The telephone continues to be the primary means of communication with customers, suppliers, and other business contacts, and most companies continue to rely on the phone for a high proportion of turnover. A business telephone call can therefore contain information as important as that in any fax, letter or email, but unlike these ‘black and white’ communications which are diligently archived, a telephone call is often subject to memory alone.
In terms of the law, a verbal contract is no less binding than a written one, but enforcing a verbal undertaking or agreement requires proof of what was stated (or not stated).
In large financial services organizations it is therefore standard practice to record all telephone calls, as the reduction of risk is of primary importance in this business sector. And until recently, it was only these large organizations which could justify the investment required for a voice logging system.
The Truelog system takes advantage of the latest advances in computer and IT technology to provide a product which is affordable across the entire business spectrum, and an increasing number of companies are enjoying a competitive advantage through the use of this technology.
What are the Business Benefits of a Truelog system?
A Truelog system works continuously in the background, recording every telephone call into and out of your business. With the enormous data capacity of hard disk drives available today, it can store several years of a company's telephone calls on a single hard drive.
Consider the advantages of being able to play back any telephone call which has taken place in your business:-
Any authorised PC user can have immediate access to their own calls, heads of departments can play back all calls within their departments, and top management can have access to all calls across the enterprise.
Any user can annotate a call with relevant comments for later reference, and these comments can be viewed and edited by other users who are authorised to access the call.
Finding a specific call is as easy as entering its details in a user friendly program on your own computer, and the system will retrieve it across the network in seconds. Using a Truelog system, you can find and review a telephone conversation with the same ease as that of an email.
As a starting point, a Truelog system addresses the following basic requirements:-
- Confirmation of:
- Orders placed, orders received
- Information provided
- Instructions given
- Undertakings and promises made
- Misunderstandings and Disputes (the classic “He said, She said” scenario)
Once a Truelog system is installed, the office telephone system becomes a fully validated communication medium. All business which is conducted on the company telephone is securely archived and can be easily verified at any point in the future.
However, the Truelog system is more than just a Voice Logger – it is also a useful business tool which provides a range of additional benefits:-
View the Costs of Outgoing Calls
Unlike a simple call management system, a voice recording will always identify with complete certainty who was responsible for a particular call, even if the call was made from a fax machine, or was made using someone else's PIN number.
Identify Faulty Lines on your PABX System
Faulty lines can be costly when they prevent a prospective customer from getting through to your sales department.
The Truelog system allows the working state of the PABX lines to be viewed at a glance. Where internet access is available, the system will report to a monitoring server at TeleRef’s offices on a regular basis to confirm correct operation.
View your Unanswered Calls
The Truelog system will keep track of all incoming calls which are unanswered, and where Calling Line Identification (CLI) is activated on the incoming lines, the number of the calling party will also be logged. This allows potential customers to be called back and any loss of business to be avoided.
Analyse your Incoming Calls based on the Number Dialled
This unique feature is very useful where a business places advertisements in multiple publications or media, as it allows calls to be selected on the basis of the response from a specific placement.
It is equally useful for companies which use individual telephone numbers for different incoming call queues (e.g. support lines for multiple products).
With ISDN or SIP lines equipped on the PABX, individual 0800 or 086x numbers are used for each placement. The Truelog system then allows the calls for each individual advert to be identified (i.e. selection by called DDI number) regardless of which extensions or agents actually received the calls. This allows the response from each publication or advertising medium (or a specific call queue) to be precisely quantified.
The Truelog system allows any number of users to play back their own calls.
Review a past telephone discussion, establish the exact date and time when a specific call took place, recover information which was jotted down during a call and subsequently misplaced etc.
Being able to play back their own calls is particularly useful for staff who handle customer enquiries in a busy environment. Such staff are often forced to take a new call before completing the processing of a previous call, and if there is any uncertainty about a customer's requirements they can quickly listen to an earlier call to confirm the customer's query, instructions etc.
Reduced Call Costs
Installing a Truelog system to record all calls on the company phones always leads to a reduction in private calls.
Basically, when employees are informed that all calls are being recorded, they will no longer feel comfortable with using the company phone for personal calls.
In businesses where telephone usage is not tightly controlled, the introduction of a Truelog system will lead to a significant reduction in telephone costs. These savings happen automatically and do not require any ongoing management – i.e. costs are reduced, and remain reduced, with no further effort being required.
In some cases, these savings may even exceed the amortised monthly cost or rental of the system, providing an immediate return on investment.
Many employees spend a large proportion of their working day on the telephone, discussing issues which are unrelated to their job with colleagues, suppliers, customers, friends etc., often relying on an over-worked receptionist or voice mail system to take messages from customers
When employees are informed that a recording system is installed, unnecessary telephone chatter is reduced and cell phones are used for personal calls.
It is worth considering that if just thirty minutes of unproductive telephone discussion are eliminated in a day, this translates to more than ten hours per month. This effectively adds a full working day to an employee's work month.
Improved Sales Performance
A Truelog system provides sales managers with the means to analyse both successful and unsuccessful sales calls.
As a sales training tool, the system allows a manager to evaluate sales calls together with the salespersons involved, identifying any areas of weakness, the need for further training, etc.
And the training of new salespeople is simplified when they can listen to selected calls made by other experienced salespeople, addressing the different categories of sales which they will encounter.
Improved Customer Service
The Truelog system provides an effective means to monitor staff interactions with customers, allowing any problems in this area to be identified and addressed.
If your business includes any form of a customer contact centre, your staff will always be at their best when they know that their calls are recorded, ensuring a higher level of professionalism.
The Truelog system keeps track of the ringing time for each incoming call, allowing call answer times to be constantly monitored. And where ISDN lines are used, the system will even keep track of which party hung up first (e.g. verify whether a customer did in fact 'slam the phone down').
When a customer complains about being handled badly on the phone, or about having been given wrong information etc., it is a simple matter of listening to the call to verify the complaint.
If the complaint turns out to be unjustified, it is equally simple to email the call to the customer (and the first time this occurs, you will have immediate ‘buy-in’ for the logging system within the department concerned).
Optimisation of Telecommunication Cost Structures
The Truelog system incorporates tools to measure and analyse call traffic across your various lines and services, and TeleRef will apply these tools to investigate whether your existing cost structures are optimized. Simply put, we are motivated to maximise your Return on Investment from a Truelog system.
As a starting point, many businesses waste considerable amounts every month on the rental of unnecessary Telkom lines. However, the Telkom account is probably the most confusing monthly statement which gets handled by any creditors department, and it is common for even the most competent financial administrators to merely verify that the final figure is in line with expectations, without attempting to understand the bewildering array of rentals, usage, discounts and rebates.
With a Truelog system in place, any excess lines, and any scope for benefit from Least Cost Routing alternatives, will be quickly identified. As an example, it is common for businesses to end up with excess lines after migrating to high capacity Primary Rate ISDN lines. When growth dictates the installation of such 'PRI’ lines, the old Analogue lines are usually kept going until customers and suppliers become familiar with the new telephone numbers. However, these old Analogue lines are often completely forgotten, even years after the letterheads and business cards have been changed. As a result, the line rentals remain on the monthly account, needlessly reducing many a bottom line to the benefit of Telkom.
Truelog not only provides the information needed to correctly 'dimension' the Telkom, GSM and VOIP lines in accordance with actual call traffic requirements, but also provides a means to analyse the measured call traffic ratios, allowing any over-spend to be identified and addressed.
In some cases, the savings from the reduction of excessive lines alone may approach or exceed the monthly cost of a Truelog system.
Uncover Suspicious or Fraudulent Activities
From an internal perspective: - e.g. the unauthorised disclosure of business information, and from an external perspective: - e.g. questionable enquiries, malicious calls, nuisance calls, etc
Centralised Recordings Database for multiple Branch Offices.
Where Truelog systems are deployed at branch offices, and each office is equipped with an ADSL line or a WAN connection, it takes only a few clicks of the mouse to connect directly to each system from the head office, whether to monitor and listen to live calls, or to play back historical calls.
Truelog branch office systems can be configured to replicate their call records to the head office on a real-time basis, and to transfer audio files after hours (so as to reduce bandwidth usage during the day). Any branch calls which need to be played back at head office during the same day will be uploaded on demand. At head office, the system provides an integrated database of all calls across the enterprise.
Facilitates 'Compliance' for businesses in the Financial Services sector.
In this sector, businesses are required to keep detailed and verifiable records of their interactions with clients, and in the event of a dispute, the onus always falls on the financial services provider to prove exactly what was stated. As a result, it has become common for a principal to insist that its brokerages and business partners implement a telephone call recording system in order to obtain or retain accreditation. But apart from any regulatory or compliance aspects, the availability of telephone call recordings is important from a risk-management viewpoint, as it reduces the possibility of damages from unwarranted claims.
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