BPO CALL LOGGING: Not Just for the Record

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

With so much speculation about outsourcing and security concerns reigning

high on the minds of customers, the importance of call logging cannot be



The emergence of call logging was a result of the security concerns amongst

clients, particularly the insurance and risk management clients, who wanted a

recording of all transactions to feel safe and be able to verify the critical

conversations. It helped clients to confirm that a transaction took place at a

certain time, or that an emergency call was handled appropriately. Besides,

another compulsion for recording calls is the regulation requiring brokerage

houses and emergency response centers to record calls.

Gradually, as competition became stiff, quality of service became more

important and call monitoring became an instrument in enhancing performance.

Call monitoring systems offer a wide range of options for tracking what agents

say to customers on the phone and what actions they perform on their computers.

The most basic component of a call monitoring software is the voice logger which

allows conversations to be stored. While some software store all calls, others

store calls at random frequency through a process called random monitoring.

The more sophisticated versions include tools that allow to set parameters

for recording calls, retrieving calls, evaluating calls, and enabling customers

to provide immediate feedback after they speak with the agents.


Call recording and monitoring has become even more significant in light of

changing definitions of performance. While the number of calls attended is

generally held as a parameter for performance, that thinking is today under

review. Quality-assurance professionals have now redefined performance as based

on the quality of a transaction. In other word, finding notes/pointers during

the interaction that indicate whether an agent has been to connect with the


In its third phase of evolution, the tool is nowadays being used as a tool

for enhancing the value that the outsourcing vendor brings to a customer.

Increasingly, the vendor now deploys data-mining tools or business-analytic

tools to derive critical information from recorded conversations and gain

insights into the customer's mind. Sometimes such insights can even result in

strategic changes in the customer's campaigns.

Optimizing the Software

When recording calls, there are two questions that need to be answered: Do

we record all calls? And is recording alone enough? Although there are some who

feel that a sample of calls can be recorded, there is an increasing trend

towards recording all calls.


The benefit of recording all calls is that it can better track the

communication with customers. That translates into better security, speedier

resolution of disputes with customers, and a wider sample of calls for

evaluating agents.

An answer to the second question is: call monitoring systems generally

include additional modules to be of value to a call center's quality assurance

efforts, and not serve as merely call loggers. These modules allow supervisors,

trainers, or dedicated quality assurance people to evaluate the calls and also

comprise training modules for agents, customer survey tools and screen capture


Therefore it is important to have a software that enables the recording of

all calls. It should also enable to select a certain number of calls per agent

to evaluate over a period of time.


Second, the system should allow to build rules for triggering a recording.

Rules may be based, for instance, on the type of customer who calls, the

duration of calls, or whether it is an inbound or an outbound call.

The system should allow agents, if necessary, to record calls when customers

offer feedback about the company or when agents receive abusive calls.

Supervisors should be able to monitor calls silently so that customers and

agents are not aware that the call is being recorded at that moment.


Another important feature to have is the ability to follow a call if need be,

i.e., be able to track which agents answered the calls and to whom they passed

it on, this can help in tracking whether the calls was passed on to specialists

or if they was simply escalated to a superior.

That is why a switch-based software is much more convenient than a

server-based call logging software. When the software is integrated with the ACD,

it will provide call details of who received the call, where the call had been

passed, and other details about the calls like time and duration. While, a

server-based software will only record the conversation and be lacking of other

details making it impossible to attribute responsibility to individuals at a

later time.

Regardless of who records calls, it is important to have easy access to

conversations no matter where they are. For this, you need space on your servers

to store recent calls and storage media to archive all calls (or the calls you

plan to store).


Having retrieval engines is very pertinent in the event of a dispute or

problem resolution. Without retrieval mechanisms in place, it would be like

looking for a needle in a haystack. The engine should be able to retrieve calls

based on parameters like keywords, agent name, or duration of call.

Designing the reports of calls is important. It may be a good idea to have

reports of an unusually long or short call, or the report of agents handling too

many calls. The call monitoring software should allow the detailing of

circumstances, such as long hold times or too many call transfers.

However accumulating all this data is no fun if it is not used. This is a

goldmine of data that can be used to enhance agent performance and to provide

critical value adds to customers. This value add can result in an additional

revenue line for the vendor.


The recordings are an important part of the quality assurance efforts. They

should be used to train and evaluate agents. Some software enable training

modules in that they allow to slice the recording at any point and send clips of

model interactions to agents who need training in a particular phase of


Training, including that which occurs in real time, is the best prevention

against mistakes. This is possible when the software allows supervisors to

listen to calls, view agents' screens, and send documents and text chat

messages to agents-if necessary-during a call.

Another important feature is the need to capture screen images in a non-voice

environment. Screen images are valuable if there is a need to confirm that the

information that the agents type in, corresponds with what customers have told

them. It can also provide additional information like how an agent answered a

customer's question, which websites, knowledge bases, or colleagues the agent

consulted before replying.

Finally it is important to ensure that the software is IP-compliant, as it is

a fast-emerging technology. Although most leading vendors do offer IP-compliant

software, it is better to make sure while investing.

Call Logging in India

Call logging is so common that it is almost a commodity. The awareness level

of this product in India is also very high. Indian call centers by and large

have high awareness about technology and are serious about technical






, CIS and IPC solutions unit, Datacraft India

Atul Kanwar, senior VP Global Outsourcing and MD India, e-fund

Doron Ben-Sira, president, Nice APAC

Rahul Kamalakar, chief technology and planning officer,