Network Infrastructure

One for the Records: Call Recording Captures Value for the Contact Center

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  October 15, 2012

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

In discussing call recording, the first thing that typically comes up in my interviews is how it helps companies comply with various regulations. But call recording offers a wide variety of other benefits, from helping lower call center employee turnover, to improving contact service rep training, to allowing for the capture and usability of information that can drive sales and customer satisfaction.

“Verint (News - Alert) considers workforce optimization as a strategy to help customers manage their people, processes, and technology associated with the customer experience,” said Roger Woolley, vice president of solutions marketing at Verint. “Call recording is a central component of WFO, because it helps organizations acquire large volumes of customer interactions designed to improve agent performance (people), gain insight into customer feedback (improve business processes), and use advanced applications such as speech analytics (technology) to drill down into specific customer trends and behaviors to drive actions to improve operational excellence across the enterprise.”

The company’s call recording software, part of its WFO solution, is available as apremises-based solution and is now offered on a hosted basis through strategic partnerships.

Slowing Turnover, Improving Training

According to the 2011 U.S. Contact Center Compensation Survey from benefits consulting firm Mercer, 3 percent of call center employees leave after 30 days of employment, 31 percent within the first 90 days, 18 percent within the first six month, and 37 percent within the first year. More than 1,200 contact centers responded to the survey. However, at least one study, this one a 2005 effort out of Cornell University, has indicated that high involvement can help reduce turnover.

Accurate Always, Inc.’s chief marketing officer Kate Haley agrees, saying the company’s Voxida call recording platform aids on that front by providing call center supervisors with the tools they need to collaborate with agents quickly and effectively, and provide them with real-life examples during training. Sometimes organizations listen to recordings after the fact, and sometimes they use them in real time.

The usual scenario involves supervisors checking out calls at set times, commenting on those recordings, and sometimes sharing that with agents to help with training or award good performance, which can help reduce agent turnover, she says.

“Morale makes a big difference in an industry that has as much turnover as call centers do,” she adds.

The ability to leverage this information in real time is also very helpful, she continues. “Being able to immediately access those calls and share them with the agents is a huge time saver, which a contact center can leverage to increase profits, while controlling costs,” she said.

Leveraging Calling Information

Intelligent archiving and analytics are also becoming important aspects of call recording in the contact center, says Patrick Hall, chief marketing officer at CallCopy (News - Alert), which offers its Discover solution via perpetual on-premises licenses, on-premises installations based on subscriptions, and a SaaS model.

If you think about just recording, he says, there traditionally has not been a lot in the way of archiving logic, he says, adding that CallCopy delivers on that front. He also notes that with desktop analytics and APIs, CallCopy can do more advanced things beyond just logging a call. For example, the company has several healthcare clients that have elected to store records by patient record number.

Hall says you won’t get that flexibility from other solutions.

In terms of analytics, Hall says more companies are starting to get interested. Most users are doing 100 percent recording because hardware for storage is becoming so cost effective, he says, so they have an interest in leveraging that data to a great extent. Hall adds 10 percent of CallCopy customers use its speech analytics solution, and that as processors become more affordable that will scale. The level of call recording and analytics only expected to grow as there’s more storage in the cloud so customers have somewhere to put their recording long term.

CallCopy expected to launch a call recording storage in the cloud this September.

Adding to the topic of call recording storage and archival, Haley of Accurate Always says most people have really not planned for what they’re going to be doing with this huge amount of data. Even mid-sized call centers are concerned now about big data, she says, so Accurate Always is being called on to offer a more intelligent means to capture but also to archive data and to filter it for future use and make it accessible.

Accurate Always does that by maintaining all of the call metadata, explaining that metadata acts like a card catalog the customer can use to play back call recordings. By comparison, she says, some competitors archive all associated information, so to find the call the client has to reload the data (which ideally would be archived on network-attached storage, but sometimes might be on a DVD or even a reel-to-reel tape) to search it.

“The problem with that is you have to find that recording and just listen to insane amounts of tape because they didn’t have an intelligent way to find that,” she says.

Capturing Screen Data

Screen activity has also come center stage as a quality management tool. In fact, Andy Kim, CEO for Proxy Networks, says it is now the most important quality management tool, as noted in a recent TMCnet story by Juliana Kenny.

To enable solutions on this front, Proxy and SIP Print (News - Alert) have joined forces.

“Our involvement with SIP Print emerged a couple of years ago when SIP Print started to pick up momentum because they approached voice recording from a different perspective,” Kim said, adding that rather than picking up calls from the queue as issued from a switch, SIP Print records calls as they were coming into the switch to deliver a real-time solution.

Meanwhile, Proxy has highly efficient bandwidth-optimized technology for capturing screen data, turning it into video, and sending it across the network so someone else can log in and collaborate while viewing another’s desktop, according to Kenny’s piece. This technology is primarily used for remote support and remote access, and for members of the IT department who need to fix a worker’s computer or install software.

“For quality management and auditing purposes, call centers are more and more interested in having a record of what has been going on on the screen,” Kim said. “There are a lot of ways to capture one screen, but not a lot of vendors who can support a scalable solution for hundreds of screen recordings going on at once.”

Edited by Braden Becker