3 is the Perfect Number

Three may be a crowd at times, but 3 is the perfect number for quality monitoring formats you should be using in your pharma call center. The 3 format types are: Mystery Calling, Recorded Call Monitoring, and Side-by-Side Live Monitoring. In this blog we will offer some of our current thinking on how these 3 types of monitoring work together to help customers, agents, and your organization.



3 Types of Monitoring


Mystery Calling

Your own call center representative, pretending to be an actual customer, contacts your center and uses a scenario similar to an actual call in order to test specific agent skills or call center processes. Usually about 10% of total monitored calls.

Why it works:

Mystery calls test skills that may not be used frequently but are very important to get right (e.g., AE handling). This type of monitoring is also useful when call recording technology is not available because Mystery Calls will help provide valuable content that can be used for coaching and evidence of quality assurance.


Developing scenarios can be time consuming. Reaching the desired agent through the call routing process may be difficult. Supervisors or others may be uncomfortable “pretending” to be a customer. Mystery calling is minimally effective as a stand alone format for monitoring.

Recorded Call Monitoring

No explanation required for this workhorse of any quality monitoring program.

Why it works:

The two critical attributes of random sample selection and volume monitoring efficiency make recorded call monitoring the only viable stand alone monitoring format. It is possible to achieve both breadth and depth of evaluations needed to provide insights on quality assurance, agent performance,  and process improvement.


It’s difficult to see a shortcoming in recorded call monitoring, but if there is one, it is that agents may not really be showing the same level of effort as they would in a side-by-side monitor. Coaches may get a true picture of agent performance, but not what the agent is capable of when performing at his/her best.

Side-by-Side Monitoring

Monitoring specialist or supervisor listens in at the side of agents as they are handling calls.

Why it works:

Agents show how well they are capable of performing…not how they actually perform. This format gives supervisors time to build rapport with agents.


Side-by-side monitoring doesn’t give a true picture of how he/she is performing and doesn’t provide sufficient evidence for quality assurance.


No single monitoring format hits all the right notes, but the 3 together make perfect harmony.  If you are currently using just 1 or 2 formats, contact us to see how easy it is to add another format to your monitoring program.

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