Recording calls in call centers was once considered a luxury. Initially call-recording devices (also known as voice loggers) were used to record agents’ conversations with callers. This made them an invaluable tool in conclusively documenting what was communicated and the manner in which that communication took place. Since then, the use of call recorders has greatly expanded and is being used for training, agent self-evaluation, quality control, order confirmation, and call compliance monitoring. Most modern call recorders also document other information that relates to each call, such as switch data or statistics, agent screen shots, or even full-screen video.
When pursuing a call-recording strategy, be aware that acquiring and installing the technology is just the first step. It must also be successfully introduced to agents as a tool to help them, not hurt them. Proper notification to clients is also imperative, especially given growing alarm over privacy and unlawful recording concerns. Lastly, before recording any calls, check with an attorney familiar with your state’s laws. The biggest issue is whether one or both parties need to be made aware that recording is taking place. Agents should always be notified when call recording is happening (one-party notification); notification to the caller can be made by a preamble recording (“This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes”) or a periodic beep tone (two-party notification).
The following vendors provide comprehensive call-recording solutions. [Read more: voice logging requirements.]
Alston Tascom, Inc
The Alston Tascom Evolution System provides automatic call recording of conversations with callers. The caller can be advised of potential recording either verbally by the agent or announced by the IVR. The log administration program is used to find specific log files. The search criteria include call type, call number, call time, DID number, caller ID, agent, workstation number, extension number, trunk number, and recording file size. The files can easily be emailed to the client.
One of the most requested features in the history of Amtelco’s Infinity system is the Unity Voice Logger. It eliminates the need for third-party hardware, external wiring, and individual software installations on each workstation to record every call. Unity Voice Logger uses the voice-processing resources in the Infinity server to generate call recordings and can convert them into popular digital formats for long-term storage and retrieval.
Record Every Call Completely: Unity Voice Logger makes it possible to record calls completely. Call recordings can be started as soon as a call is answered, whether by a live operator or a prerecorded greeting.
Reliability and Reduced Maintenance: Recording calls using voice-processing resources in the Infinity Server offers many benefits over other methods. The key benefits are reliability and reduced maintenance. All external wiring and software requirements are eliminated. Each client is simply enabled for logging, and the Infinity Server handles the rest.
Operator Audio Connections: Unity Voice Logger recording is not dependent on the type of audio connection or the location of operator workstations. An operator can be local or remote, using traditional hardwired analog connections, dial-up connections via T1 or ISDN, or VoIP connections.
Centuri Voice Logger records all calls digitally; information can be stored in the database and in the file itself; it can be played by any Windows Media Player available on PC, Linux, and Mac platforms. A non-blocking approach of resources gives CenturiSoft the ability to record Telco and VoIP calls simultaneously while providing voice messaging and unified communications capabilities out of one platform. Additionally, logger messages can be treated as voice messages and can be picked up and heard by phone, sent via email, or played thru a secured Web portal. Centuri Voice Logger can be implemented with several different switches and allows for analog, digital, and VoIP connections.
OnviCord delivers the voice and data logging and quality assurance component of OnviCenter 6, Onvisource’s suite of integrated customer interaction management applications. OnviCord offers call-recording applications that can be used to record and monitor agent activity, which includes recording audio activity on phone and radio communications, storing recordings to a searchable database available through a Web browser, monitoring channel activity, and providing agent control of certain recording functions.
OnviCord is scalable from four channels to a virtually unlimited number of channels. Modular recording servers hold up to 128 channels, with no practical limit to the number of recording servers that can be installed in a single system.
OnviCord is compatible with all major digital and analog telephone switches and PBXs, including 2-wire analog interface via phone handset, analog trunk lines, other analog input device such as radios, 2/4-wire digital station interface, T1/PRI/DS3, tap/CAS trunk interface, and true VoIP recording.
OnviCord add-on applications include OnviCord Excella (quality assurance and agent evaluation), OnviCord Pictora (video screen capture of agent desktops), OnviCord Explora (speech analytics), and OnviCord Persona (automated workforce scheduling).
Professional Teledata is an official reseller of full-featured voice logging systems from CenturiSoft. With its PInnacle Telemessaging System, Professional Teledata offers the powerful and comprehensive Voice Logger Interface Program that includes and extends the features of both CenturiSoft and Wygant voice loggers.
Record/Play Tek, Inc.
The SCL 8900 Simple Computer Logger records nine, eighteen, or twenty-seven channels of audio from operator headsets, DID lines, POTS lines, and room microphones. The nine-channel system has 150 days of conversation recording on an 80 GB hard drive, regardless of the activity level. Call center agents can search by customer account number (on Startel, Amtelco, Telescan, Morgan systems) or by SMDR/DID information. The system runs on a standard computer or server and is easily installed on a standard telco punch block. The normal delivery time is two weeks.
Startel offers a comprehensive suite of voice services products that enable call centers to create incremental revenue. Startel’s voice services portfolio includes their proprietary Voice Processor and Voice Logger, as well as the StarTel Messenger (provided by CenturiSoft) and TDI’s (formerly Wygant) Encore logger, which are fully integrated into the Startel CMC product set.
The Startel Voice Logger offers an advanced product feature suite for recording inbound and outbound calls that can be used for quality assurance and training purposes, information verification, and other applications. There are a number of customizable features that can be used to configure the system, including the ability to record only specific agents. Startel’s Voice Logger starts with four ports and is expandable to forty-eight ports.
The Encore Suite maximizes the productivity of a contact center’s workforce via integrated voice and screen recording, quality management, coaching, and its reporting and distribution package. The key differentiator that Encore provides is the capability to record full motion video as well as audio. This provides a complete recording of the call rather than incremental “snapshots” of the screen periodically.
Telescan provides an enhanced interface for voice logging software through Spectrum Agent. This program is capable of starting and stopping the logger, as well as providing the logger with information to store the recording. Provided information includes agent ID, account number, the caller ID (if available), and a system time/date stamp. The logger can also provide more search criteria for retrieving recordings, thus saving time in the retrieval process. Spectrum Agent interfaces with Exacom, Panda (PanIIS), and Wygant Encore Host.
[From Connection Magazine – April 2009]