Voice recording is old hat; the new term is “interaction recording”. As more companies journey further down the road to paperless processes, where multi-channel personalised interactions with customers are a competitive requirement, having an easily accessible record of customer interactions has become essential, writes Cedric Boltman, executive: channel at Jasco Enterprise.

The hardware and software that makes recording these interactions possible has had to evolve rapidly.


From voice to interaction recording

For businesses, the recording of voice transactions and interactions is, variously, a legal requirement. It is a means to mitigate risk, a way to ensure customer service levels can be met, that staff performance is up to scratch and processes are being followed.

Today, however, more interactions are taking place across new digital and mobile platforms. In addition, computing approaches are changing from centralised to decentralised and cloud-hosted models.

Voice recording solutions, which have been evolving to also capture multi-channel contact centre agent actions—such as screen activity or utilised desktop applications—have had to adapt even further to record instant messaging, website, email, mobile, Skype, Whatsapp and other interactions. Solution providers in this segment consequently now term the solution “interaction recording”.


Into the cloud

As enterprise-size companies continue looking for cost-savings and efficiencies through 2017, the move from on-premise technology into a hosted and eventually, cloud-based platforms, will accelerate. Small and medium-sized companies are also moving into the cloud to take advantage of the cost efficiencies and agility hosted solutions offer.

This means interaction recording solutions, traditionally installed at the customer premise and linked to the PABX, need to be adapted for hosted environments, including use of hosted virtual PABXs. Licencing regimes will be adapted to offer customers hosted multi-tenant or cloud-based licensing options.


Cost drivers

Companies are continuously driven to reduce costs and this will remain a requirement in 2017. This will further drive the trend to shift to a hosted environment. Hosted interaction recording solutions reduce capital spend on product and decrease maintenance and performance costs and concerns.

Centralised recording, enabled by a hosted environment, also removes the administration issues related to consolidating and storing recordings previously made at various sites. Licencing is being adapted to allow clients to migrate to these new hosted environments.


Make it secure

Going digital and moving to the cloud exposes companies to new and unknown security risks. Interaction recordings contain sensitive customer data and companies will need to be sure to select solutions with high-level security features that remain up to date, protecting against evolving threats. In addition, recordings need to be tamper proof if they are to be considered legal and binding. This is a core requirement that will guide purchase decisions.

Privacy issues will also need to be taken into consideration as the phasing in of PoPI will take place at the end of 2017. How companies approach archiving their recordings and how they treat those recordings will be a key concern/priority.


Access and analytics

Another core feature that will drive market share in 2017 is ease of use. Interfaces need to be simple and up to date—users want to be able to save and share files using various platforms. They also need to be able to access recordings quickly. Leading providers are providing integration capabilities that bundle recordings with company information about individual clients and make recordings searchable.

As analytics becomes more important for companies to segment their customers, gain a deeper understanding of their needs and behaviour, and tailor their offerings to meet those needs, companies will want to be able to extract data from interaction recordings. This is already possible, but what if interaction recording companies could aggregate data and provide analytics insights?

The need for interaction recording remains and as companies increase their digital footprint in 2017, it will be the interaction recording companies with feet on the ground and experience in integration that win market share.