What is a Barge-in?

Barge-in, also known as call barging, is a feature of some call center applications that allows a supervisor to listen live to agent calls and "barge-in" if necessary, essentially turning them into three-way conference calls. Some software even allows a supervisor to "whisper" to an agent so that only the agent can hear them, as a prelude to a barge-in.

An obvious use of barge-in is when customers demand to speak to a supervisor or in situations where an agent is struggling to find the right response to a customer. Supervisors also monitor calls as part of ongoing quality assurance efforts and may find opportunities to barge in during those calls, especially with new agents or during the rollout of new products and services.

Barge-ins are a valuable tool for supervisors, but have the potential to be confusing to callers. Therefore, call centers with this capability should establish protocols for when and how they are used.

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