“Monitoring makes me nervous.”

Have you ever heard this from one of your front-line representatives (either customer service, technical support, or inside sales)? If so, you’re not alone. This is a frequent objection from employees whose calls, e-mails, and chat sessions are monitored.

Monitoring is an essential tool in coaching your employees and improving your company’s level of service, sales, and productivity, but getting your employees accept being monitored can be a challenge.

The reason monitoring is such a vital part of assessing performance is that it’s the only way to know what your employees’ strengths and areas of opportunity are (at least as they relate to communicating with customers). Although monitoring is a very valuable and commonplace function, many employees aren’t comfortable with it, and as a result they resist with a variety of objections.

Following are some common objections you might hear from your front-line employees—and some solutions for overcoming them.

Common Objections to Monitoring of Customer Communications

“It’s an invasion of my privacy.”

  • Reassure your employees that monitoring is helpful to both the organization’s success and to their career development. For example, you can use what you hear while monitoring to help improve the customer experience, by giving good suggestions to employees. You can praise positive performance more than criticizing mistakes.
  • Walk the talk. Never monitor personal conversations.
  • Provide employees with access to the company’s monitoring guidelines so that they’re fully informed—and know how to succeed.

“You’re just looking for something that I’m doing wrong.”

  • Remind employees that the ultimate goal of monitoring is to improve quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
  • Assure employees that your monitoring is as much about discovering their strengths as it is about finding opportunities for improvement.
  • Prove to employees that you monitor to find out what they are doing right. Praise your employees—regularly and sincerely—when they perform well.

“You don’t trust that I know what I’m doing.”

  • Remind employees how valuable they are to the team and how much confidence you have in them.
  • Point out that all front-line representatives are monitored; no one is singled out.
  • Solicit ideas and advice from your employees regarding performance improvement and customer satisfaction. This lets them know that you trust them.

“You’re trying to micromanage me.”

  • Reassure employees that monitoring is not a tool to micromanage, but a way to improve overall quality and productivity,
  • When making a suggestion for improvement, be sure to include why it’s important or how it will provide the customer with a better experience. This will help the employee see the suggestion in the greater context of the reason for the call.

“You’re just picking on me.”

  • Assure employees that everyone is being monitored regularly, using the same assessment form. Be sure to share the form with your employees.
  • Be sure to spend equal time monitoring all employees. Even your best employees need to be monitored and provided with feedback.

When you hear employees’ objections, do your best to listen and empathize—and to elicit their cooperation in overcoming the concerns and objections. And be sure to point out the benefits of monitoring, such as:

  • Monitoring customer contacts makes you aware of employees’ strengths and areas for improvement, so you can provide them with necessary training and tools if needed.
  • Monitoring provides you with real-life scenarios and examples that can be used in training and coaching sessions with employees.
  • Monitoring forms give employees tangible examples of what they’re doing well in their customer contacts. This is beneficial when it comes to yearly performance reviews.

Overcome these objections to monitoring, and follow-up your monitoring sessions with effective coaching techniques, and your employees will soon look forward to being monitored and coached.