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24 April 2013

By: Danny Singer

Blog #7: Voice recording – Listen, it’s all in the retrieval…


"Your call may be recorded for the purposes of training and quality assurance". How many times have you heard this when you eventually managed to emerge blinking from the button pushing nightmare of an automated interactive voice response (IVR) maze in the bright hope of speaking to a human being?

Why is this important? Well, the truth is that although training and quality assurance (QA) may have a role to play, the real reason dictating that your call will be (none of that "may be", please!) recorded is for legal reasons. Call centres will record all calls as a matter of routine and keep these recordings for long periods of time, usually measured in years.

As data storage has become ridiculously cheap and terabytes of disk space can be bought for next to nothing, recording absolutely everything has become the norm. It is in effect an insurance policy to guarantee that customers cannot make spurious claims based on conversations with call centre agents. To be fair, it also protects the customer against shoddy business practices and rogue agents.

It can also act as a pretty handy internal call centre policing device. As agents are aware that each and every one of their calls is being recorded, they will be more courteous and attentive (fingers crossed!).

In the last few years, the widespread use of voice analytics has provided the ultimate reason for recording everything. The ability to detect automatically patterns of behaviour by analysing recordings, and associate these with successful or unsuccessful calls, has provided the return on investment argument for wall to wall voice recording.


As a result, voice recording has become a commodity. The main differentiator between the wide range of voice recording systems out there is the ease of retrieval. As the volume of recordings mushrooms to petabytes of data, finding one individual recording easily and quickly can become a problem.

Anyone can record calls, but very few can retrieve well. It is the age old "needle in the haystack" problem.

Here at Noetica we found a very nifty way of providing the ultimate retrieval mechanism for the voice recordings generated through our product Synthesys™. Because we provide a tactical underlying CRM platform as an integral part of our product, we link voice recordings directly and automatically to CRM customer records as history events.

This means that not only can the full power of CRM search and retrieval tools be unleashed to find recordings easily as part of the complete customer CRM picture, but also associate these recordings with the data collected by the agent via their call script during the call.

This makes for instant, easy retrieval of recordings and since the recording is directly associated with the data collected by the agent during the call, in most cases it eliminates the need for screen recording and even voice analytics. This is because the data collected during the call (including the script navigation path) tends to be much richer and accurate than the detection of speech patterns (which is really all that voice analytics can do).

Most (if not all) voice recording solutions are completely separate from any CRM system and can only bridge this gap by tagging their recordings with rich data through costly integration with a CRM system from a variety of other suppliers. Tagging can never hope to hold the richness of data that the CRM system holds. So, in effect, utilising the CRM system as an easy access index into voice recordings is the ultimate tagging mechanism.

The coherent combination of CRM and voice recording from a single vendor is unique to Noetica, and we believe it holds the key to the most effective retrieval mechanism possible. We can provide the powerful magnet that will simply remove the needle from that proverbial haystack instantly.