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
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
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