ORECX CALL RECORDING BLOG

Stereo Recording is Needed for Speech Analytics

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Oct 28, 2019 9:28:47 AM

Speech analytics software is being used all over the contact center landscape, and not just by enterprises anymore. Auto-transcription and keyword spotting are enabling customer service teams to identify defecting customers, identify up-sell opportunities, collect meaningful competitive intelligence and more.image-from-rawpixel-id-1077323-original

None of this is really news, however, to professionals in the contact center space. But what is new is the fact that you need stereo call recording to optimize the results of the audio transcription for speech analytics. Quality in, quality out. With traditional call recording, both the agent and the customer's voices are captured on the same channel. When there is over-talk, say during an argument, the transcription tool is unable to discern who is speaking and what is being said. This can be an issue for many businesses. 

Suppose during the over-talk in a heated discussion about a dispute, the customer says the words "It's my fault". Those keywords could help the organization avoid a lawsuit, but without dual-channel, stereo call recording, those words would never be captured or heard. Here's another example. Imagine if a customer utters the words "I'm done", "I'm leaving" or "I'm cancelling" during an argument, and the agent was speaking at the same time. Those vital phrases would never make their way to the customer retention team, and that customer could be lost forever, to a competitor. 

Stereo recording actually improves speech to text, keyword and phrase spotting, speech analytics, and voice biometrics. It high fidelity audio capture capabilities support upper-end audio sample rate formats such as G.711 and OPUS, so you're recordings will feature the highest quality, clearest audio for both transcription and quality monitoring. 

So many contact center today unknowingly rely on mono call recording solutions to power their speech analytics. It's true. This is a fundamental flaw in one's customer service strategy that ought to be reviewed and reconsidered.

Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution

Another consideration is the value stereo recording can bring to the quality monitoring/agent evaluation process. Supervisors, team leaders and contact center managers rely heavily on recorded customer interactions to identify agent weaknesses and to train agents on what went right and what went wrong during specific customer calls. With stereo or dual channel recording, evaluators can focus on just the agent's or customer's voice and home in on specifically what was said. Mono call recording does not allow for this separation of voice.

 

 

 

Call Recording Laws by State (USA)

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Sep 30, 2019 10:41:11 AM

Call recording laws by state in the United States can vary greatly from one state to another. Thirty six states have one-party consent rules while the remaining states have an all-party consent policy. As many of your U.S. based conference calls can consist of parties from multiple states, it is important to understand the laws from each state. State Call Recording Laws

Here are some resources to help you understand the call recording laws by state:

OrecX is simply providing public resources to help you understand call recording laws by state. We are, by no means, providing any type of legal advice.

ebook - Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

Top 5 Call Center Regulations

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Sep 13, 2019 9:56:26 AM

We wanted to know which call center regulations most businesses were focused on this year. So, we asked a bunch of call center managers spanning a number of industries (financial, collections, insurance, healthcare, consumer, high-tech and more). 

Compliance survey results graph-1

Privacy Regulations

More than a quarter of respondents cited various privacy regulations as their top priority - including GDPR, PCI and then HIPAA. This makes sense as data privacy issues become more and more prevalent. The ability to protect payment card information (PCI), personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) is imperative today. Noncompliance can lead to costly fines, a damaged reputation and even suspension of one's credit card processing privileges.

From a call recording perspective, it is important to have some sort of compliance-enabling capabilities in place, The following features, e.g., can help your contact center conform with these (and other) privacy regulations:

  • Pause/resume recordings while sensitive information is being shared
  • Mask/mute recordings while sensitive information is being shared
  • Encrypt recordings
  • Protect recordings with permission/password-based access 

Consent-Based Laws

Among the top six responses to the survey were a few consent-based laws. At number two was call monitoring consent - those state by state regulations which specify how many parties must consent to a call recording. Number four was the Do Not Call Registry, and number six was Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). These laws are perennial concerns for all contact centers, and this is why you always hear a recorded voice say "This call may be recorded for...". Without such a notification of the intention to record, organizations face financial penalties.

Predictive dialing solutions and campaign management software can help keep your contact center on track with these regulations.

 

For more information on contact center regulations in the U.S. and across the world, download our ebook below.

ebook - Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

 

 

 

Open Source SIPREC: Why You Should Care

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Aug 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Open source call recording brings many benefits over traditional proprietary call recording systems - namely, flexibility, cost savings, data control, openness and more. 

SIPREC is a SIP protocol for call recording, based on IETF standards, and it is used for establishing an active recording session and reporting the metadata of the session. Open source SIPREC is particularly attractive to VoIP service providers as the auto-provisioning capabilities of open source SIPREC are much easier to administer. This means service providers can get their clients up and running faster and with less hassle/resources. 

The flexibility of open source SIPREC enables service providers to add call recording as a service to their portfolio of offerings without costly and time-consuming integration, API development, and so on. It's as simple as turning on the service to new or existing clients. With open source SIPREC, service providers also enjoy easier call recording system deployment and concurrent call capture.

SIPREC call flow-2

Here are some of the many advantages of open source SIPREC:

  • Scalability to thousands of concurrent calls
  • Interoperability (OrecX open source SIPREC supports Avaya, Cisco BIB, Broadsoft, Metaswitch, Ribbon, Oracle/Acme and more)
  • Open database schema, file formats and API
  • Highly efficient (configure only the traffic you need to record)
  • Low cost of ownership

There are two key components of SIPREC interactions:

1. Session Recording Client (SRC) – the SBC or PBX

  • Avaya, Cisco, Broadsoft, Metaswitch, Ribbon, Oracle, Sonus are some of the telephony platforms that support SIPREC.

2. Session Recording Server (SRS) – a call recording platform

Click here to learn more about OrecX open source SIPREC.

Also check out our blog post titled "Growing Prominence of the SIPREC Call Recording Standard"

SIPREC vs. Packet Interception

 

Open Source Call Recording?

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jul 24, 2019 11:29:05 AM

Organizations require flexibility in their IT systems in order to successfully integrate new tools into their technical environments. Call recording software is no different. However, most recording software is locked in terms of self-customization. Some recording vendors charge an arm and a leg to perform this customization for you. This is a deal breaker for many. 

What is needed today is flexible, open call recording systems which you can tailor to your very unique requirements. Every organization is different and falls under a particular set of regulations, mandates its own internal compliance measures, has different customer interaction workflows, and son on.  You want the ability to decide what your recorder looks like and how it behaves. For example, you want to be able to set your own playback restrictions to keep unauthorized users from accessing recordings containing personally identifiable information. Your quality supervisors review interactions for specific hard and soft-skills criteria, and therefore, you require flexibility in how you search for specific recordings. Many records take away much of this flexibility and require you to engage their professional services arm to make any adjustments. Open source globe

An alternative to standard proprietary recording systems is to deploy open source recording and build it out to meet your specific needs. Open source recording is different, and its openness and flexibility make it far easier to ensure high levels of customer service, minimize risk, maintain regulatory/industry compliance, verify orders, resolve disputes, and more.  

OrecX offers open source recording software.  Oreka GPL is an open source recording system for capture and retrieval of voice. Its primary application is for recording calls from VoIP telephony systems via port mirroring. It runs on both Linux and Windows. Recording can be distributed on several recorders, all reporting to the same database and Web User Interface. 

Oreka is a modular and cross-platform system for recording and retrieval of audio streams. The project currently supports VoIP and sound device-based capture. Metadata from recordings can be stored in any mainstream database. Retrieval of captured sessions is web based.

Some of the primary benefits open source recording offers include:

  • Operating system, database and hardware agnostic
  • Open data model, open API, open file formats, open web interface
  • Full customization capabilities
  • You control your own data
  • Low total cost of ownership (most open source software is free)
  • Enhanced security
  • Multiple protocol support

If your business does not yet have a voice recording system – or if you have one but it is not meeting your needs, then an open source recording solution is something you should seriously consider.

ebook: Benefits of Open Source Call Recording

Call Recording for BPOs

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on May 6, 2019 2:03:13 PM

The business process outsourcing (BPO) market is very unique in that everything an outsourcer does is for the benefit of its clients. Outsourcers take on the responsibility of handling another business’s sales, or customer service, and often times even the client’s compliance responsibilities and liabilities.business-process-outsourcing

In many cases, these service organizations are taking over a role their clients cannot manage on their own or don’t want to handle any longer.  Therefore, BPOs are under enormous pressure to over-perform each and every day just to retain clients.

With the help of the right call recording, screen recording and quality monitoring software in a BPO's arsenal, they stand a far greater chance of satisfying (if not wowing) clients.  But first, the right solution(s) must be chosen to fit one's specific business requirements, which can be dramatically different from other types of businesses. 

In short, consider solutions that offer:

  • Broad functionality to meet the varying needs of a diverse client base
  • Ability to lower operating costs while still meeting service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Affordability, as budgets are tight in order to maintain profitability
  • On-the-fly implementation, as down time is not something that can be afforded
  • World class support services when they are needed
  • Low ongoing total cost of ownership (TCO) with minimal-to-no maintenance required
  • Full, open interoperability with other systems - CRM, speech analytics, etc.
  • Flexible, subscription-based pricing
  • Graphical user interface (GUI) customization
  • Open file format so you can share recordings with your client(s)
  • Multi-tenancy

When considering adding or upgrading your call/screen recording system, there are a number of criteria to look for in a solution.  A solution with these features and functions will provide you with the necessary tools and capabilities to manage risk, settle disputes, improve agent compliance, verify orders and streamline operations. 

  • 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
  • Scalability to thousands of seats (whether through one logger/server or by linking multiple devices)
  • Compliance-ready – Ensure the system has masking or muting capabilities to protect personally identifiable information for PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.
  • 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
  • Open platform (i.e. open API) so you can easily integrate the recorder with your 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
  • Integrated voice and screen recording with simultaneous playback
  • Open web interface with support for any browser, including mobile; and also internationalization
  • Modular components to remove complexity and cost associated with bundled applications
  • Open data model with ancillary features and processes, along with enhanced meta data for pre and post call processing
  • Live monitoring so supervisors or even clients can listen in to live customer interactions
  • Interoperability with virtually any communication system/PBX

Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution

The Power of Voice in your Outbound Omni-Channel Strategy

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Mar 26, 2019 10:59:25 AM

Outbound sales and marketing campaigns today leverage just about every communication channel when it comes to connecting with customers and prospects - email, voice, SMS, chat, social media, etc. Employing an omni-channel communication strategy helps organizations reach target buyers more effectively, by covering all bases - so to speak. One thing remains clear, however, and that is that voice is still king. There is no doubt about it. In a world of marketing and sales automation, automated dialers are the heavy lifters as they enable businesses to efficiently connect with an exponentially larger pool of individuals. 

Recorded-voice

Call recording and speech analytics capabilities enable campaign designers (call center managers, inside sales directors, marketing managers, etc.) to leverage past interactions to devise future campaigns that will resonate with target buyers. Without recorded calls and speech analytics data, managers cannot fully understand how called parties are feeling during an interaction, nor extract all of the valuable intelligence recordings offer. Recorded voice provides an element of emotion detection and keyword spotting that other communication channels simply cannot. 

Voice pitch, spoken phrases, long pauses, etc. help assess what a potential buyer is really thinking, so supervisors and managers can gain a real understanding of a campaign's success or failure and the potential root causes for each. Future campaigns can then be adjusted accordingly to increase the likelihood of success, by not repeating past mistakes.  

When selecting a call recording and speech analytics system, look for these capabilities to help you optimize your outbound campaigns:

1. Open API for easy and smooth integration of the recording engine and the speech analytics tool

2. Customizable data visualization and reporting tools

3. Multi-dimensional searching 

4. High fidelity, dual channel stereo recording (most call recorders only have mono) 

5. Voice analytics auto-tagging

5. Free and unrestricted access to recordings

6. SIPREC recording

As you move forward with your omni-channel customer engagement strategy, be sure to leverage the full power of recorded voice to increase your sales and marketing success, while also boosting customer satisfaction.

 

35 Call Recording Questions (infographic)

 

 

 

Is Call Recording Illegal Now?

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Feb 25, 2019 10:53:26 AM

Recording calls is not illegal in the U.S. or in most countries in the world. However, in many instances you need to first ask for consent. Some regions require notification by only the caller, while others (primarily in the U.S.) require 2-party consent - meaning everyone on the call must give their consent before a recording can start.sales-call-recording-map-0818-1024x713

Here are some highlights of laws in different regions:

  • In the U.S., 11 states mandate two-party consent: California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. The remaining states require single-party notification. Other laws such as PCI-DSS (credit cards) and HIPAA (health information) impost additional restrictions.
  • In India, there is no mandate on recording calls in general
  • In Australia, you can't record calls at all, according to The Federal Telecommunications Act 1979.
  • In New Zealand, you can record and no consent is required.
  • In England, the laws have recently become much more stringent with the advent of two new regulations: GDPR and MiFID II.

Learn more by downloading our comprehensive ebook.

ebook - Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

Speech Analytics Starts with Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jan 30, 2019 10:11:12 AM

Speech analytics technology requires quality audio going in for quality transcription and analytics to come out. This all starts with the call recording itself. The audio must be crystal clear or the transcription will be off and the resulting intelligence will be flawed. call-recording-audio

The clarity of the recorded call comes down to several factors, including the audio acquisition itself. Most call recording solutions capture telephone calls in mono format. This means both parties on the phone are recorded on the same channel. This can cause problems when it comes to transcription. The system cannot always ...

Read the full post

Coach Agents More Effectively: 5 Steps to Master Asynchronous Call Review

Posted by ExecVision on Jan 29, 2019 11:03:16 AM

Coaching agents at scale is no easy feat. Between administrative tasks, meetings, and your own workload, there is little time left in the day to focus on individual agents.

Instead, leaders resort to fly-by coaching, whisper/barge, and the ol’ trusty headset splitter to give agents feedback. The problem with these methods is that A) They put your reps on edge and B) Coachable moments don’t always appear when you’re paying attention.image-from-rawpixel-id-61630-jpeg

This is why asynchronous call coaching is the ideal method for driving agent performance improvement. Leaders can listen to calls between meetings and then provide the agent with constructive feedback during 1:1 meetings.

Step 1: Getting Started with Asynchronous Coaching

The most important part of asynchronous call review is making sure you have access to your team’s call recordings. If you do not have access already, speak to your IT department to find out what the process looks like.

Conversation intelligence tools like ExecVision are a huge time saver for asynchronous coaching. Instead of digging through folders of calls, you can easily locate those calls where agents have asked for feedback, maximizing your time spent coaching.

Step 2: Put Your Team to Work

Once you have access to call recordings, it’s time to put your agents to work. Using quality monitoring software, you can arbitrarily review two calls per week, for example, per agent. These calls can be chosen automatically based on length, time of day, keyword spoken (i.e. “cancel my order”) and so on.

Step 3: Put in Your Headphones

Even when you have the calls you want to review, it can be difficult to find the time to listen to them. Block out a few hours each week specifically for listening to calls. Many leaders find first thing in the morning or right before they head out for the day to be good time slots.

If big chunks aren’t feasible for your schedule, get crafty with those ‘dead’ minutes in the day. Meetings often end earlier than expected, giving you a few minutes to listen to a call and provide some feedback. Evaluation forms and coaching tools can help formalize this process. The time is there if you make it.

Step 4: Providing Constructive Feedback

The feedback sandwich is dead, folks. However, you should still lead with something the agent did well. Science shows that leading with criticism releases the stress hormone cortisol. This blocks the agent’s ability to really hear what you’re saying.

When providing constructive criticism, it’s critical that you coach no more than two skills per session. Any more than that and the agent will feel overwhelmed and fail to make the suggested improvements. Choose the two things that need the most work or consider a mix of low-hanging fruit like reducing filler words with something more difficult.

These ground rules should be followed regardless of your coaching delivery method.

Step 5: Delivering Coaching to Agents

Coaching doesn’t always have to happen face-to-face. In fact, it’s good to provide feedback through different channels. This way, you cover kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learners, allowing your coaching to stick better.

When you do have 1:1 coaching sessions, it’s critical that you lay ground rules for the meeting. This means no disciplinary actions, no personal attacks, and no committees. Keep it to one or two coaches in each session.

One of the most effective ways to open a session is to ask the agent how he/she thinks the call went. Self-realization of poor skills is significantly more powerful than being told you’re not good at something.

When you are coaching via a conversation intelligence platform, email, or other asynchronous method, take into account your coaching style. Some managers prefer to leave very short sentences as comments they’ll elaborate on during a 1:1. Others will write longer paragraphs about what the rep did, what they can change, and even include resources they can check out for additional help.

The Power of Asynchronous Call Reviews

When it comes to call coaching, asynchronous is miles ahead of ride-alongs and headset splitters. Managers and leaders can locate coachable moments rather than hoping one comes up as they listen in.

Asynchronous coaching empowers agents to take ownership of their professional development. If they’re enabled to choose what calls they’re coached on, they’re much more receptive to the feedback you give them. This is a win-win for everyone and makes it much easier for managers to coach even their best reps.

How are you coaching your reps? Share your best practices in the comments.

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