Keeping Your Helpline Workers On Task

There are a number of tools that can be used to monitor workers on your helpline. While we all want to believe that workers will do everything they are supposed to do, sometimes people can find themselves falling below the standard you’ve set.

Whether workers are using computers to access websites unrelated to the business at hand, failing to record the information they are supposed to, refusing to talk to certain callers or not picking up the phone enough, some simple tools can be used to monitor their behaviour to ensure that everyone has your helpline’s goals in mind.

It’s important to keep in mind the legal implications of these tools; they should be used only with the knowledge of your workers and with clearly defined protocols for their implementation and execution.

Monitoring Computer Usage

For web browsing, a simple tool aptly called BrowsingHistoryView will help you see what workers are doing on your computers.

From their website: “BrowsingHistoryView is a utility that reads the history data of 4 different Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari) and displays the browsing history of all these Web browsers in one table. The browsing history table includes the following information: Visited URL, Title, Visit Time, Visit Count, Web browser and User Profile. BrowsingHistoryView allows you to watch the browsing history of all user profiles in a running system, as well as to get the browsing history from external hard drive.”


This software can be used to see the browsing history of workers in Centres where open access to the internet is permitted, and can also be used to see when workers started or stopped using their workstations if they are limited to browsing a helpline caller management system such as iCarol.

While you can use the history tools attached to each browser normally, BrowsingHistoryView simplifies the task by bringing all the data together in one dashboard view.

BrowsingHistoryView can show only a limited period of time or the entire browsing history chronologically.

Monitoring Telephone Usage

Installing a system like Chronicall can help you monitor when your telephone is in use. Essentially Chronicall is a server that monitors every call that comes into your Centre. Using their “Cradle to Grave” interface and the reporting options, you can see when workers stopped picking up calls, when they ignore calls from certain callers and whether they are fabricating any information about the calls they’re taking (such as taking calls from callers who are blocked from using your service.)

From the Chronicall website: ”As soon as Chronicall is installed, it begins recording detailed information about every call that enters or leaves your phone network. Cradle to Grave is an intuitive and simple way to view this information. It shows you exactly what happened to any call on your system from beginning to end.”


Monitoring Off-Site Usage

If your workers frequently take calls at an off-site location such as their home or an office not owned by you, tools such as Chronicall may be ineffective. In this situation, you can take advantage of additional call-forwarding technology.

For a small fee (the service I trialed for an unrelated usage was approximately $10 per month, plus the cost of calls), you can purchase a toll-free phone number (of the 1-800 or 1-855 variety.)

Traditionally when calls are taken at an off-site location, a dial code such as *73 (Star-Seven-Three) is used to forward the calls from your local number (say, 416-555-1234), to the offsite location (say, 416-555-6789).

Instead, use your Star-73 to forward to your recently purchased toll-free line, 1-800-555-1234. Then, the toll-free number is set to forward to the off-site location, 416-555-6789.

The result of this is that phone calls are received and recorded at the 1-800 number before being forwarded to the offsite location. Using the data provided by the 800 company, you can see the phone number and duration of the calls, allowing you to cross-reference them with the information provided by your worker.

The downside of this, for organizations who frequently engage in calltaking at off-site locations or who take long calls is that if local calls were previously not paid for by your organization, they now would be; this can add up to a significant expense. Your individual requirements will determine whether this is a problem or not.

Cite this article as: MacDonald, D.K., (2015), "Keeping Your Helpline Workers On Task," retrieved on August 25, 2019 from

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