OK, so let’s say you’ve been given the assignment to implement a call recording solution at your company. How do you do it? This is a common situation. In many industries call recording is mandated by law, or simply considered a cost of doing business. Some businesses may be upgrading from tape recorders or proprietary digital recorders that have become more expensive to maintain than to replace. Even if your company has never had a call recording solution in place you will still be in the same boat. Here are a few simple steps I’ve learned will make the process easier. I’ve learned these steps by talking to countless business people from all types of industries, with all types of experience levels in call recording. Trust me, it’s not that hard once you look at what you’ll need to do.
Step 1: Determine your requirements
There are many solutions out there and different ways to set them up. You’ll save a lot of time if you first figure out why your company needs to record. A company that only does call recording because it is mandated by law will only need a simple solution that is very reliable. A company that uses it’s call recorder to boost customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and train its personnel will need something more advanced. See what I mean by your company’s requirements?
Step 2: Gather the technical details
Whatever call recording solution you go with is going to require the answers to some technical questions to make sure it works with your existing phones, PBX, or network. You probably don’t know the answers to these questions off the top of your head, but if you know the questions now you can send these on to one of your IT guys or your Telecom provider and find them out before you start shopping around. The questions are: 1) What type of telephone lines do you have coming into your company? (called trunk lines. These could be T1, E1, ISDN, analog or another type) 2) How many trunk lines do you have? What is the brand and model number of your PBX (If you have one…) and your phone sets? Are you going to record VoIP lines, and if so what flavor of VoIP? (There are many types)
Step 3: What’s your budget?
Call recorders vary greatly in cost. Some companies get by with a tape recorder attached by an adapter to their phones for less than $100 a phone line, but what a pain in the butt to have to remember to start and stop that tape on every call, and good luck finding a recording when you need it. Then you have to remember to buy more tapes and change them out. There are also very, very expensive call recording systems that have all kinds of advanced bells and whistles such as voice recognition to flag recordings where people’s voices sound angry, etc. These can go for over $10,000 to hundreds of thousands. A nice middle of the road solution that is easy to use and has all the power most companies will ever need should go for between $2,000-$10,000 depending on how many lines are being recorded. Know your budget now and the search will be easier.
Step 4: Shop around using these criteria
Now that you know what you need, what your technical requirements are and what you are willing to pay you can start looking and easily filter out call recording solutions that don’t fit. Here’s a few things to look for when talking to reps from various call recording companies: 1) A live demonstration of the product. If you’re going to be spending more than a thousand dollars you should expect some sort of way to see what you’re getting first. At Versadial where I work we do a “live demo” where the potential customer can download the software onto their computer and run it by connecting into our server and actually do some recordings and try out the software while our staff answers questions and walks them through it over the phone. 2) A detailed quote including all fees and terms. Make sure you see the fine print. Small items like charges for installing the software on multiple computers (seat licensing) and mandatory yearly maintenance contracts to pay are common in the call recording industry so shop around and compare. 3) A guarantee to make sure the call recorder works when installed at your location and that you are happy with it. Don’t accept less! This is a purchase you want to be happy about and it should not be a problem for the company you are purchasing from to offer this kind of guarantee in writing. In this way if the recorder doesn’t work you can send it back within a month or so and get your money back minus the cost of shipping.
Happy hunting! If you have any questions about these steps just leave a comment and I’ll try to answer within a few days.