[VIDEO] The Do's and Don'ts of Recording Calls For Your Business

Elizabeth Lockwood

Call recording holds much more capability to boost small businesses in more ways than you might think, but to truly harness it's power, one has to go about call recording correctly.

In this video, Kelsey Johnson discusses how call recording can help businesses train their staff, improve customer service, and defend themselves against potential legal threats. To help business understand how to go about recording their calls, Kelsey delves into the crucial do's and don't's of call recording that businesses should follow.

To learn more about call recording and how businesses like yours can go about taking advantage of the many benefits it has to offer, we've provided a full transcript of the video below, edited for readability. You can watch the full webinar by clicking on the video below. This webinar is also available to watch for free on YouTube. For more tips and tricks on call recording and other business development tools, subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Speaker

Kelsey Johnson

Product Marketing Manager

at Smith.ai

INTRODUCTION

KELSEY, PRODUCT MANAGER AT SMITH.AI:

I'm Kelsey Johnson from Smith.ai Receptionists and today I'm going to talk about the do's and don't of recording calls for your business.

Are you thinking about recording calls internally at your business? That’s great! There are so many benefits to call recording and almost no downsides. But it’s important to avoid off-the-bat mistakes — so today, I’ll go over some dos and don’ts.

Recording business calls used to require expensive hardware in order to properly and securely record, manage, and store all of the audio. That’s why, historically, only large corporations would bother with it.

But with the development of cloud-based call recording software, recording calls became even easy and affordable, for small and medium-sized businesses. This is fantastic news, as information from calls can provide some of the best data to make improvements to your business.

After all, even with the introduction of email, texting, chat support, and social media communications, most clients still prefer to pick up the phone and call your business.

And, with many businesses now working almost exclusively from home, the number of calls has likely increased so now is a great time to start recording them!

As businesses of all sizes have begun recording their client calls, a few benefits are becoming clear.

BENEFITS OF CALL RECORDING

Call recording is an excellent tool in your business’s arsenal.

Recorded calls can help you improve quality control and performance, train your staff, get feedback to help make customer service, marketing, and product decisions, and protect your business from litigation risks.


Let’s unpack each of these:

Quality control and staff performance

Quality control and staff performance is the #1 reason most businesses record phone calls.

Think about it, if a salesperson has underperforming numbers, they can listen to the calls of other sales reps for inspiration.

Or if a customer service rep repeatedly needs multiple conversations to find a solution, you could listen to a few of their calls and identify opportunities for additional training.

In fact, many employees can benefit simply from listening to their own calls played back — even you, if you are a one-person show!

If you outsource call answering to a call center or receptionist service, you can record their calls and spot check them to ensure you have given your receptionists the proper information to answer FAQ, properly transfer callers, qualify and intake new leads, and anything else you have them doing for you.

Training

Obviously, training is also a key place to use recorded business calls.

When you hire a new member of staff, in addition to written documentation and in-person instruction, it can be incredibly valuable for your new hire to listen to calls taken by long-time employees.

By listening to just a few calls, your new employee will already know the answers to some common questions, understand the disposition your callers are likely to have, and even (if they are an ambitious new employee) come up with some creative ways to improve upon the way the call was handled at the time.

Business decisions

You can also use call data for bigger business changes, like updates in customer service, product decisions, and marketing.

Do many of your customer service calls end without a resolution? Maybe your staff needs more access and training to internal systems.

Are a lot of similar requests being made during sales calls? You could expand what your business offers or build new products around caller requests. 

Keep in mind that many off-hand comments, concerns, and requests from clients during calls may not be the main purpose of the call and can easily be overlooked (unintentionally, of course) by your employee who may be completely focused on making the sale, solving a particular issue, or collecting information.

But that doesn’t mean the comment isn’t valid — call recording can help you uncover these valuable nuggets of information about what your customers want and need.

Call recording can also help to protect your employees and your business against customer disputes, abusive callers, and litigation.

Conflict resolution

Recorded calls can be an excellent source of truth and conflict resolution.

So I think we can all agree that recording calls for your business is a great idea. But there are certainly some dos and don’ts to consider when getting started.

Do not simply begin recording all your calls without doing some research first.


I don’t normally do this, but I’m going to start with the “don’ts” first, as there are only a few and we can get them out of the way quickly.

DON'TS OF CALL RECORDING:

1.) Don’t record any calls at all without consulting federal and state laws.

The laws surrounding call recording vary state-to-state, which means your caller’s state matters, not just the state your business is in. 

Federal law prohibits call recording without the consent of at least one party and 38 states have also passed similar laws.

Twelve U.S. states have laws requiring all parties on the call to give consent.

There are also laws about recording international calls, so take into consideration whether you may have international callers.

And if you’re in a highly regulated industry, you may have additional rules to consider as well.

Keep in mind that you can’t predict which state your caller is in by their area code. Someone who set up their cell phone number in Utah may now be a California resident. 

I am not a lawyer or offering any legal advice, so make sure you consult an attorney first if you are concerned about recording calls for your business.

2.) This may sound obvious, but don’t publish these calls online. 

Again, I’m not a lawyer, so this isn’t legal advice, but anything you decide to make public online is not only a potential liability in several ways, it is very likely to exist online forever.

While call recordings can be very useful internal tools, keep them internal and private, and don’t publish them online.

3.) Do not hide the fact that you are recording calls from your employees. 

Whether you are in an all-party-consent state or not, it’s important to let your employees know that they are being recorded. Be transparent about your new call recording policy and why it exists. Personally address any specific concerns that come up.

Don’t let your staff think that this is a punishment or a tool for judgement or blame. Instead, explain all the reasons why call recording can help your employees in their jobs as well as the company as a whole!


Okay, let’s move on to what you should definitely do when starting to record calls.

DO'S OF CALL RECORDING

1.) Focus on obtaining consent to record phone conversations to protect your company from legal issues. 

If you use a cloud-based call recording and/or tracking software, they will likely be able to assist you in setting up the commonly heard “this call will be recorded for training purposes” message. Which brings us to...


2.) Do your research and choose the right recording platform. 

Consider the number of calls you take, how many phone numbers your business has, who’s taking the calls, what phone system you currently use, and your budget and internal resources.



Many VoIP services used by businesses of all sizes have forwarding capabilities, so look into your current phone system to see what they can do for you. Turning on call recording could be as simple as flipping a switch in your online portal.



There are also a number of cloud-based call tracking and call recording software options that can work alongside your current phone system. These can be fairly easy to use and affordable. They are a great option for recording outsourced calls sent to a virtual receptionist service, too.



Look around and choose a company that understands compliance and fits your other needs.


3.) Having recorded calls means having a lot more data on hand, and audio can take up space fast. 

Before you even begin recording calls, have a good organizational system.

Which calls will you listen to, use for training, backup into storage — and how long will you keep them?

Your recording software or system may have a storage time-limit, so make sure you back up the calls you want to keep past their deadline.


Develop a labeling system to ensure no file gets lost, and create an ongoing process so you don’t end up with a ton of unnamed audio files that take forever to find.


4.) Have a purpose for recording calls. 

Earlier, I went through all the benefits to having your business calls recorded. Which ones will you take advantage of? 


Are you going to use call recordings to improve your staff’s call quality? 
Identify new products or services to add to your business’s offerings?
 Add calls to your training system?

The very least you can do is record calls and keep them on hand, but I know you’re better than that — use these calls to push your business to the next level.


If, like many small business owners, you struggle to even answer all of your calls, try Smith.ai. Our receptionists can answer calls on nights and weekends, after a couple of rings, or all the time! And we don’t just answer calls — we can qualify and intake new leads, schedule appointments on your calendar, sync with your management software, and more.

Questions? Contact Us.

Have any questions about Smith.ai's virtual receptionists services or anything else mentioned in this video? Call us at (650) 727-6484 or email us at support@smith.ai.

If you’d like to learn more about how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can help your business, sign up for a free consultation with our team or get started risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee!

To watch more helpful videos like this one, check out our YouTube channel or access articles, guest blog posts, and other resources on the Smith.ai Blog.

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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