Call Recording – The Key Tool Of Marketing Masters To Serve Clients, Train Staff

By: Robert Thomson

In the past, telemarketers and banks did most of the call recording in the business world, at least as an ongoing business practice touching on both training and recordkeeping. With the modern "call center" evolving into an important part of most companies, and the key place where firms communicate with their customers, the need to find out what's going on in those calls has grown dramatically. Fortunately, the technology has evolved quickly, too, and the business smarts to use the recorded material is catching up fast.

Digital technologies of the day ensure not only that calls are recorded but that any actions on associated workstation screens are captured with them. This digital archiving enables easy, low-cost storage and simple integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, which sees to it that the calls and recorded screen actions end up filed where needed. Old, tape-driven, energy-hungry and slow analog recording systems are gone for good. Modern recording systems are equipped with Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) that can work with both audio and data, making phones the central part of a company's workflow.

The business case

The cost of the digital recording system, CTI equipment, CRM software and everything else has to be justified, and a "business case" needs to quantify and qualify the goals. These can be cost savings, improved training and/or increased productivity, and they are most meaningful when measured by revenue. There can be multiple goals, but for call recording to be a key took of marketing master to serve clients, train staff and reap profits, these outcomes must be well defined. This is where a few more acronyms join the alphabet soup of computer-era terms.

What are the specific Call Outcomes (CO) that are desired? Do you want to increase sales, resolve customer complaints, get the right information to the right customer at the right time, or all of the above? If you want to promote that CO acronym to VCO (Valuable Call Outcome) status, you need well-defined criteria for success. If you call center goal is to produce as many calls as possible, for the least cost irrespective of the call outcomes, you are not going to accomplish anything that will help you build and grow the business.

8 benefits of call recording

Reduced liability - This is the main reason that most businesses install a call recording solution in the first place. With recorded calls providing a clear and impartial record, management can resolve potential disputes and protect the company quickly and effectively.

Improved data collection - Recording calls allows management to detect errors before they multiply, and correct deficient or destructive behaviors before they evolve into costly, ongoing problems. A call center representative might take down customer information incorrectly, enter the wrong item number for the order or specify the wrong color of product. A procedure that checks call recordings before products are shipped, confirming or correcting order contents or shipping addresses, can save serious money. Further, customer satisfaction is always improved with more efficient procedures that reduce errors.

Improved call quality - Call center managers can also use call recording systems to do routine monitoring of calls to ensure that proper phone scripts are used, special offers are made and good manners are enforced. This sort of proactive management support typically results in superior service quality, decreased costs and increased customer satisfaction.

Increased security - Just the mere presence of a call recording system on the company phone lines can deter all manner of security breaches, improper use of equipment or unapproved employee long-distance calls. If the actions are not deterred, the system will provide indisputable evidence of the transgressions.

Superior training and job review - When call recordings are available to company trainers and managers, performance reviews are easier to undertake and document. Training staff can use special features of the call recording software to identify calls that reveal exemplary customer service or first-rate salesmanship. Audio "clips" can be e-mailed quite easily to other trainers and managers for use in seminars and meetings. Similarly, calls that show substandard behavior or practices can be copied, saved and provided to the appropriate employees so that they can learn from their mistakes.

Better sales and marketing data - Any system or procedure that helps your sales and marketing staffs discover the best sales techniques is a valuable addition to your firm. Sales and marketing employees can learn from recorded calls not only what is working, but why. By reviewing calls of the best producers, a sales manager can help the entire staff improve their presentations as well as their rebuttals. This sort of information, when presented in bulk to marketing managers, can help them design better, more attractive and more successful offers.

Asking the right questions - Recording calls enables the monitoring of your customer service performance as a whole, along with individual staff performance. Continuous improvement to your customer service is one of the few sure and certain ways to elevate your firm over others in the eyes of potential customers.

Building strong teams - Training becomes much easier if you can monitor both ends of a telephone call, and record the participants, on your company's telephone system. Recorded calls present you with a valuable gift, the benefit of hindsight, and afford you the opportunity to help your team to attain their group and individual goals, all while improving sales and burnishing your firm's reputation for good customer service.

All of these benefits together can create a strong improvement in client service, and result in timelier, more specific and higher quality staff training. With these benefits also come improved morale, a positive attitude and more effective use of time. There are no guarantees in life, but clearly a well-run call center with a call recording system is a powerful business-building tool that can lead to more satisfied clients, more expert staff and, yes, increased profits, as well.

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