Call Barging: What Is It and Why Should You Use It?

What in the world is call barging? And why is it something you should strongly consider implementing in your calling operations?

No, call barging isn’t what happens when your spouse or kids unknowingly (or let’s be honest, knowingly) walk into the room when you’re in the middle of taking a Zoom call.

Instead, call barging is a call monitoring capability that should be offered by your contact center software solution. Specifically, it allows contact center managers to drop in on live calls between agents and customers.

As you can imagine, call barging is a powerful calling tool that offers a wide range of benefits for your contact center. In this post, we’ll take a deeper look into call barging–what it does, how it works, and why you should be using it if you aren’t already.

What Is Call Barging?

The Need

It’s crucial for call center managers to make sure everyone’s needs are being met, from the customer on the line to your agents in your call center or working remotely.

In a remote work environment, it’s even more critical for you to be able to monitor conversations and intervene on the line if needed.

The Solution

As we mentioned above, call barging is the answer. It’s a powerful tool that enables you to monitor, drop in on, and speak with the customer and agent at the same time.

Hands-On, Even When You Can’t Be

When you can’t be at arm’s length with your agents, whether because they’re working remotely or because you need to be more hands-off, call barging offers you the opportunity to stay connected and involved with your agents and customers.

With call barging, you can bring a more hands-on approach in quality assurance, coaching your call center agents, and ensuring that the customer experience is a top priority.

Call barging works in tandem with these other cloud-based call center software capabilities:

  • Call recording, where incoming calls are recorded and can be played back at a later date for analysis and coaching
  • Call listening, where managers and other agents can listen in on live calls without interrupting
  • Call whispering, which allows managers to guide agents during a call without interacting with the customer

By using a combination of some or all of these strategies, it’s easy to monitor live calls and provide real-time feedback. This improves call quality and helps get to a more positive resolution for everyone involved.

Call barging is even more powerful when you take a step back and look at its impact on your overall performance. Because it’s a great de-escalation tool, call barging helps more customers leave the call feeling satisfied, which aids in retention. As a training tool, it helps new agents get comfortable faster, which means they reach full productivity sooner. And, when paired with other contact center features like IVR systems, call barging is an important part of your efforts to speed up resolutions and decrease wait times.

In sum, call barging minimizes negative experiences and empowers agents, both of which help you hold onto more of your loyal customers.

How Does Call Barging Work?

Call barging makes it possible for contact center managers to take care of problems as they happen, or even better, stop a problem from happening before it starts.

Step Into The Agent’s Shoes

Picture a struggling agent. Without call barging, and without standing right next to that agent, their manager isn’t able to offer constructive help to solve the problem.

But with a tool like call barging in your call center software toolbox, you could step in–anytime, anywhere–to assist the agent and customer.

Now the Customer’s

Now imagine being a customer speaking with a struggling agent. You’re frustrated. You’re upset. All you want is for someone, anyone, to be able to solve your problem so you can just get on with your day and get off the call.

And that’s where call barging comes in. Customers will not only feel more positive when they’re being helped by a manager and agent together, but they’ll also feel as though they’re being taken care of by a whole team, not just an individual.

It’s a Win-Win-Win

With call barging, you’re able to offer a higher level of support to both your customers and your agents. A win-win-win for everyone involved.

Not only will you meet customer expectations, but you’ll also be able to exceed them.

Jason Swift, CEO of Marlette Funding, puts it this way: “I really just try to listen to as many calls as I can so that I hear a couple of things: What are the customers saying today and how do we need to react to that to create whatever relief they need in these unique times? Because it’s certainly fluid, so we want to make sure that we are up to speed on the needs of the consumer. And two, what are the needs of the agents? And to provide those needs. But also, on a real-time basis, answer questions, or just encourage them and reward them for great calls.”

As you can see, call barging makes it possible for even C-level executives to get connected with some of their agents. Executives have the chance to learn a little bit more about employees that they might not otherwise get a chance to know. Sometimes the benefits of a tool like call barging aren’t obvious on the surface, but in this case, it goes beyond just being able to intervene on a live call.

It’s all about effective monitoring and managing of your agents–and the customer experience as a whole.

Here’s a closer look at how call barging benefits your organization.

Why Use Call Barging for Your Company

Maintains your credibility

Imagine if, while you were shopping in a store, the inexperienced clerk made a mistake while ringing you up. Then, as they struggled to correct the wrong charge, you realized they were the only person working and there was no one else to help them. It probably wouldn’t leave you feeling very confident that you were being charged the right amount, let alone wanting to shop there in the future.

Call barging avoids such a scenario. When a manager is able to seamlessly step in when they’re needed, it showcases your professionalism and protects the customer’s confidence in your brand.

Helps with agent training

Your basic onboarding training might be enough to get agents ready to handle routine calls, but what about those unusual ones where there’s a complex issue or the customer is extra frustrated? For those types of calls, it’s best for agents to learn by doing. Call barging helps managers subtly coach agents through resolving many different types of calls in real-time, so they’re better prepared to handle it on their own the next time around.

Aids in quality assurance

The most effective quality assurance strategy is active, not passive. Call barging allows managers to step in and resolve issues when they’re happening rather than waiting to try to retroactively correct them after things have played out, when it may be too late.

Reduces escalations

Call barging doesn’t just help resolve escalations in the moment; better training means fewer calls need to be escalated in the first place. When agents resolve a tough issue together with a manager, they’re empowered to do it independently if it comes up again.

Increases first call resolutions

Just as call barging minimizes escalations, it also reduces the need for customers to call multiple times to get an issue addressed. This contributes to higher first-call resolution rates.

And It’s All About Performance

What about call barging as a training tool? For new agents who are transitioning to taking calls alone, they can rest assured knowing they still have a safety net behind them. When the need to escalate a call arises, a manager can step in to ensure the customer’s problem is being solved and the agent’s needs are being met.

For agents who are underperforming, call barging can help managers be aware of the issue, and intervene at the right time. As we mentioned before, this is a powerful tool for both agents in your contact center, and especially for any agents working remotely.

When managers are able to monitor and step in on calls, they’re able to better identify and address problems that agents are having. When problems do happen, they can “barge in” on a call and get the conversation with the customer back on course.

When Not To Use Call Barging

Consider avoiding call barging when it will either harm the customer experience or won’t add value to the customer conversation. That is, don’t just barge in to say hello or thank a customer for their business or praise an agent.

Call barging should be used strategically when you see an opportunity to “move the needle” for a customer or agent. If there’s a chance for you to solve a customer’s problem or de-escalate an issue, both the agent and customer will likely welcome you intervening on the call.

On the flip side, if you overuse call barging, agents may freeze up during calls or lose confidence as a result of being over-monitored by managers or executives.

To sum it all up, just because you can drop in on a call at any time doesn’t mean you should.

Is Your Software Up To Snuff?

It’s hard to talk about call barging without automatically getting into an explanation of its many benefits. We’ve talked at length above about what call barging is and how it works, so by now you already know a number of reasons why it’s such an effective tool for call centers.

But here’s the rub. Call barging may not be available on some legacy systems. Or else it could be a cumbersome tool to implement and use on your current platform.

If your system can’t offer call barging, or can’t handle it, you need to get one that does. We recommend a cloud-based contact center software solution where a tool like this comes standard. It should be an out-of-the-box platform that’s easy-to-use and simple to set up.

What Next?

There you have it–a deep dive into what call barging is, how it works, and why you should be using it.

It’s a simple, yet truly powerful software capability that offers a wide range of benefits for your contact center. And during a time when it’s harder than ever to be within arm’s reach of your agents, call barging gives you the chance to be “hands-on” with them, regardless of where they’re working.

The customer experience, too, will get a lift as callers are able to be helped more quickly and effectively.

If you didn’t know what call barging was until today, now you know where to start.

And if you did know what it was, but aren’t doing it, now you know why it’s a tool you need to be using–and where you need to get it.

Call Barging FAQ

What Is Call Barging?

It’s a powerful tool that enables you to monitor, drop in on, and speak with the customer and agent at the same time.

How Does Call Barging Work?

Call barging makes it possible for contact center managers to take care of problems as they happen, or even better, stop a problem from happening before it starts.

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