Call Recording Featured Article
Let's Hear It For Call Recording: The Most Useful Technology in Your Contact Center
When you're running a business and investing in technology to help your operations, you probably dream of finding a technology solution that serves not just one need in helping you run your business, but a variety of needs. In today's economic climate, return on investment is one of the most important factors – if not the most important factor – in choosing business solutions, and by definition, the more functions a solution serves, the faster your return on investment. In a contact center environment, there are no solutions that serve business needs across a broader array of processes than call recording technology.
There are a number of reasons why contact centers find the purchase of state-of-the-art call recording technology indispensable. Here are just a few of them.
Legal and compliance issues. If you offer certain types of services – financial or healthcare-related – you are often required by law to record calls in order to manage risk and liability. In many cases, businesses are required to record and store calls according to certain standards set by government agencies or industry groups. This becomes challenging when you are a large business with multisite contact centers. It's important to choose a solution that enables total call recording, has robust storage capabilities, offers easy search, categorization and playback of calls, and can be shared across a business' multiple operations sites. Even if you're not required to record by law, total call recording can often help you resolve disputes with customers and avoid “he said/she said” scenarios.
Quality monitoring. How good is the customer service you provide? How sure are you that agents are delivering the customer service you hope they are? Many old-fashioned recording solutions (not to mention internal company monitoring processes) monitor only a few calls every week, month or even year. Agents were often informed in advance when calls would be monitored. Very occasional monitoring works against both your contact center and agents – everyone has a bad day now and then. On the flip side, you may be monitoring agents who are aware they are being recorded and who therefore clean up their performance during monitoring times. In any case, you're not getting an accurate picture of agent performance. The more calls your quality monitoring solution allows you to record, the more complete picture can you gain of the caliber of customer service being offered by your business, and the more you can learn about your agents for the purpose of promotion and raises or (in the case of poor performers), remedial training or discipline.
Agent training. Let's face it, it takes a lot of work to break new agents in. In most cases, what makes a good agent is years of experience. But with the type of agent turnover experienced by most contact centers, racking up experience isn't a factor you can count on. By recording a wide variety of agent calls, managers and supervisors can build a critical mass of different types of calls: not only the good ones and the bad ones, but calls segmented by type: “saves” of defecting customers, the handling of difficult customers, calls pertaining to different product lines, calls with very high-value customers, etc. You can then use these calls to build a comprehensive training package for new agents, who can learn by listening. With some solutions, you can even build simulations for new agents to interact with.
Understanding your customer base. When your customers become unhappy, what is it that makes them unhappy? When they call back multiple times, what is triggering these repeat calls? What causes them to churn? What types of experiences make them happy and more likely to buy again and again? If you're not sampling a wide variety of calls, you'll never know the answer to these questions. More important, if you have no way of analyzing the recorded calls, you'll spend a lot of time manually listening. Many modern call recording solutions come with advanced technologies for analysis: auto-categorization, voice stress sensing, keyword spotting via speech recognition and the ability to tell when an agent and a customer are talking over one another, which usually indicates problems. Not only can supervisors use these analysis tools to spot problematic calls, company management can analyze broad swathes of calls to understand how customers are interacting with their business, and what they can do to improve the customer service experience.
When it comes to contact center technologies, the needs are broad. Of course you need your headsets, your IVR, your automatic call distributor, your CRM software and many other things. But it's unlikely you'll EVER run into another contact center solution that can serve as many of your needs as call recording can.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco