Kevin B. Levi

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2017 Call Recording Checklist

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jan 3, 2017 12:31:18 PM

With the ringing in of the new year, it is a good time to take stock of your assets so you can effectively plan for potential needs you might have throughout the year. This inventory can and should include your call recording system and all the features and functions it provides. To help you accomplish this task, here are 7 things to check for when determining if your call recording system is up to the task, or whether it might need to be replaced.New_Product_Introduction_Checklist.png

1.  Scalability - Does your system scale up to thousands of users in the event you achieve accelerated growth?

2. Interoperability - Does your system feature an open API so you can easily and quickly integrate it with new systems, applications, etc.?

3. Analytics - Does your system contain advanced analytics capabilities (i.e. speech analytics or desktop analytics), and can it easily pull data from third party sources - CRM, SFA, etc.?

4. Cloud - Is your system cloud based, or does your provider at least offer cloud recording so you can consider a migration this year to save money, time and resources?

5. Quality monitoring - Does your vendor offer quality monitoring capabilities which you can easily integrate and start benefitting from (ensure high agent performance and customer service levels)?

6. Mobile recording - Does your vendor offer mobile-phone recording which you can easily turn on to start capturing calls your employees make on their company-issued mobile phones?

7. Mask/mute - Are you able to mask or mute calls containing sensitive information, such as during a credit card transaction?

These are just some of the many variables to consider when weighing the viability of your existing call recording system. 

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Associations and Institutions Need Call Recording Too

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Oct 14, 2016 10:29:33 AM

When you hear the word “nonprofit,” it’s easy to imagine a charitable foundation or some other such well-meaning organization aimed at making the world a better place. Yet entities that operate as nonprofits fall into two very broad categories: community-serving organizations, which include charitable enterprises, aid and development programs, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and the like; and member-serving organizations, such as professional or industry associations, trade and credit unions, sports clubs, and more. What both kinds of nonprofits have in common, however, is that they are in the business of meeting the needs of their “customers” – that is, their students, patients, target population, or members. And, they typically must do this under strict financial constraints and with an eye towards good fiscal stewardship.Nonprofit.jpg

For nonprofits seeking to meet their member-serving or community-serving goals, call recording software can provide valuable insight. By recording calls that come into your organization, you can gain:  

  • C-level Insight – Leverage the actual voice of the “customer” to keep senior-level volunteers and staff in touch with the needs and challenges of your patients, students, members, and more.
  • Information to Kick off Volunteer or Employee Meetings – Replay select calls at the start of meetings so that your staff can hear best practice calls and discuss what could have been done better with under-performing calls.
  • A Chance for Everyone to Learn – Consider sharing two or three carefully selected calls with every employee or volunteer on a monthly basis. This way, everyone in the organization has a direct connection to the customer and his/her wants/needs.

These recorded calls can also help your organization acquire other insights, such as:

  • Ideas for new services
  • Intelligence about other organizations that operate in your field
  • Ways that your organization is meeting (or failing to meet) the needs of your constituents, and perhaps even discover suggestions for improvement

The issue of cost is an important one for most nonprofits. Although call recording software may seem like a luxury for only for-profit entities with plenty of cash to spare, the reality is that these types of systems are growing more affordable than ever. If you’re looking at a call recording system for your nonprofit and are sensitive about costs and the use of your personnel and other resources, here are some questions to ask before selecting a provider:

  • Is it expensive? Certain systems can cost you as little as $5 per month per user.
  • Does it require costly hardware? Look for an open-architecture, software-only solution that can run on standard industry hardware; or consider a hosted/cloud-based system.
  • Is it easy to install or maintain? Some systems can be installed in about 30 minutes and require no maintenance, provided you select the right solution.
  • Is it difficult to learn and use? Pick a system that your staff can learn to use quickly – for some, in as little as one hour.

In many ways, the mission of a nonprofit resembles that of their for-profit counterpart – to keep customers happy and to use resources wisely. Let call recording software help your nonprofit accomplish both of those goals.

Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution

Using Call Recording to Survive the High Demands of High Tech

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Oct 4, 2016 11:09:35 AM

The technology industry is always evolving: new products and services come to market at a rapid-fire pace, and expectations from customers are constantly accelerating. Your customers want things better, faster, and easier than ever before – their demands are high, and you need to deliver.Chasm_image.jpg

For companies in the technology sector, where competition can be brutal and only the strongest survive, top customer service marks can often mean the difference between an enterprise’s success or its demise. To ensure that their call center agents are delivering the best possible service, today’s top technology companies use call recording software to:

  • Assess call center agent performance by evaluating the work of individual agents and identifying specific areas that need improvement.
  • Capture call center best practices such as examples of outstanding customer service interactions, which can be shared and analyzed at regular team meetings. This way, employees can be prepared to handle future, similar situations.
  • Glean product or service information, because customers often reach out to a contact center when they have a problem. These calls can prove valuable to your sales, marketing, and product development teams. Product-specific calls can be shared with these teams so that they can hear what customers are saying – both the positive and the negative – about your products or services.

But let’s take call recording software one step further – beyond the call center and into the offices of your telesales staff. Recoding the calls of these employees can go a long way in helping to boost your team’s sales conversion success. How? When your telesales staff has a particularly successful or challenging call, you can share these recorded calls with the rest of the team during your weekly or monthly team gatherings. This way, your sales staff can learn from one another – about pitfalls to avoid and strategies that deliver excellent results. Specifically, recorded calls can help your sales team to:

  • Motivate underperforming sales staff
  • Develop new training programs
  • Identify opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell
  • Recognize unique sales situations and learn ways to deal with them

Survival of the fittest – it’s especially true in the technology sector. Be a survivor – use call recording.

Manufacturing Your Success with Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Sep 19, 2016 11:00:42 AM

Manufacturing companies make widgets – widgets that, in a perfect world, work properly and, with any luck, last a lifetime. That ideal doesn’t always occur: products break, are defective, require maintenance, or become obsolete. When these things happen, one of the first places that companies hear about it is through their contact centers.manufacturing.gif

For manufacturing companies, call recording software can capture critical information that can be used throughout the enterprise to make important business decisions and deliver prompt, responsive customer service. Consider these various contact center interactions and what can be done about them:

  • “I heard about your new product but can’t seem to find it in stores” – send this call to the product marketing or sales department.
  • “I noticed a really bad flaw in your product” – send this call to the product development department.
  • “I want to take advantage of a special offer I saw advertised” – send this call to the marketing department.
  • "I got hurt when I used your product" - send call to customer care and legal teams.

In addition to monitoring calls that come into your contact center, call recording software can be used for proactive sales and marketing campaigns. For example, say you decide to offer free maintenance to customers who renew their annual service contract for your products. Agents can dial out to existing customers to make the offer. You can then:

  • Run a report from the contact center, which can show how many customers were offered the free maintenance contract and how many accepted the offer and renewed.
  • Use the report to assess the campaign’s effectiveness.
  • Analyze the report to see which geographic regions or types of customers are more likely to take advantage of the offer. This information can then be used to structure future campaigns.
  • Consider holding two promotions at the same time; then, you can run reports to determine which promotion performs better.

Recorded calls can also be used to train sales agents to help improve their skills and ensure that they are communicating the appropriate messages and adhering to excellent standards of service quality. They can also be used to determine if there are cross-selling or up-selling opportunities that are being missed.

Call recording software can help you manufacture success, particularly if you’re a manufacturing concern.

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Survey Results: Top 3 Challenges

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Sep 8, 2016 11:32:59 AM

We asked dozens of call center and customer service professionals to indicate what their top challenges are. Here are the results.


Call Recording is Critical in the Financial Industry

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jun 17, 2016 10:56:41 AM

Financial institutions – commercial and investment banks, securities firms, insurance companies, and the like – handle some of the world’s most sensitive information. From confidential SEC disclosures to personal financial data to secrets that could impact the entire world economy, financial organizations need tools to ensure that the information they are privy to is handled properly.2-25-Blog-Financial-Services-Blog-Size.jpg

Because of the proprietary nature of the work they do, financial institutions have compliance departments. These departments play a vitally important role within the organization, as they are responsible for setting corporate compliance policy and ensuring that all staff adhere to critical governmental, industry, and corporate regulations and policies.

For a compliance officer, call recording can prove an invaluable tool. Why? Because if a call center employee at a financial institution fails to abide by relevant regulations, the organization could incur costly fines or damaging lawsuits.

Regulations and regulators that impact financial institutions include:

  • SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) regulations: these rules and requirements govern the practices of the U.S. securities industry. In its role, the SEC oversees the key participants in the securities world, including securities exchanges, securities broker/dealers, investment advisors, mutual funds, and more.
  • State insurance regulatory bodies: oversee the practices of insurance firms by state.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): protects patients' private information
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act: protects consumers from abusive financial services practices by large banks.
  • PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard): protects customers from the misuse of their credit card information.
  • Truth in Lending Act: protects consumers in their dealings with lenders and creditors.

Call recording software enables compliance officers at financial institutions to record the calls of their call center agents. By taking a sampling of calls (quality monitoring) or listening to all calls (total call recording), compliance staff can verify that interactions are being handled correctly. And when they’re not? Access to these calls can help the department identify potential problem areas and implement corrective actions, thereby preventing the company from exposure to potential fines or legal action.

Call recording also proves helpful should a dispute ever arise about compliance. If your organization is notified by a government or other regulatory body that a compliance infraction may have occurred, many times proof of innocence is required. When you can offer such proof through a full audio or screen recording captured by a call recording system, it’s easy to disprove the accusation. Without such concrete evidence, a financial institution faces great exposure, whether the infraction occurred or not.

11 Positions that Benefit from Call Recording


Call Recording for Compliance Officers

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jan 4, 2016 9:59:18 AM

Compliance officers perform a critical function: ensuring that an organization is operating within well-defined regulatory and statutory parameters. Whether it’s making sure to abide by HIPAA, PCI-DSS, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, or a number of other mandates, your organization and your employees need to be careful, today more than ever. Why? Because the penalties associated with non-compliance can be crippling, particularly for smaller organizations. Just look at the average fines associated with these regulations:compliance-officer.jpg

  • PCI-DSS: $50,000 per infraction
  • Telemarketing Sales Rule: $16,000 per infraction
  • Do Not Call Implementation Act: $11,000 per infraction
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act: $7,500 per infraction
  • HIPAA: $1,000 per infraction

To help your organization contend with these compliance requirements, many organizations are deploying call recording software to protect the interests of both themselves and their customers. These systems enable an organization to capture every telephone call (and accompanying screen activity, if needed) and store this information for a set period of time. By classifying calls containing sensitive cardholder information, patient data, or other compliance-related activity, call recording systems can provide assistance later on when an organization needs to provide evidence of compliance or mitigate a dispute.

In addition, compliance call recording systems can help you as a compliance professional, both in motivating staff as well as training new employees. For example, you can create a meta-tag for all calls containing sensitive information (credit card or healthcare data, for example). You can then review select interactions at team meetings to demonstrate how or how not to handle the collection of such data from customers. You can also record best practice calls that involve sensitive information and make a library of these best-in-class interactions to share with new or under-performing staff members.

If you’re a compliance officer seeking out a call recorder, here are some of the features you need to look for when evaluating a system:

  • Ability to mute a customer’s voice when credit card or other personal information is being given
  • Ability to mask the credit card or personal information portion of a screen
  • Ability to permanently delete recordings containing sensitive information
  • Ability to encrypt recordings, if desired
  • Ability to restrict playback to only those individuals (e.g., supervisors, trainers, legal personnel) who need access to such interactions
  • Access to both voice and screen recording, to capture the full interaction

In our litigious and closely monitored business environment, the question isn’t ‘should you use a call recording solution to aid your compliance efforts’. The question should be: ‘How can you afford not to?’


Compliance Recording AND Quality Monitoring ebook

Call Recording for C-Level Executives

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Dec 17, 2015 10:36:22 AM

Whether your job title is CEO, CFO, CMO, CCO (Chief Compliance Officer) or CTO, you’re constantly challenged to find better ways to run your organization. What’s more, employees look to you for leadership, strategic direction, motivation and vision.


To help gather the insight you need to succeed in a C-level role, consider the power that can be harnessed from recorded customer calls. These calls give you direct access into the minds of your customers, information that is invaluable as you seek to shape new strategic directions, develop new products and services, or even appoint new staff. By monitoring these calls and carefully assessing what’s being said, you can help your organization build a successful business while establishing and cultivating a viable customer base.  Think of how much more informed you could be about your business if you made it a practice of listening to just three carefully selected customer calls each week.

You can use your call recording software to hand-pick select recordings which can provide real strategic intelligence. Here are some of the many ways in which select recorded calls can help senior executives within your company:

1. Tap into the true voice of the customer to better understand who your target buyer is when making important strategic decisions about the company's future direction - i.e. new products to develop, new markets to enter, new investments to make, etc.

2. Take a pulse of customer sentiment toward your brand by listening to select calls to better understand how your company stacks up to the competition.

3. Motivate staff and/or investors by replaying motivating calls at the start of staff or even investor calls/meetings to demonstrate your company's positive impact on customers, in their own words.

4. Set the tone for executive team meetings by playing select calls at the start of the meetings to demonstrate specific areas of focus for the company moving forward.

5. Woo new senior talent to the organization by having candidates listen to the best calls to demonstrate how beloved your company is by customers.

These are just some of the many ways in which call recording software can help your senior executives lead your organization.

11 Positions that Benefit from Call Recording


Call Recording for Marketing Teams

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Dec 8, 2015 11:10:53 AM

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, demonstrating the critical importance of maintaining a firm grasp on what your customers want and finding new and improved ways to deliver it.

For many organizations, recorded calls can provide your marketing team with just that appropriate level of insight into the minds of your customers – a true channel into how your customers actually think or feel about your products and/or services.


Call recording (aka call recorder) software can give you details related to:

  • Geography: Find out which regions of your customer base have the most callers regarding a new marketing promotion. You can then use this information to better target specific customer segments by geography. This helps you align future marketing campaigns to best resonate with buyers in specific areas.
  • Business intelligence: More often than not, you can glean valuable information about what your competitors are doing during customer calls. Armed with this information, your marketing organization can re-align or tweak their campaigns in order to achieve maximum success. [Customer: “That’s not what XYZ does. They let you…”]
  • New product ideas: You might be surprised to learn how many great ideas come from customers, either as suggestions to improve your current offerings or as inspirations for an entirely new product or line. You also gain insight into competitive solutions.
You might also want to consider another innovative use for a call recorder: Using actual recorded calls for marketing purposes. That’s right – consider taking best-practice segments of customer interactions and using them in your marketing or advertising campaigns. This can be done by sharing audio segments through online banner ads or other promotional vehicles. (Of course, you’ll want to remember to omit the customer’s name or other personally identifiable information from the recorded sections you use.)

Understanding the benefits of call recording to your marketing team is the first step. What’s the next one? Knowing the questions you need to ask your call recording provider to determine if a particular solution is right for you. Questions might include:

  1. Is the solution designed primarily for a company of my size? If you’re a smaller organization with a limited budget, you don’t want to pay for features that are designed for a different-sized organization. Similarly, if you’re a larger organization with significant financial resources, look for a system with all the “bells and whistles” you require.
  2. Does the solution support multi-site and multi-tenant capabilities? You want to be prepared if and when this is needed.
  3. Can the solution scale to support my organization’s growth? Again, it’s important to plan for the future. You don’t want to get stuck with a system that cannot accommodate expansion.
  4. What reporting functionality is available so I can pull out the necessary marketing metrics and insights to support our marketing campaigns?

Recorded calls can prove to be a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.

Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution

Call Recording for Sales Teams

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Nov 23, 2015 2:08:19 PM

You spend a lot of time as a sales team trying to meet two primary objectives: keeping current customers happy and attracting new ones. No matter what your industry segment, geographic location or company size, those objectives remain the focal point of most sales campaigns. To successfully achieve them, you require information – information about what your current (and potential) customers want and information about why (or why not) they’re buying your product or services. Gathering this information may seem like an insurmountable task, but it doesn’t need to be.


With call recording software, your sales team can gain valuable insights into your customers’ behavior and decision-making process – insights that can help you understand why:

  • Cross-selling and up-selling offers are or are not working
  • Customers are canceling their orders
  • Particular products are more popular than others
  • Certain geographic regions account for the majority of your successful (or unsuccessful) sales conversions

Recorded customer calls are a powerful tool for sales teams and can be used in a variety of ways. Consider, for example, the age-old challenge of customer defection. Defecting customers present a costly problem for any organization, especially because the cost of acquiring a new customer is six to seven times greater than keeping an existing one. With the right call recording solution, you can set up the system to flag every call in which your sales or support person visits the “Cancel my account” page. That way, you can reroute these calls to your account rescue team to help prevent the customer from leaving, and bring him or her back.

Call recording can help with acquiring customers as well. The fact is, recorded calls enable you to hear the “true voice of the customer.” By listening to these calls, you’ll be able to learn what customers want and what they don’t – even what your customers consider the most valuable benefits or features of your product. You can even gather competitive intelligence from these calls. Say you hear, for example, “XYZ Company is offering a two-for-one deal on a similar product. Why don’t you offer that?” This information can then be shared with interested parties across your organization, which can help them develop new products or refine current offerings in order to meet current and potential customer demands.

You can also use recorded calls to help motivate and train your sales staff. Consider gathering your sales team together on a regular basis to share successes and challenges. That way, your sales team learns from one another and, ultimately, can achieve greater sales-conversion success.

When evaluating a call recording solution, look for a system that can answer the following questions to your satisfaction:

-Is it expensive? Look for a system that can cost you as little as $20 per month per user (depending upon product, scope and size).

-Is it hard to install and maintain? Look for a system that can be installed in 30 minutes or less and requires no maintenance.

-Is it difficult to learn and use? Look for a system that you can learn to use effectively in as little as one hour.

-Does it require special hardware? Look for a system that offers an open-architecture software-only solution that runs on standard industry hardware.

11 Positions that Benefit from Call Recording

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