Business Sectors

There are numerous reasons for recording telephone calls in a business, and these can be broadly categorised under the headings of Verification, Quality Control, Coaching & Training, and Financial Services Compliance.

Amongst the Truelog customer base, around half of the voice logging systems in the field are to be found in the Financial Services sector, where they primarily address the issue of Verification (and thereby, Compliance). This sector is followed by Freight / Logistics / Transport / Distribution, where the issues of Verification and Confirmation also play an important role.

Within these sectors, voice logging is usually deployed in customer contact centres (call centres), and where Truelog systems are used, it is common for not just the call centre to be recorded, but the enterprise as a whole. This allows for management and admin staff to have access to their own calls, providing productivity benefits across the entire business and extending the ROI beyond the call centre alone.

The Motor Trade has also become a notable user of voice logging, with both the service and sales departments deriving benefit from being able to retrieve and play back telephone calls, and being able to easily email a recording to a customer.

However, the benefits afforded by voice logging are not limited to these sectors, as the ability to play back telephone calls is advantageous for any business which interacts with suppliers and customers via the phone. The introduction of the new Consumer Protection Act has particular relevance for the recording of business telephone calls. The South African marketplace has always been subject to the principle of Caveat Emptor i.e. 'let the Buyer beware', but this act changes the principle to that of Caveat Venditor i.e.'let the Seller beware'.

The act elevates South African consumers to amongst the best protected in the world, and many businesses will need to review their processes in terms of warranties, standards, advertising, marketing, labelling etc. In this new landscape, the buyer is by default 'in the right', and the onus falls on the seller to prove the contrary. This will have significant implications for business, as the act makes provision for a 'cooling off period' after the signing of a binding agreement, the return of goods (including new cars), and filing of claims for consequential damages.

Some applications of the Truelog system in different business sectors:

The following observations are taken directly from Truelog customers:

The Motor Trade

In the Service department:

Your client liaison staff phoned the customer, quoted him a price, and he gave the go-ahead for the repair. When presented with the invoice, he claims that he never agreed to the full repair, or that he was quoted a lower price.

> Play the call back to the customer, and any argument comes to an immediate end!

Your service department indicated that it would try to complete the job by Friday. This becomes:

"I was promised delivery by Friday - now I insist on a courtesy vehicle for the weekend"

> Play the call back to the customer, and any argument comes to an immediate end!

The factory made promises to you, and you then made promises to the customer. Now, at the last minute, the factory hasn't honoured its promises.

> Play the call back to the factory, and if necessary, let them carry the costs!

In the Vehicle Sales department:

"I spoke to the salesman on the phone, and he promised to include a canopy / mags / towbar / whatever in the price."

> Play the call back to the customer, and any argument comes to an immediate end!

Real Life example 1

At a thriving workshop, the workshop manager's PA selects ten or more service related calls every day, which she emails to him with relevant comments. The calls range from threats to register a complaint at, to a rare complimentary call, and he follows up on any issues which demand attention.

Real Life example 2

The sales manager and his assistant select two relevant telephone calls from every sales rep on a daily basis. The sales department gets together at seven a.m. sharp every morning, to listen to and analyze the selected calls. Many mornings, the dealer principal also sits in at these meetings. Some are good calls, some are not so good, but the discussions lead to valuable lessons being learned every day.

Real Life example 3

Every sales rep has to register their pending deals, or 'pipeline'. When a deal 'falls through', the entire sales department gets together to listen to every call to or from the prospective customer, and try to analyze why the customer decided to buy from the competition - things that went wrong, mistakes that were made, etc. Again, valuable lessons are learned, and the same mistakes will not easily be made in future.

Real Life example 4

The sales manager considers himself to be somewhat of a coach, and every day he makes time to listen to his sales reps' calls. They are required to make cold calls whenever they have free time, and lengthy personal calls are not allowed. Each rep discusses his or her 'prospects' with the manager and is required to report back with detailed results. The manager makes a point of performing 'post mortems' on unsuccessful calls by listening to them together with the rep, offering suggestions and guidance to improve the rep's 'hit rate'.

In General:

At a number of motor dealers, the Truelog system has also led to a substantial reduction in telephone costs. In cases where these cost savings match or exceed the monthly rental cost of the system, the benefits of the system are available at effectively no cost. The cost reductions are most notable where minimal control was previously exercised over the telephone system, and staff were used to freely making personal calls at any time. The economic downturn which started in late 2008 has led to numerous Truelog systems being deployed in the motor trade, providing significant operational improvements, increased controls, and cost savings.

Internal sales

The client is a manufacturer and distributor of fasteners to the electrical industry, and has a large dealer base across the RSA. The internal sales department is manned by some twenty agents who spend most of their day on the phone, calling and receiving calls from dealers. The sales manager’s office has large windows and he watches his team closely, listening in to their live calls from time to time. When he comes across a really good sales call, he summons all the reps to his office to listen to it, so that all can learn from the particular rep’s experience. When he comes across a bad call, he calls in the rep concerned and plays the call back to the rep. They evaluate the call together, and the rep acknowledges where he or she went wrong, and together they agree on a strategy to address the specific issue in future.

Call Centre - Freight and Logistics

At a leading multinational freight company, the performance of the call centre is regularly evaluated by an overseas-based quality assessment agency. Fictitious shipments are introduced into the shipping system, and calls are made to ‘track’ the progress of these shipments. The agency assesses the performance of the call centre staff and provides ratings in comparison to opposition freight companies. Through diligent use of a Truelog system, the call centre rating improved from way down the MEA (Middle East & Africa) performance list, to top of the list, in a period of some eight months.

Security Sector

Truelog is used at numerous security businesses, including some of the leading companies in this field. A typical installation provides for live monitoring by supervisors of all control room calls, as well as any number of two-way radios, and recording of all calls across the company. In the security industry, it is important that not only calls which succeed in getting through to the called party be logged, but also calls which are unsuccessful (called party busy or no reply), as proof is often required that the control room did try to contact a client. Security companies also make use of 'communicators' which send status and alarm messages via the telephone, and it can be useful to monitor the incidence of calls from these devices (the audio is deleted in this case, as it consists only of machine-to-machine tones). The Truelog system not only caters for these requirements, but also provides management, admin, finance and sales with the ability to play back their own calls with the same ease as finding and reading an email.

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