Call Recording at ITEXPO East 2014
The call recording session at ITEXPO East's Smart Voice event last week was full of surprises. Call recording is a topic many people are interested in, even if they are still thinking through all the implications.
Participating in the Smart Voice call recording panel were representatives from the server, soft client and call center sectors: Paul Friedman, global director, SmartTAP, AudioCodes; Khris Kendrick, director of business development, CounterPath; and Howard Lee, chief executive officer, Spoken Communications.
All panelists agreed there was a bigger business justification for call recording beyond the "usual" suspects. Large call centers, public safety access points (i.e., 911 response centers), and the regulatory compliance sectors of financial, health care, and legal have long been recording calls. Contact centers have used call recording for training and quality control purposes, as well as for taking the information in those calls and processing it with voice analytics to extract competitive intelligence and market trends.
Recording for regulatory compliance has been big business in the financial sector, and continues to become more complicated with the evolution from the desktop and a centralized PBX to mobile phone usage and cloud voice services.
Keeping those calls in any business application seemed to fall under the category of "as long as possible." Howard Lee said that he keeps all of his customer opt-in call recording files - "with a few exceptions" – basically forever. Spoken just continues to buy more disk drives, given the low price point of storage these days.
Martin Geddes, co-founder of the HyperVoice consortium and opening keynote speaker at Smart Voice, called for a "Voice PDF" standard for voice information processing, but Friedman was skeptical that companies would be able to reach agreement. Use of basic audio media recording standards such as MP3 enables use by any post-recording application, such as voice analytics or HyperVoice.
"Why would you want to call record if you aren't doing voice analytics?" came up during the audience Q&A portion of the session. For businesses of all sizes, panelists said call recording provides documentation of what was said during a call. Any sort of dispute between the customer and a business that took place over the phone has an audit trail that can be reviewed.
Call recording for the purposes of covering your back in the case of customer disputes seemed to be the major area where the technology could be easily applied by all businesses regardless of size without having to add complexity or cost by adding value-added services, such as voice analytics or HyperVoice.
People seemed to be most concerned about the implementation of call recording in two areas. Employee acceptance of call recording was the bigger of the two issues, with concerns that the technology would be viewed as a disciplinary tool rather than an aid to improve performance and as protection for the employee and the company in case of a customer dispute. Regulation on call recording also varies from state to state and country to country, with the best practice appearing to be informing all parties that a call may be monitored and recorded for quality control purposes – and when in doubt, talk to a lawyer for state, national, and international regulation concerning call recording.
Edited by Blaise McNamee