How to Save Time by Recording Client Phone Calls (Updated)

Telephone technology is developing as rapidly as all other kinds of technology today. I find that many organizations do not consider their telephone system as important as other technology platforms used in their organizations.

recording client phone calls

This could be a mistake.

Even with all the digital communication options available, many people still rely on a personal phone call to get things done. Modern telephone systems can provide tremendous advantages to an agency that will help them streamline their internal workflows.

This TechTip was prompted because of an increase in the number of questions I am receiving about the advisability of recording all inbound and outbound phone calls within an agency. Recording all phone calls could be a very good idea that would save a tremendous amount of time by reducing the amount of typing necessary to document phone calls into the client file.

I recently received an email from Ed Higgins at Thousand Islands Agency stating,

“We also just implemented blueC integrated call recording software and have discovered a lot more wasted time.

“The system is expensive, but we expect it to pay for itself solely in providing guidance/counseling for better customer service on a daily basis; identifying the clearly wasted time on personal calls is an ancillary benefit. The unfortunate reality is that the larger an agency becomes, the more standardized procedures and systems, and general personnel policies have to become.”

Ed is correct. Standardizing policies and procedures within your organization is one of the biggest issues managers face to make sure clients consistently receive a great experience.

You can see a blueC blueButler demo video here:

I have not done a deep dive review for the blueButler product, nor have I done a comprehensive review of other options that are available. My purpose is simply to highlight this as an area for you to put on your “we should look at this” list.

I have been a bit concerned about how E&O underwriters would view phone recordings as appropriate client documentation. I had the opportunity recently to ask both an E&O consultant as well as an E&O attorney about my question. They both indicated they did not see an inherent problem with using phone call recordings as the primary documentation.

If your phone system supports recording all inbound and outbound phone calls, or you are considering replacing your old system with a new telephone system, here are a few suggestions for transitioning to phone call recordings as client documentation:

  • Make sure you understand the capabilities of your phone system. How does the recording process work? Where are the audio files physically stored? Are they attached to the agency management system client file? If not, how are those files backed up?
  • Provide additional training for your staff. The potential downside of recording all phone calls is that what your employees might say to the client is also recorded. There may be some situations where you do not want what the CSR said as part of your documentation! Providing additional training for all staff on telephone etiquette could go a long way to help prevent any embarrassing moments.
  • Check with your E&O underwriter. It would be prudent to check with your E&O carrier for their input on how you propose to change how you document client phone calls.
  • Include customer service phone call reviews. As Higgins indicated above, one of the benefits of recording all phone calls is the training that can take place to either streamline the conversation or enhance the client experience.
  • Check state requirements for recording phone calls. Several people made comments that some states have laws regarding required notification of a phone call being recorded. Check with an attorney to make sure, but generally when you put an announcement at the beginning of every call that you are recording the call and the caller continues to stay on the call, implicitly they are consenting to the recording of the call.

The technology to record phone calls has become commonplace. Adding phone call recording capability could be a great enhancement to your organization that would improve customer service and, at the same time, provide productivity improvements.

Are you currently recording all inbound and outbound phone calls? If so, how well does the process work? Any pushback from clients or staff? Let me know in the Comments Section.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “How to Save Time by Recording Client Phone Calls (Updated)

  1. Scott, thanks for your comments. I agree about privacy to a point. Good or bad, most businesses you call today record the conversation. This process is in no way intended to take away the personal touch an agency can provide.

  2. Steve, thanks for sharing this insightful article on recording calls for insurance agencies. While I no longer have an agency, I do understand why it might be a good idea to consider recording calls as you explained. There are some pros and cons as you pointed out: pros such as training employees, having documented e and o reducing conversations. cons include: in this age of more and more info being put out about people, I have sensed a pushback that people are tired of what they perceive as an invasion of their privacy, thinking the recorded call will be used against them.

  3. We are getting recorded phone calls via Trusted Choice and they have been an eye opening experience!! Additionally we have a product called Zima that measures each call, who it goes to cradle to grave. Great data.

  4. Another upside of call recording (in addition to those stated by Jim Tiec which are spot on) that we have found is it greatly cuts down on personal calls at work. Most employees completely stop making personal calls on their work phone and begin using their cell phones for those calls. It becomes obvious if someone is using an inordinate amount of their work day taking/making personal calls. It can then be addressed whereas before it was not as evident. As with everything in life, the number of people taking advantage of a situation is small. However, there often is one or two who push the limits of reasonableness. The other employees who have been picking up the slack of answering the phone are quick to express their appreciation of the change. So far we have not experienced a down side.

  5. Claire, you are correct — You do need to pay attention to state specific requirements. While not an attorney, I believe the requirements can be meet with an automated recording at the beginning of the call stating it will be recorded for “quality assurance purposes.”

  6. Steve,
    Thanks for highlighting this topic. If implemented properly, it can offer significant benefits. One thing I’d like to add is that it is important to take into account how your state law addresses the recording of phone conversations. You may be in a “two-party” state, where all parties to a conversation must consent PRIOR to any recording or monitoring of the conversation, e.g. with a disclosure while on hold or at the beginning of the conversation.
    Make sure you review your local requirements before implementing. If you are unsure, you can check with your state association if they have a resource on the recording of phone conversations for their state. I know we do for PA, MD & DE. Obviously, you can also call your attorney.

  7. We have call recording capabilities but only record calls from our client’s employees during Benefit open enrollment where we assist our clients with their Health Benefit plan options.

  8. We record all calls and attach them to the customer’s record in our agency management system. I can’t begin to tell you how valuable it has been.
    1. We can document coverage changes the customer orders.
    2. When a CSR had a difficult phone conversation with a client we could listen and discuss whether the situation was handled properly, how it could have been different, etc.
    3. On complicated issues it sometimes helps to listen to a conversation over to make sure details are straight.
    4. It gets underwriters on record. We have had underwriters backtrack on favorable decisions, denying they ever said it. We now have proof they did.
    5. We can prove we returned phone calls, giving dates and times.
    6. Since the recording also captures the phone number of the other party we have used it to reach people for whom we otherwise would not have had a record.

    Once this is implemented in an agency I don’t think you will ever want to go back.