Why Record Calls?

Companies today, large and small, and spanning virtually every industry vertical across the world are recording customer calls for a variety of reasons. Most notably, they capture and store these conversations to protect themselves from liability (i.e. lawsuits, disputes, compliance infractions) and to measure customer service levels. OrecX’s call recording software suite offers solutions for all of these (and many other) challenges.

A recent OrecX survey found the following as the primary reasons why businesses and organizations record calls (total call recording and selective recording) today:

Additional Reasons: Quotes from Survey Respondents

  • The question is not “why do we record calls”, but how in the world could we possibly function without it?
  • The cost of data storage is generally nonexistent and at worst irrelevant. Even if you don’t have the time or desire to listen, there’s no reason not to record calls.
  • A recorded call is like a written phone message, but with checks and balances.
  • For your Quality and Training department, not having calls recorded is like swimming with your arms tied … it’s possible but extremely difficult.
  • Letting a customer service rep listen to himself/herself on the phone is the most effective method of coaching there is.
  • Recording calls allows us to assess, review, calibrate, account for, monitor and improve everything.
  • People overlook the fact that in a call center an employee is 95% of your value. If you have access to a tool (call recording system) that can increase the value of 95% of your company assets…it’s wise to use it.
  • Inspect what you expect. If driving excellence is the goal, by having recorded calls you have now harvested valuable information.

OrecX’s call recording software (VoIP recording, TDM recording, cloud recording, mobile recording) solutions can help your organization meet all of these needs.

Call Recording Solutions

Oreka TR (Total Recording) captures 100% of customer calls and retains them for later recall and replay when/if necessary. This robust and infinitely scalable recorder is ideal for settling disputes, maintaining compliance, and verifying orders. Based on an open source core, Oreka TR features a REST API and is interoperable with virtually any other system. The system costs about half the price of competing solutions and offers centralized management, remote site recording, auto-tagging of pre-selected keywords/phrases, is operating system agnostic (Linux or Windows), runs on commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS), HTML-based GUI and exports to standard file formats.

Oreka CR (Cloud Recording) is a cloud-based, OrecX-hosted recording solution, which is implemented literally within minutes via simple IP Address provisioning.

Oreka CR supports IETF Standard SIPREC and provides all of the functionality of our primary recording solution, Oreka TR, without the need for installation, an onsite server or ongoing maintenance.

This solution is the only call recorder featuring OWASP Level 2 protection (web application security).

Oreka SC (Screen Capture) records the screen activity of contact center agents, sales people and customer support personnel. Video is automatically combined and synchronized with the accompanying audio (agent and customer) and played back in an integrated manner as the interaction occurred. With this complete picture of what took place during a call, supervisors can identify workflow breakdowns, ensure agent process adherence, prove compliance procedures are being followed, ensure maximum desktop navigational efficiency and identify any unauthorized behavior (using Facebook, e.g.).

Oreka QM (Quality Monitoring) records a sampling of calls per agent or group for the purpose of assessing service performance. Call evaluation forms and reports enable supervisors to evaluate agents and even attach recordings right to the form, providing very specific feedback and coaching to agents. This solution offers fully customizable evaluation questionnaires, detailed reporting capabilities, form level summaries, calibration tables, section/question-level details and filters reports by date, groups/departments, agents and managers/supervisors. This can be a standalone product or seamlessly integrated with Oreka TR.

Oreka MR (Mobile Recording) is fully integrated with the Oreka TR platform and captures both inbound and outbound mobile calls. Audio is recorded in real time, and no new infrastructure is required at all.

Several recording methods are available, including using a VoIP softphone via 3G/4G on the handsets, conferencing the recording system as a PSTN number, working with a mobile-ready infrastructure, or using AT&T network based cellular voice recording (works with any handset).

Oreka TR SIPREC Recording

Oreka TR SIPREC Recording uses a SIP protocol for call recording, based on IETF standards, and it establishes an active recording session and reporting of the metadata of the session. OrecX supports SIPREC Recording for many telephony platforms. SIPREC recording is highly efficient (configure only the traffic you need to record), extremely scalable (thousands of concurrent calls), allows for auto-provisioning of users (much easier to administrate) and offers a much lower total cost of ownership. Oreka SR is also beneficial to service providers as it provides easier call recording system deployment, concurrent call capture, and auto-provisioning of customer interaction data. Today, OrecX arms over 100 service providers with SIPREC Recording.

Who Benefits Most from Call Recording?

This quote from one of our surveys says it best with regard to which positions inside an organization benefit most from recording customer calls:

“Call recording is a tool that can benefit every department. Each department may have a different perspective or way they contribute towards the customer experience and how they measure progress, but the goal for each department should be the same: to adhere to business values and overall objectives. For example, what a customer service manager is looking to occur over the phone is very different than what a CEO or sales manager may want to focus on. Each perspective, skill, and role they play builds and improves the “customer experience”. But, they are all working towards the same end goal. The key is understanding the tools available to them so that they can leverage ALL of the intelligence within their call recordings efficiently.”

(Call Center Professional, via LinkedIn)

By recording your conversations with customers, you are generating invaluable intellectual capital, which you can use to assess the customer experience, ensure compliance (PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, MiFID II, etc.), resolve disputes, verify orders and even uncover critical sales and marketing intelligence. In fact, recorded customer calls can add value to almost every area of your business.

A recent OrecX survey found the following positions within an organization benefiting most from a call recorder:

Call Center Manager: Large Hotel Chain

Job Description: Responsible for the daily running and management of the center, for meeting customer service targets, and identifying areas of improvement or development.

Motivation: Run a smooth call center with high performing agents, high first call resolution (FCR) rate, high customer service levels, and a low average handle time (AHT).

Scenario: Cliff is compensated strictly on two metrics – FCR and AHT – and as such, he monitors these numbers on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. He is pretty fanatical about the numbers, but it is understandable as his compensation is directly tied to them.

Using the company’s call recorder software, Cliff set up an automatic report that runs on his desktop, which shows in real time the call center’s FCR and AHT rates. The report also tells him which agents are far above and far below his pre-set performance thresholds (i.e. the outliers) so he can reward and/or incentivize accordingly to keep the numbers on an upward trajectory.

Cliff is hopeful he will receive his biggest bonus check to date at this year’s awards dinner.

Call Center Agent: Software Company

Job Description: Handle incoming tech support calls from customers.

Motivation: Jasper’s team of call center agents are incentivized by their individual monthly first call resolution scores. The higher the score, the higher the financial incentive.

Scenario: Jasper is a motivated, young, tech support specialist, who is very eager to achieve the highest levels of first call resolution so he can earn some much-needed extra cash.

In addition to reviewing a few calls each week with his quality supervisor, Jasper asks for access to all of his call recordings so he can go back and learn from each one. He makes it a practice of listening to at least 5 calls each week and takes notes on what he did right and wrong, to better support future customers and successfully resolve their issues.

After three months of doing this, Jasper’s FCR score jumps 9%. He is handsomely rewarded with a $900 bonus. He uses the money to help buy a used car so he can stop taking the bus to work.

Quality Supervisor: Travel Company

Job Description: Responsible for monitoring and assessing agent performance to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Motivation: Her bonus at the end of the quarter is tied to the call center’s improvement in customer service scores.

Scenario: Tanya is responsible for the ongoing assessment of two teams of call center agents, totaling 16. She listens to a sampling of calls each week from each agent and scores them on various metrics – first call resolution, proper greeting, resolution handling, pleasantness, up-selling, etc. She then has one-on-one discussions with each agent each week to review their quality scores and share best practices for immediate improvement.

Tanya uses the company’s call recorder and quality monitoring applications to facilitate her job. Without them, she wouldn’t have the tools necessary to assess interactions nor share proper feedback with the agents.

At the end of Q1, the company’s customer service score jumped 4%. She receives a nice bonus and is thrilled about it.

Customer: 34 year old male

Motivation: Wants to have a pleasant phone experience and likes the idea of having the call recorded so he can ask the company to pull up his past call to verify what was said – if necessary.

Scenario: Jeremy calls his cable company about the high cost of his monthly bill. It is about $22 higher than usual. The agent quickly realizes the heightened cost is due to Jeremy’s recent approval of adding Showtime to his account. The agent claims the records show that on a date 32 days earlier, Jeremy agreed to add the premium channel while on the phone with a representative of the cable company who called to sell him on it. He asked for that call to be accessed and listened to. It was, and it was determined he in fact declined the service. His account was credited in full.

VP of Customer Service: Telecommunications Provider

Job Description: Responsible for the customer-service strategy of the organization. This person sets the agenda for how the company interacts with customers.

Motivation: Wants to ensure customers are receiving the stellar experience they deserve so they keep coming back and refer others.

Scenario: Steve is one of those VPs of Customer Service that really is all about the customer. He cares deeply in his company’s reputation and prides himself on the organization’s consistent 94% customer satisfaction rating. He isn’t shy about throwing the lofty number around at company meetings, customer lunches and even cocktail receptions with his wife and friends.

Steve and his customer service department already use contact center call recording, screen recording and quality monitoring software to assess call-center agent performance and identify best-practice calls to highlight at the team’s weekly meeting. His supervisors also use the system daily to evaluate agents and identify areas for improvement.

He knows his company’s reputation depends largely on how well his agents satisfy his customers’ needs, and he is committed to ensuring his front-line agents acquire the skills they need. The call recording software the company uses serves as the basis for understanding this.

Compliance Officer: Manufacturing Firm

Job Description: Responsible for setting corporate compliance policy and ensuring all staff adhere to relevant governmental, industry and corporate regulations and policies.

Motivation: Ensure all staff comply with all relevant regulations to keep the organization from incurring costly infractions.

Scenario: Wellington is a former corporate attorney and knows the company’s regulatory environment quite well. Of late, the company has been receiving many complaints and lawsuit threats from customers about the organization’s handling of private information.

He works with the call center manager, Tom, to find out what’s going on. Tom takes a sampling of calls in which credit card information was collected and listens to those interactions. He then shares them with Wellington who also listens. They both discover the issue right away.

The call center agents’ current workflow when taking credit card information is not optimal. It requires agents to dual-populate the credit card number. To do this properly, agents are opening up the Notepad app on their desktop and typing the number in there so they can re-enter it on a later screen. This type of mishandling of personally identifiable information leaves the company vulnerable. Wellington institutes corporate policy to change this right away. Soon thereafter, the number of complaints and lawsuit threats declines dramatically.

VP of Sales: Copy/Fax/Scan Machine Manufacturer

Job Description: Responsible for the direction and management of all sales and business development operations, and for driving customer acquisition and sales revenue.

Motivation: Wants to increase sales revenue and bring in more new customers.

Scenario: Cliff is one of those heads of Sales that cares about one thing – keeping his current customers happy so they renew their annual subscriptions each year. This alone keeps the company’s revenues healthy. With a recent drop in renewals, Cliff knew he had to do something, so he enacted an offer of 90 days of free machine maintenance if the client renews his/her annual contract. He has the call center agents dialing out to existing customers to make the offers.

Jeff is running a recurring report from the call recording system that shows him how many customers were offered the free maintenance and how many accepted and renewed. He’s using this intelligence to assess the campaign’s success. Cliff also periodically listens to calls to see how customer react to the offer. He’s also contemplating running two offers simultaneously and using a similar report to measure which does better.

Jeff likes having a direct line of site to customers when running these renewal campaigns. It lets him make necessary changes quickly.

VP of Marketing: Consumer Products Company

Job Description: Responsible for developing and executing a clearly defined marketing and communications strategy in support of sales and market-share growth.

Motivation: Wants to intimately understand the needs and concerns of the organization’s customers in order to better target and engage them.

Scenario: Diane has been with the company for several years but only recently was promoted to the top marketing position. She wants to take a very customer-centric approach to establishing a dialog with prospects and first needs to better understand what drives their decision making. To get this inside perspective on the company’s target customer, she takes the time to listen in on 50 calls (live monitoring) over a two-week period. She selects 12 new order calls, 13 cancellation calls, 12 successful up-sell calls and 12 product support calls.

By listening to 50 customers in all of these different capacities, she learns several things:

  • Customers find the company’s products to be cheap and not well made
  • Customers are reluctant to sign long-term contracts
  • Almost every product support call is about the same broken part

She works with product development to fix these issues right away and then embarks on a campaign to communicate to customers the company’s commitment to product and service excellence. Two months later she listens to another 50 calls and sees that things are already starting to turn around.

Recording for BPOs & Call Center Outsourcers

As a business process outsourcer (BPO), you are taking over a critical role your clients cannot manage on their own or don’t want to handle any longer. Therefore, you are under enormous pressure to over-perform each and every dayor you risk losing business.

With the help of the right total call recorder, screen recording and quality monitoring software in your arsenal, you stand a far greater chance of satisfying (if not wowing) your clients. But first you need to pick the right solution(s) to fit your specific business requirements, which can be dramatically different from other types of businesses.

In short, you need solutions that offer:

  • Broad functionality to meet the varying needs of your diverse client base
  • Affordability, as budgets are tight in order to maintain profitability
  • On-the-fly implementation, as down time is not something you can afford
  • Low ongoing total cost of ownership (TCO) with minimal-to-no maintenance required
  • Full, open interoperability with other systems
  • Flexible, subscription-based pricing
  • Graphical user interface (GUI) customization
  • Open file format so you can share recordings with your client(s)
  • Multi-tenancy

Features to Consider

Call and Screen Recording

  • Centralized management of all recording data (voice and screen)
  • Multi-tenancy so you can manage multiple clients independently, yet simultaneously
  • Precise search querying to find the exact call recording you need to prove compliance, share with your client, settle a dispute and so on
  • Scalable to thousands of seats (whether through one logger/server or by linking multiple devices)
  • Open platform (i.e. open API) so you can easily integrate the recorder with your clients’ existing applications (CRM, ERP, SFA)
  • Compliance-ready – Ensure the system has masking or muting capabilities to protect personally identifiable information for PCI-DSS and HIPAA
  • Subscription-based, affordable pricing so you can activate and terminate licenses when necessary to support your dynamic project workload
  • Same-day installation so you can be up and running immediately in support of your new accounts; this serves as a competitive differentiator for your business

Quality Monitoring

  • Customizable evaluation forms so you can tailor them to your clients’ specific and varying requirements
  • Custom coaching agreements commensurate with specific agent performance goals
  • Calibration tables to standardize service level expectations and measure quality across sites, teams and agents
  • Ability to attach recordings (voice and screen) to agent evaluations so they can hear what went right and wrong
  • Report filtering (e.g. by date, group, department, agent, supervisor, etc.) so you can extract meaningful intelligence to improve performance
  • Detailed reporting including form-level summaries, section-level details and question-level details
  • Standalone product or it includes simple and multiple integration points to the call/screen recorder
  • REST API so you can pull data from your CRM system into the quality monitoring system
  • Open file exporting to share reports and recordings with agents and clients
  • KPI tracking to measure service level, customer satisfaction, average handle time, calls handled per hour, first call resolution, adherence to protocol and others

Compliance Recording

When you record calls you must be cognizant of potential regulations you might fall under which can impact your ability to record and store interactions. In fact, here the results of a recent survey we conducted on the most concerning regulations to contact center professionals:

Here are some tips for maintaining compliance with these types of regulations:

Recording for Debt Collections

As a debt collection agent or agency, you fall under the auspices of many regulations, including:

  • U.S. – Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Do Not Call List
  • Canada – Manitoba Consumer Protection Act, Collection Agency Act, Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, Collection Practices Act, Collection Agencies Act and Debt Collectors Act, Act Respecting the Collection of Certain Debts
  • United Kingdom – Administration of Justice Act (Agencies fall under guidelines more than regulations, and they are used to determine if the agency is fit to hold acredit license.)

You also face potential consumer-driven personal lawsuits claiming the agency did not accurately introduce/represent themselves or the agent was misleading in the information given about the debt.

Some of the many mandates these laws stipulate include:

  • Agent must identify him/herself accurately and notify the consumer that he/she is a debt collector.
  • Agent must accurately disclose the name and address of the original collector.
  • Agent must not falsely represent or implicate that the consumer committed any crime in order to disgrace the consumer.
  • Agent can’t use obscene or profane language
  • Agent can’t mention legal action will be taken, unless the agency really plans to do so.

In the United States alone, over 700 lawsuits are filed every month against collections agencies.

The easy answer to abiding by all of these regulations is to make sure your agents are doing what they are supposed to do. Call recording software that will capture every single call your agents are involved in and store it for you to recall later.

You can recall any call regarding and can search through the database of recorded calls according to agent name, customer, date, phone number, time of day and so on. Search queries are customizable so you can be sure to get your hands on that very specific call you need to settle a dispute, demonstrate an issue to an agent, and so on.

A nice add-on to compliance recording software is screen recording software which integrates with the call recorder to also capture the agent’s screen activity during every interaction. You can easily identify compliance infractions or errors of any kind and quickly address them so no further violation occurs.

In the world of debt collections, supervisors, lawyers, agents and even payers have something to gain from call recording software!

Supervisors

Have a record of every interaction to access if necessary.

Can use best-practice calls for training new or under-performing agents.

Can listen to calls to identify issues or infractions by struggling agents.

Lawyers

If litigation arises, they have a legal record of the interaction in question to thwart a lawsuit or penalty.

If necessary, a lawyer could replay the call in question during testimony for slam-dunk evidence.

Agents

Can listen to other, more successful agents’ calls to learn how to improve their own collection rate.

As a protection measure, a call in question can be accessed in which the consumer claimed harassment from the collector.

Payers

If a dispute arises, the consumer can ask for the debt collector to replay the specific interaction.

Recording for Sales Departments

Recording customer calls can provide sales value in a variety of ways, including:

  • Hearing the actual ‘voice of the customer’ to better understand their needs, hot buttons, pain points, desires
  • Sales best practices training
  • Sales performance monitoring by supervisors
  • Sharing customer calls with others working the deal
  • Understanding competitor strengths/weaknesses
  • Understanding which cross-selling/upselling offers are working

What if your contact center representatives could tag calls in which the customer said things like:

  1. What I really need is…
  2. What really bothers me is…
  3. I need to find a way to…
  4. I want to be able to…

Wouldn’t those calls give you invaluable customer insight into your buyers’ wants and needs, which you could then use when selling to other prospects?

Improve Sales Skills by Monitoring Agent Interaction Performance

There is no better way to learn how well your phone-based staff is performing than to listen to your agents interacting with customers. You can then measure how well each sales person is:

  • Referring to the caller by name to personalize the experience
  • Adequately trying to understand the potential buyer’s challenges and needs so they can address them in a consultative manner 
  • Effectively cross-selling and upselling the individual 
  • Asking for the purchase to close the deal 
  • Detailing any current promotions that are going on
  • Capturing the credit card information to complete the purchase
  • Appropriately handling claims about your competitors

Bring Others up to Speed on Sales Deals Easily

In B2B selling in particular, we often see an inside sales person handling the initial out reach call to a prospect, with the goal of setting up an appointment for the more senior sales rep to follow-up. What happens typically is the inside sales rep has the initial call and then relays pertinent details to the account executive via email or phone. This approach is less than ideal and often important details are left out in the transfer of information.

By sharing a recording of the initial prospect call, the account executive can here first hand what the prospect said word-for-word.

This exciting approach to sales communication is not necessarily new but hardly ubiquitously adopted. By recording inside sales call you can take your sales department to new heights – a level that your competitors haven’t likely risen to yet.

Recording for marketing Teams

In a recent survey by CMO.com, Chief Marketing Officers revealed some of their most pressing challenges. Not surprisingly, things like “asking the right questions” and “understanding our customers” ranked near the top of the list.

With businesscall recording and the capture of corresponding agent screen activity, you can derive insights into the minds of your customers and prospects in the areas of:

  • Business/personal challenges
  • Pressing needs
  • Competitive intelligence
  • New product ideas/existing product updates

Think of how valuable this insight would be to your marketing team for creating new campaigns to derive sales leads.

Uncover Critical Customer Insight

In order to ensure your marketing team is garnering value from recorded customer calls, instruct your call center agents to ask customers/callers the following two questions:

  1. May I ask what drove you to consider purchasing XYZ?
  2. What specifically are you looking for XYZ to help you do?

When this information is uncovered during the interaction, the marketing team can listen to the call recording and derive the intelligence it needs to better understand key buying drivers.

Consider segmenting calls by:

  • New order calls – can tell you the reasons why the person is purchasing your products/services
  • Cancellation calls – learn the root causes of someone’s dissatisfaction
  • Up-sell calls – understand what features and capabilities are of most interest to callers so you can highlight those in upcoming campaigns and promotions

Questions to Ask Recording Vendors

  1. Is the solution designed to address my specific industry and regulatory requirements?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. Who are some of your similar customers?
  4. What makes your business/solution unique?
  5. Is the solution designed primarily for my size of company?
  6. Am I going to pay for features really designed for a different size organization?
  7. Does your product(s) support multi-site and multi-tenant capabilities in case I need them?
  8. Can the solution scale to support my organization’s growth?
  9. What does the implementation process look like? Does it cost anything?
  10. What is required to manage and maintain the system?
  11. How open and interoperable is the solution, given my current IT environment?
  12. How easily can I customize the solution? What is customizable?
  13. What specific capabilities does the solution have to support my regulatory and industry requirements (e.g. HIPAA, PCIDSS, Telemarketing Sales Rule, etc.)? Mask/mute?
  14. Does the recording solution come with all the functionality I need or do I have to purchase separate modules for each business requirement?
  15. What are the costs for implementation, training and support?
  16. Which PBX switches do you support?
  17. Does your solution offer centralized administration and data management?
  18. Are your call recording, screen recording and quality monitoring solutions fully integrated or modular?
  19. How much training is required for my staff to become proficient with your product?
  20. How many seats can your system support? Is it multi-site?
  21. Do you offer SIPREC/ Sip Recording?