We’ve all waited impatiently on the line while a professional-sounding voice explains that ‘this call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes’. While we can all appreciate the training benefits, what is this all about, and how and when is it – and must it, legally – be used?
Call recording is in fact, a vital element of telephony services for many organisations, especially medical, legal and financial. It is a specialist service often offered by voice communications companies such as Conversant Technology and is generally an integration which runs off an organisation’s main voice service, such as Microsoft Teams.
On mobile phones or with the most basic use of a platform like MS Teams or Zoom, it may simply refer to the ability to press record during a call, but this is just the tip of the iceberg and will not in itself satisfy a legal requirement.
Is call recording a legal requirement? And is it always a legal activity?
Time to bring on the acronyms. When used correctly, call recording will help satisfy:
- PCI – DSS requirements, which stands for ‘Payment Cloud Industry – Data Security Standards’, ensuring that all cloud payment transactions are correctly recorded, in this case if taken over a voice platform.
- MIFID II regulations, which cover the recording of data for the financial services industry
- GDPR generally, which protects the rights of the individual in terms of how their data is used.
Call recording is a legal requirement in all the above situations. Organisations recording calls are also legally obliged to let the caller know that they are doing so. It is in fact, illegal to share the content of a call to third parties without the caller’s express consent, however, as this would be a breach of GDPR – people’s data protection rights.
How does it work?
When integrated into the Microsoft Teams platform, call recording solutions allow the user to benefit from:
- Selective call recording – record 100% of calls, or you can configure the system to selectively record specific calls, or indeed stop and start on demand.
- Searching and filtering – you can also easily search for, retrieve and playback specific calls based on multiple different criteria, searching and filtering through a long list of variables including keyword flagging, exception reporting and criteria such as calls about a specific subject such as a product, price-point trigger, or complaint.
- Store all communications – the platform enables users to store all communications for a minimum of 5 years, or for any duration you choose, using a flexible retention rules capability.
- Call transcription – and translation into almost a hundred languages!
Benefits and functions of call recording systems
If, as an organisation, you are required to record calls, then a professional system will provide features and benefits such as:
- Compliance-related peace of mind and a full audit trail
- Time-stamping, indexed by agent, employee, date, team, product group or any number of user definitions.
- Live monitoring and the opportunity for a supervisor to intervene if needed.
- Multi-site call recording
- Fine-grained privileged access for assigning monitoring, recording and playback rights to specified users only.
What are the rules around data retention?
This is a common question, as people are understandably anxious about how, and for how long, their information is being held, especially with more awareness of GDPR legislation.
Within the financial industry, call recordings must be legally kept for at least five years after the call date. In the majority of cases, however, call recording data is kept anywhere from 30 days to 6 months before being transferred to the server or deleted. In financial services, the minimum is generally six months.
Like it or not, Microsoft teams call recording serves to actively protect both caller and the organisation they are in contact with. It often comes as an element of call centre or contact centre functionality, as part of the wider requirements of any company, charity or public sector entity which needs to speak with its customers or users.
It is therefore worth investing in and doing properly, for everyone’s benefit.
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