Despite their limitations and continued decline, closed call center software solutions still exist, even though they can be difficult to modify, support and integrate into an existing telephony environment. Open systems, on the other hand, offer tremendous benefits to call centers, and therefore these solutions are becoming more ubiquitous.
These benefits range from ease of integration and the ability to repurpose hardware to leveraging existing IT skills and staff to administer and support the platform.
Specific advantage highlights include:
Training is another key area in which open standards software has advantages. System administrators can easily monitor processes and network activity, and networking and telephony managers can trace data and easily understand how information is flowing. In most cases, only an Admin Manual is needed to perform these functions.
These are just some of the many reasons why modern, open standards call center software continues to build a stronger and stronger business case for wide-scale deployment.
Publish Date: November 18, 2020 5:00 AM
According to Gartner Group, "71% of contact center agents are currently working from home." Gartner also reports that "35% of the customer experience workforce will work from home by 2023, up from 5% in 2017."
"When COVID-19 hit, most CX organizations did not have plans for enabling staff to work from home," according to CIO.com. "Within days of shuttering call centers, companies had to have CX professionals fielding customer calls remotely. Many struggled to replicate their CX working environment, including the proper hardware and software necessary to provide call support."
Businesses across all industries have had to scramble to find ways to record their customer interactions with off-site agents. Customer service organizations need to be able to monitor, assess and train their agents to maintain high customer service levels, mitigate costly disputes and ensure compliance with HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, MiFID II, etc. To make this happen without installing expensive remote hardware, businesses need an easy way to securely capture, store and replay their remote agent interactions.
When purchasing remote agent recording software, there are some important features you will want to have, including:
1. Support for VoIP, softphones, mobile and landlines
2. Ability to share recorded data with third party applications like speech analytics and customer service analytics
3. Remote live monitoring
4. Browser-based access to recordings
5. Pause/resume or mask/mute capabilities
6. Voice and screen recording with integrated playback
In short, the pandemic forced immediate change in the call center industry - changes that will persist for years to come. To keep pace with your competition and to continue to serve your customers well, you need to ensure you have the right remote agent recording tools in your arsenal. Your existing call center tools likely won't suffice anymore.
Publish Date: October 14, 2020 5:00 AM
We are often asked how a business can optimize its voice recording. The answer always centers on access versus optimization. Yes, voice quality is imperative, but in today’s recording industry, open and free access to one’s voice data is even more important. To get the most out of your voice interactions, you want to be able to share your recordings with whichever speech analytics, AI and customer experience applications you choose to for transcription and analysis purposes. Only then can then derive maximum customer insight from your data and be able to accurately improve your customer service operations.
But not all recording vendors offer the type of access you need. Believe it or not, many vendors restrict access to your recordings and/or charge an arm and a leg to get it. When a cost is involved, you are paying for the vendor’s professional services team to extract it for you and then export it into an often sub-standard, proprietary format you cannot even use. And because the vendor is relying on its services organization, timing is not always expeditious. This is not fair nor okay. After all, you are paying for the voice recording solution, so the data you capture is rightfully yours, and you should have cost-free, real-time, unrestricted access to it – in an open, accessible format.
Waiting days for the vendor to extract and share your data puts you in a backwards-looking position when assessing agent performance and identifying workflow disruptions or customers at risk of leaving. You want access to your data immediately so you can act on it right away.
In terms of voice quality, your recording vendor should offer you the ability to set your own audio quality settings – with support for a wide array of high-fidelity audio capture methods. Speaker-separated audio capabilities is also especially important. To eliminate over-talk and to clearly distinguish between the two parties on a call, you need stereo recording, which captures each voice on a separate channel. Upon playback, you can then listen to both channels together or individually to precisely determine who said what and when. This can be critical when attempting to settle disputes.
You also must consider the audio codecs supported by the vendor you choose. Right now, G.711 offers the highest fidelity and highest bitrate to ensure the clearest recorded audio. You should not have to settle for anything less.
Appending your Data
Your recorded voice data can provide a wealth of insight to your organization, but even more so when combined with CRM, ACD and other third-party data sources. As such, you need to be able to append your meta data with these and any other external sources to improve transcription and analytics results accuracy. When combined with other sources, the value of your data grows exponentially in terms of the contextual insight it can provide.
In summary, here are the potential pitfalls to look out for when choosing your voice capture solution:
There are literally dozens of quality speech analytics systems out there, as measured by Forrester and Gartner Group. You should not exclude yourself from realizing the full value from these systems by having a poor voice data acquisition system. Pick a solution that offers the right level of access and quality you need and deserve.
Learn about our high fidelity, dual channel audio capture solution for speech analytics. Click below.
Publish Date: July 20, 2020 5:00 AM
Call recording can provide a wealth of knowledge and customer insight to your organization. There's no doubt about that. It can help you optimize agent performance, improve customer satisfaction and resolve disputes.
However, there are certain call recording laws and rules in many countries you must be aware of in order to avoid liability issues and potential penalties.
Here is just a sampling of some of the most prevalent call recording regulations around the world:
United States - Truth in Lending Act, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, TCPA
United Kingdom and European Union - GDPR, MiFID II
Canada - Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
Australia - Federal Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act
Hong Kong - Personal Data Privacy Ordinance
India - Information Technology Amended Act
New Zealand - Crimes Act
Romania - Telecommunications Act
Publish Date: July 13, 2020 5:00 AM
According to ICMI, the average 100 agent call center takes 5,000 calls a day, each at at approximately seven minutes in length. Across all 100 agents, this equates to about 5,250,000 spoken words between customers/prospects and agents each day. Put another way, 147,000,000 spoken words can be captured and analyzed in your call center every month. Just think about the analytics potential of that huge pool of words.
By recording these interactions, transcribing them and then analyzing them with speech analysis software, your call center managers and business unit leaders (Sales, Marketing, Support, Product Management, R&D...) can yield invaluable business intelligence they can utilize to answer the following types of questions:
When you consider that 78% of customers will back out of a purchase due to poor customer service (Glance), and that is costs on average 15 times more to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one (invesp), it is easy to see how important it can be to adequately review and analyze your customer interactions to identify gaps in service and areas for agent skill improvement. Your company's profitability and bottom line actually depend on it.
Speech analytics software powered by high fidelity, dual channel audio capture, which features metadata augmentation (ability to collect non-audio data from CRM, ACD or desktop applications via REST API and append it to audio recordings), provides the greatest ability to correlate, discover patterns and pinpoint specific types of interactions to yield the most useful intelligence.
Imagine instantly and automatically analyzing all of your customer interactions to identify:
These are just some of the many ways in which high quality audio capture combined with open and accessible speech analytics can help your organization.
Learn more today at https://www.orecx.com/audio-capture-service/.
Publish Date: June 2, 2020 5:00 AM
Enterprises and customer service organizations use speech analytics today to analyze customer interactions to assess agent performance and identify service gaps. That likely isn't news to you, but what might be is that speech analytics results rely IMMENSELY on the quality of the audio recording. That's right, with poor quality audio capture, the transcription engine struggles to discern what was said by the customer and the agent, and the results are flawed.
What's more, many audio capture solutions are proprietary and keep their recordings restricted from porting to transcription and analytics solutions. Moreover, they also keep businesses from augmenting their recordings with 3rd party data from CRM, ACD or desktop applications e.g. This makes "openness" another huge factor in audio capture.
Here are some customer service stats to illuminate the importance of these points:
48% of customers want to communicate with companies via phone (HubSpot Research)
So almost half of all customer interactions still rely on the telephone. Therefore, high quality, open speech analytics data that can be extracted from these calls (and combined with 3rd party data) is critical to derive the best customer insight. This requires full media/metadata access and system control - which not all audio capture platforms enable.
A 60% increase in profits is possible with a mere 5% increase in customer retention rates (Bain and Company)
It is six to seven times more expensive to land a new customer than to retain an existing customer. To help organizations retain existing customers, speaker-separated audio capture (which then feeds the transcription/analytics engine) helps to identify at-risk customers. Mono recording makes it difficult to distinguish over-talk, which is common during contentious interactions when a customer is highly dissatisfied. Stereo recording separates each party into their own channel for clear, distinguished playback - which helps uncover unhappy customers. The best audio quality supports upper-end audio sample rate formats including G.711 and OPUS.
Learn more about high fidelity, open audio capture here.
Publish Date: May 20, 2020 5:00 AM
Several speech analytics vendors are now offering their solutions as a service. So-called Speech Analytics as a Service (SAaaS) presents a unique opportunity for businesses to mine their customer interactions for business intelligence and customer insight without the significant capital outlays and time required with premise-based approaches. Moreover, with so many agents working from home these days, SAaaS can also mine remote interactions.
Regardless of where the interactions take place, however, it all starts with audio capture and recording. To most effectively leverage a cloud analytics platform, you want to ensure you're choosing an audio capture solution that offers hi-fidelity audio, unrestricted access to your recordings and control over how that unstructured data is shared with a transcription and analytics engine.
With this level of audio quality, access and control, your business can easily and effectively uncover root causes of service failures, potential compliance infractions, customers at risk of defecting, agents in need of additional training, and so on.
What's more, with the right audio capture system and SAaaS solution, you can be up and running with recording and analysis in mere days, instead of weeks or more with premise based products. Any updates to the software will be instantly accessible, and your IT team is freed up to focus on other projects.
A non-proprietary audio capture solution not only provides unrestricted access to (and control over) your recordings, but it can also be used with several speech analytics vendors at the same time. Suppose you use one vendor for real-time authentication, another to monitor 'voice of the customer', and yet a third for advanced analytics? The same audio capture engine can work across all of these vendors simultaneously. This helps you reduce costs and streamline your analytics program.
Interested in learning how a standalone audio capture solution can impact your business? Click the button below.
Publish Date: May 4, 2020 5:00 AM
With so many employees and call center agents working from home these days, it is important to ensure at-home staff’s work interactions are being recorded, monitored and managed. At the same time, you want to be able to analyze these conversations for customer intelligence and assess staff’s performance to ensure high customer service levels.
Most of these individuals are utilizing VoIP, softphones, mobile phones or landlines - and sometimes a combination thereof. You want to capture these conversations remotely and be able to leverage them freely and openly for compliance, customer service, order verification and dispute resolution purposes.
Monitor, Manage & Control
Some vendors make it difficult or even impossible to share your recordings with an analytics solution, restricting your ability to get the most out of your interactions. You want full control of/access to your recordings so they can be shared with the best 3rd party AI vendors for customer experience and speech analytics.
Questions to Ask Yourself
There are several questions you can ask yourself to assess your need to record your at-home agents:
1. Are your agents processing orders with credit cards? [PCI-DSS]
2. Are your agents collecting sensitive customer information? [GDPR]
3. Are your agents offering medical advice? [HIPAA]
4. Are your agents offering legal advice?
5. What types of potential customer disputes could arise?
6. What telephone script are your agents using to collect debt? [Fair Debt Collection Practices Act]
7. Are your agents properly disclosing interest rates on loans? [Truth in Lending Act]
8. What types of orders are your financial agents taking? [MiFID II]
9. What times of the day are your agents making telemarketing calls? [TCPA]
10. What types of promises do your agents make regarding refunds?
Examples of At-Home Interactions you Should Record
Publish Date: May 1, 2020 5:00 AM
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the day-to-day working landscape of the Financial, Insurance and Medical industries. While its impact on Medical may seem a bit more obvious, there are various scenarios which you may not be thinking of. The same goes for Financial and Insurance professionals. Most of these individuals are having to fulfill their work duties from home, utilizing VoIP, softphones, mobile phones or landlines - and sometimes a combination thereof. This can cause some unknowing issues.
What this means is that many critical business interactions with customers, prospects and partners are going unrecorded. This absence of proper call recording software can have a significant impact on an organization's ability to capture some or all of these conversations to ensure regulatory compliance (HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, MiFID II, TCPA...) or prove what was said in order to resolve a potentially costly dispute.
Just think for a minute about the types of interactions professionals in these industries might be having, which their organizations would surely want (or need) to capture and store:
It is very easy to see how problematic some of these critical discussions can be if they are not properly recorded, stored and accessible when needed to resolve a dispute or prove compliance, for example. What's more, some of these interactions must be recorded under regulatory guidelines. Still, some conversations must be captured, while only recording certain portions of the calls. For instance, financial interactions in which a credit card number of given over the phone cannot have that portion of the interaction recorded. The same goes for insurance or medical interactions in which sensitive patient information, e.g., is given. These sensitive interactions require call recording software which can properly pause/resume or mask or mute sensitive portions of conversations.
During these times of worry and uncertainty, make sure your work-at-home employees are being properly recorded for peace of mind and to mitigate avoidable liability issues.
Publish Date: April 6, 2020 5:00 AM
BPOs have among the highest agent turnover rate in the contact center industry. This issue can cause significant cost pressures to the customer service organization as it can cost upwards of $7,000 to on-board and train a new agent. And when they leave, all of that learning and knowledge is lost.
Fortunately, call recording and high-fidelity audio streaming can help improve agent satisfaction to help you keep your staff happy, while at the same time improving customer satisfaction.
When considering recording/audio capture solutions for your BPO business, it is important to maintain control and access to your quality data as you aim to identify agent strengths and weaknesses in order to improve training and enhance service levels. This means you want software that offers full, open interoperability with other systems such as speech analytics, conversational AI and voice biometrics to help you leverage your data.
Additional considerations include:
With the right solutions in place, your team leaders, supervisors and QA analysts can significantly impact agent satisfaction. The result is happier employees that want to stay with your organization.
Here's how to utilize your recording and audio capture platform for the biggest gains in satisfaction:
These are just a few of the ways you can leverage the right audio recording/capture solutions to improve agent satisfaction and minimize employee churn.
Publish Date: February 10, 2020 5:00 AM
If your contact center or enterprise is like most others, you have call recording software in place to capture your customer interactions for compliance, customer service and dispute resolution purposes.
Like most, you also likely have some common issues from time to time which require troubleshooting, such as:
All of these problems can require hours and hours of your IT support team getting on the phone with the call recording vendor's support team trying to troubleshoot the issues. This takes your technical staff away from other important projects. It also disrupts certain workflows that require access to high quality call recordings.
Let 2020 be the year you put an end to all of these call recording challenges.
Try OrecX free for 30 days. Our call recording software installs in just 30 minutes and requires no maintenance. Our clients don't have the issues listed above. Our software just works.
Publish Date: December 30, 2019 5:00 AM
Many businesses today record some or all their customer interactions for compliance (PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.), quality assurance, or dispute resolution. Others use their recorded conversations for business intelligence. There is truly a myriad of reasons for recording calls.
One you may not be thinking of is the notion of competitive differentiation. That's right, leveraging your recordings for the purpose of increasing your competitive advantage. It's kind of a different way of looking at things. In doing so, you can better demonstrate your recorder's value to your management and potentially free up some budget for advanced features like speech analytics or even mobile recording.
Let me explain a little.
One of the most prevalent uses of recorded customer interactions is to assess agent performance for the purpose of uncovering skills deficiencies and workflow issues. Call and screen recording are really the only tools you can use to assess these areas without having to sit right alongside each agent for every call.
When you identify problems using call recording, you can not only correct them but also dramatically improve upon them. If your current workflow, for example, is causing longer average handle times (AHTs) than you'd like, don't just tweak your existing workflow - overhaul it and make it far more efficient. There is no excuse for not doing this, and when you do, your AHT will go down, your net promoter score (NPS) will go up, and your customers will be happier. The result is competitive differentiation in the form of customer satisfaction and a more positive public reputation.
Your inside sales team is the tip of the spear when it comes to prospect outreach and lead generation. Their effectiveness has a direct line to your bottom line. A finely tuned inside sales team can be the difference between hitting your annual sales quota and falling short.
When you record all your inside sales calls - whether inbound or outbound - you are capturing the full conversation, not just handwritten or typed notes. Think about that. You have the complete interaction documented as it happened and can share the recording with your outside reps who will work the deal. Instead of relying on the inside sales rep's account of what happened on the exploratory call, the rep can listen to the interaction and hear for him/herself. This ability to hear the call first-hand, helps bolster sales success.
We all know that sometimes customer conversion all comes down to price, and in some cases, your competitors may offer discounts which they don't publicly disclose. Having this information would help your sales and marketing team adjust your promotional pricing to better compete. Not having this puts your teams in the dark, and the result could be lost business without knowing why.
When you record your calls and employ speech analytics, you can automatically identify any interactions in which the customer/prospect mentions one of your competitor's names. Sometimes, along with the competitor's name, the individual may disclose the competitor's pricing or special offer. "Well, XYZ company is offering a 30% discount this week." You can share these recordings with your sales and marketing teams. The result is more competitive pricing and more new customers.
These are just a few of the ways that call recording software can help your business - regardless of industry or size - better compete for mind share and market share.
Publish Date: December 9, 2019 5:00 AM
Speech analytics software is being used all over the contact center landscape, and not just by enterprises anymore. Auto-transcription and keyword spotting are enabling customer service teams to identify defecting customers, identify up-sell opportunities, collect meaningful competitive intelligence and more.
None of this is really news, however, to professionals in the contact center space. But what is new is the fact that you need stereo call recording to optimize the results of the audio transcription for speech analytics. Quality in, quality out. With traditional call recording, both the agent and the customer's voices are captured on the same channel. When there is over-talk, say during an argument, the transcription tool is unable to discern who is speaking and what is being said. This can be an issue for many businesses.
Suppose during the over-talk in a heated discussion about a dispute, the customer says the words "It's my fault". Those keywords could help the organization avoid a lawsuit, but without dual-channel, stereo call recording, those words would never be captured or heard. Here's another example. Imagine if a customer utters the words "I'm done", "I'm leaving" or "I'm cancelling" during an argument, and the agent was speaking at the same time. Those vital phrases would never make their way to the customer retention team, and that customer could be lost forever, to a competitor.
Stereo recording actually improves speech to text, keyword and phrase spotting, speech analytics, and voice biometrics. It high fidelity audio capture capabilities support upper-end audio sample rate formats such as G.711 and OPUS, so you're recordings will feature the highest quality, clearest audio for both transcription and quality monitoring.
So many contact center today unknowingly rely on mono call recording solutions to power their speech analytics. It's true. This is a fundamental flaw in one's customer service strategy that ought to be reviewed and reconsidered.
Publish Date: October 28, 2019 5:00 AM
State call recording laws in the United States can vary greatly from one state to another. Thirty six states have one-party consent rules while the remaining states have an all-party consent policy. As many of your U.S. based conference calls can consist of parties from multiple states, it is important to understand the laws from each state.
Here are some resources to help you understand the state call recording laws:
OrecX is simply providing public resources to help you understand state call recording laws. We are, by no means, providing any type of legal advice.
Publish Date: September 30, 2019 5:00 AM
Call recording software most certainly provides value to call center managers, supervisors and even business users in the form of customer intelligence, agent performance, sales and marketing data, etc. The same holds true for agents themselves. Sure, it is true that many agents don't like the fact their customer interactions are being recorded. This means that their supervisor, team leader or even senior managers can listen to their calls, and who likes that?
Looking at call recording from a different perspective, however, sheds a whole new light on its potential value to agents. For aspiring and self-aware customer service/sales agents, call recording can be one of their best utilized tools in terms of their overall job performance.
These assertive and performance-conscious agents can directly benefit from call recording in a number of ways, including:
If you are a call center manager or supervisor, make sure your agents (sales or customer service) are leveraging their recorded conversations in these ways. It is sure to boost morale and improve their performance.
Publish Date: January 23, 2019 5:00 AM