Call Recording for Small Business Operations

Call centers have used call recording for years to monitor and audit customer service calls.  We are all familiar with the mantra, ‘this call may be recorded for quality purposes’ when we interact with a service center.  The degree those calls are actually listened to and acted upon by any given company may be unknown.  But, I am glad that if a Goliath Company’s service agent is giving me the run around, I can record the call, too.  We have reached parity for small businesses to monitor, review and take action on the interactions their business has with vendors, customers, employees and others.  Ultimately, this tool puts people on their best behavior, enabling improved worker productivity and a better customer ‘experience’ over the phone.

Call Recording’s purpose is not singular.  It is not a tool just to catch someone doing wrong.  Businesses use call recording for a host of reasons, including:


  • Monitor all customer interactions to ensure consistency

  • Store related voice files with other confidential customer information

  • Increase accuracy of note taking, especially for detailed or technical information

  • Aid in resolutions of misunderstanding or disputes

  • Legal Obligation of Call centers in regulated industries

  • Aid in training and coaching employees


When you recognize the varied uses for recording calls and understand how it may have saved you from an awkward situation or helped to get an employee up to speed more quickly, you will realize it should be a basic requirement of your communication system.

Implementations Vary Widely

The question of how Call Recording is implemented with a phone system is worthy of evaluation.  Traditional phone systems are not outfitted with the capability, but instead use third party ‘black boxes’ or software to complete the task.  To be sure there is a whole industry that focuses on nothing but call recording devices and/or software.  Often, these organizations nickel and dime their customers by slicing functionality into pieces and charging accordingly:  one price for incoming calls, another price for outgoing calls, still more for recording ones own calls vs. a manager monitoring an employees calls.  And just as frequently, substantial limits are placed on the amount of space allocated to archive call recordings, forcing the customer to take a more limited approach than may make sense for their business.

One implementation alleviates all of this pain in selecting and cutting back on features, however.  TeleVantage®, the intelligent phone system, has built in call recording capabilities.  No black box, no extra software, no need to eliminate one type of call or another.  You choose whether calls are recorded for selected individuals or all employees.  Storage requirements are minimal, with 4000 hours of voice standard on the smallest system and the ability to upgrade to 50,000 hours of voice storage for the cost of a disc drive [under $200].

Part One:  Call Recording—a Training Tool for Sales and Service Representatives

We often speak of TeleVantage being more than ‘just a phone system’ but did you realize that you can use TeleVantage as a training tool in your business?  When you bring a new sales or service representative on board, use TeleVantage call recording to capture the tone, speed and content of what your representatives are saying.  You can then review the call with the employee at a later time and give them input on what they did well and areas in which they need to improve. 

Record your own [or an experienced employee’s] customer interaction and forward it to your new employee to model the telephone behavior you expect from them.   By capturing an entire conversation, you can evaluate customer reactions and how well your employee responds to their needs.  Call Recording can help you improve your employees’ sales or customer service approach and lead to more effective cross-selling, up-selling and customer satisfaction.  Given that labor costs can easily account for 60% of the cost of running a business, using call recordings to provide objective training and coaching makes good sense and saves cents in the form of reduced turnover.  TeleVantage Call Recording—a built in training tool for your business!

Part Two:  Call Recording—Your Built-in Personal Assistant 

Ever find yourself on a conference call spending more energy taking notes than participating in the call?  Or, perhaps when on the road, you take a call on your cell phone and realize the caller is sharing detail that you need to capture—yet you need to keep one hand on the cell and one on the steering wheel.   TeleVantage’s Call Recording feature can be your able personal assistant in these situations.  Use Call Recording to automatically capture important details, specifications, job descriptions, technical details, directions, phone numbers, legal nuances, etc.

Call Recording allows you to participate fully in a conversation real time without the worry of capturing every detail spoken.  

Later, you can listen to segments or all of the conversation at your convenience.  Manual recording capability lets you record key parts or summarize at the end of a conference call.  The recorded conversation is presented in your voice mail inbox and can be stored, forwarded, emailed to recipients as desired.  Try this--when wrapping up a conference call, have each participant summarize their ‘action items’ from the call.  Then email the recording to all the parties involved for increased accountability and efficiency in making assignments.  Call Recording—the personal assistant you can count on!


Part Three:  Call Recording—Compliance and Dispute Resolution

Voice is an asset in your business that can be leveraged in a variety of ways and Call Recording is an aspect of that asset that provides a cost effective measure of protection for both you and your clients.  For regulated industries, federal laws require call recordings to ensure that business transactions are made in a legal and ethical manner.  But even if your industry is not regulated, recording calls gives you the extra assurance that your employees will behave according to your policies and that customer disputes can be tracked, understood and minimized by having access to what really happened in the course of business communication.

For those concerned with laws prohibiting the recording of calls; note that 38 states in the US [including NC] are ‘one party consent’ states.  Consent means authorization by only one participant in the call; single-party consent is provided for by specific statutory exemption under federal law, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2511(2) (d).  It is wise, therefore, as a business owner that you make all employees aware that calls coming in and going out of your business are recorded.  Companies who have policies written into their employee handbooks, for example, may include this [right near the section on internet and email policies] to be sure it is clear.  Certainly if used in training purposes, your employees would be made aware that that their calls are monitored for the express purpose of bringing them up to speed in their functional area. 

 Including a general message in your auto attendant, that ‘calls may be recorded…’ may depend on your industry and personal preference.   Certainly, when attempting to capture details or meeting notes, telling other parties you are recording the information will be appreciated.  And, since most of the time, the content of the calls will be for your own edification or clarification, it should not be a concern.    

The bottom line is that Call Recording is a reliable tool that helps ensure compliance and clarify discrepancies that may lead to larger concerns.  Call Recordingit’s not just for call centers any more.

Learn More About Call Recording. Contact Alternate Access