“This call may be monitored or recorded.”

We’ve all heard this statement when calling contact centers. But why are they recording? Look no further than the phrase that typically follows that statement – “for quality and training purposes.”

Organizations can use call recordings to evaluate agent performance and provide personalized training. They can use natural language processing tools and analytics to better understand customer sentiment and predict their needs and frustrations. These capabilities lead to better overall contact center performance and a better customer experience.

From a legal perspective, call recording allows organizations to maintain comprehensive customer communication records for protection against legal action resulting from disputes. In some industries, organizations must record some or all customer interactions to satisfy regulatory requirements.

Regardless of the reason for recording calls, there are rules that need to be followed. The tricky part is that rules are different from country to country and even state to state. For example, most states have one-party consent, which means only one person on the call has to consent to be recorded. However, 12 states require two-party consent.

This is also called all-party consent because the person recording must inform everyone on the call and get their consent. If a person in a one-party state calls someone in a two-party state, you need to follow both states’ laws, but you risk a compliance violation if you don’t record the call as required.

Obtaining proper consent begins with your own employees. More and more contact centers are drawing up formal agreements that state the employee is aware of and consents to all calls being recorded. If you include such a clause in your employee handbook, you should still have employees sign a document to verify consent.

The statement at the beginning of this article is the standard mechanism for notifying callers to your contact center. It’s important that a message about call recording play before the caller is routed to an agent, but not as a message in queue. This will ensure that the message is heard, even if a caller directly connects with an agent. It will also prevent the message from being heard multiple times, which could detract from the customer experience.

In addition to consent rules, the data obtained in contact center calls must comply with new regulations. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was developed to protect the data privacy of EU citizens, recordings of a customer’s voice are considered their personal data. Explicit confirmation of the customer’s consent is required before calls can be recorded. Similar rules apply under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect at the beginning of this year.

Of course, compliance with existing regulations is still a formidable challenge for many organizations. The Dodd-Frank Act says contact center calls in the financial sector must be recorded, date and time stamped, securely stored, and searchable. HIPAA has provisions that govern personally identifiable health information, while Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards apply to payment data.

To meet increasingly complex compliance requirements, implement a formal policy and best practices for the recording of calls in the contact center. This document should identify the types of calls that must be recorded, how to obtain consent, and how audio recordings should be handled. Audit a certain percentage of audio recordings each quarter, using advanced analysis tools rather than manual reviews of transcripts. Use artificial intelligence-driven tools to identify and prioritize compliance risks and ensure accuracy in analyzing audio.

With the right tools and processes, you can prevent your contact center from turning into a compliance headache. Let us help you create call recording policies and procedures that reduce risk while improving the customer experience.