CXM Blog


Five Fundamentals of Recording Calls

July 28, 2015


CXM 5 Fundamentals of Recording Calls.jpgAs telephony technology has changed, so have the tools used to capture audio and create recordings.  While there are a wide variety of tools that can record audio, there are only a few providers with systems truly designed to meet all the needs of the contact center.  A full workforce optimization solution provides the ability to center to capture, manage, and associate data with the call recording.

When looking for a system there are five fundamentals you should understand:

How will it record?  TDM, VoIP, SIP are acronyms commonly used in telephony and recording.  There are two ways to record, either by tapping the audio with a wire or recording capturing SIP or RTP (IP Audio) packets.  Tapping the audio with a wire is the older hardware intensive method of call recording, and is often referred to as Trunk Side or Station Side depending on the location of the wiretap.  With VoIP phones, call audio is either captured using the manufacturers connection (Avaya is DMCC, Mitel is SRC, and Cisco is BIB) or by spanning a copy of the audio traffic from the network to the recorder server.  Understanding your phone system is the first step to understanding the best method to capture the audio.


What types of calls will be recorded?  The reduced cost associated with IP based recording methods and desires to further protect against litigation, has resulted in most contact centers moving to recording 100% of their most important.   One key factor that is important in determining calls to record is your State recording laws. There are 12 All Party notification States, where State law requires that all parties on the call are notified that the call is recorded.  For inbound calls, notification is handled through an audio prompt.  For outbound calls, the system is configured to not record calls to specific area codes, be manually controlled, or use beep tones to notify that the call is being recorded.  Employee to employee calls, or internal calls, are typically considered less important to record than calls between employees and customers, or external calls.  Due to its ease and cost, it is becoming more common that companies record all calls including all internal conversations.  For some industries, internal calls are important to record to ensure compliance with regulations.

Who in the organization should be recorded?  Most companies know they need to record calls for sales or customer service.  However, there is value in recording any business transacted over the phone.  This includes accounting, fulfillment, and administrative functions.  If the conversation is representing the company, can have a financial impact, or can create a liability for the company; then there is value in saving that interaction.  As for management positions, it may be desired to use of record on demand or to have the ability to only record escalation calls. There are conversations that management teams have that may not be valuable to document or that they just do not want to record.   If the desire to record the call happens in mid-call, it is important to be able to have that recording from the beginning of the call.  So the record on demand function should support saving the entire call, no matter when the record on demand button is pressed.

Where are you going to keep the recordings? Call recording systems have archiving capabilities to archive calls or automatically delete calls based upon your requirements.  Some companies choose to only keep calls for 90 days, but your business may need to keep calls indefinitely.  Choosing to keep calls is typically based upon the type of calls you take and potential value for protecting your business.  If you choose to keep all calls, then you will likely need to archive calls after a period of time.  If you will be archiving calls, make sure you know what it takes to restore a single call or group of calls as it is very time consuming for some solutions.  Another component to deleting calls or saving calls, is exporting calls.  You may be required to export a subset of your recordings.  Having a tool to create mass exports of the calls can be critical to your compliance requirements.  Make sure your vendor has easy to use tools for maintaining your system.

What business value can you get out of your recordings?   So you have recorded your calls, now what?  It is not just a simple as having a storage server full of recordings.  You need to be able to put the recordings to use to drive your business.  With thousands of interactions documented in a recording folder, your system must have capabilities to help you turn them into business intelligence.   Quality Monitoring solutions allow users to evaluate the performance of the agents through presenting calls that meet specific criteria along with evaluation forms.  The evaluated call and form are then delivered to the agents to provide coaching and improve performance.   Trending reports can show areas of needed improvement to help direct your training efforts.  Adding a speech analytics solution can deliver a wide variety of benefits.  Speech Analytics solutions are able to search all of the recordings and build reports on patterns, competitive mentions, proper language, or other criteria.  The key is that is not just to have a call recorder, but to have full workforce optimization suite.  This provides you a wide variety of optional capabilities to drive business value from the recordings.

Recording business calls is the best method for managing the undocumented part of your business.  Email is stored on servers and can be easily pieced together should there be a dispute or negative interaction.  Agents are trained to provide great customer service, but there are many factors that may change the behavior once on a call.  Having a recording of the interaction and tools to put the recording to use for the business ensures better interactions and a more accountable business environment.  For more information and a free assessment of the best methods for recording in your environment, visit us at