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

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

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.

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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

Architecture Drives UC Costs - Right Architecture Saves You 30%

Posted by Kevin B. Levi on Mar 19, 2015 10:24:00 AM

Traditional unified communications (UC) architecture, including proprietary hardware and closed software designs, kills innovation.  Architecture defines how the elements of a UC solution come together, how well the solution can integrate with other systems, how quickly new functionality can be integrated, and how much the overall system will cost to buy and maintain. With the right architecture in place, organizations can accelerate new functionality and capabilities. Without it, the user experience is hampered, the cost of ownership increases, and innovation is compromised.

The best approach to UC is open standards based and open API driven. For example, built on the eZuce Origin™ Platform, eZuce runs traditional UC applications (like openUC, SeeVogh Video and Web collaboration and Reach Contact Center software), integrated 3rd party UC Services and integration for other Business Applications within the customer workflow.  API integration can also apply when “capping” the growth of an existing (costly) UC solution and growing rather through the eZuce platform.  In this case the API serve to create seamless dialing, message waiting across platforms and general connectivity so users are not disrupted but yet decision makers help stop the bleeding of funds that the traditional telephony can create.  eZuce partners with OrecX to integrate call recording software into critical services like the eZuce openUC Reach Contract center through mutual API development.  

This open approach provides 30% savings or more over traditional UC platforms, in some cases saving as much as 80% versus proprietary platforms.

To learn more about the eZuce Architecture and how we save 30% versus the competition visit our website or follow the link here to our Webinar Series and see what others say about our solution.  http://www.ezuce.com/resources/webinars

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Topics: call recording software, ezuce, uc, unified communications

Call Recording as a Critical Business Asset

Posted by Kevin Levi on Mar 9, 2015 8:59:00 AM

Companies spanning every industry, every size and every geography are realizing the true power of call recording software as a resource to ensure service quality, resolve disputes, train and coach call center agents, verify orders, ensure compliance and much more.

In fact, a survey of 80+ call center, sales and marketing professionals cited 14 areas of value that call recording capabilities provide.  See the graphic below.

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Let's take a deeper dive into the top five areas on this chart:

Ensure service quality/assess agents

Call recording software can help ensure agents are delivering the best possible service. Recorded calls offer insight into how agents are doing their jobs – all the way from making sure they’re polite and respectful to ensuring they’re equipped to tackle tough questions. Quality of service is a business imperative when you consider a report by the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which cites 68% of businesses cite the number-one reason why customers leave as the negative treatment they receive from agents.

Resolving Disputes and Verifying Orders

With call recording, you have an easily referenced resource to resolve he-said/she-said customer disputes. Call recording provides protection to battle these disagreements, and it offers a valuable resource should the problem escalate to litigation. With the actual interaction stored on your server, you can pull it up whenever needed to verify precisely what was said, and not said.

Training/Coaching/ Developing Staff

Through call recording you can gain insight into which regions of your customer base have the most individuals who agree to a subscription upgrade or a cross-sell, for example. This information can help your sales staff spend their time on the most promising targets.

In addition, listening to customer calls is useful in training agents to close more deals and to ensure they correctly understand a customer’s intent to purchase or not. 

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Did you know that a single PCI Compliance violation can cost your organization upwards of 10,000-$50,000?  Multiply this figure many many times if you have a call center with thousands of agents, because whether you have the necessary contingencies in place, breaches and violations will happen. With call and screen recording software you have a definitive record of how a call was handled to help you prove proper compliance was followed.  This could go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary and costly fines.

Gleaning Sales and Business Intelligence Data

Call recording software can give you an inside glimpse into the activities of your competitors. How? Sometimes when a customer or prospect calls into a call center, they’re unsure about whether or not they want to make a purchase and may reveal information about your competition, as in “I get a free 30-day trial when I sign up with XYZ Corporation.” This competitive intelligence can provide your sales and marketing organization with insight to help re-align their campaigns or promotions.   


These are just some of the many ways in which call recording software can significantly impact your business and its bottom line.


White Paper: Harness the Power of Call Recording

Topics: open source, call recording system, call recording software

The UK Call Recording Industry

Posted by Hilary Oliver on Feb 5, 2015 10:25:00 AM

It is estimated that the UK call recording and quality monitoring market today is worth in the region of £2.0 billion according to industry estimates from two separate analysts Frost and Sullivan and Datamonitor. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that hosted agent performance optimisation (APO), which includes call recording, customer interaction analytics, performance and quality management, and workforce management, will have the strongest growth of any contact centre product segment. UK resized 600

The industry continues to be fuelled by the ‘claim culture’ and as a result businesses are looking to be more accountable and have more control over the services they are delivering.  Governmental regulations in the UK also contribute to the rise in call recording adoption. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) mandates the recording and archiving of all phone calls dealing with orders, negotiation or arrangement of transactions in its financial services industry. These regulations drive the need for a secure, call recording solution that can capture and store 100 percent of calls.  This would enable brokerages to access specific calls if necessary to prove compliance with the government, upon request.

However, more and more everyday businesses are recognising value far beyond the regulatory protection call recording provides. Demand continues to grow as they discover that the mining of these calls reveals invaluable customer insight.  The widespread adoption of call management solutions has meant they have become more available at more competitive prices. Gone are the days when such systems were deployed solely in large enterprises. This means that these solutions are now accessible to not just large corporates, but to a huge SME market. Cost effective call recording together with innovation in call management solutions with Unified Communications and CRM integration has meant that this market is now taking advantage of powerful solutions that deliver real business intelligence.

Every business can now expect not only to achieve a return on their telecoms investment, but also when using call recording in conjunction with call analytics can expect to achieve excellence in customer service, thus creating a real point of differentiation from competitors.


ebook: Call Recording Suite vs. Point Solution  


Topics: orecx, call recording software, tollring

Unique Uses for Call Recording

Posted by Kevin Levi on Dec 4, 2014 12:27:00 PM

We all know that call recording and quality monitoring software can help your business capture customer calls to assess customer service performance, settle disputes, maintain PCI/HIPAA compliance and so on.  But what you may not know is that there are a host of unique ways to also leverage your call recording software. These are ideas to help you realize even greater value from your existing call recording system, or to provide additional incentive for purchasing your first recording solution.

Here is the list:

  • Share Recording Snippets on your Website - Capture select segments of high-performing agents while on the phone with actual customers and include those excerpts on your website as a testament to how well you treat and service customers.  There is no better way to demonstrate great service than to provide actual examples.
  • Use Voice of the Agent for Marketing Campaigns - Similarly to number 1, you can take best-practice segments of customer interactions and use them in your advertising/marketing campaigns. Telcos, computer companies, travel industry firms and the like are always touting their stellar customer service capabilities but we all know sometimes the view under the covers isn't always as pretty.  Why not share audio segments through online banner ads or other promotional vehicles?  NOTE: Keep the customer's name or other personally identifiable information out of the recording sections you choose.
  • Create a Hall of Fame of Recordings - There is no better way to incentivize your phone staff than to recognize them.  Why not create a customer service hall of fame on your internal website featuring the very best interactions. This will instill pride in those that are chosen and inspire those that were not.  It can also serve as a great training tool to new staff.
  • Kick off Team Meetings - Start team meetings with best-practice and worst-practice calls as a means of sparking discussion around what to do and what not to do when servicing prospects and customers. You will surely find the resulting discussion very illuminating for all.
  • Create a Tag Cloud of Customer Praise - Extract key phrases of customer praise from your best interactions and use them to create a tag cloud that you can blow up and put on the walls in your call center.  You might even share it with the broader company for them to display as well.
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I hope you find these useful. The intention was to simply demonstrate all of the alternate uses of call recording that most don't readily think about.
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Topics: call center recording, call recording software, phone recording software

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