7 Types of Business Data from Call Recording

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 16, 2014 11:02:00 AM

Did you know all the different types of insightful business data you can glean from your call recording software?  You can garner important information to help you make performance improvements and more informed business decisions.  This data goes far beyond the standard agent performance, quality monitoring type of data. There are likely some new types of data listed below that you might not have thought of before, and these can help you realize maximum value from your call recording system as well as drive improvements across specific areas of your organization.

Some of the key pieces of data you can glean from your call recording software include:

Geographic Purchasing Data - Which parts of the country or the world are most receptive to a new product or marketing campaign?  From this data you can ascertain some important insights regarding your products and specific markets.  The same holds true for particular vertical industries.  In other words, why are you receiving calls from a recent campaign from insurance company prospects (or from individuals in Greece) only?

Solution Problem Identification - You can determine which products/services are receiving the most support calls and can pass this information along to your product development and product marketing teams along with specifics on what the most prevalent problems were.

Competitive Intelligence - What are callers saying about what they like or don't like about the other products they've tried or are considering? Customers love to tell us how great our competitors and their offerings are.  What can we learn from this competitive data that can help us improve our products/services and sales and marketing campaigns moving forward?

Dispute Patterns - Are there certain geographies, industries or sizes of companies that are yielding more disputes than others?  What might this tell you?

Promotion Ideas - Customers often tell agents about a great promotion or deal a competitor is offering in hopes the company will match it, for example.  You can pass this important data on to your sales and marketing teams to help them with their efforts.

False Promises Data - What if your call center receives a bunch of cancellation calls for a specific product?  Might this tell you that the sales/marketing messaging around the product might be misleading and making false promises or claims?

These are just some of the many unique things you can learn from your call recording software.


     Download "Critical Business Intelligence from Call Recording" ebook

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

22 Questions to Ask a Call Recording Provider

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 3, 2014 11:10:00 AM

Before you purchase a call recording solution you need to be sure you receive adequate answers to a number of very important questions.  The right answers to these questions will ensure the system will fit your specific needs, will scale with you as you grow and will  interoperate with your existing environment. 

These are the questions:

1. Do I pay upfront as a capital expenditure or is there a subscription fee?

2. Do I have to sign a long term contract or simply pay as I go?

3. What does the implementation process entail? How long? How much involvement is required on my end? Do I need to have specific technical expertise?

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4. Do I have to pay for all features and capabilities or can I select what I want? In other words, is it a single integrated solution or modular and I can pick and choose call recording, quality monitoring, screen recording, live monitoring, mobile recording, etc.?

5. Is there an open API so I can integrate with my other existing applications?

6. What PBXs does the system support?

7. What are the ongoing maintenance requirements?

8. What is involved in customizing the software to my specific look and feel, requirements, etc.?  Does it require your professional services support?

9. How many current users/customers do you have?  What countries are they in?

10. How do I know you will be around in three to five years?

11. Can I review some customer success stories?

12. Do you offer a free trial so I can test the software out in my environment before I purchase?

13. What type of training do you offer and how long does it take to become proficient with the software? Is it easy to learn?

14. How many channels/seats can your software support?

15. Can I use my own server(s)?

16. Does your software support multi-site? How about multi-tenant?

17. Can I speak with some satisfied customers?

18. Is your software PCI Compliant? HIPAA Compliant?

19. Are recorded calls portable in an open-file format?

20. Do you support TDM and VoIP?

21. What if I need to add more users? Do I need more hardware? What is involved?

22. Do you offer mobile phone recording?

Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution  

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

10 Important Call Recording Do's and Don'ts

Posted by Kevin Levi on Dec 16, 2013 12:18:00 PM

While call recording software can add significant value to your customer service, compliance and risk mitigation efforts, there are certain rules an organization must live by with regard to its use.

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Call Recording Do's:

  1. Set-up pre-defined search queries for the specific types of calls you are looking for (e.g. all calls that result in a cancelled order).  The availability of this intelligence will help you make important decisions.
  2. Notify all customer-facing staff and customers that their calls are being recorded.
  3. Record your sales calls too.  It helps to have recorded sales calls on hand to share with others that are brought in on the deal and also they are invaluable for training new salespersons.
  4. Keep a repository of best and worst calls to help train new agents or to improve the skills of existing ones. Store calls that span all different types of interactions, including calls that resulted in a closed sale, up-sell, cancelled order, dispute, unhappy customer, etc. 
  5. Be sure the call recording system you choose can integrate with most leading PBXs.  You may choose to replace your PBX one day or you might merge with/acquire another company that has a different PBX and you'll want to be able to integrate with that switch as well.

Call Recording Don'ts:

  1. Don't purchase a call recording solution that doesn't also offer quality monitoring/selective recording because you may need/want it later on and you'd hate to have to migrate all of your recorded data to a new platform that can offer it.
  2. Don't purchase a call recording solution without first trying it out.  Like anything else, you want to be sure it works in your environment, provides you with the functionality you require and is easy to navigate and utilize. 
  3. Don't purchase call recording software that doesn't offer an open API so you are assured it will interoperate with your existing and future applications.
  4. Don't under-utilize the system.  Ensure all staff that can benefit directly from the system are successfully trained on its use and have access to recordings.  This includes staff from Sales, Marketing, your Executive team and so on.  They can all realize significant value from hearing the actual voice of the customer.
  5. Don't dump recordings before a year if possible.  You will see as times goes by how valuable these past calls can be for training, dispute resolution, agent incentivization and so on and you'll want to have them accessible for these reasons up to 12 months down the road.


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

Top 9 Indicators you need New Call Recording Software

Posted by Kevin Levi on Dec 5, 2013 11:50:00 AM

How do you know when it's time to shelve the old call recording software and purchase a new call recording solution?

There are several signs to look out for, some of which may seem obvious while others may not:

1. The product's end of life is coming up and will no longer be supported.

2. The product can no longer scale up to support your growing needs (channels, sites, etc.).

3. It cannot easily integrate with other software you are installing.  changes ahead exit sign 1024x662 resized 600

4. It requires too many IT support resources to maintain the system.

5. You are heavy into M&A activity and the current system cannot support the multiple PBXs of the various merging entities.

6. It does not have the added capabilities you need, such as quality monitoring, screen capture, live monitoring or even mobile recording.

7. It costs a lot of money to bring on new users, sites and/or capabilities, and it requires expensive professional services support to do these things.

8. The software does not support all of the compliance requirements you have to deal with, such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Do Not Call, etc.

9. It is complicated to use and learn and takes too long to get new users up to speed.


Free ebook:  How to Select the Right  Call Recording Solution


Topics: quality monitoring, call center recording, orecx, call recording, Mobile recording

How to Sell Quality Monitoring & Call Recording to Customers

Posted by Kevin Levi on Oct 17, 2013 11:48:00 AM

Business VoIP providers need ways to stand out from the competition and also new approaches to increasing ARPU.  This typically comes in the form of additional/complementary solutions, features and the like to augment one's core VoIP service, such as offering:

  • VoIP phone systems
  • Hosted call center solutions
  • Expandable PBX trunks
  • Online faxing
  • Call routing
  • Caller ID
  • Auto-attendant
  • Softphone
  • Virtual PBX
  • ...and so on

But are these things on their own really enough to take your company and revenue to the next level?ARPU resized 600

What about cross-selling your VoIP customers on call recording and quality monitoring cloud solutions?

Three of the top 5 business VoIP providers are already doing it.  Perhaps it's time you consider adding these offerings to your portfolio as well.

To help you understand how you can sell these solutions to your customers, I've compiled a list of probing questions you can use to bridge the conversation from VoIP to quality assurance and call recording.  Here you go:

1. How are you capturing customer calls today for quality assurance, compliance (HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc.) and order verification/dispute resolution?

2. How much is your on-premise call recording system costing you today in maintenance alone? (Obviously only ask this if you know ahead of time they already have call recording in place.)

3. How do you ensure you are delivering quality customer service in your organization today?

4. What are you doing today to monitor your agents/staff to ensure they are following your compliance requirements?

5. When you have a customer dispute over whether they gave consent for a purchase, e.g., how are you proving to the customer what they actually said during their conversation?

6. What approach do you use to tap into the voice of your customer to know what is really important to them?

7. How do you demonstrate to your call-handlers how a proper customer call is handled?

8. What approach do you use to train your call handlers? 

9. What do you use today to evaluate your agents/call handlers on quality assurance, compliance, etc.? 

10. What is your strategy for improving the customer service capabilities of your organization to better satisfy customers and their needs? 

With these (and other) types of questions, you have the ability to probe your customers a little bit to uncover some of their pain points around customer service, compliance and dispute resolutions.  Many of your customers have these issues and by offering hosted call recording and quality monitoring software, you can help allay these needs and challenges. 


Resell OrecX  


Topics: call monitoring software, voip quality monitoring, call recording

10 Alternative Uses for Call Recording Software

Posted by Kevin Levi on Oct 4, 2013 10:11:00 AM

We all know you can use your call recording software to monitor call center agents for compliance and quality.  You can also use it to verify orders and resolve disputes.

BUT, did you know there are countless other alternative, derivative uses for call recording software?  Here are 10 you may have not thought of:090408 light2 resized 600

  1. C-level Insight - Why not play 2-3 carefully chosen customer calls at your next senior executive meeting to literally bring the voice of the customer right into the room?
  2. All Employees Listen - How about sharing 2-3 carefully selected calls with every employee in the company on a monthly basis?  This way everyone in the enterprise has a direct connection to the customer and his/her wants/needs.
  3. Employee Meeting Kickoff - What if you played one or two really motivating customer calls at the beginning of every sales or staff meeting/call.  Think about how inspirational that would be to your staff.
  4. Buyer Personas - Use select calls to develop real buyer personas for your target customers and share them with the sales team so they know precisely who you are selling to.  This also helps bring the target customer to life.
  5. Agent Submission Contest - Set up a contest for your call center agents in which they get to pick one fantastic call they had once a week and submit it to the call center manager for him/her to name one of them the Outstanding Call of the Week.  You can then incentivize the agent accordingly. Think about how this will entice agents to deliver the absolute highest level of service possible.
  6. Customer Voice Montage - Take snippets from select calls and put them together into an audio montage to highlight on your home page.  Talk about a powerful testimonial/marketing tool. What if every call you picked was 5 seconds of a customer raving about your product? That would go a long way toward giving credence to the value of your solutions.
  7. Customer Testimonial Library - On your website you could pick segments of select calls to highlight (keeping the customer names anonymous) customer satisfaction with your solutions.  Some companies have case studies or customer testimonials.  You would have the customers' actual voice speaking directly to your sales prospects.

ebook: Who Benefits  from Call Recording?

Topics: orecx, call recording, call recording software

"Launch" your Call Recording System Internally for Maximum Impact

Posted by Kevin Levi on Aug 1, 2013 9:09:00 AM

Call recording systems are often times only as good as the team that is adminstering/using them. If an organization has a robust call recording system in place, but its people aren't fully trained or committed to using it to its fullest potential, then the system's perceived success will be very low. This can impact performance and future resource allocation for the call recording system

For a successful call recording program within your organization, you need to start off on the right foot with the right strategy in place. This will help ensure passionate buy-in for your call recording system from your contact center team, your business users and your management team.  

Below is a framework to help you organize and launch a successful internal campaign for your call recording system.

NOTE: Even if you already have a call recording system in place, you can still adapt this process to fit your current needs and breathe new life into your call recording program.

To ensure you communicate the value of the call recording system to all relevant parties within the organization, it is best to view it from a three-tiered perspective consisting of three levels of value - tactical, operational and strategic - each with their own internal target audience(s).

Strategic pyramid resized 600

Target - call center agents

This level describes how your call center agents can/should interact with the system. They can review past calls to see what went right and wrong, view performance reports on the length of their calls, the first call resolution rate of their interactions, how they measure up to others in their group, and so on.  It is important to communicate these things clearly to your agents to ensure maximum uptake, acceptance, utilization and impact of your call recording system.



Targets - call center supervisors and quality evaluators

This level represents how your call center managers and evaluators can leverage the system to improve their jobs.  For call center supervisors, this means monitoring agent and group performance to see where improvements need to be made in staffing, skill sets, process workflow and so on.  For evaluators, this level is about using the quality monitoring evaluation forms to assess and train agents for improved performance.  


Targets - business users (marketing, sales, product management) and senior managers (VP Customer Service, COO, VP Compliance, etc.)

This level describes the value your business users and management team reap from the intelligence recorded calls can provide.  These individuals within your organization can utilize the call recording system to view reports and listen to interactions to better understand customer satisfaction levels, marketing campaign effectiveness, cross-selling and up-selling success, new product ideas, common problems with the product, voice of the customer, etc.


By viewing your call recording system as a comprehensive, enterprise-wide "program" like this framework suggests will help you maximize the impact the system has on your organization and the value your people realize from its use - at all levels. 


Download  "Empower the Enterprise  with Call Recording" ebook  


Topics: orecx, call recording, call recording software

With Call Recording Solutions, Does Brand Name Really Matter?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 24, 2013 12:50:00 PM

There are as many call recording solution providers out there as there are letters in the alphabet, with a large revenue disparity between the top two behemoths and the rest.  With regard to this bifurcation of the brand name players and all the others, the question becomes:call recording solution

Does it really matter if you buy call recording software from a big guy or a small guy?  The short answer is a resounding "No".  Why do I know this?  Because I've worked for over six call recording companies including the number one provider, and I can tell you that customer after customer comes to the smaller guys following a dissatisfying experience with a big guy.  It happens all the time!!

Behind my nine-plus years in the call recording industry, I believe buyers of call recording systems sometimes play it safe by purchasing a system from one of the 800 pound gorillas, when in fact they could be just as well served (or even better served) spending far less by going with a smaller provider. At the end of the day, call recording systems really come down to four components which all vendors have some flavor of:

1. Call capture software - the software that actually records the call/screen and puts it in a storage location.

2. Logging hardware - the physical hardware that stores the recording(s).

3. Call query software - the software you use to go back and find and call up the calls you want to listen to.

4. Quality monitoring software - the software that lets you filter out a select number of calls for evaluation purposes and then facilitates the assessment process with reports, forms, etc.

The dirty little secret in the call recording industry is that most solutions offered by the various call recording companies all do the same thing - with a handful of bells and whistles bundled in to spice up the offering.  In most cases, these added features aren't even necessary or used.

To ensure you have or are purchasing a good call recording system, be sure you can answer "Yes" to the following questions:

A. Can you capture incoming calls and the computer screen activity of your call center agents?

B. Can you choose to record all calls or just a sampling of calls?

C. Can you query recordings for select calls based on agent, phone number, customer name, time of day, etc.?

D. Can you/did you implement the solution in two days or less?

E. Do you have to perform little to no maintenance on the system?

F. Can you easily customize the solution to your needs without asking for professional services help from the vendor?

If you answered "No" to one or more of these questions, you really need to think hard about the solution you have or are considering.  The truth is, there are very similar options out there for you to select, which are easier to install and maintain, are offered at a much lower cost and offer essentially the very same core functionality.


Download  "Empower the Enterprise  with Call Recording" ebook


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

With 40+ Call Recording Vendors, Who's the Best and Why?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jun 28, 2013 10:31:00 AM

Call recording solutions come in all flavors, sizes and styles but at the core, most have one basic function, and that is to capture customer calls and store them for compliance, quality assurance and/or dispute resolution.  So, if they all essentially do the same thing, then why call recordingare there so many different call recording vendors out there?  There are actually over 40 in all!

Here are some variables to help you distinguish between the huge selection of call recording solutions out there:

Scalability - some systems can only record up to a few hundred channels or employees.  You want a solution that can capture as many as you have plus room for more as you grow.  You really want a solution that can handle 1,000 or more.

Feature Stripping - some solutions offer all-in-one offerings with call recording, quality monitoring, screen recording and mobile recording all bundled together.  These typically offer the biggest bang for the buck.  Other sell a core call recording product and then charge a small fee for added capabilities.  Still, others sell you call recording functionality and then charge an arm and a leg for all added capabilities.  Beware of these types of offerings as you may wind up buying things you don't really need (and that are very expensive) just because they sound good at the time of purchase.  On the other hand, you also don't want to go with a vendor that strips away some of the core features in their "basic" version.

Speech Analytics - do you really need speech analytics?  Some companies may find a real business need for it but most can easily get by without it.  Yes it can add tremendous value but there is also a huge margin of error in accurately capturing content/calls of interest.  I wouldn't consider this a make or break in terms of picking the best call recording vendor out there.

Interoperability - this is really a big one.  The word "proprietary" should never come up in any conversation you have with a call recording provider.  If they mention it, run.  You want a call recording system that is "open" in its architecture and that can interoperate with virtually any third party software (CRM, Sales Force Automation, ERP, etc.) or hardware (i.e. PBX switches).  Some recording vendors tout the five or 10 switches they have interoperability with.  In today's world of best-of-breen contact centers, why would you want to paint yourself into a corner?  What happens if you add a new switch that isn't supported by the vendor?  This is why it is imperative to go with an "open" system that has an "open" API so you can work seamlessly with any existing or new application, hardware, switch, etc.

Installation - some companies take weeks to even get to your installation and then weeks or even months to facilitate and complete it.  You don't have time for this.  You want to start recording calls now, not next quarter.  Don't be fooled by one of these providers.  There is nothing they offer that is worth waiting months for. 

You want a solution that can be installed:

A. on your own without the vendor's support

B. in hours (not days, weeks or months!)

C. easily

These are just some of the many criteria to consider when purchasing the right call recording solution for your business.


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Topics: orecx, call recording, call recording software

10 Questions to Ask a Prospective Call Center Recording Provider

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 15, 2013 10:01:00 AM

Not all call center recording providers are created equal.  To be sure you are employing/have employed the very best call center recording solution for your contact center, there are several important questions to consider asking the prospective or current call center recording provider. 

Here are some of the top questions to ask:

1. Do you offer software only systems?  Some systems come with proprietary voice loggers that must be deployed along with the recording software.  These are very expensive and really limit your options in terms of interoperability with other software and hardware already in place.  You want a software-based solution that you can running on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

2. Which PBX systems do you integrate with?  You want to be sure your call center recording provider has tested its system with the PBX system you have in place or plan to employ.  Check not only the brand (such as Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, etc.) but also the version number.  The best option is if the provider has an open API to ensure any interoperability is possible.

call center recording

3.  Is your call recording solution all-in-one or modular?  You actually want modular so you can only purchase those modules you really need.  All-in-one systems tend to charge you for functionality you may not ever use.

4. Do you offer permanent and subscription pricing?  This is important because subscription pricing allows you to try the solution for a little while without getting locked into a big contract.

5. How long, difficult and expensive is the implementation process?  Most call center recording providers have a complex days-to-weeks-or-even-months implementation process and many charge for their installation services because it is virtually impossible for you to do it on your own.  Ideally, you want to go with a provider that offers a simple, no-charge installation that can be accomplished the very same day, on your own.  There aren't many of these providers out there. 

6. How much training is involved in getting my users up and running?  You want to be sure your call recording system is intuitive and does not really require any training.  You certainly don't want to have to pay for any such training and if you do, it means the solution is probably difficult to use.  This can be costly and problematic, especially as you bring on new users.

7. What are the typical maintenance requirements for this system?  Some call center recording solutions are not only difficult to install but also maintain and troubleshoot.  This is because their software is extremely complex and requires professional services to integrate it into your environment.  You want software that integrates seamlessly and has zero issues.  This frees up your IT staff to focus on other projects.  This question is so important that is would be wise to ask for some references to prove their claim, once they give it to you.

8. Is there a free trial of your software?  It is always better to demo something for free without any strings before making your purchase.  Most providers do not offer such a trial, but it is worth asking and/or finding a provider that does.  How can you know if it will work well in your environment without first trying it?

9. What other organizations in my industry do you currently serve?  You want a provider with relevant domain expertise, and you also want to be sure other companies like yours are using the call recording solution and are happy with it.

10. What is the typical return on investment timeframe?  You want to be sure your call recording solution can offer you a rapid ROI so you can recoup your investment and demonstrate the system's value to your senior management.  Many systems promise a six month or even a year.  You want a solution that offers an ROI in the weeks-to-three months range. 


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Topics: call recording

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