Tag - Business Continuity

3 Ways Call Recording and Quality Management can Save Your Business Money

we’d like to give you some insight into the ways omni-channel recording and quality management in the contact center can save your organization money. Using the right approach will enable your organization to deliver better service, protect callers and agents and ensure customer contacts result in positive outcomes. The result to the bottom line? Cost savings though more efficient interactions, increased revenue through reduced customer churn, and significantly less need for the expensive hiring and training of new agents.

Organizations today are dealing with new realities – digital natives that expect lightning fast responses, across multiple communications channels; and increasingly onerous regulatory compliance obligations that are now driving business processes.

As a result, on a global basis 88% (versus 77% in 2015) of business executives* have identified that improving the customer experience is their most important focus for 2019 onwards, specifically noting that integrating and pro-actively managing omni-channel capabilities are key to achieving that objective.

As noted in Blog post #1, with over 60+% of the average contact center’s full operating budget** driven by agent salaries and expenses, the retention and proper use of these highly skilled resources is key to minimizing costs, and maximizing operational flexibility and profitability.

Call Recording for Cost Savings – How?

Extracting value: From every interaction across any channel of communication. With tens of millions of transactions processed every day… Enghouse understands the value of squeezing out operational efficiencies – small and large – as the cumulative benefit to the organization is significant. This is especially important within omni-channel contact centers where multiple channels are utilized and communications are fully interwoven with business data to provide an optimal customer journey. When aggregated, the completeness of the conversation becomes highly evident – as is the value of the information contained: both about the customer and your services, especially how they are delivered and perceived.

Process Flow: One of the most important operating principles in contact centers is the adherence to communication scripting and workflow. Interaction recording (for calls and text-based media) can help ensure that the organization focuses on, and adheres to, proper scripting and processes, which results in higher rates of ‘First Contact Resolution’. As noted, with such a high percentage of operating costs due to agent salaries and benefits, any reduction in the average time spent by agents to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution for customers results in considerable cost savings.

Training and Retention: Happy agents tend to stay with a business, and overall levels of agent satisfaction can be dramatically improved through ongoing engagement, individual coaching and proper rewards. Using excerpts of exceptional call recordings (as well as transcripts of well-worded chats and emails) as reference examples (from better, more experienced agents) simplifies the training process for other agents as they can hear and understand for themselves how best to follow the company call flow scripting, professionally address customer issues and decrease off-topic conversations. When complemented with self-monitoring capabilities, where agents can evaluate themselves, this has been shown to produce significant overall operational improvements and cost savings. When agents can quickly and easily see how they are tracking against their personal targets for call-time, customer satisfaction ratings, time to resolution, they can adjust in real-time and improve the areas lacking, thereby positively impacting their overall ratings. Coupling these improved ratings with a basic system of rewards (even small giveaways) can be a very powerful motivator.

Cost Savings – Per a January 2018 McKinsey Contact Center study: with new Agent training and ramp-up time, direct cost to the contact center runs in the range of $10,000 to $20,000. Lost productivity due to unengaged agents doubles these loss estimates.

Quality Management for cost savings – how?

Quality Management tools help increase operational effectiveness and overall efficiency: leveraging quality management enables the organization to optimize processes already in place, automate many if not all of them and generally identify which approaches don’t work and which ones do.

Operational areas that would benefit from automation: scheduling of Agents, secondary agent coverage for back-up, improved self-service ongoing coaching and support, interaction recording and agent evaluation (scoring), and customer satisfaction surveys. And once key metrics are gathered, make them visible-through key reports and dashboards to visually expose, at-a-glance, just how well everyone is doing relative to their targets.

Improve employee engagement: Involve the Agents themselves in quality management and the pursuit of process improvement – they are so intimately involved in the process, they may see opportunities for improvement more readily than others. Typically such an approach solidifies/deepens their engagement with the organization, reduces churn/turnover and increases job satisfaction – a win for the customer, the agent and the company.

The use of standardized workflow templates – predefined or custom developed – can simplify the overall training and coaching of new agents and help more seasoned agents improve their abilities, all without the need for custom development. They can also help your organization become more professional in your end-customer engagements, decreasing the timelines to achieving operational improvements, thereby saving time and manpower of undertaking these tasks on your own.

The elimination of any manual process produces an immediate cost savings – both in time to process each transaction along with increasing the number of possible transactions that can be analyzed and processed in the same amount of time. One key way to do that is to handle the simpler interactions – requests for account balance from a bank, or changing an appointment time for a health care clinic, or hundreds of other use cases – via self-service. For calls, this is a well-structured IVR; for chats, this is a user-friendly BOT. The more the repetitive, simpler interactions are reduced for agents, the happier they will be. Then they can focus their time on the more interesting, complex issues that directly translate into customer satisfaction.

Cost Savings – Ongoing management enables the organization to continually fine-tune processes, call flow scripting, special offer handling and other mission critical responses. McKinsey notes that a consistent approach produces better total cost savings than intermittent “all-on” efforts.

Compliance for cost savings – How?

Compliance: The ability to intuitively, quickly and easily query the call streams to see if non-compliant conversations are taking place is imperative. With real-time indexing and tracking of call scripting deviations, unacceptable words or statements or process exceptions, violations can be quickly identified and isolated. For agent support, the silent triggering of barge-in to provide supervisory oversight can provide behind the scenes coaching and support, even facilitating an escalation to authorities in the event of an emergency situation.

Within omni-channel contact centers, all conversation streams may be aggregated and indexed for future reference. Contextual information can also be retained so that there is a clear understanding of the complete situation and exactly how the conversation unfolded – the impartial recording/assessment of the situation will enable the organization to quickly address the issue(s) as objectively as possible. With all these capabilities in place, adherence to regulatory guidelines becomes much easier and helps avoid legal repercussions.

Cost Savings – Being focused on compliance, ensuring accurate audit trails exist will minimize legal exposure, issues and the need for litigation. Depending on industry, savings could be highly variable, but will be significant both in hard dollar savings along with associated soft cost savings.

Additional ways to achieve cost savings with Call Recording and Quality Management:

Future proofing: By choosing a quality management and interaction recording solution that uses open standard protocols, and a cloud infrastructure that offers full platform interoperability, you benefit from future cost savings and a reduction of overall operational risk. Call recording storage options are now only limited by your organization’s preferences as multiple providers can be used for additional redundancy.

Built in Business Continuity – Provided as part of the solution, savings and peace-of-mind are immediately apparent as the capture of recordings continues through various failure conditions: site, server or network.

Unsolicited Customer suggestions, complaints and other feedback: Each customer conversation can be a wealth of insight which can help improve the business overall, help it better meet changing customer expectations, and provide ideas for product enhancements or new line extensions. These benefits will only be evident if the organization makes the conscious effort to listen to this information and then act upon it. There is no better marketing focus group than your existing customers who choose to make their opinions known. They are already invested in your current success and they want both of you to succeed in the future – together.

If you want to discover more about how we help organsations globally optimise their customer journey, then we welcome the opportunity to speak to you! Just get in touch with one of our Communications Specialists at 020 3668 0444, or fill out the contact form and we will contact you!

This article was first published by Enghouse Interactive.

*Zion Market Research 2016
**Dimension Data 2019 report

Moving to a Collaborative Unified Communications World – A Migration Strategy for Customer-Facing Businesses

Organisations of all shapes and sizes are looking to migrate from traditional PBX telecoms platforms to unified communications (UC) environments, integrating their contact centre for greater collaboration. The market is growing robustly. A recent report by Global Market Insights estimated the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) market size at over US$32 billion in 2018, with a CAGR of 8% from 2019 to 2025.

The rationale for businesses to move to UC environments is certainly clear.  Businesses increasingly understand the limitations of the traditional PBX model around scalability, complexity and having a single point of failure. They increasingly appreciate the benefits of moving to UC around faster return on investment, greater collaboration, lower total cost of ownership; streamlined operational processes and enhanced productivity. And they see all this as key to their digital transformation.

They know too that in the context of the contact centre, the enhanced collaborative functionality that migration can deliver will allow them to provide a consistently outstanding customer experience around the clock, make life easier for hard-working agents and employees and sweat their investments and save money on management.

Yet while many customer-facing businesses have undertaken the journey to unified communications and collaboration, many still hold back. Some have installed solutions like Microsoft Skype for Business or even Microsoft Teams but are running them in the background and are still using traditional PBXs as their primary telecoms switch.

So what is deterring these organisations?  Some pause on their journey waiting for new solutions or upgrades to be introduced by the leading platform vendors. Many others are concerned about the risk involved in migrating systems and moving from old infrastructure to new. And that is making it difficult to set out on the migration path at all. They have ruled out a big bang approach due to sweating down existing assets and they want flexibility and choice across the whole journey.

That’s why they need the peace of mind and reassurance that comes from working with solutions providers and implementation and support partners that are vendor and platform-agnostic; can integrate with all leading UC platforms –  from Microsoft to Avaya to Cisco –  and have migration at the heart of their strategy. Working alongside its partners, Enghouse Interactive is well-suited to achieve all this.

Driven by the need to achieve digital transformation and the desire to use it to deliver enhanced customer engagement, more and more businesses are looking to work closely with customer communications experts to help them assess their possible migration paths, choose the best option, then transition them smoothly and with minimal disruption to their existing operations. The approach needs to be open and flexible.  Whether organisations are looking to move from premise to premise, or premise to cloud, or thinking about migrating from one vendor to another, or one UC product to another within a single vendor environment, solutions providers and their channel partners need to be able to take customers on their digital transformation-driven  journey and ensure they reach their desired end destination.

That removes some serious headaches for customer-facing organisations, of course. Instead of fretting and worrying about their communications journey, they can let their solutions and implementation provider partners concern themselves with building a UC environment and connecting the contact centre. That in turn leaves the business itself free to concentrate on its overall network environment strategy, content in the knowledge that its migration journey to digital is being managed and de-risked.

Enghouse recommends and implements a phased migration for its customers. In any migration to a new telecoms infrastructure it is important to have the old and the new platforms running simultaneously (and both connected) so that if a technical problem occurs with the new system, or if there is a mis-configuration, for example,  agents can be quickly, although temporarily, moved back to the old infrastructure desktop.

Rather than moving the whole operation over to the new system straightaway, the organisation concerned could move a single department over initially: the IT helpdesk, for example, and then if all goes well, move another shortly thereafter. If something goes wrong they can simply move that individual department back, effectively de-risking and removing the friction from the whole process.

It is important to remember, though, that the migration journey is not just about infrastructure, essential though that is. Scalability is key in supporting the overall approach and ensuring that the business always has the right level of capability to support its needs at any given time. A fully scalable migration strategy can support a modular by design approach. As the organisation grows, new channels, apps and bots, for example, can be added as and when required. It is also crucial, however, that the journey can go forward and back – and with this kind of methodology, businesses can scale back their capability when strategic drivers or external circumstances dictate.

Partnering for Success

Any organisation looking to migrate its contact centre and communications infrastructure to a new platform is in a sense stepping into the unknown.  It is likely to be a completely new experience for them. They know that by making the migration they want to tap into the benefits around enhanced flexibility and productivity, increased efficiency and customer satisfaction and explore new market sectors but they are apprehensive about the journey that needs to be undertaken to help them to achieve these goals.

That’s where Enghouse and its partners can really help in reducing the risk and friction for them and guiding them on that journey to unified communications that will in turn enable them to build a more collaborative interactive and efficient contact centre and communications environment to the benefit both of their customers and themselves.

If you want to discover more about how we help organisations globally optimise their customer journey, then we welcome the opportunity to speak to you! Just get in touch with one of our Communications Specialists at 020 3668 0444, or fill out the contact form and we will contact you!


This article was first published by Enghouse Interactive.


Quality Management + Call Recording = Operational Excellence and Risk Reduction

Using the right approach for omnichannel recording along with quality management in the contact center will enable your organization to deliver better service, protect callers and agents and maximize the customer contacts that result in a positive outcome.

Call recording has become a common contact center practice, with compound annual growth across the industry of 22%* into 2022. It has become foundational for most professional organizations but does come with some key considerations and requirements. Compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements is imperative. Not doing so may result in negative consequences, possibly even resulting in legal action.

Call Recording – the what and why

As a normal order of business, most contact center calls, whether inbound or outbound, are recorded.

Who hasn’t heard “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes”…..? This notice is legally required so that all parties are aware that the call is being recorded.

With the latest technology, recordings are processed in real-time and are time-stamped, codified and indexed in order to simplify future analysis or retrieval. Today’s tools can translate speech to text in order to find a specific word or phrase in an audio or video stream, enabling “problem interactions” to be quickly located and evaluated. Leading applications can even search using specific indicators to identify customer sentiment or intonation. This is critical when supervisors do not have the time to listen to a large number of calls. Good search tools allow the manager to zero in on the specific interactions requiring attention, evaluation and further agent coaching.

Calls are linked with the caller’s information and may be stored within the application itself, onsite or elsewhere, including in the Cloud. Call storage durations and even long-term archiving requirements vary and can run from daily retention to an indefinite amount of time. This will be the most important factor when estimating what annual storage (MB, GB or TB’s) needs will be.

Best Practice – for agents, explain the reasons why the company is using these tools and ensure that all understand that it actually makes the contact center a better place to work, as communications are no longer subject to misinterpretation, coaching and help are available, and customer situations can be dealt with as a matter of fact.

Call Monitoring

When your contact center agents engage with customers, you’ll want to make sure they represent the company with the professionalism and customer focus that you expect. Why is this important? In spite of the strong growth in text-based and web-based inquiries as millennials have entered the workforce, as an industry average voice is still 79% of contact center call volume** and productive resolution to calls is key to higher customer satisfaction. Call Monitoring enables supervisors to ‘listen in’ on a call and rate their agents, and even provide coaching in real-time to improve technique and reduce the time to resolve issues. This can quickly have a dramatic impact on overall customer satisfaction.

Just as importantly, when a contentious situation arises, call recording and monitoring can become an impartial witness to protect both parties from unforeseen consequences. In an omni-channel contact center environment, monitoring and recording can be extended to include Email, texting, web chat and social media communications. Critical for success is that consolidated data is indexed for review if required.

Best Practice – proactive monitoring and the identification of key “good” and “bad” communications should be a normal practice for ongoing operational improvements. The use of excellent customer interactions as “Quick Coaching Moments” can be a positive reinforcement for all, especially newer agents.

Respecting Applicable Regulations

When a company operates in a specific region or industry, the applicable regulations can be easy to understand and to respect. But things can get exceedingly complex when the company operates in a highly regulated industry, across multiple regions, and/or internationally. The onus is on the company to understand these regulations and to make sure they are consistently respected.

Key Market Regulatory Requirements

Many industries have specific regulations that require call recording. Organizations should consult with legal counsel to ensure they are respecting any relevant regulations. For high-level guidelines, visit Digital Media Law for some info: http://www.dmlp.org

For all public companies in the United States

Sarbanes-Oxley covers financial reporting and disclosure. Section 404 covers Management Assessment of Internal Controls. The willful destruction of audit records, including correspondence and communications, may result in a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years.

For all companies that accept credit and debit card transactions

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) is an information security standard for organizations that handle credit and debit card transactions. CVV information must never be recorded.

Some examples of industries with specific requirements:

Health care

Enghouse QMS facilitates HIPAA and MIPPA compliance:

  • HIPAA (Health Information Portability & Accountability Act) establishes privacy and security standards that protect electronic and verbal private health information.
  • MIPPA (Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act) requires health care marketers to record their conversations to prove that they are not participating in deceptive or high-pressure tactics. All appointments made via telephone must be recorded in order to document these interactions.


Enghouse QMS helps facilitate compliance with multiple privacy regulations:

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act) requires the security and confidentiality of customers’ nonpublic personal information. Enforced by FTC.
  • USA PATRIOT Act Section 326 requires firms to maintain records of how they verified customer identities, track transactions and make suspicious activity reports (SARs).

Best Practice – Ongoing review of recording and message storage regulations across all company operating areas should clearly stipulate where attention should be focused in order to ensure no regulations are transgressed.

Preparing for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is rapidly being applied in all areas of the contact center. AI enables the analysis of disparate and diverse data streams across all communication channels and provides extrapolated insights from intelligent analysis of customer interactions. These Insights can then be applied to customer engagements to provide better solutions, more quickly, helping resolve customer issues or de-escalate contentious situations. At the leading edge of available tools, Enghouse AI Insights’ predictive modeling capabilities help to identify and correlate information across channels and other sources of data (such as CRM) enabling organizations to better understand primary customer topics and sentiment. This valuable data can then be used to proactively offer more relevant solutions to customers.

Best Practice – Keeping your contact center, call recording and quality management solution up to date by migrating to the cloud will make it a simple ‘checkbox’ task to immediately activate AI when you want it….without issues….without delays.

 Best Practice

For Financial Institutions and other Industries that deal with sensitive data, it is recommended that the data archive be encrypted so that unauthorized access or release into the public domain is harmless, as the data will not be in a usable format. As industry regulations become more restrictive, proactive engagement regarding data security and overall privacy protection will become of primary importance.

If you want to discover more about how we help organsations globally optimise their customer journey, then we welcome the opportunity to speak to you! Just get in touch with one of our Communications Specialists at 020 3668 0444, or fill out the contact form and we will contact you!


This article was first published by Enghouse Interactive.
*Zion Market Research 2016
** CFI Group – 2018 Contact Center Satisfaction Index


“Bringing People Together” – How Microsoft Teams and Other Collaboration Tools are Transforming Customer Service

More and more businesses today are focused on optimising the customer journey. They are mapping out the way customers interact with them and their typical process of ‘flowing through the organisation’, and then looking at how they can best streamline that process in order to improve the customer experience.

With the customer journey continuing to become ever more important to organisations over time, more businesses are handling more of the routine or predictable interactions they have with customers through self-service or automated channels. Remaining queries and interactions tend to be complex or awkward, often requiring the involvement of multiple parties to resolve. That is why we are seeing growing numbers of organisations making more active use of remote access or mobile technologies and putting in place collaboration environments like ‘sandpits’ or ‘boxes’, where several people can join forces to work on the same issue. According to a recent BT report on “Productivity, the digital workplace & the collaboration conundrum.” 9 in 10 business executives say mobile and collaboration technologies have improved the productivity of their workplace.1

Reaching out across the Enterprise

We are now seeing this focus on collaboration positively impact many different areas of customer service. Take car insurance as an example. If the renewal or new policy request ticks a number of standard boxes, the process is straightforward and can be handled entirely in the front office by the customer service agent. If it is more complex, however, and the car needs to be insured immediately, it may need the involvement of actuaries in the middle office. More complex still, and it is likely to be referred to the back office where underwriters will need to work on it.

Using a traditional communications approach, this is likely to be a long-winded and protracted process, potentially involving multiple interactions with the customer, and inevitable delay and frustration. Moving forwards, the key to resolving these issues lies in businesses integrating the contact centre environment at the heart of their communications approach with the latest collaboration tools, most notably including Microsoft Teams.

Applications like Teams effectively allow organisations to extend the contact centre from the frontline agent into the middle and back offices enabling them in turn to streamline the business process and improve the customer experience into the bargain. The tool combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration to deliver a powerful collaboration environment. In the car insurance example above, an agent could potentially use it to get almost instant access to relevant people in the middle and back offices and complete the customer’s policy renewal while they are still on the phone.

Benefits for all

In contrast to the alternatives like email and traditional voice telephony, these kinds of collaboration hubs offer a highly-fluid means of communications, ideally suited to customer-facing businesses who want to build a highly responsive; interactive and productive customer service environment.

The core concept of Microsoft Teams, for example, is around bringing everything – from people to conversations, content and tools – together. Users can share assets like calendars, files and emails in real-time. Moreover, because tools like this are typically cloud-based, it is easy for anyone to access them wherever they are in the world and whatever device they are using.

With the latest collaboration tools, delivering support for mobile devices is becoming increasingly seamless. Going back to the earlier car insurance example, an assessor could share photographic evidence of a damaged car, taken on their iPhone, with the head office team, together with explanatory notes, in near real-time to help inform a policy claim or renewal.

All this capability helps make the customer service team much happier of course. It reduces friction in the process and agents have the peace of mind of knowing that they can draw on the expertise of the wider team and through the latest collaborative technology get relevant information back to the customer faster. And the old saying – “the happier the agent, the happier the customer” continues to hold true.

In today’s complex customer interaction environment, collaboration is key to delivering the best possible customer experience. Thanks to the emergence of the latest communications hub based technologies that kind of collaboration is increasingly within the reach of most businesses today.

If you want to discover more about how we help organsations globally optimise their customer journey, then we welcome the opportunity to speak to you! Just get in touch with one of our Communications Specialists at 020 3668 0444, or fill out the contact form and we will contact you!


This article was first published by Enghouse Interactive.

1  Source: BT Global Services/ Davies Hickman Partners, 2018


How can your organisation benefit from mobile working?

Today’s workforce has a range of working styles, schedules, and settings. Give your mobile workers the same communications and collaboration, no matter where they are, no matter which device they are on.

On top of that, provide them secure remote access to all your applications, data, and communications.

There are endless ways to create an “In Office” experience anywhere with the systems and software offered – however, it is essential to make sure it all combines well with your workforce.

If you are still wondering the necessity for mobility amongst your workforce, then look at a few of many benefits:

Free staff from geographical constraints while providing a consistent communications experience.

Enable your employees to communicate on a traditional desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other devices.

Deliver unified communications and collaboration capabilities to their mobiles or devices of choice.

Make sure employees are always reachable and available to customer calls.

Take a look at the Inforgrahic “Is Inefficient Mobile Working Damaging Your Business?“, which perfectly highilights importance of mobile working strategies.

If you want to discover more about how we help organsations globally adapt mobile working, then we welcome the opportunity to speak to you! Just get in touch with one of our Communications Specialists at 020 3668 0444, or fill out the contact form and we will contact you!


Beware and prepare: weather the seasonal business threats

Beware and prepare: weather the seasonal business threats

How unified communications providers can ensure that your company’s telephony and IT systems survive storms and other seasonal disasters.

Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail

During adverse weather, maintaining normal channels of communication between staff and with customers is absolutely essential for productivity and client relations, which can suffer greatly from downtime or disruption.

While your offices are being battered by storms and blizzards, customers elsewhere could be enjoying normal working conditions – and so could your competitors.

One week of particularly bad weather is estimated to cost the UK businesses over £318 million (and 51 million working hours) in lost productivity, because business continuity plans hadn’t been put in place. The fear of losing IT or telecommunications is the biggest concern among companies when it comes to potential threats and disruptions.

Remote Control

It is critical to have a robust phone system in place, courtesy of a cloud based unified communications provider, allowing your business to maintain full productivity in the event of any unforeseen disruptions. A solution is now available, in the form of remote or flexible working via cloud-based telephony. Rather than relying on fixed phone lines, which can become damaged or disconnected by storms, a hosted phone system moves fixed and mobile telephony to the cloud.

With pioneering hosted phone systems eliminating the need for comms rooms, managed networks can keep your company operating at full efficiency, while less well-prepared competitors flounder in floodwater.

As the next generation of communications management, SIP can fully future-proof your company’s telephony. The advantages of these hosted phone system packages are numerous:

It’s cloud based, and therefore unaffected by weather conditions (no pun intended).

Employees can access their phone services from anywhere, on any device.

Complete flexibility and scalability.

The simplicity of communications and software systems allows even technology-averse employees to easily navigate its dedicated web portal.

Hosted phone systems are here long-term and can be cheaper and more reliable than legacy PBX systems.

No place like home

Letting staff work from home brings many advantages, but it’s always better to plan for this eventuality in advance, as this video explains. With the right infrastructure, your staff can be just as productive as they would be in the office and, more importantly, customers won’t even notice the difference:

  • Clients won’t know that an employee is based at home, because their work phone number will appear the same, whether they’re calling from Hertfordshire or the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Home-working frees up time for more productive activities that would otherwise have been spent commuting.
  • Administrators can configure and manage the system in real-time from wherever they happen to be working (or stranded), in response to changing demands.

4Sight Communications delivers flexible and responsive personal service around the clock, helping employees to familiarise themselves with the web portal interface of a hosted phone system. To find out more about our solutions call us on 020 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com