integrations
- Ticket: $15 per user/month
- Ticket+Chat: $29 per user/month
- All-inclusive: $49 per user/month
- Free 14-day trial
Talkdesk is another cloud-based call monitoring system that allows you to communicate from any device. This platform features omnichannel and workforce engagement, employee collaboration tools, and customer experience analytics.
Talkdesk also provides real-time status updates about customers and timeline estimates for issue resolution.
Learn how you can integrate Talkdesk with Zendesk.
- Cloud-based contact center
- AI technology
- Self-service capabilities
- Customer experience analytics
- CX Cloud Essentials: $75 per user/month
- CX Cloud Elevate: $95 per user/month
- CX Cloud Elite: $125 per user/month
- Free demo only (upon request)
5. Twilio Flex
Twilio Flex is a contact center platform that features API integrations, custom metrics, KPI monitoring, and the ability to create custom engagement workflows and intelligent routing.
With Twilio Flex, agents can utilize API integrations to pull in customers’ past orders, payment information, inventory data, and more. Agents can add these details to reports with drag-and-drop ease and easily share them across your organization.
Learn about Twilio Flex for Zendesk.
- Multichannel customer service
- Reporting dashboards
- Contact center management
- Application integration
- Per-hour: $1 an hour per user
- Per-month: $150 per user/month
- Free demo only (upon request)
CallHippo is call monitor software that helps increase agent productivity, monitor team performance, and automate workflows.
With its IVR capability, live call monitoring, and smart call routing, the platform allows agents to deliver a smooth customer experience. Internal teams can also collaborate on calls and share information through a dashboard.
Learn about CallHippo for Zendesk.
- Speech analytics
- Call tracking
- Voice broadcasting
- Power dialer
- Bronze: $16 per user/month
- Silver: $24 per user/month
- Platinum: $40 per user/month
- Free 10-day trial
Freshdesk has many features to boost call center performance, such as click-to-call, call notes capabilities, caller ID context, and call metrics and summary. Calls can be recorded and monitored in the future for training purposes, further strengthening your call center team.
Support agents can also easily manage customer calls and collaborate internally within the software. For example, you can invite other members of your team to collaborate on a complex issue. The learnings can be used to guide interactions for future calls.
- Service level monitoring
- Abandoned call metrics
- Call center reporting and analytics
- Real-time dashboard
- Growth: $15 per user/month
- Pro: $39 per user/month
- Enterprise: $69 per user/month
- Free 21-day trial
- Real-time customer insights
- Automated call scoring
- Dashboards and reporting
- Call recording, transcripts, and scores
- Contact team for pricing
- Free demo only (upon request)
Dialfire is call monitoring software with a predictive dialer, inbound and outbound calling, unlimited customizable data fields, call monitoring and recording, and secure data and voice encryption.
With Dialfire, agents can also take advantage of real-time analytics and handle various phone campaigns on a centralized platform. Dialfire integrates with Zendesk Sell to help accelerate your campaigns.
- Inbound and outbound calling
- Real-time analytics
- Customizable dashboards
- Integration capabilities
- Basic: $15 per user/month
- Advanced: $20 per user/month
- Professional: $25 per user/month
- Enterprise: $35 per user/month
- Free version available
To help boost quality monitoring in call centers, Kixie provides automated calling and texting in an all-in-one contact center—complete with tracking tools and advanced inbound routing to voicemail.
Agents can text customers via SMS on a business phone number. They can also take advantage of an easy-to-configure IVR system, which routes callers to groups, call queues, or other agents.
Kixie boasts reporting dashboards that highlight outcomes, connections, SMS queues, and more. The company offers seamless support and call integration with Zendesk, too.
- Unlimited cloud storage
- Call and text integrations
- Scheduled auto calls
- Custom automation
- Integrated: $35/month
- Professional: $65/month
- Outbound Power Dialer: $95/month
- Free 14-day trial
Contacto is an omnichannel call monitor software solution that easily integrates customer conversations with your existing systems. Supervisors can empower their agents with real-time guidance and call data that identifies performance trends.
Additionally, Contacto has a drag-and-drop workflow builder to boost productivity, and it integrates with third-party applications—including Zendesk—to help drive agent productivity.
- Reporting and analytics
- API integration
- Omnichannel workflows
- Call transfers and recording
- Professional: $35 per user/month
- Business: $65 per user/month
- Free demo only (upon request)
With its cloud-based platform, CloudTalk allows call centers to operate virtually and from anywhere in the world. Agents can improve customer service with CloudTalk’s many features, such as call queuing, call recording, personalized phone numbers and extensions, power dialer, and integration capabilities.
A real-time dashboard tracks all call center activities to help agents stay on top of tasks and access the most up-to-date information. Agent statistics are also easily accessible, so the team can get insights on how to improve.
The CloudTalk for Support app integrates with Zendesk.
- Call queuing and recording
- Internal calling capabilities
- Real-time customer information
- Automated call distribution
- Starter: $25 per user/month
- Essential: $30 per user/month
- Expert: $50 per user/month
- Free 14-day trial
Acefone is a VoIP phone system that helps increase efficiency with auto-dialers, call transfer, click-to-call capabilities, and SMS auto-notification workflows. Acetone also features IVR, call detail reports, and end-to-end encryption to ensure that all customer data and conversations stay secure.
Agents who use Acefone can maximize their productivity and optimize processes with features such as call barge, detailed reports, missed call alerts, and text-to-speech. Acefone also allows agents to set up custom ringbacks and custom music or message on hold.
Learn more about Acefone for Zendesk.
- Call forwarding and transfer
- Scheduled callbacks
- Business: $24.99 per user/month
- Premium: $32.99 per user/month
- Free 15-day trial
Aircall’s call monitor software helps agents learn from client conversations and provide better experiences. Aircall offers many phone system features, such as toll-free number creation, customizable voicemails, SMS business text messaging, and personalized three-digit extensions for team members.
The software also has unlimited concurrent calls, ring groups (groups you can create based on similar traits to improve call routing), and pause-resume recording to keep certain customer information private.
Aircall integrates with Zendesk—the Aircall for Support app helps improve collaboration within your customer service team.
- Call center analytics
- Call routing
- Real-time activity feed
- Call queuing
- Essentials: $30 per user/month
- Professional: $50 per user/month
- Free 7-day trial
A comparison of top call monitoring software solutions
Features of call monitoring systems
From accessing customer service interactions across multiple platforms to tracking and analyzing customer calls, many features make call monitoring software a great tool for businesses. Here are the top features to look for when choosing a call monitoring system.
Call listening, recording, and barge/takeover
Call listening, recording, and call takeover are some of the fundamental features of a call monitoring system:
- Call recording records calls that agents answer, calls transferred to an external number by an agent (which is an option that can be toggled off), and voicemails.
- Call listening allows supervisors to listen to a call in real time, without the customer or agent being notified.
- Barge/takeover is the ability for a manager to join or take over calls when necessary.
A strong call monitoring tool will include all three elements.
Call recording consent and agent recording controls
Call recording consent configures call recording opt-in or opt-out permissions for callers. With an agent recording control configuration, you can pause and resume call recordings.
Both features help ensure you’re legally compliant by preventing the software from recording sensitive and personal end-user information. They also provide additional flexibility and control over managing privacy and data security.
Analytics and auditing
Call monitoring is all about gleaning information from support calls, so your monitoring system must be able to export and analyze call data in detail. That way, you can splice data based on call time, successful resolutions, and more.
Additionally, some call monitoring solutions provide scorecards for supervisors to rate agent performance in real time or immediately after listening to the live call.
Inovalon took advantage of the data reporting and messaging API that Zendesk offers—it allowed the support team to maintain quick response times and top-notch customer satisfaction, and to start an auditable compliance process that has cut labor times drastically.
Live call dashboards
Call software in general should have an intuitive call dashboard where managers and agents can access all the information and functions they need. This is especially true when it comes to call monitoring software because managers are often joining a call fresh, with little to no information.
Zendesk call monitoring software, for example, includes live call dashboards that display:
- All ongoing calls at a glance
- Information about the call, such as the agent’s name, their group, and any tickets related to the call
- Call type and duration
- Functions to listen in on agent conversations, record calls, and/or take over the call.
Routing and queuing calls
The ability to route and queue calls is critical. Call routing can give customers the best experience by connecting them with a rep who is most knowledgeable about the issue they’re experiencing. Routing calls can also:
- Help speed up hold times
- Decrease call abandonment rates
- Improve agent workflows
- Increase issue resolution rates
Queuing capabilities create a virtual line for callers when agents are busy. A call monitoring system with this functionality can help:
- Prevent missed calls
- Decrease customer wait times
- Keep callers engaged while they wait for an agent
Omnichannel support is another important feature to look for in call monitoring software. This cloud-based feature enables a support team to access and continue customer conversations on any device, from anywhere. It also allows them to handle conversations from multiple channels simultaneously.
In addition to phone calls, omnichannel support applies to messaging, email, SMS text messages, and social media—providing flexibility for customers.
Benefits of call center monitoring software
In any industry, call monitoring software helps supervisors ensure agents’ performance is on track and they have all the tools they need. There are many advantages for customers, agents, management, and the business as a whole. Explore some of the top benefits of call center monitoring software below.
Provide support for new team members
Call center monitoring software is an essential tool for supporting new agents in real time and in training sessions. Not only can supervisors provide feedback during calls, but newer agents can also learn from seasoned agents by listening to their calls or certain parts of their calls.
In short, call monitoring makes it possible for supervisors, managers, and agents to support and learn from each other. With the call listening feature in Zendesk, remote managers and agents can listen in on calls from anywhere.
Emphasize quality over quantity
As support teams scale and ticket volume explodes, it’s all too easy to take shortcuts. One of the most common shortcuts is not dedicating the proper time and resources to training and quality assurance. Call center monitoring software doubles as an invaluable quality assurance and training tool.
Supervisors can spot-check agents from time to time by listening to their calls and making sure agents are performing to company standards. That way, no matter how large your operation grows, you’ll always have your eye on quality over quantity.
Gather feedback from the source
Analytics, interviews, and surveys are great ways to collect information about your customers. If you can layer in data from recordings of customer conversations to your analysis, you’ll gain invaluable insights into what drives, inspires, frustrates, and delights your audience.
This is especially valuable for managers who are often too busy to have many customer interactions. With call monitoring, managers can jump onto a call and gain raw data straight from the source.
Identify areas of improvement
Supervisors can use call monitoring software features—like call listening, recording, and barge/takeover—to identify improvement areas and gaps in agent training. Additionally, most call monitoring systems have reporting and metric dashboards, so you can share data and insights with the whole team.
How to choose a call center quality monitoring software
There are many different types of call monitoring systems available, each with its own set of unique qualities and features. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating call center quality monitoring software.
Current and future fit
For better or worse, software purchases often come about as a result of a pressing need—the purchaser often feels pressure to source software that solves it.
When possible, choose a call center monitoring system based on how useful it will be as you scale your support team. Remember that teams, products, markets, and service strategies are in a constant state of flux. Your call monitoring solution should be flexible enough to work for your team—and business—as it evolves.
The overall call center software features
Call monitoring is only one specific feature of call center software, so it’s essential to search for a solution that offers additional robust features. These include:
- Routing to ensure calls go to the right agent, every time
- Reporting and analytics to keep an eye on trends, staffing, and where to improve
- Unified customer view
Zendesk gives businesses the ability to track and manage support conversations from a unified view. Liberty London, for example, utilized Zendesk software to manage phone and email conversations in a single location. The system captured all customer data, and agents could receive calls on various devices using the Zendesk voice-over-IP phone.
Avid Ratings also takes advantage of Zendesk integrations. By leveraging Zendesk for support ticketing, integrated voice software, knowledge base, and reporting functionality, the company was able to create a more customer-centric product and cut response times by 67 percent.
Time to value (TTV)
A successful software purchase depends on more than capabilities and price. It’s just as important to buy software that your organization can and will deploy, use, and evolve with. Accomplishing that requires software that your colleagues can extract value from as quickly as possible.
Time to value (TTV), or uptime, is how quickly you can set up a product or service and start experiencing results. When a call monitoring system has a fast time to value, employees can see the impact of the solution for themselves sooner rather than later. This will vastly accelerate adoption among your team, executives, and other stakeholders.
Call monitoring best practices
Once you choose your call monitoring software, it’s time to implement the system. Read on for call monitoring software best practices to improve your call center quality.
Create the right team and provide training
Make the call monitoring process as smooth as possible by designating the right call quality monitoring team. This team should primarily consist of contact center supervisors, managers, and top-performing call center agents.
Make sure your team is trained and thoroughly understands your brand and customer service standards so they can deliver high-quality customer experiences.
Establish your KPIs and call quality standards
When implementing your call center quality monitoring software, you’ll want to set KPIs and quality standards for your team. This gives you a way to track and meet goals.
Examples of KPIs include:
- Average call abandonment rate
- Percentage of blocked calls
- Average time in queue
- Average answer speed
- Average handle time
- Net Promoter Score®
- First call resolution rate
You can measure call quality standards by using customer satisfaction surveys and asking questions like:
- Did the agent provide value by mentioning additional services or products?
- Did the agent provide a good experience for the customer?
- Did the agent ask for feedback after the call?
- Did the agent meet all compliance standards?
You should also define what is on- and off-script. Tell your agents the extent to which a call script should be followed.
Ask for feedback
It’s important to keep a continuous feedback loop—this applies internally and externally. Internally, this can mean providing agents with feedback regularly based on their performance from call recordings and listenings.
Collecting customer feedback is also crucial, as it allows you to gauge your call center quality and determine where you can improve. You can ask customers for feedback at the end of a support call or in a follow-up survey via email.
Consistency is key—call monitoring should be an ongoing practice within a contact center. When agents are aware that call monitoring can happen at any time, they are more likely to follow their scripts and uphold the quality standards.
Frequently asked questions on call monitoring software
Below are some helpful call monitoring software FAQs to help you get started on the path to call center improvement.
What are the types of call monitoring?
The main types of call monitoring are:
- Real-time call monitoring: Also known as “double listening,” this type is best for managers who want to listen in and instantly provide feedback on support calls.
- On-demand call recording: This type is ideal for reviewing and learning from past conversations.
Each type of call monitoring has its place, and many organizations use both at different times.
How much does call center monitoring software cost?
Generally speaking, call center monitoring software is available for purchase as a feature (or set of features) in a call center system with broader functionality. The cost of your call center system depends on the software delivery model and the number of phone numbers, users, and features.
Cloud-based call center phone systems are the most affordable. Plans that include call monitoring typically range from $20 to $150 per month per user, with one-time development costs of a few thousand dollars and usage fees of approximately $0.10 per minute and up.
Are monitored calls recorded?
Monitored calls may or may not be recorded. A call monitoring system can be configured in a way that allows supervisors to monitor calls in real time without creating a recording of the call. You can also set up the software to record only certain calls.
In short, whether monitored calls are recorded depends completely on the configuration of the call monitoring system.
Boost your call center strategy with call monitoring software
Connecting with your customers is a prerequisite for sustained business success—call monitoring software enables you to build those connections by helping you listen to their needs, wants, and frustrations during support calls. Use Zendesk to start delivering better customer experiences today.
Try call center monitoring for free
With Zendesk, you can collaborate with your team on live support calls—without disrupting the flow of the conversation—and analyze historical call data to glean strategic insights for planning and training.
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