How do Employees Know that their Calls are Being Monitored?


We were asked…

“I’m supervisor of a call center in telephone company and recently I’m feeling that some of my employees are able to know that their calls are being monitored from their ports.

I really don’t know how they know it but would like some advice on how they may have found out and how I stop it?”

You Should Notify Your Agents

How are you monitoring your agents? Are you using a call recording solution or do you use silent observe?

If you are recording all your calls you should notify your agents that the calls are being recorded, this is a legal requirement. You also have to have a phone available which is not recorded for them to make personal calls, this could be a fax line or a payphone but one has to be available.

If you are using silent observe check to see if the phone gives out a ‘beep’ when you monitor, this is sometimes the case and this would alert your staff that you are listening to the call.

Thanks to Carl

Get a Signed Declaration

We monitor agents calls in our Customer Service Centre, and some calls are recorded using the Supervisor terminal. All employees within the Customer Service Centre have signed a declaration confirming that they are aware that calls may be monitored or recorded, and this is held on file as part of our auditing requirements.

As Carl mentioned, depending on how your calls are monitored will dictate how the agents are aware their calls are being observed. If the bleep is the case, you can often get this changed, depending on the phone system you have.

We have the dilemma of the supervisor’s observation phone displaying “Monitor Agent xxxx” so if a team member looks at the supervisor’s phone, they can convey this information to the team.

We are currently awaiting an upgrade to our telephony so that all calls will be recorded, which then helps encourage the behaviour of delivering consistency, as opposed to switching on the required results as and when.

Thanks to Andy

Monitored a Number of Ways

Your agents will be alerted to the fact that they are being monitored a number of ways.

  1. Sometimes there is a bleep in their headset
  2. A supervisor with a headset on dead give away especially if they don’t wear one very often!
  3. The MAIN giveaway is the agents headset, it can be affected by you trying to monitor the call.

I find it much easier to just pull the call recording for the last call made. Obviously the agents spot the headset and know your monitoring calls but the question is who’s?

If an agent believes they are being monitored live they will do there level best to give an outstanding performance. Several recordings taken from the 30 mins prior to your spot checks will be far more true to form.

An outstanding performance for me is all well and good but what I want to hear is what everyone else is getting.

Thanks to Angela. 

I can Mostly Tell When I’m Being Listened to

I’m a centre agent and I can mostly tell when I’m being listened to because the line gets sort of echoey…..

Thanks to a call centre worker.

The Tone of the Silence Changes When Someone is Monitoring

In many systems, the tone of the silence changes when someone is monitoring. Sometimes it gets echoey, sometimes quieter, sometimes the volume drops on the call as a whole, but often, a clever agent can tell.

That being said, if you suspect that your agents are consistently changing behaviours when they are monitored, I’d say go to either a recorded system or simply monitor 5-10 calls at a time (don’t listen to all – simply start the monitoring at, say, 9 am, and listen to calls until 10:30, only actually using 1-2).

And also accept that some agents will always know.

Thanks to Derek

Author: Jo Robinson

Published On: 16th Aug 2008 - Last modified: 12th Apr 2022
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