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Kevin Levi

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Call Recording Laws Around the World - Updated and Current

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 20, 2018 12:16:19 PM

Any organization which employs call recording software must be aware of the legal requirements that govern the use of such tools. Call recording laws differ among geographic regions. Failure to comply with these legal restrictions could result in severe penalties, both financial as well as reputational.

Here is a brief summary of laws in several countries:

USA - 12 states in the U.S. require full consent from all parties on a call in order to lawfully record. The remaining states do not. Click here to view a state-by-state chart on state-level call recording laws.

Acceptable Forms for Notification about call recording include:

  • Verbal (oral) notification before the recording is made.
  • Prior verbal (oral) or written notification of all parties to the telephone conversation.
  • An audible beep tone repeated at regular intervals during the call.

UK and European Union - Call recording laws in the U.K. (which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the 28 member countries in the European Union (EU) differ from those in the U.S. The UK and EU now follow two strict privacy laws which include mandates and guidance for recording calls:

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II)

 MiFID II and GDPR banner

 Australia - You cannot record.

Canada - You can record but need consent.

Hong Kong - You can record with consent.

India - You can record but consent is unclear.

Japan - You can record but consent is required.

New Zealand - You can record. No consent required.

Singapore - You can record. Consent is unclear.

RomaniaYou can record. Consent is unclear.

Call Recording Laws ebook

Why Do I Need to Add Speech Analytics to My Call Recording Software?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 2, 2018 2:31:49 PM

Written by Call Finder

Call recording is used by companies in a wide range of industries to improve customer experience, measure agent performance, ensure compliance, monitor marketing and sales efforts, settle customer disputes, and the list goes on. But call recording is only part of the quality assurance equation. Businesses that understand this are now taking their call monitoring strategies a step further by implementing speech analytics to automatically categorize and analyze recorded calls.CLF Search Highlights 3 cropped

The Business Value of Call Recording with Speech Analytics

Incorporating call recording that is combined with speech analytics technology into daily operations provides enormous value to the business overall, as well as to the many departments within a company that field incoming calls, which hold a wealth of valuable business information. When a business adopts a speech analytics solution, they have access to the following:

  • Call recordings of every conversation in real time.
  • Call categorization, based on search definitions and the content of the call recording, along with the context of the conversation taking place between an agent and customer.
  • Scorecards and reports with metrics on agent script compliance, agent team performance, regulatory compliance, and more.
  • Insights for agent performance evaluations for training and coaching sessions.

Here are some specific ways speech analytics can add value to a business.

Speech Analytics Increases Efficiency

While many quality assurance metrics can be acquired through reliable call recording software, manually listening to every single phone call is both time-consuming and costly, especially for companies that have call centers with hundreds (or thousands) of agents. Realistically, only a handful of calls can be reviewed by call center managers, which unfortunately doesn’t provide a full profile of how their customers view the brand, nor does it provide an accurate picture of their agents’ performance.

The addition of speech analytics provides a more efficient and comprehensive approach to gaining business and customer insights through keyword searches and dynamic reporting.  A speech analytics solution scans thousands of phone conversations to quickly access in-depth business intelligence contained within each conversation. This provides companies with direct insight into the customers’ experiences, their agents’ performance, customer satisfaction levels, purchase patterns, customer loyalty and retention factors, etc. 

Improve Customer Experience with Speech Analytics

Speech analytics software allows customer service managers to review metrics that indicate how individual agents and entire teams are performing. Because the company using speech analytics chooses the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it is crucial to take the time to pinpoint which words and phrases that business wants the software to find in order to yield the specific type of intelligence the business seeks to obtain and understand.

Some keyword examples for customer metrics could be negative or positive phrases, such as “I need to speak to a manager”, “Cancel my account” or “You have been very helpful.” The software flags those calls for further review so that managers know what’s working, or not working, in their agents’ customer interactions. It’s also important that the call recording software has the capability to record the customer and agent on separate channels (i.e. stereo recording) if the company wants to use call scoring.  Agent scorecards are extremely useful in comparing agents’ performance across various soft and hard skills, and pinpointing who needs more training or a reward for a job well done.

As a final similar note, to truly enhance your customers’ experience with your agents and your brand, a good speech analytics solution should be user-friendly and designed to easily be customized. It should also include training and ongoing support to ensure the solution is fully utilized to manage key business metrics and meet company goals.

The extent of business intelligence that becomes available once call recording with speech analytics is in place will improve operational efficiency, enhance the customer experience, improve the bottom line, and play a key role in keeping a company on a course for continued growth.

Questions to Ask Call Recording Vendors

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jun 26, 2018 12:44:19 PM
Call recording software and quality monitoring software can bring tremendous value to any contact center and/or enterprise, but how do you know which vendor/solution to choose - or better yet - which questions to ask? Right now there are over 100 call recording/quality monitoring vendors in the industry. Not all are created equal. You need a set of questions to ask each vendor to determine who's a contender and who's a pretender. Hands raised

Questions to Ask Yourself...

  • Does this vendor seem to really understand my unique business challenges, and does it have relevant experience it can speak to?
  • What do I primarily need this solution to help me with?
    Quality Assurance
    Regulatory Compliance
    Dispute Resolution
    Agent Training
    Order Verification
  • Do I want to capture all calls or merely a sampling of calls?
  • Am I considering the needs of all my constituents? Managers? Business users? Technical staff? Sales? Marketing? Product Development? Legal?
  • What is my budget? Do I have additional budget for implementation and support?
  • How many seats do I need?


Questions to Ask the Vendor...

  • Is the solution designed to address my specific industry and regulatory requirements?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Who are some of your similar customers?
  • What makes your business/solution unique?
  • What is your innovation roadmap?

Questions About the Product...

  • Is the solution designed primarily for my size/type of company?
  • Am I going to pay for features really designed for a different size organization?
  • Does this product support multi-site and multi-tenant capabilities in case I need them?
  • Can the solution scale to support my organization’s growth?
  • What does the implementation process look like? Does it cost anything?
  • What is required to manage and maintain the system?
  • How open and interoperable is the solution, given my current IT environment?
  • What capabilities does the solution have to support my regulatory and industry requirements (e.g. HIPAA, PCI-DSS, Telemarketing Sales Rule, TCPA, GDPR, MiFID II etc.)?
  • Does the solution come with all the functionality I need, or do I have to purchase separate modules for each business requirement?
  • Which PBX switches are supported?
  • Is there an open API to integrate to/from third party CRM, analytics, etc.?

11 Positions that Benefit from Call Recording

The 7 Roles that Benefit from Call Recording

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jun 1, 2018 12:10:05 PM

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

Here are the seven primary roles within an organization that benefit from call recording. For each job title, this piece will highlight how it is used and the value derived. Org chart of benefitors

  1. Call Center Agent: Reviews a sampling of his/her own customer interactions (voice and screen) to assess his/her own customer service performance and potentially uncover workflow trouble spots. Also reviews best-practice calls from top-performing agents to learn how to better perform in various situations. 
  2. Quality Supervisor: Reviews a sampling of calls per agent each month and fills out quality monitoring scorecards to rate various metrics, including first call resolution, proper greeting, resolution handling, politeness, up-selling, etc. The goal is to assess agents on skills and customer service performance, identify skills gaps and best practices, and assign training courses where necessary. 
  3. VP of Customer Service: Listens to a few calls each week just to keep his/her finger on the pulse of how well the company services customers and to also experience the voice of the customer. Also plays select segments of best-practice calls during team meetings to highlight peak performers and motivate all staff. 
  4. Call Center Manager: Receives and reviews daily customer service performance reports from the call recording system showing first call resolution, average handle time and other soft metrics like customer satisfaction, problem resolution, etc. With this insight, he/she can then direct quality supervisors to focus on specific skills areas and can also reward and/or incentivize supervisors and agents accordingly. The Manager also identifies and shares select, relevant calls with other departments.
  5. VP of Sales: He/she has the call center manager share specific interactions which provide meaningful sales intelligence, such as competitors' promotions. The VP of Sales also plays select calls at the start of each sales team meeting to motivate staff and enable salespersons to hear the actual voice of the customer. The call center manager also forwards periodic reports which detail the performance level of a new campaign or product/service to help guide future sales efforts.
  6. VP of Marketing:  He/she has the call center manager share specific interactions which provide meaningful marketing intelligence, such as how well a new promotion or feature is doing. The VP of Marketing also plays select calls at the start of each marketing team meeting to allow marketing staff to hear the actual voice of the customer. The call center manager also forwards periodic reports which detail the performance level of a new campaign or feature to help guide future marketing efforts.
  7. Compliance Officer: When a compliance infraction arises, the call center manager forwards the specific recording, and the Compliance Officer listens to it (and reviews the agent screen activity) to better understand what went wrong. He/she also listens to occasional calls - also forwarded by the call center manager - to assess how well specific compliance practices are being embraced within the call center agent's workflow. He/she can then use this intelligence to train supervisors and agents accordingly on relevant compliance procedures. 

There are certainly other roles within an organization which can benefit from listening to recorded customer calls, such as Product Marketing Managers, Produce Managers, Sales Trainers, etc.

ebook - Insights from 70+ Professionals  on Why Companies Record Calls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you Monitoring what your Debt Collectors are Saying?

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 30, 2018 10:56:55 AM

The regulatory environment for the collections industry worldwide doesn’t seem to be getting any easier for collections agencies. In the U.S., Canada and the UK, there are many laws and agencies overseeing your
operations.

  • 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 a credit license.)

paid in fullThe other aspect that makes your life at a collections agency difficult is all of the 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. Other agencies may be sued over unprofessionalism and foul language.

What an agent can and can't say can be confusing. Here are some highlights of some of the primary stipulations many of these mandates state:

  • 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 notify the consumer of their right to dispute the debt.
  • 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.

As a collections agency you need to ask yourself, “Are any of our agents violating even one of these laws?” If the answer is “yes”, then you need to find ways to better monitor your collections agents.

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

You will be able to pull up any call regarding any person and can search through the database of recorded calls according to agent name, customer, 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 access 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 will be able to hear their conversation with those you are collecting from and at the same time you can see what the agent is doing on their screen. You can easily identify compliance infractions or errors of any kind and quickly address them so no further violation occurs.

As the regulatory environment surrounding the collections industry continues to evolve, one thing will remain constant, and that is your need to monitor what is being said to customers. Therefore, recording and monitoring should become a permanent process in your firm. 

Compliance Recording AND Quality Monitoring ebook

Are you 'GDPR Call-Recording Ready'?

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 16, 2018 12:08:20 PM

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect in 10 days, on May 25, and for any company in any industry that records calls, there are some thinks you really need to know. Here are several suggestions to carefully consider in order to become GDPR Call-Recording Ready. Plus, you want to do everything you can to avoid a fine up to 4% of your total annual revenue.GDPR-Compliance

  1. Create a new policy for gaining called-party permission (verbally to record). It's not enough to simply say "this call may be recorded" anymore. You need verbal consent. NOTE: There are a few caveats here in which you don't need consent, e.g. if the interaction is necessary to fulfill a contract or legal requirement.
  2. Train all of your agents on the new policy and track their compliance as a performance metric - using quality monitoring software. Remember, GDPR is for both landline and mobile calls.
  3. Put a process in place for granting customers access to their recordings if they request it. They have the right, and you must comply.
  4. Set a time frame to purge your recordings after a period of time. They cannot be held forever.
  5. Safeguard your recordings with file encryption - this may be built in to your recording solution.
  6. You must be able to identify all recordings of a specific customer and be able to delete them easily. Customers have the 'right to be forgotten' and can require you to delete any recording of them.
  7. Recordings must be portable and able to be sent to a customer in a standard industry format, upon request.

Learn about call recording compliance GDPR, MiFID II, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Dodd-Frank

 

OrecX Protects your Call Recordings

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 23, 2018 10:52:15 AM

Call recordings can offer invaluable intelligence to an organization as well as provide critical compliance and dispute resolution support. However, those same precious recordings can also contain some very sensitive customer information which must be protected.

At OrecX, we take the protection of personally verifiable information (PII) very seriously. Our recorder features several levels of built-in security to help ensure data protection, including:
  • Web security – OrecX offers the only recording solution which is OWASP Level 2 compliant. Being OWASP Level 2 compliant means that OrecX underwent rigorous testing by a renowned third party security company, successfully clearing both automated and manual test suites (e.g. a real hacker trying to penetrate) designed for applications that contain sensitive data that requires protection. https-ssl
  • Encryption – Oreka TR (total call recording software) can be configured to automatically encrypt all recordings using the Blowfish 256 encryption algorithm. Files can thus be played back only through the web portal.
  • User authentication – password rules can be imposed to ensure passwords are difficult to hack. Passwords are stored with state-of-the-art bcrypt hashing algorithm, which protects them even if when a database is compromised. The system also automatically locks a user out after a given number of unsuccessful login attempts.
  • Tamper-proof – to identify file tampering (of a recorded call), a mathematical formula is computed at the completion of every recording (and stored in the database).
  • Secure access – Access to recordings is end-to-end secured (both at rest and in transit) and restricted to only logged-in users.
  • Audit trail – All important actions related to your recordings are recorded in the database. This ensures you can easily uncover who has accessed what and when.

 WHITE PAPER - Cloud Call Recording: Keeping Attackers Out

 

Is your Call Recording Software up to the Task?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 3, 2018 10:48:06 AM

Nearly 50% of businesses today have some form of call recording - some with full featured enterprise recording systems, others with one-off recording functionality as part of larger telephony systems, and those with call recording capability as part of their cloud contact center software. Regardless of your scenario, the utility a full-featured call recording software system can bring to your business is significant in terms of customer satisfaction, compliance, risk mitigation and sales revenue.  The question is, however, does your current solution offer the features you require to take full advantage of all of these benefits? How can you know if you have what you really need or if there is a better option for your business?question-marks

Here are several considerations to weigh:

  • Pulling data from 3rd party systems into the call recorder - The ability to automatically pull customer, financial and analytics data into your recorder from CRM, SFA and other systems is critical to gain a full picture of every customer and to uncover ways to optimize your sales relationship with them. Call recording data, when combined with 3rd party system data, dramatically enhances your understanding of a customer's needs, motivations, challenges and more - and therefore, also your ability to cross-sell and upsell them.  
  • Ability to add speech analytics - Speech analytics software enables you to quickly and surgically analyze recordings for keywords and phrases that can spawn immediate customer rescues (from imminent defection), insight to thwart potential compliance or litigation issues and more. Your call recording ought to have the open API functionality necessary to easily and seamlessly integrate third party speech and omni-channel analytics systems. 
  • Centralized recording, storage, replay and reporting - Mid-size to larger companies in particular tend to have employees, call centers and branches spanning multiple geographic areas, especially following a merger or acquisition. You want to be sure you can centrally capture, store, replay and report on your customer interactions across all of your locations. This grants you the ability to standardize on quality assurance, compliance protocols, sales reporting, etc.
  • Quality monitoring - Your call recording system's ability to score and review past interactions with agents to demonstrate improvement areas and best practices is important to boosting skill sets and improving customer satisfaction scores - both of which can lead to higher customer retention rates. 
  • Recording portability - Recorded interactions can be used by call center supervisors to train agents, by compliance officers to prove compliance, by sales and marketing to better understand customers and by product development teams to uncover R&D needs. The easiest way to do these things is to have portability with your call recordings. You need to be able to easily share recordings with relevant team members without having to worry about proprietary playback formats. The calls should be shareable in standard MPEG or .WAV formats so staff can easily share them (even with customers if necessary) when they need to.

If any of these considerations triggers a desire to explore a new call recording system that checks all of these boxes, please give OrecX a try.

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

The Power of Stereo (vs. Mono) Call Recording

Posted by Kevin Levi on Mar 8, 2018 10:14:11 AM

Stereo call recording (aka dual channel call recording) offers many advantages over mono call recording, primarily in the quality of the voice recording upon playback. Simply put, with stereo call recording, the two call participants (likely your agent and a customer) are recorded on separate channels. This means that upon playback, you will hear one voice on one side of the speaker and the other voice on the other side. Similar to stereo music, the dual channel playback dramatically enhances the sound and quality. The result is a higher fidelity call recording.

Imagine a call in which the agent and the customer are speaking over one another, perhaps during a dispute. Upon playback, you need to be able to separate the two voices to understand who said what. This could be particularly important if a discrepancy arises or if a potential HIPAA or PCI compliance infraction may have occurred. You need to be able to prove who said what, and when.Dual channel.png

Recording in stereo vs. mono also helps increase the accuracy of automatic call transcribing, which is popular in many of today's speech analytics solutions.  In fact, stereo call recording improves speech to text, key word and phrase spotting, speech analytics, and voice biometrics. The phonetic quality and accuracy that comes with stereo call recording can make the difference between accurate and false analytics results.

"When you take that (stereo) audio recording and pass it to VoiceBase (speech analytics), you can then instruct VoiceBase to process those two channels separately so that you get perfect 'who said what' information," said Bryon Mathias-Fuqua of VoiceBase. "You can imagine that if a caller says a competitor's name first, it means something a whole lot different than if an agent says a competitor's name first. There are huge benefits to using Stereo (dual channel) recordings versus Mono recordings for transcription, keyword spotting, agent monitoring/script adherence and training predictive models."

High fidelity playback in stereo also allows your call center managers, quality supervisors and even business users to focus on just the customer or just the agent when analyzing calls. This saves time when trying to identify skills weaknesses or customer discontent.

Not all call recording software offers both stereo call recording and mono call recording. When selecting or upgrading your call recording system, be sure to inquire about stereo call recording.

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

 

 

How Call Recording Helps you Perform CPR 

Posted by Kevin Levi on Feb 19, 2018 12:05:51 PM

Three primary areas in which call recording helps businesses include (C) Compliance, (P) Performance and (R) Risk. Everything else recording does really falls in one of these three areas. With the right call recording solution in place, your contact center can engage in both proactive (preventing future issues) and reactive (remedying issues) CPR.

CPR.pngCompliance - recording customer calls and agent screens to ensure internal and external compliance. Are agents following company protocols for handling customer complaints, for example? Are they saying and doing the right things in compliance with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Truth in Lending Act, MiFID II, GDPR, etc? If not, they could be putting your organization in jeopardy of receiving fines or penalties, not to mention litigation and liability. Sample use cases include:

Reactive

  • Replaying a sampling of customer calls in which credit card data was provided to ensure those portions of the interaction were masked or muted.
  • Listening to a recording of a call in which the FTC is claiming your agent violated the Truth in Lending Act by saying something they weren't allowed to say.

Proactive

  • Replaying a past interaction with the agent to go over any established ethics violations which occurred and discuss how to remedy them during future interactions.
  • Replaying recordings for staff to demonstrate compliance best practices by high-performing agents. 

Learn all about compliance recording

Performance - assessing past customer interactions (audio recording and agent screen recording) to uncover weaknesses in delivering service and identify areas for skills improvement.  These captured calls can also serve a number of other purposes for the contact center, such as:

Reactive

  • Generating customizable performance reports to assess agent performance.
  • Identifying root causes of issues so immediate action can be taken to remedy the problem.

Proactive

  • Understanding how effectively your processes and technologies support customers so enhancements can be made.
  • Identifying areas to improve operational performance and customer interaction workflow and improve business processes.

RiskLeveraging recorded calls to settle he-said/she-said customer disputes, prove compliance, understand why a customer defected and how to prevent it from happening in the future, and more. Recorded interactions do more than give you a glimpse into what happened during a call - they provide the full interaction exactly as it happened. With this data, you can mitigate risk on many fronts by providing the recording as evidence of precisely what occurred (and what did not occur). 

Use cases include:

Reactive

  • Replaying a past interaction for a customer to disprove their claim that your agent stated that a full refund would be offered.
  • Using a recorded call to show regulatory bodies how proper protocols were in fact followed.

Proactive

  • Sharing best-practice calls with all agents to demonstrate proper interaction performance so they can echo those best practices moving forward.
  • Sharing poor-performing customer interactions with staff to demonstrate how not to fall into any risk-related traps.

These are just some of that many, many ways in which call recording software can empower a business.

 Download  "Empower the Enterprise  with Call Recording" ebook

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