For years, the idea of voice recording was essentially automatically reserved for only large customer service and tech support call centers.
The question we should really ask is: Why?
Why is it that only larger companies should be allowed to mitigate potential risk factors? Or monitor customer service and sales campaigns? Why only the big guys are allowed this enormous commercial advantage?
The good news: Technology has evolved to the point that the costs associated with a call recording solution have diminished.
We’ve become a lawsuit-happy culture
We live in a very litigious society. People these days seem to be amenable to launching lawsuits at the drop of a hat, for even the slightest perceived mistreatment. Sometimes they sue based on their own stupidity and blame the other guy for not telling them how to behave. The majority of us see these kinds of suits everyday but rarely cite evidence other than the anecdotal ‘ambulance chaser’.
Take this for example: Next New Year’s Eve when you open your bottle of champagne, look under the tinfoil that covers the cork. Under that tinfoil is a small piece of paper that, with the use of lovely diagrams, tells you to not point the bottle at your face when popping the cork. I would like to assume that the majority of the population would not need such advice. Unfortunately, there was at least one guy who pointed the bottle at his eye, popped the cork and said ouch. Then he sued and he won. As part of the settlement, the courts ordered that the distillers of champagne place a small instructional pictogram on every bottle to help protect us from ourselves. What did this cost the champagne industry? I have no idea, but I am certain it was 100% more than they were planning to spend on opening instructions and their bottom line suffered.
Now that example may be a little on the comical side, but imagine this: According to the International Bar Association, litigation has several possible effects on a business’s operations, and the number of civil suits launched by private citizens has climbed more than 1000% in the last decade. When you factor in the direct costs attributable to these types of litigation with the indirect or soft costs, the potential drag on the US economy is staggering.
Law suits, particularly unnecessary ones or those where you can’t gather enough evidence to defend yourself, slow down the economy.
It could cost you more than money if you are sued.
Even if you are not at fault, there is always a chance that an overzealous citizen may target your company with a groundless lawsuit. Even if you have done no wrong, it will still cost you money to defend the action. Sad but true. It does not end there. A lawsuit could potentially cause the delay of a new product, increase manufacturing costs, employee termination and even plant closures. If you have to train every employee on a new aspect of production, it will slow down your production pipeline.
What can I do to reduce my liability?
Sadly, you cannot protect yourself from all forms of litigation. You can, however, reduce your risk in a key sector of your operations. Your customer service personnel interact with your customers on a daily basis. When people call you to complain about an issue or to condemn your practices, these conversations will occasionally become a little heated. We would like to believe that we are professionals at all times, but we are only human. Sometimes our feathers get ruffled. When a customer has his feathers ruffled, or in some cases his wings clipped, he may sue for damages.
So how do I reduce my costs?
It’s simple. Record every conversation that any of your frontline people have with your clients. Be sure to check with your local and state laws regarding call recording. Because each state has different laws, you should familiarize yourself with not only your particular law, but also every law if your business calls out of state. Having a call attendant inform all incoming callers that they may be recorded for training purposes is always a safe bet.
By recording your calls, you help reduce your liability. You still have to defend yourself, even in the case of a frivolous lawsuit that has no merit, but costs can be minimized when you can present a recording of the interaction in question.
Start protecting yourself today
Call recording is no longer just for large, outsourced call centers. There are affordable solutions that can be implemented in a variety of different businesses. Owners and managers just need to keep in mind: an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure.