Silent monitoring refers to the practice of call center managers or senior agents listening to the interaction between an incoming caller and an agent. Silent monitoring is generally used in training and, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that customer service and productivity goals are being met. While a disclaimer must be offered to the incoming caller to inform them that their call may be recorded, often for "quality assurance purposes," the agent often will not know if the interaction is being monitored or not.
The practice of silent monitoring is useful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of agents, effectively capturing customer interactions that can be played back for training purposes or highlighted in performance reviews. Typically, agents are measured by metrics like:
- average handling time
- adherence to scripts provided by call center management for different scenarios
- ability to successfully respond to and mitigate caller objections or complaints
- enthusiasm, tone, manner or other demonstrations of a positive attitude
- instances of upselling or initiative displayed in bringing up product or service features or benefits
- confidence, calmness and courtesy, especially when confronted with problem callers
- clarity and pace of speech.
While less common, silent monitoring can also refer to the practice of secretly tracking the Internet use of children, prison inmates or users of public Internet terminals, as in libraries. While controversial and potentially damaging to familial relationships due to the perceived betrayal of privacy, silent monitoring in this context can discourage or eliminate peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing of copyrighted material, access to pornographic Web sites or other activities that are undesirable to the owner of an Internet access point. A keylogger, in this context, is a silent monitoring device.