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.


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

Test to Measure Value from your Call Recordings

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 1, 2014 11:07:00 AM

How do you know if you're getting the most utility from your recorded calls?

Well, there is a litmus test you can take that will help you score the value you are realizing from recording customer calls.  Here it goes; answer the questions and keep a tally of your scores, which are represented in parentheses after each scoring option:

1. How many calls per agent are you monitoring a month for quality monitoring?

Five (3 points)

Seven (5 points)

Ten (7 points)

Over 10 (10 points)

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2. Do you listen to past customer calls at contact center staff meetings and discuss them collectively to identify best practices and/or areas for improvement?

No (0 points)

Yes, just best practice calls (5 points)

Yes, just improvement opportunity calls (5 points)

Yes, both best-practice and improvement-opportunity calls (10 points)


3. Do you have new agents listen to good and bad calls to help with training?

Yes, good calls only (3 points)

Yes, bad calls only (3 points)

Yes, both good and bad calls (7 points)

No (0 points)


4. Do you have agents self-evaluate themselves on good and bad calls?

Good calls (3 points)

Bad calls (7 points)

No calls (0 points)


5. Do you capture every customer call (100 percent total recording)?

Yes (10 points)

No (0 points)


6. How long do you retain all calls for order verification, dispute resolution and compliance purposes?

Two weeks (0 points)

One month (1 point)

Two months (2 points)

Six months (3 points)

One year (5 points)

Two years (10 points)


7. Do you regularly share select call recordings with outside-the-call-center business users/managers/executives? If so, how often?

Never (0 points)

Once a month (3 points)

Once a week (7 points)

Daily (10 points)


8. Do you have call-of-the-week/month contests with agents and incentivize winners?

No (0 points)

Yes (7 points)


9. Do you selectively record and live monitor calls for quality assurance?

No (0 points)

Yes (5 points)


10. How often do you use a call recording to support/settle a dispute or verify an order?

Never (0 points)

Weekly (10 points)

Monthly (5 points)

Annually (1 point)



Now, tally your score if you haven't already and check yourself against the following scale, which helps you understand how well you are leveraging your recorded customer calls:

Over 60 - You are the gold standard that other companies should look up to.

45-59 - You are doing a great job.

35-44 - You could be using call recordings much more effectively/often.

25-34 - You are doing the bare minimum to utilize your recorded calls.

Under 25 - You are not using your call recording system effectively at all.  Consider contacting a call recording consultant for help. 


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

Compliance Recording and Quality Monitoring - A Winning Combination

Posted by Kevin Levi on Feb 19, 2014 1:08:00 PM

Call recording software helps businesses of all sizes capture customer/prospect calls so the organization can go back and listen to calls in order to settle he-said/she-said disputes, support litigation, prove compliance and more.  While a highly effective tool in its own right, when combined with quality monitoring software, you have a powerful one-two-punch that will greatly enhance the performance and capabilities of your contact center.  And who doesn't want that?

While most Fortune 5000 organizations employ both tools, it is fair to say that many small to mid-size organizations either just have call recording or nothing at all.  The value of the combination of call recording and quality monitoring software is so high, that these organizations need to really start considering employing both.

Value of Call Recording + Quality Monitoring Together

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In fact, there are a number of statistics that illustrate just how important quality monitoring software is (along with call recording software), including:

86% of buyers will pay for a better customer experience

89% of customers will go to a competitor due to poor service

Average first call resolution rate in the U.S. is just over 80%


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Checklist for Buying Call Monitoring Software

Posted by Kevin Levi on Mar 29, 2013 11:40:00 AM

Call monitoring software can help your business easily and effectively identify operational issues within your call center that need attention.  It can also help you increase call center agent productivity and improve your customer service capabilities.  There is a lot of call monitoring software to choose from.  How do you know which one to buy?

Here is a list of criteria to consider when purchasing the right call monitoring software for your business.  Be sure the quality monitoring software you purchase aligns with your choices below:

What am I going to use this software for primarily?

  • Assess the performance of my contact center agents?
  • Identify process breakdowns in the customer interaction lifecycle?
  • Understand the level of service my customers are receiving?
  • Identify areas to improve operational performance and customer interaction workflow?

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How interoperable is this software with my existing environment? 

  • Will the software integrate seamlessly with my telephony/VoIP switch - e.g. Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, BroadSoft, MetaSwitch, etc.?
  • Can this software run on my commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware, or do I need a special voice logger?
  • Will I be able to pull external data from my CRM system through an API?

How difficult is it to customize the call monitoring software to my specific business needs?

  • Can I customize the agent evaluation questionnaires with questions that make sense for my contact center?
  • Can I change the look and feel of the solution to fit my specific brand?
  • Is the software proprietary or open (ideally open source)?

How flexible are the reporting capabilities?

  • Am I able to filter reports by date, groups, agents and managers?
  • Can I generate customizable performance reports to enhance my decision making?
  • Can I easily export and send the reports to agents and supervisors?
  • Can I perform form-level summaries?
  • Are there calibration tables? 

How easy is the software to learn and use? 

  • Do my employees need hours of training to use the software?
  • Can we learn to use the software effectively in just a few minutes?
  • How quickly can I get new supervisors up and running on the software?

What does the installation process look like? 

  • How long does it take to install the software?
  • How long after the software is installed can we be using it effectively?
  • Do we need on-site support for the installation?
  • Can we handle the install ourselves?
  • Do we have to wait a period of time (days or weeks) before we can gain the support we need for the installation?

These are merely some of the criteria you should consider when selecting the right quality monitoring software for your business. When choosing your product, think about these questions and ask the vendor for specifics on any other considerations you might have.  They should be forthright and open about any issues you bring to the table.


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Topics: call monitoring software, orecx, call recording, oreka qm

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