Gary WilliamsGary WilliamsApril 28, 2020


Cyber fraud has seen a 55 percent year-on-year increase in the UK in recent years with criminals successfully stealing £1.2 billion through fraud and scams in 2018. The world of telecommunications is far from immune, with 170m fraudulent calls blocked globally in 2018.

Due to this, personal data has become an ever more sensitive topic as governments try to combat the rising tide of technology-based crime. This in turn has led to more regulatory legislation, such as GDPR, to try and minimise the risks posed by fraudsters.

This has been coupled with a desire for an improvement in call quality, especially following high profiled cases of like the PPI scandal.

Call centre managers want to be able to see how well their agents deal with customers and cater to their needs and ascertain the comparative value of their agents more now than ever before.

The cost of compliance

With the increases in regulation and the desire for a higher standard of service, compliance has become an increasingly hot topic in the call centre industry. Strict compliance procedures are now the norm for many call centre operations and by virtue of that fact, so are auditing procedures.

Auditing calls to maintain adherence to regulations is a costly endeavour for call centres. It is a huge drain on centres resources as they take the time and cost to transcribe recorded calls for audit.

For a start, regulation across Europe tends to require a large proportion of calls are recorded – and though this does vary by industry it is still a substantial endeavour in a call centre that can often have 200 to 250 agents. This also means that many companies using manual auditing procedures, audit at random and so not all calls are monitored which can lead to increased fines for BPO’s.

Once these calls have been transcribed, the sample texts, along with the corresponding calls go to the internal audit team, a group of highly skilled and experienced industry professionals which varies in size according to the type of business and the scale of the audit task required.

Therefore, this is not only a cost to the business but also affects operations as it reduces the call taking capacity of the company as calls are passed across. It’s a double hit to the company as costs increase and revenue is reduced putting huge pressure on the margins for the business.

A digital reprieve

Previously the analogue nature of compliance meant that the costs associated were large. However, in the digital era it is possible to automate many of the steps needed to complete these procedures.

Automated compliance monitoring allows businesses to combat the increased costs associated with call monitoring. This type of technology automatically checks call adherence to the corresponding script and flags any deviations. This means that only calls that have deviations need to be checked and within those, the software highlights the areas of concern for the auditor.

The Benefits of Automated Compliance Monitoring

Automated compliance monitoring reduces the time needed to audit calls, lowering costs and increasing the value of employees for the call centres. Reduced auditing times also benefits employees as the time that they spend on repetitive auditing tasks can be reduced too.

This means that a high level of motivation is easier to maintain as employees can focus on more cognitively rewarding tasks. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing costs, improving margin and making Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) call centres more competitive

The time spent monitoring calls is minimised due to the efficiency of automating the process.  Fewer staff are required thus substantially reducing costs and for BPO’s this means they can expand their business more easily.

  • Better use of time

AI-driven solutions are able to screen calls quicker and more effectively than humans and can also do this 24/7. This means that the process of compliance is more efficient and is able to give managers a better picture of the business in real-time.

  • Better accuracy

The improved quality of recorded calls in the digital era also means that solutions that have adapted recognition engine models to audio patterns are actually able to recognise the content of the audio easier than human ears could. This makes them not only faster than their human counterparts, but also more accurate as well.

This level of accuracy is particularly important in the BPO contact centre setting, where compliance failures can be met with penalties that threaten the overall margin levels of the business.

Greater accuracy in the compliance process can reduce the risk of such failures and can even be used as a selling point when engaging with businesses who are keen to ensure their chosen BPO is able to guarantee high levels of compliance and quality control when speaking to their customers.

Automated compliance monitoring is part of a wider range of technologies that are helping to reduce the burden on our call centre professionals, brought by such necessary but mundane tasks.  They free up employees to focus on customer-facing, more engaging work.

Employee satisfaction is raised whilst reducing costs and improving sales figures.  Managers and business owners are provided with a more detailed and up-to-date view of the company, helping to improve overall productivity and profitability.

Jeremy PayneJeremy PayneApril 29, 2019


Historically, businesses have primarily perceived call recording as a regulatory insurance policy.

The typical process was that calls were recorded, archived, and then accessed whenever a complaint was made. Some organisations still see call recording primarily in this way today.

Other businesses have moved on a step and carried out batch sampling on call records. Often, they might listen in to every 100th phone call for compliance purposes. They might also focus on monitoring new employees to help embed best practice. Alternatively, they might use the batch recordings for training purposes, picking out examples of angry customers, or high-performing agents dealing with customer queries.

Today, thanks to the latest AI and analytics, organisations can do much more with call recordings. With solutions like coacher and helper bots emerging, together with technologies like real time speech analytics (RTSA), we are seeing the advent of a new world of call recording.

Instead of simply being used reactively for compliance or training, the potential for organisations to use technology working in real-time in conjunction with the customer service representative has raised the bar, making it possible to use these kinds of solutions to drive up customer satisfaction and increase sales.

In particular, this is giving businesses greater insight into their contact centre and customer service operations. They can now listen in to every phone call. They can measure the sentiment of a customer interaction more precisely in real-time. Is the customer getting stressed? Is the agent becoming aggressive? Has the agent failed to make proactive use of the available helper bot to answer the customer’s query?

Answering these questions positively can be key to the success of a business, but it is also important to highlight that call recording today has evolved into much more than just recording a phone call. When listening to call recordings, business managers today also need to know what the agent was looking at on the screen at the time they provided information to the customer for example. Incorrect data on the company’s website could help to exonerate an agent who has made a mistake, and pinpoint a problem that needs to be addressed.

That’s why the ability to capture screen information, helping to put the call in context starts to give supervisors a clearer picture of what is happening within their customer service operation – and that drives better customer satisfaction, and improves the level of first interaction resolution. All this contextual information can then feed into a continuous improvement loop. Where one interaction is resolved successfully that can then feed the knowledge management and information systems making the whole process more accurate.

Barriers to roll-out

If you consider what is possible now and the way many organisations are starting to embrace and use these types of technologies, hand-in-hand with a human agent, the potential to also improve customer service and drive up sales has also increased enormously.

So, given all the benefits that they could achieve from this new approach, why isn’t every business moving over to it? One of the main barriers we are seeing today is cultural. Many organisations follow the ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ philosophy. This conservative culture is often reinforced by agents who are uncomfortable with more technology listening in to everything they do; monitoring every action they take, and flagging it up to their managers if they are ‘out of line’.

Unfortunately, whenever new technology is introduced into an organisation, it comes with an associated fear factor. Agents are understandably concerned about what the change might mean to them.

Businesses need to do more to listen to these concerns but also educate agents about the potential benefits of the new technology in helping them perform their role. Indeed, smart organisations will work transparently and openly with agents to look at how the technology can be used to make their job better.

Humans can, for example, be especially good at empathy and working with customers who might be in a moment of crisis or an emotionally charged situation. So it makes sense for businesses to free up agents to engage with customers in this way, while deploying bot technology in the background to give them the practical information they need to answer the customer queries and follow the best available next step.

Ultimately, it has to be about empowering the agent, rather than focusing on the mechanics of finding the information the customer is looking for. With the latest call recording technology, the agent can concentrate on the interaction itself, safe in the knowledge that bots are working in the background to provide the information they need to resolve each individual query.

Agents can also can gain from the enhanced training capability on offer. Businesses can use the approach to capture the kinds of phrases or behaviours used by best performing agents or sales staff and build that into the coaching and helping engines to benefit contact centre and customer service staff as a whole.

This kind of ‘hand-in-glove’ harmony between man and machine is critical in this context. When businesses get it right, it can enhance the agent’s life enormously as well as benefitting the business and the end customer. In summary, the latest call recording technology can bring significant benefits to organisations but it needs to be introduced in a way that overcomes the cultural fear that some organisations and their staff have about bringing in the latest advanced technologies. Get all that right and businesses stand to improve their compliance position, enhance employee engagement – and drive up customer satisfaction into the bargain.

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