A beginner’s guide to call recording

Our no nonsense introduction to the features and benefits of call recording, and finding the right call recorder for your business.

Good communication between a business and its customers is a vital part of that business’ success. But how do you measure the quality of communications? How do you know whether a certain phrase is more likely to win a sale, or that your customers are consistently being handled in a courteous manner?  How do you eliminate miscommunications that can confuse or upset customers? How do you help protect your employees and business from abusive customers?

An increasingly broad spectrum of businesses now use call recording software in order to tackle questions like these. By storing calls for easy retrieval, searching and analysis, call recording enables communications to be better monitored and managed for ongoing business improvement. Used to best effect, a call recorder can help drive sales, improve staff performance, win and retain customers, deter fraudsters, and quickly settle customer disputes.

Wonderful as this all sounds, it throws up another load of questions when it comes to working out which call recorder would be best for your individual business; what differentiates one from another, what features are worth investigating further, and what sort of results am I interested in?

So let’s start from the beginning:

What is call recording?

At its most fundamental, ‘call recording’ refers to a piece of software that records conversations taking place over a phone line or internet connection and stores them in a digital audio file format. This file can then be retrieved and listened to when required.

The most basic ‘voice’ call recorders end there. Some call recording software offers additional functionality to allow specific data about the call to be captured and quickly retrieved (voice + data). Others have the capability to analyse  and evaluate calls (voice + data + analysis). Whilst others are able to monitor calls as they happen (in ‘Real-time’), or record the computer monitor screens themselves whilst the call takes place.

It is worth noting that call recording is distinct from call reporting or ‘logging’, which record details about the call but not the conversation; however, software may include both recording and reporting functionality.

Which call recorder would best suit my business?

Sometimes a business’ reason for investing in a call recorder is as simple and as necessary as recording financial transactions for auditing purposes – so a straightforward, user-friendly ‘voice’ solution will work well for them. However, a more advanced solution with a higher degree of functionality and benefits is a strategic business investment. A good call recorder provides not only the raw material for analysis, but the time-saving tools to measure and monitor performance that will lead to business improvement.

To help you decide which type of call recorder would best suit your business needs, it is worth considering the potential benefits on offer. You can then prioritise your requirments and weigh up the available options.

What are the benefits of call recording?

  • Record and store financial transactions – Any business may benefit from recording transactions that take place over the phone, but certain industries from the financial sector are now required to do so by law. A call recorder should be able to record these calls, including those taking place over mobile phones, and store the information in a secure and tamperproof format.
  • Ensure PCI DSS compliance – Whilst the above calls may be recorded, any credit or debit card details given over the phone must not be. Call recording solutions offer a number of ways, both automatic and manual, to ensure this happens. If you handle card details on a regular basis, it is worth investigating the options available.
  • Improve staff performance and customer service – Call recordings provide a valuable training tool that can be used for one-to-one or group education and evaluation. By identifying and sharing the calls that go well, and those that don’t, you can make improvements to boost overall performance, ultimately making for happier staff and customers. Some call recorders also offer call evaluation modules, where calls are scanned for particular words or ‘performance indicators’; these can be particularly useful if you are handling large volumes of calls, such as in a busy call centre.
  • Drive sales – Happier, better skilled staff not only makes for happier customers and improved customer retention, but also higher frequency of sales.
  • Deter fraud – If you are regularly recording calls, you must state so at the beginning of each call you receive. This has the additional benefit of putting off fraudsters who, for example, might try to contest contractual agreements.
  • Quickly resolve disputes – Recorded calls can also be used to quickly settle disputes with more benign customers, including those that have the potential to turn into drawn out and expensive law suits. The conflict could be over money, but the principle is equally relevant to sectors concerned with the handling of personal information and customer care, such as a doctor’s surgery where details including medicinal dosage or tone of voice are crucial.
  • Quality measurement and accreditation – Call recordings can also serve as evidence of good customer care and business improvement. This can help towards formally recognised standards such as ISO accreditation.
  • Better results, faster – If you are a large business or busy call centre handling high volumes of calls, it is worth considering the storage capabilities and processing speed of a call recorder. More sophisticated solutions may offer features such as ‘real-time’ processing and analysis, with more powerful backend databases that can handle high call volume.
  • Even better management – Call recording may be used in conjunction with call reporting or CRM (client relationship management) software to provide an even broader and detailed understanding of communications across a business. If you are interested in these aspects, it is worth researching which companies offer compatible solutions, ideally ones that have a similar interface etc. for easier employee use. There are even some single solutions designed for particular businesses with the aim of providing the most relevant tools – which could save you some money.

Why Qvoice?

The partnerships Qvoice has developed with the leading telephone application providers and our unrivalled expertise in optimising IT hardware, software, networks and systems offers you a single point of contact to deliver a fully integrated communications strategy for your business. A unified communications platform will deliver competitive advantage and ensure you are future-proofing your business for the challenges ahead.

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