Businesses record calls for a number of reasons. Call centers rely on call recording for training purposes or to assess agents’ job performance when it comes time for raises, promotions or to try and help an agent improve his or her work. In many cases, companies choose to record calls in case the business relationship with a customer turns out to be a “he said, she said” scenario: a customer insists that discount or promotion was promised to her and the agent maintains he offered no such promotion. Bring out the call recording and prove who’s right and who’s wrong, and protect your agent and your business.
While recording for training or evaluation is a no-brainer – provided employees are aware their conversations are being digitally preserved -- recording for business insurance and legal protection is trickier. While the federal government has its own set of rules that govern call recording, when it comes to businesses, it’s incumbent upon them to follow the patchwork of state rules governing call recording, and these rules vary wildly from state to state.
The most stringent rules on call recording are those of the State of California, and any company doing business in California and using call monitoring software needs to be aware of this, writes business attorney Mary Luros in the Napa Valley Register.
“California’s Privacy Act…provides that anyone who secretly records an in-person or telephonic conversation without consent of all the parties to the communication is guilty of a crime,” writes Luros. This applies even if you don’t use the recording for anything: simply making the recording can earn you stiff penalties.
While you may inform your employees that you are recording them, this might not be enough, particularly in a court of law. California-based call centers would be wise to have workers sign a formal pre-employment agreement acknowledging that calls will be recorded. It’s also absolutely critical that customers are also informed that call recordings are being made. (Relying on an agent to mention this in a script may not be enough: consider playing a recording prior to the agent picking up a call.)
While call recording is a useful tool, it should be employed carefully, and it’s a business’ responsibility to make sure they are using call recording correctly. Doing otherwise can put a company into legal hot water before they even know what happened.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman