Five Key Concerns for Recording Outbound Contact Centers

Five Key Concerns for Recording Outbound Contact Centers

All call recording is not the same, and that is especially true if you have a blended or outbound contact center.  Outbound contact centers have unique technology, compliance rules, and scripting.  These systems are designed to optimize calling to attempt to ensure live connections with the intended recipient.  Being able to easily find recorded calls and deliver them for review, may not just be for quality assurance, but also proof of regulatory compliance.  Here are five key concerns you should know if you want to record outbound calls:

Know how technology works - Most blended contact centers use a separate dialer for outbound calls that may not be from the same vendor as their phone system.  If call recording is only connected to the phone system, recordings are one continuous recording for the entire calling session.  If call recording is only on the dialer, direct dialed or inbound calls are not recorded.  Having a system that integrates to both systems allows you to record all calls on your phone system and sub-divide dialer calls into separate recordings.  It is also important to be able to identify campaigns and other call statistics provided by the dialer.  This is especially important for regulatory concerns.  If you are audited, you want to be able to confidently present all of the relevant calls without providing information or calls that are out of scope.

Regulations can be costly – When taking inbound calls, notification is easily added to the incoming call greeting.  In outbound calling however, the first sound the contact hears is likely the agent.  This means that you have to ensure notification rules are followed.  There are eleven All Party Notification States; the remaining are Single Party notification States.  This means that either one or all of the parties on the call must know they are being recorded.  If you deal with callers across state lines, it is recommended to always provide notification of recording when making an outbound call.  This can take the form of the agent’s script in the call or by using beep tones that signal a recording is occurring.  Some systems also allow you to control recording by area code and you can choose to not record outbound calls for all party notification states.  In most cases, the need to protect the business interest and ensure great service will outweigh any perceived inconvenience associated with giving notification.

Recording data matters - Inbound call data is typically separated by skillset, caller id, or call queue.  Outbound calls are managed by campaigns and dialed number.  As such, your recording system needs to be able to capture the key data associated with the interaction to provide proper reporting.  You may also want to tag recordings with data such as disposition code, allowing you to easily identify successful connects for evaluation.  Your recording system should be able to tag the recording as an inbound or outbound call, so that the associated data can share common fields.  This makes searches across both inbound and outbound calls faster and simplifies reports.

Evaluation forms drive outcomes - When making outbound calls, the first 10 seconds can mean everything.  So the introduction and connecting with the person being called is more critical on an outbound call, that that of an inbound call. This difference in call structure and call plan should be incorporated into your evaluation process.  You also need to make sure how you evaluate the agents matches the goals of the call.  Collections, Sales, Marketing, Appointment Confirmation, and Healthcare calls all have different communication strategies.  As such, the evaluation needs to match that goal.  One example is patient confirmation in an outbound medical call.  In this case, it is important that the call recipient is confirmed as the patient and no information is given that might fall under HIPAA requirements.   This may contrast drastically from a collections call, where the call may quickly transition into collecting information in hopes of finding the contact that may be attempting to avoid paying a bill.  When these two are combined in medical collections, you can see where these objectives can compete.  Carefully reviewing how your evaluation questions drive behavior will ensure you have positive outcomes and stay in compliance.

Business logic identifies key calls – Embedded within quality monitoring software solutions, there are a few business logic tools that can help identify calls for evaluation or further consideration.  Outbound calls have call time length patterns than can be used to quickly isolate successful contacts.  For example, calls over 45 seconds may indicate a successful connection with a correct caller.  By using the minimum call duration feature in the business rules engine, the system can automatically select calls that best fit the profile of a successful call.  Calls that are exceeding the expected call time may be presented into a special review queue to ensure compliance and complete customer satisfaction.  Business rules can also filter out inbound calls that come in on the customer response queue versus general business contacts.   Business rules may also be used in order to control if and when you record internal communications.

Outbound contact centers have unique legal, technical, and operational challenges.  In many cases, government regulations require outbound contact centers to prove compliance.  This can result in a guilty until proven innocent situation, costing companies that cannot prove innocence a lot of money. By recording all calls, businesses can prove their compliance with regulations and their commitment to great service.  For more information on how CXM can help you in your outbound call recording, go to