Making taped transcripts of telephone calls used to be the stuff of spy fiction and cheesy Hollywood movies. But in business today, call recording is not only an officially sanctioned and open activity – it’s becoming a valued contributor to corporate success.
There are several reasons for this, ranging from quality control and legal protection through to employee training and customer service. In this article, we’ll be considering seven of the principal benefits that call recording can contribute to your business.
1. Using Transcripts to Improve Clarity & Memory
In the real-time heat of a telephone conversation, it’s possible to become distracted or emotionally engaged in some way and miss out on crucial words or details of what was said. Interference or dropped data packets on the line might lead to reduced sound quality.
For any or all of these reasons, having sound recordings and/or written transcripts of your telephone calls just makes business sense. That’s one of the reasons why call recording is now standard issue, in business VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone systems.
Offline and in your own time, call recording enables you to review conversations with partners or contractors, interactions with clients and inter-office communications to get a clear picture of what was said, and in what context.
This can be crucial in clarifying the details of vital transactions, or confirming the exact content of queries and issues that might affect your business operations and customer relations.
2. Gaining A Better Understanding of Your Customers
Speaking of customers, having an archive of what your consumers have to say (pain points, product or service inquiries, what they love, what they hate) can help you get a clearer picture of their preferences and practices, and of who’s buying what. For marketing purposes, this can be of immense value in helping your sales and marketing teams to round out and clarify the “customer personas” that they’re using to target their promotional and sales tactics.
There can be a tendency for customer or buyer personas to be more theoretical than practical – and having real live interactions with actual living people can help to confirm or deny whether the personas that have been modelled in-house actually reflect the current personalities and preferences of your customers on the ground. Matching up the recorded evidence with your marketing models can assist in tweaking or modifying your sales efforts, for greater effect.
3. Enhancing Customer Service
The complaints, queries and issues raised by consumers during calls to your various departments can be easily gathered and assessed, with the aid of call recording equipment and software. The points may be analysed to highlight problem areas, common complaints and concerns, and the success and speed (or otherwise) with which issues are resolved. Recordings will also indicate how smoothly and courteously interactions and conversations proceed between your staff and the customer.
These indicators will help you to fine-tune and enhance your customer-facing contact points and services, to deliver a higher standard of customer service. The lessons learned may even be incorporated into the automated functions of your VoIP system, such as your Auto-Attendant (electronic receptionist) or on Hold messages and protocols.
4. Improving the Quality of Products & Services
Recorded feedback from customers, suppliers and contractors may also be channelled through to your Research & Development division, to sift out pertinent observations, outstanding issues and potential new ideas. These may be adapted and used to improve the quality and delivery of your existing products or services.
Innovative suggestions may even become the foundation for new products and services to improve your portfolio.
5. Training Workers with the Good & Not So Good
Your recorded archive of interactions between staff and consumers at all levels will likely reveal some great and not so great instances of how customers should be treated and how issues should be resolved. These can and should be used as practical examples in the training of your existing staff and the orientation of new hires.
Good and not so good illustrations of customer engagement obtained from call recording can help managers and team leaders to provide pointers for their staff on how to improve their communications’ skills and provide higher levels of customer support and service.
6. He Said, She Said? Here’s What Was Actually Said
In a world where business litigation can lead to huge paydays, complaints and unresolved disputes with customers and other business entities are a potential source of headaches and financial loss.
Having irrefutable and documented evidence of what was said in each transaction can go a long way towards stemming the tide of damage, before legal action and court-awarded damages are involved. Recording your business calls plays a huge part in this.
7. Evidence for Standards or Compliance Issues
Many enterprises and certain industries have to tread a fine line between their own profitable business practices and the demands of legal frameworks, industry standards, and regulatory compliance regimes. Meeting their requirements ensures continued operation and freedom from fines or penalties.
Periodic auditing and the submission of documents and data to regulatory bodies or their approved agents are often involved. And having a healthy body of call recordings and transcripts confirming your compliance status can add to this evidence. In some cases, call recordings are actually a specific requirement.
Clearly then, there are practical and operational business benefits to be had from call recording. If you aren’t using this technique already, there are proprietary software and hardware solutions available.
Alternatively, your business may subscribe to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony service, such as the one provided by LG Networks, which should offer call recording options and facilities, as standard.
The Legal Stuff: Do I Have to Tell People I Am Recording Calls?
In short YES, but you don’t have to announce it on every individual call.
The law states that “you have to make reasonable attempts to make both parties [callers and staff] know that you are recording calls”. This may take the form of a notice on your website, letterhead or email disclaimer, and a notice in the staff canteen. Some firms make a point of announcing it before the call is connected to encourage callers to be accurate with information. A typical message would be, “Hello, thank you for calling Company X. Please be aware that calls may be recorded for customer service and staff training.”
If you have any further questions about the benefits of call recording, or would like to get started with recording your own communications, please get in touch with LG Networks today.