What is call whisper?

A call whisper is a message that can only be heard by the person receiving the call (the person calling can only hear ringing), providing information about who is calling before the call is answered. Call whispering services gather information about a caller using an IVR (Interactive voice response) or from a CRM linked to the customer's telephone number. In simple applications, the person receiving the call can accept or reject an inbound call by selecting a number on the keypad.

Call centres use more sophisticated call whispering services that provide detailed information about incoming calls and allow supervisors to offer one-way verbal advice to agents in real-time. This allows call centre managers to offer training and support during an agent’s conversation with a caller.

A whisper message can be a text-to-speech computer-generated message or an audio file uploaded by the user. Call centre managers are increasingly deploying whisper services to add contextual information to the person answering, improving the customer experience.

Call whispering services are often associated with non-geographic phone systems, which use unique virtual phone numbers not linked to a specific locality.

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Benefits of using a call whisper service

Call whispering prepares agents by helping them to give the best possible impression. Research has shown that the impression made in those first few seconds of a call is vital. A call whisper can help make a call more personalised by allowing agents to pull up additional information on an agent's screens, reducing human agents' time wasted trying to extract information over the phone.

Custom whisper messages

Uploading custom messages is an excellent call whisper feature that provides vital information about a customer relevant to your company. Does your sales team need to know which company a call is coming from? Perhaps the source of the call, i.e. from a social media campaign, or Google search result  is more appropriate? You decide the critical information your agents need to know.

Whisper message screening - avoid spam callers

Call whispers can significantly reduce spam calls clogging up the on-hold chain. By performing a call screening function, call whispers can help to identify spam callers without having to answer, saving precious agent time.

Generate sales by tailoring the call by source

Another excellent call whispering feature is knowing the source of the call. Your business may be running several marketing campaigns, and which one has led to a potential customer's call can provide helpful information and optimise the sales process. Some offers may be exclusive to specific ad campaigns, if a customer picks up the phone after seeing a great deal online, an agent can be prepared to close a deal whilst the customer is primed.

Prioritise important calls

All calls are important, but some calls may be of critical importance. Agents can be trained to prioritise calls based on information provided by a call whisper.

A call centre employee listening to a call whisper before receiving a customer call

Use cases in a call centre setting

Call whispering is a cost-effective way for call centres to improve call quality, increase caller satisfaction, and help to keep agents calm and confident.

Call centre managers can provide verbal advice in real-time

Call centre managers can employ call whispering to facilitate coaching and support call centre agents. For example, centre managers can screen inbound calls and add a whisper to guide and inform the staff member before they take the call. Complex incoming calls can be appropriately framed with the relevant information before being passed to agents. Managers can also monitor calls and send whisper messages to call agents in real-time.

Benefits of using a call whisper in a call centre environment include:

Call whispering can train new call centre agents faster and more effectively

The most experienced managers and agents can provide call centre coaching to new call agents by inserting whispers during a call. This gives the agent the confidence they need and increases the speed at which they learn.

Call whispering helps agents handle stressful situations

No one likes to be shouted at by a person calling. A stressful call can put an agent in a bad mood for hours or even days. With call whispering, it's possible to provide effective call centre coaching that nips a lousy situation in the bud before it escalates. This increases customer satisfaction and takes the pressure off of call agents.

Call whispering can provide ongoing training and performance optimisation

A great whispering feature is that it can be implemented as a standard way of training agents. A study conducted by LinkedIn found that 49% of employees prefer to learn at the point of need. As policy, procedures, and market conditions change, old techniques become outdated. It's essential always to be training and optimising agent performance.

Call whispering gives agents confidence

Knowing that an experienced manager is just a call whisper away from providing support gives agents the confidence they need to stay focused and on the ball.

Call whispering saves agent time by providing information about the caller

Extracting information from a caller takes time; if an agent is already provided with the necessary information, they can get right into the call.

Increase sales conversations

A call whisper can be employed for marketing purposes. Knowing what has inspired someone to ring up can keep the conversation focused and turn potential customers into customers. Call whispering can link specific ad campaigns to a caller allowing call agents to know which advertising campaigns have generated the leads.

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Other use cases

Calls tailored by device

A great whispering feature is knowing which device a caller is using. This can allude to demographic information or be of more practical use; one example would be during a technical support call where knowing which device calls are using is essential.

Calls tailored by caller ID

A person running two businesses may have specific greetings for each company; knowing which business customers are enquiring about ensures that you use the correct greeting, for example, "thank you for calling business A; how may I help you today?"

Calls tailored to a caller's industry

Knowing what sector a business caller's company is in can help to direct the call in a more targeted direction. An agent can offer services and offers relevant to a customer's industry.

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What are the differences between call whispering, call tracking and call monitoring?

Call tracking

Call tracking serves a marketing function and goes beyond whisper functionality by recording every detail of an inbound call, including who is calling, when it came in, the duration of the call, marketing channel of origin, and call recording.

Call monitoring

Call monitoring is primarily for training purposes. A supervisor can monitor an agent in real-time without the customer or agent's knowledge. If a caller becomes too angry and the call needs to be escalated to more senior staff, a manager can forcibly take over the call to deal with the customer; this is called 'call barging'. Call barging is usually reserved for extreme circumstances.

In summary, call whispering services are a handy feature that can increase sales, save time, and improve customer experience. With systems that utilise machine learning to provide data to agents and optimise call performance currently in development, the future of call whispering is very exciting. With the incredible benefits offered and a bright future, it's about time you implemented call whispering in your business.

A chart displaying the differences between call whispering, call monitoring, and call tracking.

Frequently Asked Questions