ORECX CALL RECORDING BLOG

"Open" Audio Capture for 'Speech Analytics as a Service'

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 4, 2020 12:56:04 PM

Several speech analytics vendors are now offering their solutions as a service. So-called Speech Analytics as a Service (SAaaS) presents a unique opportunity for businesses to mine their customer interactions for business intelligence and customer insight without the significant capital outlays and time required with premise-based approaches. Moreover, with so many agents working from home these days, SAaaS can also mine remote interactions. cloud-speech-analytics

Regardless of where the interactions take place, however, it all starts with audio capture and recording. To most effectively leverage a cloud analytics platform, you want to ensure you're choosing an audio capture solution that offers hi-fidelity audio, unrestricted access to your recordings and control over how that unstructured data is shared with a transcription and analytics engine.  

With this level of audio quality, access and control, your business can easily and effectively uncover root causes of service failures, potential compliance infractions, customers at risk of defecting, agents in need of additional training, and so on.

What's more, with the right audio capture system and SAaaS solution, you can be up and running with recording and analysis in mere days, instead of weeks or more with premise based products. Any updates to the software will be instantly accessible, and your IT team is freed up to focus on other projects.

A non-proprietary audio capture solution not only provides unrestricted access to (and control over) your recordings, but it can also be used with several speech analytics vendors at the same time. Suppose you use one vendor for real-time authentication, another to monitor 'voice of the customer', and yet a third for advanced analytics?  The same audio capture engine can work across all of these vendors simultaneously. This helps you reduce costs and streamline your analytics program. 

Interested in learning how a standalone audio capture solution can impact your business? Click the button below.

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At-Home Call Recording & Management

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 1, 2020 10:13:35 AM

With so many employees and call center agents working from home these days, it is important to ensure at-home staff’s work interactions are being recorded, monitored and managed. At the same time, you want to be able to analyze these conversations for customer intelligence and assess staff’s performance to ensure high customer service levels.

Most of these individuals are utilizing VoIP, softphones, mobile phones or landlines - and sometimes a combination thereof. You want to capture these conversations remotely and be able to leverage them freely and openly for compliance, customer service, order verification and dispute resolution purposes.at-home-call-center

 

Monitor, Manage & Control

Some vendors make it difficult or even impossible to share your recordings with an analytics solution, restricting your ability to get the most out of your interactions. You want full control of/access to your recordings so they can be shared with the best 3rd party AI vendors for customer experience and speech analytics.

 

Key Features

  • Remote site recording
  • Quality monitoring (with scorecards)
  • Live monitoring
  • Create teams/groups on the fly
  • Browser-based access to recordings
  • Pause/resume
  • Active recording (SIPREC, BIB, DMCC)
  • Cloud call recording
  • Mobile recording methods:
    1. VoIP softphone technology
    2. Conferencing the recording system as a PSTN number
    3. Working a mobile-ready infrastructure like SIPREC
  • Screen recording
  • Call exporting
  • PCI and HIPAA Compliance
  • VPN support
  • Fine-grained privileged access to recordings

 

Questions to Ask Yourself

There are several questions you can ask yourself to assess your need to record your at-home agents:

1. Are your agents processing orders with credit cards? [PCI-DSS]

2. Are your agents collecting sensitive customer information? [GDPR]

3. Are your agents offering medical advice? [HIPAA]

4. Are your agents offering legal advice?

5. What types of potential customer disputes could arise?

6. What telephone script are your agents using to collect debt? [Fair Debt Collection Practices Act]

7. Are your agents properly disclosing interest rates on loans? [Truth in Lending Act]

8. What types of orders are your financial agents taking? [MiFID II]

9. What times of the day are your agents making telemarketing calls? [TCPA]

10. What types of promises do your agents make regarding refunds?

 

Examples of At-Home Interactions you Should Record

Financial:

  • Stock orders from investment clients
  • Financial advice from stockbrokers and financial planners
  • Collections calls on overdue debt

Insurance:

  • Conversations around specific reimbursement amounts for a filed claim
  • Annual premium quotes for new coverages
  • Registration of a new vehicle
  •  

Medical:

  • Primary care physicians prescribing over-the-counter medication
  • Doctors offering medical advice to a patient
  • Physician assessing a patient’s symptoms

Consumer

  • Interactions involving a heated discussion
  • Transactions in which a large refund was promised
  • Conversations during which the customer promised to pay

ebook - Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

Expand Your Speech Analytics Possibilities

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 14, 2020 12:13:24 PM

Speech analytics relies on spoken word transcription (from recorded calls) of the customer and the agent to arm contact centers with customer intelligence such as buying behavior, competitive insight and so on. What many don’t realize is that when it comes to the transcription engine, ‘garbage in equals garbage out’. That is, if the engine cannot clearly distinguish what is being said by each party, it cannot accurately transcribe the conversation and yield usable intelligence.Man-Callcenter

Consider a talk-over scenario when both parties are talking at the same time. The transcription engine has a difficult time deciphering the two streams of voice. Also, suppose the quality of the recorded interaction isn’t crystal clear, the same thing happens. The transcription engine can’t accurately distill what it hears.

The ability to yield accurate audio all comes down to the call recording software. When selecting a call recorder to feed your speech analytics software, you need to consider various elements, including:

  • Stereo recording – Dual channel stereo call recording provides much higher audio quality upon playback. The transcription engine hears each call participant through its own channel/speaker – the agent on the right and the customer on the left, for example. This dramatically enhances the sound and quality and avoids talk-over. 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.
  • Enhanced audio quality – In addition to speaker-separated audio, you want your recording solution to support upper-end audio sample rate formats including G.711 and OPUS. This provides a higher level of audio output.
    • “G. 711 is a narrowband audio codec that provides toll-quality audio at 64 kbit/s. G. 711 passes audio signals in the range of 300–3400 Hz and samples them at the rate of 8,000 samples per second” [wikipedia].
    • “OPUS is a lossy audio codec which provides remarkable audio quality, especially at low bitrates” (auphonic).
  • Metadata augmentation – The ability to augment your speech analytics data with additional data sources enhances the value you derive from your analytics. Collecting non-audio data from CRM, ACD or agent desktop applications enables your call recorder to further append audio recordings with such intelligence, beyond the spoken word garnered from the transcription engine. This improves your ability to correlate, discover sales and marketing patterns and easily pinpoint specific types of interactions.

What this article shows is that there are various elements that come into play which can dramatically affect the value your speech analytics solution provides. It’s not solely dependent on the capabilities of your speech analytics software or the transcription engine it utilizes. The call recording software is vital to the entire process.

Learn about OrekaAC Streaming Audio Capture Service to bolster the value of your speech analytics solution. 

Covid's Work-at-Home Impact on Financial, Insurance & Medical

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 6, 2020 12:25:44 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the day-to-day working landscape of the Financial, Insurance and Medical industries. While its impact on Medical may seem a bit more obvious, there are various scenarios which you may not be thinking of. The same goes for Financial and Insurance professionals. Most of these individuals are having to fulfill their work duties from home, utilizing VoIP, softphones, mobile phones or landlines - and sometimes a combination thereof. This can cause some unknowing issues.

What this means is that many critical business interactions with customers, prospects and partners are going unrecorded. This absence of proper call recording software can have a significant impact on an organization's ability to capture some or all of these conversations to ensure regulatory compliance (HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, MiFID II, TCPA...) or prove what was said in order to resolve a potentially costly dispute.health-insurance-concept-doctor-hospital2 

Just think for a minute about the types of interactions professionals in these industries might be having, which their organizations would surely want (or need) to capture and store: 

Financial:

  • Stock orders from investment clients (these interactions must be recorded under MiFID II and similar U.S. financial regulations)
  • Financial advice from stockbrokers and financial planners (again, many of these conversations must be captured)
  • Discussions around prices, solicitations, bids and/or offers (must be recorded under MiFID II and similar U.S. regulations)
  • Collections calls on overdue debt (must be recorded under the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to ensure protection against abusive debt collection practices)

Insurance:

  • Conversations around specific reimbursement amounts for a filed claim
  • Annual premium quotes for new coverages
  • Registration of a new vehicle (significant liability issues could arise if proper coverage was not granted and an accident occurs)
  • Interactions about life insurance policy payouts with bereaved loved ones who lost a family member

 

Medical:

  • Psychiatrists diagnosing a severely depressed patient
  • Primary care physicians prescribing over-the-counter medication to a sick patient 
  • Doctors offering medical advice to a patient showing signs of Covid-19 infection
  • Veterinarians advising dog owners how to care for their sick pet

It is very easy to see how problematic some of these critical discussions can be if they are not properly recorded, stored and accessible when needed to resolve a dispute or prove compliance, for example. What's more, some of these interactions must be recorded under regulatory guidelines. Still, some conversations must be captured, while only recording certain portions of the calls. For instance, financial interactions in which a credit card number of given over the phone cannot have that portion of the interaction recorded. The same goes for insurance or medical interactions in which sensitive patient information, e.g., is given. These sensitive interactions require call recording software which can properly pause/resume or mask or mute sensitive portions of conversations. 

During these times of worry and uncertainty, make sure your work-at-home employees are being properly recorded for peace of mind and to mitigate avoidable liability issues.

 

Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

 

 

 

Call Recording for BPOs: What you Need to Know

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Feb 10, 2020 2:14:05 PM

BPOs have among the highest agent turnover rate in the contact center industry. This issue can cause significant cost pressures to the customer service organization as it can cost upwards of $7,000 to on-board and train a new agent. And when they leave, all of that learning and knowledge is lost.

Fortunately, call recording and high-fidelity audio streaming can help improve agent satisfaction to help you keep your staff happy, while at the same time improving customer satisfaction. 

Solutions

When considering recording/audio capture solutions for your BPO business, it is important to maintain control and access to your quality data as you aim to identify agent strengths and weaknesses in order to improve training and enhance service levels. This means you want software that offers full, open interoperability with other systems such as speech analytics, conversational AI and voice biometrics to help you leverage your data.ic-og-BusinessProcessOutsourcing-FacebookLinkedIn

Additional considerations include:

  • Call/screen recording - choose record-on-demand or total recording software to capture a sampling of interactions (or all interactions) for quality assurance, compliance and dispute resolution purposes; ensure your selection features an open API to pull data from your CRM system into the recording/quality monitoring platform. It's also critical to pick a solution that offers multi-tenancy and centralized management of your recording data so you can manage multiple clients independently, yet simultaneously.
  • Audio capture - select a modern, open and modular audio capture platform to gain added value from your speech analytics voice data; consider free, open, fine-grained privileged access to media and associated meta-data with standards-based tools. Ensure you choose high-fidelity, dual-channel audio streaming with support for upper-end audio sample rate formats such as G.711 and OPUS.

Agent Satisfaction

With the right solutions in place, your team leaders, supervisors and QA analysts can significantly impact agent satisfaction. The result is happier employees that want to stay with your organization.

Here's how to utilize your recording and audio capture platform for the biggest gains in satisfaction:

  1.  Automatically tag interactions in which the customer expresses satisfaction or delight (for example, by mentioning the words "happy", "satisfied", "thank you so much"). You can then capture and share these portions of interactions publicly with your team or privately with individual agents to highlight exceptional service.
  2. Well trained agents equal less frustrated employees. Record select interactions per agent to identify skills gaps, which you can then quickly address with additional coaching/training.
  3. Review agent screen activity during long or repeat customer interactions to identify workflow disruptions or bottlenecks. You can then correct these issues to streamline agent workflow and reduce average handle time (AHT).

These are just a few of the ways you can leverage the right audio recording/capture solutions to improve agent satisfaction and minimize employee churn.

ebook - Audio Capture/Call Recording for BPOs

 

 

Topics: bpo

New Year's Resolution: No More Call Recording Troubleshooting

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Dec 30, 2019 11:32:40 AM

If your contact center or enterprise is like most others, you have call recording software in place to capture your customer interactions for compliance, customer service and dispute resolution purposes.guy with help sign

Like most, you also likely have some common issues from time to time which require troubleshooting, such as:

  • Past call recordings were not saved
  • Can't listen to recordings offline
  • Only hear one party upon playback
  • Can't export a call
  • Meta data isn't displaying properly
  • Lack of access to media/meta data
  • Poor audio quality

All of these problems can require hours and hours of your IT support team getting on the phone with the call recording vendor's support team trying to troubleshoot the issues. This takes your technical staff away from other important projects. It also disrupts certain workflows that require access to high quality call recordings.

Let 2020 be the year you put an end to all of these call recording challenges.

Try OrecX free for 30 days. Our call recording software installs in just 30 minutes and requires no maintenance. Our clients don't have the issues listed above. Our software just works.

30-Day Free Trial!

 

 

Call Recording as a Competitive Differentiator

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Dec 9, 2019 10:35:52 AM

Many businesses today record some or all their customer interactions for compliance (PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.), quality assurance, or dispute resolution. Others use their recorded conversations for business intelligence. There is truly a myriad of reasons for recording calls.differentiation

One you may not be thinking of is the notion of competitive differentiation. That's right, leveraging your recordings for the purpose of increasing your competitive advantage. It's kind of a different way of looking at things. In doing so, you can better demonstrate your recorder's value to your management and potentially free up some budget for advanced features like speech analytics or even mobile recording.

Let me explain a little.

Attracting Customers

One of the most prevalent uses of recorded customer interactions is to assess agent performance for the purpose of uncovering skills deficiencies and workflow issues. Call and screen recording are really the only tools you can use to assess these areas without having to sit right alongside each agent for every call.

When you identify problems using call recording, you can not only correct them but also dramatically improve upon them. If your current workflow, for example, is causing longer average handle times (AHTs) than you'd like, don't just tweak your existing workflow - overhaul it and make it far more efficient. There is no excuse for not doing this, and when you do, your AHT will go down, your net promoter score (NPS) will go up, and your customers will be happier. The result is competitive differentiation in the form of customer satisfaction and a more positive public reputation.

Sales Traction

Your inside sales team is the tip of the spear when it comes to prospect outreach and lead generation. Their effectiveness has a direct line to your bottom line. A finely tuned inside sales team can be the difference between hitting your annual sales quota and falling short.

When you record all your inside sales calls - whether inbound or outbound - you are capturing the full conversation, not just handwritten or typed notes. Think about that. You have the complete interaction documented as it happened and can share the recording with your outside reps who will work the deal. Instead of relying on the inside sales rep's account of what happened on the exploratory call, the rep can listen to the interaction and hear for him/herself. This ability to hear the call first-hand, helps bolster sales success.

Competitive Offers

We all know that sometimes customer conversion all comes down to price, and in some cases, your competitors may offer discounts which they don't publicly disclose. Having this information would help your sales and marketing team adjust your promotional pricing to better compete. Not having this puts your teams in the dark, and the result could be lost business without knowing why.

When you record your calls and employ speech analytics, you can automatically identify any interactions in which the customer/prospect mentions one of your competitor's names. Sometimes, along with the competitor's name, the individual may disclose the competitor's pricing or special offer. "Well, XYZ company is offering a 30% discount this week." You can share these recordings with your sales and marketing teams. The result is more competitive pricing and more new customers.

 

These are just a few of the ways that call recording software can help your business - regardless of industry or size - better compete for mind share and market share. 

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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