By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
Voice logging, that is the recording of calls in a call center, was once viewed by many as an optional product that was relegated to the annual budget “wish” list, but never important enough to become a “must have” technology and make the approved version of the budget. The original function of voice loggers was to resolve “he said – she said” dilemmas. All too often, the caller says one thing, the agent has an opposite account of what transpired, and management is left in a quandary who to believe. Without a means to verify the precise details, all that the call center manager can do is to apologize.
With a voice logger, this once inevitable outcome is no longer a certainty. Quite simply, the supervisor merely accesses the recording of the call to hear exactly what happened. Call centers with voice loggers regularly report that their agent is completely exonerated over 90% of the time. For that reason alone, call centers began to buy and install voice loggers. But then innovation by end users began to take place, realizing that loggers were a critical quality assurance (QA) device and an excellent training tool. Real-world voice logging recordings allowed call centers to provide examples to trainees of what to do and what not to do. Additionally, voice logging can be used for trainee, as well as agent, self-evaluation and discovery.
Quality assurance staff are quick to confirm the value of voice logging, noting that loggers are one of the most important systems in the call center. To further facilitate quality assurance, some voice loggers include an agent assessment tool that allows the integration of the recording, call record, and QA report. Another common option is a password-protected Web interface that lets key personnel listen to calls remotely.
There are some legal issues about voice logging to be aware of, related to notification (either one of the two parties on the call or both) and the way in which that notification takes place. Before you record any phone calls, each call center should check with an attorney familiar with laws in their state and at the national level for clarification before proceeding.
For more information about vendors who provide call recording equipment and software, see our listing Voice Logging listing.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time. Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.
[From the April/May 2005 issue of AnswerStat magazine]