There are many things that you need to consider if you are going to record phone calls. These include the laws, regulatory compliance, and the actual hardware and software that you will need to reliably record business calls.
Why Do Businesses Record Calls?
There are many reasons why businesses may record phone calls. While most of us think of customer service and support calls and the little prompt that we hear before the conversation begins, there are many other reasons why it is a smart idea for businesses to record calls outside of protecting themselves.
Most businesses strive to record as much data as they can to improve their business, and with business calls playing such a key role in your company’s success, it stands to reason that you should be analyzing calls and using them to improve your business, train your employees, and ensure overall quality.
Let’s explore some of the reasons that you should consider recording calls and look into how it could help your business:
1. Training and Quality Assurance
You don’t have to run a call center to make sure that your employees are handling conversations on the phone appropriately. Giving your managers the ability to listen in on recorded phone calls can help ensure that your teams are meeting the standards that you have set for them with customer interactions.
Recording calls can help your management team identify which employees might need additional training. By helping your teams to improve on the phone, you put your business in a better chance for ongoing success.
2. Improve Customer Service
Customer service is make-or-break for most companies. Being able to analyze the interactions that your team has with customers is critical to improving your business.
By recording your customer service team’s interactions, you can get a better idea of what is working and where they need to improve. Additionally, you can spot individual employees that are not handling certain situations correctly and provide additional training to them.
Improving your customer support and customer service will improve customer satisfaction and provide a win-win for everyone involved.
3. Track Regulatory Compliance
In some industries, there may be a host of regulations that you must comply with. In the medical field, for example, your business must follow all guidelines outlined in the HIPAA compliance regulations, which protects patient information. Failing to do so could result in huge fines or even the end of your company in some situations.
Call records allow you to make sure that the interactions that your employees are having with customers or patients are following regulations to the letter of the law.
If your company is in an industry that has very specific compliance regulations, tracking calls is an absolute must, if for no other reason than that a failure to comply with regulations can mean your business paying a very heavy price.
4. Review Missed Details
Have you ever hung up the phone after a great business conversation then looked through your notes and realized that you didn’t write down some of the most important details from the call? It’s something that we have all had to deal with at one point or another.
Being able to review missed call details has always been an important perk for recording calls. This is especially true with today’s CRM solutions. It is more important than ever that your agents are able to log information from every interaction accurately.
All companies have to deal with human error on the phone. It’s just a part of doing business. But allowing your team to go back through their calls to mine missed details will reduce the business impact of those errors.
5. Resolve Disputes
As a manager or business owner, you’ve probably had a situation where a customer levies a complaint against an employee that accuses them of acting in bad faith or puts them in a bad light. As a manager, you want to stick up for your employee and be a good boss, but you can’t take complaints from customers lightly.
A bad review on a popular review website can mean the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue. It’s important that you get it right.
Being able to listen to the calls to double-check employee actions can be an invaluable tool for solving business disputes. It isn’t limited to customer interaction, either. Recording calls can help you to resolve internal and external disputes with partnered organizations, vendors, and other companies as well.
Companies that want to make sure that they handle these situations in the right way will opt for recorded phone calls.
6. Sales Training
Your sales team’s ability on the phone is the most important skill they possess. Without the ability to listen in on their sales calls, how can you reliably pinpoint areas for improvement?
You can’t have a manager sitting in on every call that they make. By recording calls, you can work directly with your sales reps to go over the calls and identify areas for improvement, resulting in more sales and a happier sales team.
7. Marketing Research
There is nothing more valuable to your marketing team than the opinions of your customers. By recording your calls with customers, you can pass them to your marketing team who can go through them to learn about the concerns and worries of your ideal customer.
Using calls to inform your marketing campaigns can be a powerful tool that helps you to effectively communicate and word things in a way that will connect with your core audience.
Is Recording Business Calls Legal?
First and foremost, know that we are not lawyers and what we say here should not be considered legitimate legal advice. While recording business calls is legal, there are a whole host of state laws that could have an impact on the legality of recording business calls. It is always a smart idea to speak with a lawyer that specializes in this field before recording any calls.
States typically have two types of laws regarding call regarding — one-party consent and two-party consent — meaning that either one or both people on a call must consent for it to be recorded. Regardless of where your company is located, citizens from states with strict call recording laws (like California) have sued businesses for breaching the laws of their state.
While this is rare, it’s important that you have researched the relevant laws that apply to your business and have worked with a legal team to put together a plan to get the most out of recording phone calls while still protecting your business.
In general, most companies are fine to record calls when they make the other caller aware of the fact that they are recording. This should always be done through an automatic prompt, the same kind that you hear when you call a customer service line for any large company, to ensure that it is said before each and every interaction.
Keep in mind that if you are recording conference calls, the prompt needs to be stated to each individual caller as they connect to the line.
In general, with some preparation and understanding of the applicable laws, most businesses should have no problems legally recording calls from their business lines.
As with all legal matters, it is important that you consult with a lawyer before making any decisions.
Data Security Concerns
During calls with your business, customers are going to talk about sensitive information. Your business may ask sensitive questions.
Like any sensitive data, you have to consider how you will be storing this information to protect your customers and remain compliant.
For medical workers, HIPAA dictates that there are strict rules regarding who and how this kind of information could be accessed. Make sure that you are working closely with your data security teams to determine the best way to store recorded phone calls and keep customer and business data safe from prying eyes.
Call Recording Tools
Businesses that are using a Key System Unit or a PBX phone system may need to invest in some additional hardware to reliably record phone calls. These tools can be expensive but are still a worthwhile investment.
There are numerous desktop solutions and other hardware pieces that can connect with physical phone systems. However, most Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, like UniTel Voice, offer plans with call recording features built in. A web-based call recording solution is much easier to manage and implement than hardware solutions.
UniTel Voice allows you to record incoming calls for a range of different purposes. Then, the system will save your recorded phone calls as audio files and store them within the UniTel Voice cloud-based phone system for just $5 per month. This is a relatively small investment for the huge benefits your business will receive from beginning to record and analyze phone calls placed by your employees.
Choosing to record and analyze your business calls can provide a lot of benefits to small and mid-sized companies. It can help to improve training and customer service, track compliance, review missed details during phone calls, bolster your marketing, and resolve internal and external disputes.
While there are some legal considerations to take into account, call recording is just too valuable of a tool for most businesses to overlook. And you never know when you’ll need it in a pinch.
You might need to set up a toll free number hotline to record calls for limited-time offers, promotions or deals. You might want to a get a toll free vanity 800 number for a special event, celebration, or fundraiser. Or even set up a 1-800 number helpline to record calls during an emergency situation, crisis, or disaster. The uses are endless.
By signing up for UniTel Voice, you can start recording calls in just minutes, from any device (home phone, cell phone, office phone, landline, VoIP, or smartphone mobile app).
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the startup tools blog series Run Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.