Conducting an audit on your call center is an important part of ensuring your agents and your company’s processes and procedures are compliant at all times. Given the thousands you’ll spend in legal fees each year without this integral process, taking the time to do an internal audit can not only save you quite a bit of money and ensure that you are prepared for an external audit, but it can ensure you stay in business for years to come.
The first step in the process is ensuring you know what rules and regulations you’re going to look for in your audit. Compile an all-inclusive list of regulations that your industry is commonly audited for and be sure to include these in the planning stage. You should also include your clients’ work standards as well as any current and previous litigation trends. Done correctly, you should have quite a long list of things to look for during your audit on your list. It might be wise to create a master list or spreadsheet with everything all in one place.
The second step in the process is to create your audit plan in the form of a checklist. You’ll want to decide how you’re going to evaluate your agents and your processes and procedures, which should include listening to recorded calls, evaluating written correspondence, vendor management, IT security, human resources and training processes, complaint tracking/resolution, and the inner workings of your call center solution. This will help you to ensure everything is working the way it was designed and meeting all client and regulatory requirements.
The third step is to actually perform the audit. You’ll want to have created workflows to follow the items and employees you’ll be auditing and ensure that your audit procedure is followed correctly throughout the process for a truly accurate picture. If you’ve made a clear plan based on good research, the auditing process should be the easy part. The next step is where the real challenge lies.
Take a look at the data you collected during your call center audit. You’ll want to analyze all of the information you collected and determine how you’d like to move forward. This can involve updating policy, training up certain teams, or changing your process completely.
If you’ve built an A+ compliance team, such as what we talked about earlier this month (link to: How to Build an A+ Compliance Team), then the evaluation process will likely be much easier. Your team should be equipped with strategies to help you implement any changes that you’ve discovered are necessary and help you move forward in a positive direction post-audit.
Performing an internal audit of your call center should be something you’re thinking about annually. Your employees should be aware that this is a regular part of your business and it’s as much an evaluation of your processes as it is of them. This way, they will continue to act the same way they always do and you’ll get a clear picture of how your call center is running.