What is call recording?

Call recording is simply put, recording a call with a recorder software allowing you to record conversations over a PSTN, SIP or VoIP phone lines. You can then access those calls as audio files. Meaning you’re able to retrieve, playback, store, and share recordings, with the sole purpose being to record the calls.

Call recording is not the same as call logging, which reports data about calls. It is also not to be confused with call tracking, which records information about incoming calls. Business call recording is done solely for the purpose of checking on service quality, fact verification, disputes, and coaching of staff.

Is call recording legal?

The short answer is yes. Call recording is legal, but there are regulations about how those calls are used and under what circumstances you can record a call.

To record a call legally, it cannot be for your own use. However, covert recordings are not necessarily illegal. 

Yet bear in mind that if you do record someone without informing them, they can claim damages related to a potential breach of privacy.

If you share a recording without consent, this is a breach of law. Basically, it is not illegal to record a call in general, but it is illegal to publicise or share that data without consent.

To record a call legally then, you must fulfil the conditions of the law of your country.

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Call Recording Laws (UK)

Is it legal to record a phone call in the UK? In the UK, call recording is legal under the Data Protection Act of 1988. According to this act, you must fulfil certain conditions. If it is possible to identify the other party involved in the call, you as a company must let that person know how the recording will be used and obtain permission for the call to be recorded.

You can only record the call once you have permission. After you’ve finished, you must store the call data in a secure location. You are also allowed to record on your own phone according to the law, but you must give a notification that you’re recording the call.

How the call recording laws apply to customer service and call centres

When calling a call centre, it’s common to hear that the call will be recorded to be used for quality and training purposes in the future. This is for the protection of both the caller and the call centre, and for improving the performance of the call centre agents.

Of course, every call must be done in compliance with local and country laws, which means that you must know the laws for your call centre. You will generally either be subjected to one-party or two-party consent.

One-party consent requires one person speaking to know that the call is being recorded. If there is a third party recording the call, that person has to get consent from at least one of the parties speaking in the conversation. Two-party consent means that everyone on the call must give consent to being recorded, so if the call is being recorded, this must be stated clearly.

For all calls done in customer service or call centres though, call recordings must be protected like you would protect any other digital or written data where a customer could be identified.

In the customer service environment then, to ensure that you are in compliance with the law, you must notify the caller if your company doesn’t already have an announcement that says that the call is being recorded.

How much does call recording cost?

The cost of call recording for business depends on what you need. All solutions have the basic ability to play back telephone conversations, but there are additional functions that can be useful in the business environment. This includes Quality Monitoring and even analytic technology that help identity keywords in the conversation. What you need will impact your cost.

For a 24-channel digital system, which includes basic search and replay, the cost can range between £5,000 and £16,000. If you need to record 30 users of VoIP with Quality Monitoring, that will cost you more, between £20,000 and £25,000. On the other hand, 16 channels of analog with basic search will range between £2,000 and £5,000.

We do however have a solution that is very cost effective, the Gamma Horizon system we work with allows for Mifid 11 compliance and starts at £3 pounds per month per handset on top of the normal £13.50 per month rental (includes all handsets, installation, and calls ongoing).

What are the benefits of call recording?

Considering the cost involved and the knowledge of the laws that you need to record legally, why would you want to record calls? You may not think that something like this is crucial to your business, but even small measures like call recording can have a big impact.

Improve Company Customer Service

Recording calls and listening to them allows you to ensure you have the best customer service possible. Managers will be able to understand how their agents are working with customers and whether protocol has been followed. They will be able to do so in their own time, since the calls are recorded and can be listened to at any point.

Improve Staff Performance

Your employees likely won’t perform worse just because you aren’t listening. But it’s likely that they will perform better when you are. It’s also true that just having the call recordings can help improve performance, since you will be able to provide agents with examples of both good and bad recordings to help them improve customer service. This will help to train new agents much quicker too.

Find Details

It’s difficult sometimes to talk to a customer, take notes, and remember details. You never want a customer to feel like your attention isn’t entirely on them. This is where call recording comes in handy. When you’re on the phone, you are able to truly listen. You can always go back to the recording for all the details you need later. Ultimately, this means that agents won’t miss anything important, and that they can provide the best customer service possible.

This can be used in other areas of business too, we have even installed a call recording solution for Tao Digital Marketing, they provide in-depth B2B SEO content for their clients and as such interviewing a business owner, salesperson or technical person and retaining the information is critical in creating and writing content that is correct and accurate. 

Legal Compliance

This is an obvious benefit, but having a call recording software can help you stay legal, since recorded calls can help you resolve disputes or litigation. You can avoid expensive lawyers — so long as you abide by the laws for recording.

The best call recording systems

Here are some common call recording systems that you can choose from to do your business.

Gamma Call Recording is one of the best platforms around for both cost and for reliability. It can be added onto an existing Gamma Hosted phone system solution and is compliant with the majority of FCA regulations and others. 

It’s very cost effective compared to an onsite solution too.

Frequently asked questions:

Can I request a call recording from a company?

Yes, the customer can always ask for a copy of the phone call. The customer may have to purchase these recordings depending on what the recording is, but they should be able to easily request their recording if they want it.

How long should a company keep a call recording?

There is no limit to how long a company can keep a recording for, although there are sometimes minimum periods to how long they should have it. How long a company actually keeps the recording can vary depending on the information and risks associated with keeping it, since some information is harder or easier to keep.

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