Kevin B. Levi

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Survey Results: Who Manages your Call Recorder?

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Nov 9, 2015 12:27:56 PM

At OrecX, we are constantly finding new ways to garner insight on the call recorder software industry to share with our customers, prospects, partners and the industry at large.

As we've done in the past, we surveyed countless professionals spanning enterprises (call centers, IT organizations, sales teams, operations teams), debt collections firms, BPOs and more to understand who in these organizations is responsible for the company's call recorder system.

Below is a graphical representation of the results of this survey of 50+ individuals spanning all industries:




11 Positions that Benefit from Call Recording

Topics: call recording

Are Small Businesses Ready for Call Recording?

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Sep 22, 2015 12:49:00 PM

Some enterprise-class call recording solutions are affordable enough now that even small businesses can afford to employ them.  Primarily software-only based, these applications provide the full functionality of their hardware-based counterparts but at a fraction of the price and with minimal maintenance requirements.

This means that even the smallest of law offices, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, doctor's offices and any other small business can now tap into the value of call recording, which was previously reserved for only the largest of businesses - one's that could afford that previous hefty price tag.

Value of Call Recording

  • Verify orders - Have a stored record of every call in case you need to go back and verify any purchase details or authorization, for example.
  • Protect your business from he-said/she-said disputes that can otherwise cost you a lot of money if you are unable to prove what was actually said by the customer.
  • Verify customer service levels by reviewing select calls to understand how well your staff is servicing your customers.

Here are some key features to look out for if you are a small business considering a call recording system:

  • Easy and quick installation with no additional implementation costs required. Some vendors charge you for the software and then require you to pay a separate installation fee. Avoid these providers.
  • Open API for fast and easy customization and interoperability. You will undoubtedly like to make some custom changes to the call recording system to best meet your needs. This shouldn't require a forklift effort.  It should be quick and easy to tailor the software to your requirements as well as integrate it smoothly into your existing environment.
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  • No proprietary hardware required. You want a call recording system that can run on an existing server or at the very least a commercial off the shelf (COTS) server.
  • Recordings portable in MPEG format - You want to be able to playback your recordings without needing a proprietary player or converting the files into a format anyone can use.  You want your recordings to be available to you in standard MPEG format. This way you could even email them to a partner (or someone else outside the organization), for example, if you needed to. 
  • Minimal if any maintenance required - Some solutions can be a headache to maintain and troubleshoot. Stay away from these complex systems. You want a solution that requires essentially no maintenance and will give you zero problems.  Even ask to speak to one of the vendor's existing customers to validate such maintenance requirements.

ebook - Call Recording for SMB Non-Techies

Topics: call center recording, call recording software

Why Small Businesses Need Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Aug 14, 2015 12:03:00 PM

Anyone who operates a business knows that there are certain challenges that confront any enterprise: keeping customers content, making sure employees are doing their jobs, guaranteeing that all legal and regulatory requirements are being met. For those companies that are considered “small businesses” – a term that is defined differently depending on industry category and based on revenues and/or number of employees – some of these challenges are even more pronounced. That’s because while small businesses typically must contend with some of the same issues that confront their larger counterparts, these small enterprises usually must do so with more limited financial and human resources.

Normal Liability Insurance Protects Small Enterprise House owners

Although the term “small business” can refer to a wide array of industries with various stakeholders and strategic priorities, most small businesses do share similar challenges:

  • Ensuring customer service quality: Are agents, salespersons, or other personnel providing the right level of service so that customers are satisfied?
  • Ensuring optimal operational performance: Are employees doing their jobs as they should – or is their workflow hampered or interrupted? Put another way: Are you optimizing the volume and level of work your employees are delivering?
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance: For businesses operating in industries that fall under PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) or HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act) regulation, for example, are you sure that proper procedures are being followed to ensure compliance? Fines for noncompliance with these regulatory requirements can be steep and sometimes devastating for a small business.

Fortunately, there is a solution to help small businesses address these challenges: call recording software. Call recording can enable managers in your organization to monitor recorded calls between your customers and your staff. Managers and supervisors can then listen to these calls to ensure that all three of these priorities – service quality, optimal operational performance, and regulatory compliance – are being met. In addition, managers can review these recorded interactions with an eye towards improvement, to help find ways to further enhance service, improve operational performance, and increase compliance.

Small business owners may be intimidated by call recording systems because they fear they’re too complex to implement, learn, and manage. But they don’t have to be. In fact, there are call recording solutions that:

  1. Can be remotely downloaded and installed in less than 30 minutes
  2. Require no maintenance, special hardware, or technical expertise
  3. Can be learned and used in just minutes

What’s more, today’s call recording solutions are very affordable: What once cost tens of thousands of dollars can be purchased for just a fraction of that cost, an important consideration for organizations on a fixed budget. For those small businesses evaluating a call recording solution, look for systems that require:

  • A small upfront or monthly fee
  • No implementation costs
  • No professional services and maintenance support
  • No formal training

If you’re a small business, the question isn’t whether or not you need a call recording system to help you address your business goals. The question should be: Where can I find an easy to use, affordable one that meets my specific needs?


ebook - Call Recording for SMB Non-Techies  









Enhance Your Market Intelligence with Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jun 22, 2015 12:15:00 PM

Every organization wants to know what its customers are thinking. After all, when you’re armed with this information, you have the ability to develop new products and services – or modify existing ones – to help bolster sales conversion, market penetration, and, ultimately, profits. Fortunately, insight into the minds of your customers is closer than you think, through the power of call recording. With this tool, you can listen to the actual voices (including the tone and intonation) of your customers when they call your organization to order a product, file a complaint, cancel a subscription, or ask a question. These calls can provide various types of market intelligence that can help your organization succeed, including:

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  • Product Feedback: Call recording software provides access to every conversation your sales and support staff have with customers. This means you’ll hear, first hand and in their own words, whether customers are pleased or dissatisfied with your products – what they like, what they don’t like, why they purchased your product, or why they want to return it. This information can then be shared with your product development team to help them better understand and segment your customers so they can provide more targeted, improved products and services.
  • Competitive Insight: When customers call your company, they sometimes reveal details about the activities of your competitors. This information can take the form of statements such as, “Well, XYZ Corporation doesn’t require a credit card for a free trial” or “I can get a free widget when I enroll in XYZ’s program.” These disclosures by your customers can give your sales and marketing team the insight they need to perhaps realign certain products to improve sales conversion. This information also can help your customer service staff learn how to address these situations in the future, perhaps by countering with a similar offer.
  • Buying Behavior: Call recording software can help reveal why customers in a certain geographic region are purchasing (or are dissatisfied with) your product. You can also glean seasonal patterns (for example, do product sales pick up around holiday times?) and determine what might be done in certain geographic regions to help address these disputes or capitalize on these trends. You can also use this data to identify and increase cross-sell or up-sell opportunities.

While most call recording software gives organizations the ability to record customer calls and analyze them at a later time, other solutions can actually provide real-time access to these calls. With live monitoring software, a call center supervisor can listen to a call in real time, enabling the supervisor to quickly send information (via chat, for example) to help an agent retain the customer. Similarly, some monitoring software solutions enable you to set up a report that flags every call in which your sales or support person visits the “Cancel my account” page, or in which an account was actually closed. You can then send those calls to your account rescue team to prevent the customer from leaving or help win him or her back.

Equipped with this market intelligence information, your organization can also prepare a list of “canned responses” to customer indications of defection. These can help with customer retention and also improve the skill sets of your agents. The truth is, the cost of acquiring a new customer is six to seven times greater than keeping an existing one, which means that keeping the customers you have is a business imperative for every organization.

     Download "Critical Business Intelligence from Call Recording" ebook

Topics: call center recording, call recording software

Call Recording Laws in Most Countries

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Jun 1, 2015 10:41:00 AM

We have updated this post with current regulations. Click here 


It’s a basic right of privacy to assume that when you’re on the telephone, no one is listening except the person you’re speaking with. In the United States, history abounds with examples when this right was transgressed (we all remember Watergate, right?) and so, if situations do arise when civilian calls are recorded, laws exist to help identify when and under what circumstances such recording is permitted.

For most developed democracies, recording of telephone conversations is strictly regulated in order to safeguard the privacy of telephone users. In the United States, for example, Federal call recording laws require that at least one party taking part in the call be notified of the recording (18 U.S.C. §2511(2)(d)). In most cases, that’s covered by those “This call may be monitored for training and quality control purposes” disclaimers during customer service calls.
Outside of the United States, laws differ significantly by country:

Australia: Australia’s federal Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act of 1979 call recording laws dictates that if a call is to be recorded or monitored, an organization must tell you at the beginning of the conversation so that you have the chance either to end the call or ask to be transferred to another line where monitoring or recording does not take place (if this is available).

Canada: Organizations subject to the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) must comply with the following rules when recording conversations:

  1. The individual must be informed that the conversation is being recorded at the beginning of the call. This can be done by an automated recording or by a customer service representative. 
  2. The individual must be advised of the purposes of the recording, and the organization must be clear about its purposes. An organization should not state that it is recording the conversation for quality assurance purposes if, in fact, the recording will be used for other reasons. If the individual proceeds knowing the conversation is being recorded and the purpose of the recording, consent is implied. 
  3. If the caller objects to the recording, the organization should provide the caller with meaningful alternatives, including not taping the call, visiting a retail outlet, writing a letter, or conducting the transaction over the Internet.

Denmark: Call recording is legal by any active participant, with no requirement to make other parties aware of the recording. However, forwarding or playing calls considered private is illegal.

Finland: Recording of calls by a company or an employer is subject to data protection legislation and, in general, requires informing the participants prior to recording.
Germany: Germany is a two-party consent state, meaning that telephone recording without the consent of the two or (when applicable) more parties is a criminal offense according to Sec. 201 of the German Criminal Code.

Romania: The recording of a conversation by a private member to that conversation is specifically permitted. Nevertheless, while such recordings are legal, making use of them may fall subject to further civil or criminal law.

United Kingdom: Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000, a recording made by one party to a phone call without notifying the other is not prohibited provided that the recording is for their own use. Recording without notification is prohibited where some of the contents of the communication are made available to a third party. Businesses are allowed to record with the knowledge of their employees, but without notifying the other party...

  1. to provide evidence of a business transaction
  2. to ensure that a business complies with regulatory procedures
  3. to see that quality standards or targets are met
  4. to protect national security
  5. to prevent or detect crime, among other things.

ebook - Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

Technology Innovations in Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on May 8, 2015 1:43:00 PM

Do you own (or have you ever given away) an old cell phone? If the answer was “yes,” you probably know why: Because as technology has changed and new enhancements to mobile phone communications have become available, we all want to upgrade to the latest and greatest models. Better technology means better performance, better ease of use, better battery life, better portability, and countless other improvements.

You don’t have to look at your old cell phone from the early 2000s to understand that it – and many other forms of technology – have evolved over time, including the technology of call recording and call monitoring software. What once offered rudimentary and fairly limited capabilities now provides the ability to record, analyze, and interpret vast amounts of data to improve customer service and operational performance.

When considering a call recording software or call monitoring software provider, look for one that comes equipped with the latest and greatest features, particularly those that can give you greater flexibility in terms of provisioning, administration, and utilization. Here are six technological innovations that you want to make sure your call monitoring software provider offers:

  1. LDAP support. Look for systems that support LDAP for user identification and auto-provisioning. This capability means that system administrators are relieved of the potentially error-prone task of manually provisioning users in multiple systems.
  2. A web interface that supports HTML5.  Look for systems that permit access to the system from any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) and enables audio recording playback without any browser plug-in. Playback is native to the web browser being used.
  3. Single-check emailing of media files – Look for systems that provide a single-click emailing of media files from the web interface to the logged-in user. The benefit? All that is needed is the configuration of an SMTP server for sending emails and ensuring that users have an email address configured in their profile.
  4. Auto-Provisioning – Look for systems where auto-provisioning is supported primarily for use with BroadWorks and LDAP. This ensures that users and groups (or service providers) can be automatically provisioned based on incoming recordings or upon a login attempt to the web interface, depending on the platform and configuration.
  5. Quality Monitoring (QM) Scorecard – Look for systems that feature Quality Monitoring (QM) scorecards, which provide a highly customizable set of evaluation criteria for reviewing, coaching and assessing agents based on the content and context of their customer interactions. These scorecards may contain any number of criteria, which can be configured with custom weighting scores or even the authority to auto-fail the evaluation of the call as a whole based on a single criteria.
  6. Media Manager – Look for Media Manager, an extremely flexible tool that allows administrators to set up programs for managing recordings. Media Manager programs provide criteria-based execution of multiple functions such as copying, moving, deleting, or emailing recordings. Some examples of Media Manager typical uses are backing up or archiving recordings, setting up different retention periods for different groups of recordings, centralizing recording files in a distributed architecture, and automatically emailing recordings to their owners.  The execution trigger of these programs may be pre-scheduled (recurring or one-time) or event-driven, such as when a recording ends.

Call recording systems with advanced features such as these can enable users to significantly reduce the time their IT support staff spends on user provisioning and system management. What’s more, these advances can help ensure that supervisors will be able to easily pinpoint specific customer service issues and drive immediate improvements.


Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution

Topics: call monitoring software, call center recording, call recording

So You Want to be a Call Recording OEM?

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Apr 22, 2015 10:32:00 AM

Data, data, data: It’s the name of the game these days, whether it’s acquiring it, massaging it, selling it, or analyzing it. We hear the terms “Big Data” and “Data Science” all the time and there’s a reason for that: Almost any organization doing business today wants and needs data – information about customers and employees, information that can help them make better business decisions, improve market share, and countless other uses.

Some organizations are in the data business and for these types of enterprises, call recording solutions can provide a perfect complement to the other offerings they provide. Becoming a call recording OEM can be a smart business decision for:

  • Analytics companies – Call recording can push data from customer interactions to enhance your analytics capabilities.
  • CRM companies – Call recording can provide a rich amount of meta data from customer interactions to enhance trending and reporting capabilities.
  • Workforce optimization companies – Call recording can add the important components of compliance recording and quality monitoring to minimize risk, improve compliance, and enhance customer service.

If you’re a company operating in one of these spaces, how do you select a call recording solution that proves the most appealing to your customers? Based on an analysis of call recording trends, businesses large and small, in a variety of industries, are looking for and can find significant benefit from call recording systems that:

-          Run on commercial, off-the-shelf hardware

-          Provide an open file format, with recordings ported in industry-standard format

-          Offer multiple ways to capture data

-          Can interoperate on almost any PBX switch (Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, ShoreTel, etc.)

-          Have an open API, allowing you to pull data from any CRM system

Of course, as a call recording OEM, you’ll want the best of both worlds: an easy to install, cost-effective solution for your customers and an easy, high-margin solution for you. Such systems do exist: Systems that are low-cost to customers, provide high margins for you, and can be installed and maintained quickly, easily, and remotely. Best of all, these solutions can be easily customized and offer multiple product support tiers. They also offer a GUI that can be branded as your own, which can help to enhance your name recognition and, ultimately, market share.

Call recording can help you expand into new markets, upsell existing clients and expand your overall solutions portfolio to offer prospects even more.

Click here to learn more about how to become a Call Recording OEM.

Topics: call recording, call recording software, oem

Operations Guide to Call Recording and Quality Monitoring

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Apr 14, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Believe it or not simple call recording, quality monitoring and screen recording software can help the operations of any company substantially and in many ways.  It can even help you promote growth and meet your financial objectives - really.

Companies of all sizes today employ call recording software, and if you are not one of them, you need to carefully consider making the modest investment now to start realizing all of the value this seminal software can provide.

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Call Recording Software - a tool that captures all of your incoming calls and records them for later playback if necessary to ensure high levels of customer service, settle disputes, maintain compliance (HIPAA, PCI...) etc.

Quality Monitoring Software - a tool integrated with call recording software that captures a sampling of calls to measure for quality assurance. The software includes call evaluation tools to assess employee phone performance.

Screen Recording Software - software that records in video the employee's actual desktop screen activity while on the phone with a customer and then offers fully integrated audio/video playback for a complete picture of the call as it actually occurred.

Here are just some of the many ways in which your organization can benefit greatly from call recording, quality monitoring and screen recording software:

Delivering smooth client service - capture a sampling of calls (including employee screen activity) per employee and go back and listen to them to assess sales, customer service or financial management performance, especially when speaking with clients. Immediately address any critical issues that arise to ensure smoother customer service moving forward.

Assessing operational workflow - capture and review a sampling of calls and employee screen activity to identify any operational process breakdowns in terms of support, service, sales...You can then take these discoveries and reengineer appropriate processes to improve efficiency and performance (think of how well this would work in your call center!).

Managing quality assurance - use recorded calls (and employee screen activity) to review staff client interaction performance and identify strengths and weaknesses. Share examples of their strengths with other employees and offer training where needed to improve deficient skill sets. In the end, your clients will be better served and your staff will be better equipped with the skills they need to do their job more successfully.

Minimizing risk - A big worry these days is regulatory compliance, especially when speaking with clients (a la PCI, HIPAA, etc.). Record customer calls and employee screen activity to understand how well staff are complying with relevant regulations. It's much better to proactively identify potential weaknesses early on before any costly infractions occur. Use what you learn to make the necessary improvements immediately to avoid any unnecessary penalties and client dissatisfaction. Recorded calls can also be pulled to refute a customer dispute, saving time, money and brand reputation.


What to Look for When Purchasing Call Recording and Quality Monitoring Software

When you start looking to purchase these tools, consider the following criteria when making your decision:

1. Cost - these software tools don't need to break the bank.  They can be purchased for as little as a few thousand dollars a year (or less). If you'll be paying more, look elsewhere.

2. Interoperability - make sure the software can easily and quickly integrate with your existing telephone switch, CRM system and so on.

3. Searchability - be sure to fully understand the searching capabilities of the software so you can successfully pull any necessary call recordings when you need them.

4. Compliance - ensure the software has the necessary capabilities to help you maintain regulatory compliance (e.g. can customer's personally identifiable information be protected from unauthorized staff?)

5. Implementation - many call recording providers offer software that takes weeks or months to get up and running.  Not all do, however. Some can have you up and recording calls the very same day.


ebook: Which Call Center Optimization Tools  are Must-Haves?  

Topics: quality monitoring, call center recording, call recording software, oreka qm

Small Businesses CAN Afford Call Recording

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Apr 2, 2015 8:33:00 AM

call center recording blog post 1 resized 600We hear all the time that small businesses comprise the backbone of the U.S. economy. The truth might be even more staggering than you think: According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms and are responsible for roughly half of the country’s economic output. What’s more, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy reports that small firms accounted for 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013, with small firms in the 20-499 employee category leading in job creation.

And while small businesses may operate in a variety of different industry segments, what nearly all of them have in common is this: They have customers who call into their business, customers who require service, customers who provide the business with their source of profits. Is there a way to capture these important calls – to ensure that customer service representatives are performing properly, that customers are being provided with the highest level of service, and that the business is operating at its optimal capacity?

The answer is a resounding “yes,” through the power of call recording software.

As a small business owner or manager, it might be intimidating to think about a complex call/screen recording system, one that requires costly installation fees and hours and hours of training. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today, there are solutions that:

  • Are economically affordable: Can be purchased for a little as (believe it or not) several hundred dollars.
  • Don’t require technical expertise: Anyone can remotely install, operate, or manage the solution, with no special technical expertise or training required.
  • Don’t need ongoing maintenance:  There’s no need for costly maintenance or troubleshooting.
  • Can be up and running in less than (really!) 30 minutes.

For small businesses, call recording can offer peace of mind – not only that the quality of service you provide is top-notch but also that you are complying with any regulatory (such as PCI and HIPAA) requirements. That’s a vitally important capability, especially because fines for violations of these requirements can be financially crippling for small businesses.

Small businesses aren’t like large enterprises – and the needs they have for a call recording solution vary as well. If you’re ready to look into a call recording solution, make sure you take into account the following questions when selecting a provider for your enterprise:

  1. Is the solution designed for a company of my size?
  2. Will I have to pay for features really designed for a larger organization?
  3. Can the solution scale to support my company’s growth?
  4. Does the call recording vendor have experience with businesses in my industry?
  5. Can the solution address my specific industry and regulatory requirements?

As a small business there really is no need to wait any longer.  Call recording solutions exist today that won’t break the bank and will provide you with the capabilities you need at a low total cost of ownership.


ebook - Call Recording for SMB Non-Techies                                                                                                    






Topics: call center recording, orecx, call recording software, oreka tr

Call Recording in a Government Setting

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Mar 24, 2015 12:10:00 PM

Just like private enterprises, governmental entities often elect to monitor calls that come into or out of their organization. No, we’re not talking about conducting an illegal taping of someone’s private phone conversation with their spouse, but rather calls that are made to a government enterprise that require assistance from a customer service agent or that require an individual to disclose personal financial or health-related information.

digital government resized 600

For most governmental entities, the goal of call recording differs from that of private enterprises, where the chief motive is usually profit. Rather than seeking to drive higher profits, call recording in a government setting is aimed at improving customer service quality – that is, to help guarantee that agents are performing their jobs to the highest possible standards – as well as ensuring compliance with critical regulatory requirements.

Following are some factors to consider when choosing a call recording solution in a government setting:

Regulatory Compliance: As a governmental entity, compliance with regulatory requirements ranks as a top priority. That’s why call recording software can ensure that governmental entities comply with the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) regulation, which protects consumers from the misuse of their credit card information and carries severe penalties, totaling upwards of $50,000 per infraction. Organizations are also required to be in compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act), which protects the confidentiality and security of personal healthcare information, which carries an average penalty of $1,000 per infraction.

Through the power of call recording software, governmental entities can classify calls that contain sensitive cardholder or patient information. The organization can then decide whether to delete calls with sensitive information, restrict access to those recordings to only authorized personnel, and mask or mute only those portions of the interaction when sensitive data is being communicated.

Affordability: Just like in the private sector, governmental agencies must contend with budgetary restrictions and guidelines. Fortunately, what once cost tens of thousands of dollars or more can now be purchased for just a fraction of that amount. Many call recording solutions today provide a cost-effective answer for government entities. When evaluating different options, it’s wisest to choose solutions that offer a small upfront or monthly fee, no implementation costs, no formal training, and no need for ongoing maintenance expenses.

Installation speed: Every organization – from Fortune 500 multinationals to family-owned enterprises – wants things done at the fastest possible speed. That’s true for governmental entities too. Look for a call recording solution that can be up and running quickly, in some cases in as little as 30 minutes, simply by downloading the software from the Internet. Imagine that: no fancy IT specialist required to install the system at your site or someone who must provide hours and hours of complicated training. In a half hour, you could be recording customer interactions.

Scalability: Governmental entities need flexibility and a call recording solution that can be scaled up or down depending on the evolving needs of the organization. In addition, with rapidly advancing technological developments, you need a solution that can adapt with you and can be expanded or contracted when necessary.


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Topics: call recording, call recording software, government

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