Can you remember what you agreed on the phone at 10:30am on Wednesday November 9th last year? Probably not, but there’s a growing demand for precise, detailed records of work-related phone conversations; especially calls that relate to any type of transaction.
Organisations from call centres, recruitment consultants, insurance brokers, stockbrokers, lawyers, even betting shops are under increasing pressure to deploy call recording technology. They may use voice recordings to train call centre agents to deliver better service to customers, or to verify the details of deals agreed by phone.
But whatever the driver, the requirements are the same: companies need flexible, easy-to-deploy recording solutions that give fast access to archived calls whenever those calls need to be reviewed.
It’s this need for flexibility and fast access that introduces problems for companies. Traditional voice recording solutions may be fine at recording calls, but not at giving fast access to those calls when they need to be retrieved.
Even though recording systems have changed dramatically, from the tape-based units of 30 years ago to current systems that record to disk, the media is still embedded in the recording unit. Alternatively, the system is an add-on to the office PBX, making them both proprietary and expensive to buy and run. This means the technology has remained the preserve of larger companies that can afford it.
Access all areas (or not)
Crucially, the closed nature of these systems can mean that individual users or team leaders don’t have easy access to the recordings they want: often, IT staff may be needed to retrieve recordings from a central archive. This severely limits accessibility and utility – which isn’t ideal when you need to quickly resolve a question or handle a dispute with a key customer that involves a contentious phone call.
These factors have helped to ensure that, for many companies, voice records have remained the missing link in customer service or sales environments – meaning that the fine detail of transactions is often reliant on an individual’s recall of what was said, or on a few sketchy notes made after the call. This in turn leads to grey areas, and the possibility of disputes.
So what’s the solution? The growing adoption of cloud applications and services for a range of business needs gives the clue, combined with widespread adoption of cloud-based, hosted PBXs. Why not record business calls using a hosted application, and take advantage of the cloud’s unlimited storage for archiving and easy retrieval of those calls?
Going on the record
This approach offers several advantages over a traditional recording solution. First, a hosted application is flexible, as it can be deployed on a single number or range of numbers, adding or removing users as you need to.
Second, it’s easy and quick to provision, using a simple redirect (or port) of existing numbers to the cloud recording service’s number. Calls are then redirected back to the customer, enabling seamless recording that can be set up in under 30 minutes. There’s no on-site cabling or installation needed, and the solution works with any existing phone system.
Third, as the recordings are made digitally and archived in the cloud, they can be categorised by date, time, the number dialled, the employee making the call and so on, with this information presented in an online dashboard together with the recordings themselves – making them easy to search and retrieve, from any location.
This dashboard can even be integrated into existing CRM systems or Outlook using a simple interface, enabling the details of calls to be accessed and reviewed alongside other customer records. After all, why should business-critical voice conversations be reduced to a couple of lines of notes hastily keyed in after the call is finished?
Last but by no means least, a hosted cloud recording application is available for a low per-user fee of just a few pounds per month, meaning no capital outlay. Compared with the cost of purchasing, deploying and maintaining an appliance – which can run into thousands of pounds – cloud apps make enterprise-grade recording affordable to any size of business.
In conclusion, cloud recording solutions can help to improve staff efficiency, and add value to existing CRM or sales systems and processes in any business environment, by making voice-based transactions a matter of record.