Updated: 2017.02.22 In this article we cover: Why efficient communication is important for business; Typical communication needs of a foodservice company; How a virtual phone system can help small business owners; MightyCall and Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop: user experience A recipe for accessibility: backstage of foodservice business The foodservice industry is one of the most…
Auto Call Recorder Apps: What You Need to Know
Running a business is a lot like playing competitive sports or learning a foreign language: it’s all about hard practice and critical evaluation. But in a business environment, how do you evaluate the work of several dozen employees so they can start practicing at getting better?
That’s exactly where a tool as simple and powerful as an auto call recorder comes in. In the hands of a knowledgeable business owner, call recording apps let you evaluate performance and close the sales, marketing, or customer service gaps that your business still has.
With a virtual phone system, recording a business call may sound like a piece of cake: just download the right app, and you’re set to go. In reality, most countries, including the USA and Canada, have specific call recording laws and regulations. Not sticking to these can get a business into trouble.
Here’s what you need to know in order to record business calls legally and to maximum benefit:
- US. call recording laws by state
- Canadian call recording laws and PIPEDA regulations
- How do you obtain legal consent for recording calls?
- Not all call recording apps are created equal
- Solutions for analyzing recorded calls
U.S. call recording laws by state
Remember when you last called a company and heard an automatic greeting along the lines of “your call is being recorded for X purposes”? You may have thought they were just being polite. In fact, the company was adhering to state laws to avoid legal issues with auto call recording.
When it comes to business and personal calls and conversations, the U.S. has both federal and state call recording laws in place. According to Federal Law, anyone may record calls with the consent of one party. This means that as long as you’re part of the conversation, you have all the rights to record it, whether you’re a business or an individual.
However, there’s a catch when it comes to state laws. While 38 states have adopted the one-party consent law for call recording, 11 states require the legal consent of every party that’s part of the recorded conversation. These states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
To avoid legal mix-ups in regard to interstate long-distance calls where the parties may be subject to different state call recording laws, it is best to play it safe and obtain the consent of people on all ends of the line. Below, we’ll discuss a few simple ways to get caller consent in both the U.S. and Canada.
Canadian call recording laws and PIPEDA regulations
Canada is subject to the federal private sector privacy law, otherwise known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). All businesses that, in one way or other, handle personal data as part of their commercial activity must comply with PIPEDA regulations.
Under Canadian law, a business may record customer phone calls as long as it clearly states the purpose of the recording and asks for the consent of the caller. Consent is not required only in a very limited number of circumstances. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada suggests using the recordings only for the specified purposes to avoid any legal troubles.
As of late, many Canadians are also worried whether it is legal to record personal phone calls. When it comes to the non-commercial recording of phone calls, Canada has adopted the one-party consent law which means you can record calls that you’re taking part in without knowledge of the other party. If needed, the recordings may be used in court.
Obtaining consent for using an auto call recorder
As we have seen above, the safest way to go for a business is to give callers advance notice of the call recording process. This process involves no hassle on your part but shows callers that you care for and respect their privacy. To people on both ends of the line, it also serves as a reminder to handle the conversation in a polite and respectful manner.
How do you obtain consent for recording calls in the USA?
The FCC suggests notifying the caller of your intentions by any of the following:
- Playing a pre-recorded message (e.g.: your call is being recorded [for X purposes])
- Notifying all parties of the call verbally or in written form
- Playing an audible beep tone at set intervals during the call
How do you obtain consent for recording calls in Canada?
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada specifies three ways of gaining consent:
- Verbally (e.g.: your call is being recorded for X purposes)
- Having a customer press a number on the keypad after an automated message
- Through messages on monthly statements (e.g.: if you have any questions, please call…. Your call will be recorded for X purposes)
Not all call recorder apps are created equal
Call recording software is very popular these days, especially call recording apps for Android and iPhone. Most of the free tools, like those offered by Google Voice, win clients over with proposed savings in return for basic services. Sure enough, free call recording apps are a nice deal for personal use, but they’re nowhere serious enough to cover business needs.
Google Voice, for example, only allows you to record incoming calls – outbound call recording isn’t supported. Moreover, as there’s no automatic call recorder, to get the process rolling, you’ll have to remember to press a button before starting the conversation – which in a business environment is extremely inconvenient and is bound to lead to gaps in call records.
What to look for in call recording apps
To avoid common pitfalls, make sure your call recording app has the following features:
- High audio quality – the primary reason you’re recording calls is to analyze them later. Without great audio, call recording is a waste of time.
- Desktop and mobile versions – for flawless sync between all your devices (Mac/PC/iOS, Android) and mobility
- Auto call recorder – absolutely the most important feature for business that many of the most popular (and paid) apps on the market still lack.
- Unlimited call recording – whether your business is small or large, you shouldn’t have to limit your conversations to specific time-frames
- Simple integration with your virtual phone system – choose a recording tool that is compatible with your business phone system
MightyCall auto call recorder for iOS and Android
The MightyCall virtual phone system has a terrific call recording feature which is already part of the monthly plan on all Standard and Ultimate plans. You don’t have to download any third-party extensions or apps to start recording calls and reaping all the benefits mentioned above!
MightyCall’s auto call recorder covers both incoming and outgoing calls – but if you want to record just one or the other, all you have to do is check/uncheck the corresponding box in Settings. If you have several business numbers, you may also customize call recording preferences by number.
Best of all, the call recorder is truly automatic – so you don’t have to worry about anything after you customize settings. Plus, it’s super mobile-friendly. If you’re on the go, you can listen to all your call recordings in our mobile app for iOS/Android.
Here’s what else can do with the MightyCall mobile app:
- Make and receive calls to/from your business number(s)
- Check call history
- Access voicemail
- Access call recordings
- Get notifications
- Send/receive business text messages
- And more
Analyzing automatic call recorder data
Recording business phone calls isn’t just useful for salespeople and large companies. Small business can use call recording for a multitude of purposes, such as:
- Improving customer experience: by recording a phone call with your customers, you can see the flaws in your customer service easily and apply targeted changes
- Evaluating your employees and teams: managers and business owners can evaluate their employees’ phone etiquette and give appropriate feedback
- Defining marketing strategies – by listening to your customers’ reaction to different marketing campaigns, a small business can swiftly make necessary changes to the business plan
- Gathering feedback – listening and carefully applying customer feedback is the ideal tool for improving your product and service.
- Keeping official records – to easily settle any complaints from customers, including legal ones
Using speech analytics software
Going through recorded calls or finding the right conversation is incredibly tricky and time-consuming when done manually. Fortunately, innovation rushes to the aid of business owners with timely help.
If you’re good with technology and wish to dig deep into analytics, try coupling your call recording app with speech analytics software. Speech analytics is an Artificial Intelligence tool that lets you organize your call recordings by specified tags, phrases (ex. customers saying, “I’d like to cancel my account”, or “can I talk to the manager?”) or get a transcript of your recorded calls.
For straightforward analytics that come bundled with your virtual phone system plan, MightyCall allows you to group recordings by date, caller, or length without buying additional analytics software. This lets you easily get back to specific recordings or archive them appropriately. For example, you may group and review repeated calls from one customer or analyze issues and complaints that took a longer time to solve.
Whichever option you choose, make a habit of listening in to your customer concerns via call recordings each week and adapt your business plan based on customer feedback.
In business, there’s nothing worse than standing still. Unless you’re always thinking two steps ahead, even the sweetest business spot may soon be taken over.
The only way to avoid that is by making small daily changes to your business culture that lead to considerable results over time. A call recorder is a simple tool that your business can use to build a deeper connection with customers and ensure that your service is moving in the right direction.
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