We all know the phrase: "This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes." However, most people forget it as soon as they hear it. Of course, many calls actually are monitored, and it appears that it's a growing business to monitor those calls. People sit around all day listening to other calls, and note down mistakes or problems in tone. A few interesting tidbits come out of this article. First, often, calls are recorded even if the person is on hold. This means, that someone may listen to what you tell someone else in the room while you're on hold assuming no one is listening. Hopefully, it also means they hear what I say when I mutter about how I don't care how much they appreciate my business while I'm hold, they need to get someone to actually answer the damn phone. More interesting, however, is the fact that this growth in the call center monitoring business actually shows that at least some call centers are realizing there's more to customer support than getting a caller off the phone as quickly as possible. Many of these monitors are charged with grading call center staff on how well they perform in a number of areas, including calming down the angry customer and providing accurate information. In other words, as hard as it may be to believe, some call centers are actually looking at quality, rather than quantity. Still, there are some privacy implications to all of this. How many people, for example, think about the fact that their credit card or other personal identifying information may be listened to by a third party monitoring firm? If an AOL customer service representative can misuse the personal info she found, just imagine how much harder it will be to track down a third party monitor who gets to hear the same info -- but never actually speaks to the person in question.
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