Call Recording Featured Article
Call Recording Legal Issues Resolved
There's been an interesting case in Italy that might give some perspective to the issue of call recording in America.
According to legal resource Lexology, Italy's Minister of Labour recently said that "as long as certain conditions are observed," the recording of phone conversations between call center employees and customers "does not constitute a form of remote monitoring" as prohibited under law.
Confindustria, Italy's main trade association for manufacturing and services companies, wanted to monitor the quality of customer service being provided, and said the monitoring would be "carried out on a sample of calls and under several important privacy protection conditions," Lexology said, such as encrypting the voices of the call centre employees and customers during recording in order to conceal their identities.
Italy's Minister of Labour decided that yes, telephone conversations in the workplace can be recorded, Lexology says, "provided that the privacy of the employees in question is protected."
This means that if companies prevent the disclosure of the identities of both call centre employees and customers, "they are not obliged to complete a difficult procedure with trade union representatives in order to install monitoring systems."
As call center savant Niels Kjellerup notes, however, just because monitoring is necessary doesn't mean all forms of monitoring are useful: "Unless you formulate a Call Evaluation program," recording calls "will only become yet another whip in the hands of The Galley Slave Master and will further deteriorate reps' morale and productivity."
Kjellerup agrees with the necessity of monitoring and evaluating calls, dismissing a slavish focus on metrics only as bereft of "any idea of the ingredient of a quality call." The software such vendors provide, he sniffed, is concerned only with "Galley Slave Applications, i.e. focusing on 'long calls'."
For monitoring to be of value, he says, "primarily it has to be part of a coaching program which encourages CSRs to better their relationship building skills and help identify weaknesses and barriers to communicating better and more freely with customers."
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Kelly McGuire