Why Your Business Should Use Call Recording Software

There are many organisations and industries that are required to record their telephone conversations, whether that be legally or because of compliance guidelines set out for a specific service. This is quite common in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance and legal services, however, call recording can benefit many other industries as well.

Recording your calls can help your business to improve its customer service through training and continuous review of the calls to assess the level of service they deliver. It can also be used as evidence and help keep record of verbal contracts among other things. Here’s why any company that conducts any business or provides customer service over the phone should record their calls.

Customer Satisfaction

The interaction between a call centre agent and a customer is so important, the agent’s actions can make or break the customer’s experience. One wrong step could result in lost business or an angry customer who might write about their experience on social media which can create a bad image for your company, no one is attracted to a company who is known for giving bad customer service. Call recording is the only way that management can check whether the agents are doing their job properly or not.

Real-time call barging doesn’t cover every customer interaction, yes management can step in on a bad call but it isn’t practical for a manager to barge in on every call. It’s also possible that if a manager is listening in that the agent will be on their best behaviour, and as soon as they finish monitoring them they could revert back to giving bad customer service.


Whether you’re training new staff or improving the skill of your current agents, call recording is a great tool for demonstrating what to do and what not to do during customer interaction on the phone. There’s nothing like learning from real situations, you might have recorded staged conversations or include a roleplay section in your training but how often do these scenarios play out like a real interaction? Recording your calls allows you to capture every type of call and customer that you may encounter, this can help you to prepare your staff for eventualities that they might not have even thought of.

Using real calls will also help you to train your staff and teach them how your organisation specifically should interact on the phone with customers, what your company standards are and what you expect of them.

Elimination of ‘He Said, She Said’

Misunderstandings can easily arise when speaking on the phone with someone, whether that is answering a customer’s question or negotiating terms of a contract, and accusations can be made by angry customers. In all of these situations call recording is so useful, it helps to shed light on a confusing situation and clarify what actually was said, without call recording it is one person’s word against another’s. In the case of the angry customer they may ask for the call to be escalated to a supervisor who hasn’t heard any part of the previous conversation, they have to make a judgement whether to trust the customer is telling the complete truth. With a record of the call the supervisor can review what actually happened, can make a decision on how to proceed and whether the agent was at fault and whether they need to be corrected.


Depending on your industry call recording may be required as set out by service compliance guidelines as set by the FSA for example, or even laws set by the government. Businesses within the financial sector have to record all of their verbal communications, and banks, brokers, insurance and other financial companies are heavily monitored and regulated by the government and private organisations. Companies who take payment over the phone are also required record calls to maintain their PCI DSS compliance.


C3’s PhonepayPlus (PPP) approved call recording solution is a flexible application that can grow and evolve with your business. For more information about our Call Recording Systems and Solutions please contact our team.

Online, Mobile & Phone Payment Security Tips for Your Business

A recent report by research firm Forrester has uncovered the potential growth of mobile payments over the next 5 years. Forrester have said they expect to see mobile payments triple, from the €52 billion they reached at the end of 2015 to a staggering €148 billion by 2021. All due to the development and wide roll-out of contactless payments throughout the EU. Although online and phone card payments have been around a little bit longer than mobile payments, they are still growing. In 2017 many businesses now operate purely online, and this growth in eCommerce and non-cash transactions they have needed to take a look at their security protocols a lot more closely.

If your business accepts online, mobile or phone payments here are a few tips to take note of to make sure that you are operating as securely as possible.

PCI DSS Compliance

In our blog last month we debunked a few of the myths regarding PCI DSS compliance that have made their rounds as a result of the confusion surrounding compliance and what it means for your business. But why is it so important to be compliant? Any business that processes, stores or transmits any credit card data must operate in line with the regulations to ensure that all customer information and data is being kept completely secure.

Choose a Secure eCommerce Provider & Processor

Even with all the regulations put in place by the PCI some companies still don’t take security as seriously as they should. To make sure you’re working with one of those companies that do you need to do your research. See what other people have to say about them in their reviews, are they reputable? Do they trust them? Have they ever had any trouble using them? If the company or anyone doesn’t mention their dedication to security there must be a reason, it is likely that they’re not that secure at all. If security was their top priority they would make sure everyone knew about it.

Transaction Verification

With online, mobile and phone payments you’re dealing with customer transactions in a card not present (CNP) environment, but even without the card owner and their card you can (and should) still verify every transaction. There are a few ways you can do this; make it a requirement for the customer to supply the security code or CVV number on the back of their card, make sure there is an address verification (AVS) match, and monitoring all customer purchase patterns so if you spot anything out of the norm it can be investigated or even blocked.

Make Sure You & Your Team Stay Informed

Despite all of the data security standards that are in place and regulations that are enforced a lot of breaches occur as a result of human error. Without the proper knowledge or a level of even basic security training you are surely putting your customer data at risk. All staff need to be educated and made aware of all the latest threats and security risks. Everyone should be able to verify transactions, understand the dangers of opening unsolicited emails and their attachments as well as implications sharing any sensitive information could have.

Find out more about our payment solutions

5 PCI DSS Compliance Myths Debunked

The number of credit and debit card payments being made in the UK each year has significantly increased over the past decade, the UK Cards Association reported that 15 billion transactions were made in 2015 with a value that amounted to around £660 billion (35% of the UK GDP in 2015). With the increasing rise in card payments payment security has taken more of a front seat in recent years, and rightly so.

However, there is still a bit of confusion around PCI DSS, many people don’t understand what it is and what implications it can have on them or their business. As a PCI DSS Tier 1 Service and Solutions Provider we have heard it all here at C3.

  1. We don’t process enough payments to require to be compliant

Ever since the implementation of the newest PCI – PCI 3.2 – in 2016 there is no longer a minimum number of transactions that have to take place for a merchant to be required to be PCI compliant. This means that even if you process one card payment every year you still need to adhere to the standards and be fully compliant.

  1. PCI only applies to e-commerce companies

Any company that stores, processes or transmits cardholder information, whether you have a shop in a physical location and use POS devices, process card payments online through your online store or offer a tele-billing service, PCI applies to you.

  1. Masking numbers is enough

Many believe that hiding the whole credit or debit card number with the exception of the last 4 digits is enough when in fact it is not, this is only a small step in the PCI process. This only hides the full number on the payment screen so that, in a contact centre for example, the agent can’t see the number, it does not account for your network or system storing that information in a non-compliant manner elsewhere where it can be retrieved and decoded later.

  1. Merchants are allowed to store any data

There are many business owners that think they have the right to store any and all of the data that they want to in order to aid their business. This violates PCI DSS as well as legislation regarding privacy, customers may not have given permission for their sensitive data to be stored. PCI states that unencrypted credit card numbers, CVV or CV2 numbers, PIN blocks, PIN numbers or Track 1 or Track 2 data cannot be stored under any circumstances. If anyone is found to have stored any of the above information they run the risk of facing serious consequences particularly if any data has been compromised, a security breach and all the costs that come with it could put a company out of business.

  1. PCI is unreasonable

When it comes to the security of the sensitive information and data of your customers nothing is unreasonable. PCI DSS is a common security practice, it may be hard to understand for those who do not have large security or IT departments, but that is where C3 come in. We are fully accredited to provide a range of secure solutions to process credit and debit card payments via telephone, SMS and/or online

We have worked with some of the UK’s biggest charity events such as Comic Relief and Children in need to process thousands of secure payments per hour. We also work with many retailers, value added service providers and tele-billing organisations to develop PCI DSS Compliant smart payment applications.

4 Reasons Why You Should Move Your Contact Centre to the Cloud

The popularity of the cloud is ever increasing, through recent years the number of businesses adopting the cloud has continued to increase significantly. If businesses haven’t already migrated and moved their files, services and processes to the cloud it is more than likely that they are planning to. It is the same for contact centres too, it has become more and more common for the cloud to be used as a platform within a call centre setting, and why not? Here are just 4 advantages of the many that using the cloud can offer…

  1. Cutting Costs

Setting up a physical contact centre is incredibly costly and time consuming, not every company has the resources to finance their own let alone maintain it. Contact centres can incur costs from thousands up to millions depending on their size and how many months or years of work go into working towards their opening. Not forgetting the utilities, salaries of every single worker and not just the agents, even the little things such as refreshments and other perishables that are essential to the daily workings of a contact centre. Introducing a virtual contact centre software system into the mix however can help you to cut down on a lot of these costs. Giving agents the ability and opportunity to work flexibly and even remotely and from home means you don’t need such a large premises to house every single member of staff. With the downsizing of your premises it means you’ll be saving on electricity and other utilities too.

  1. Flexibility

As pointed out in the last section, migrating your contact centre activities to a platform in the cloud gives agents the opportunity to work from home or somewhere other than the office remotely. All of the files are accessible from anywhere because they’re all online when they’re in the cloud, everyone has access to everything they need while still maintaining the ability to add, log or save any files, details or data into the virtual system as well. With the need of having agents in a physical location eliminated it allows you to seek out more specialist agents. For example, if your centre needed to service German customers or you required someone with detailed knowledge of computers then you have a wider pool of talent to employ from compared to your surrounding area.

  1. Scalability

Industries are incredibly varied and the needs, wants and requirements of the customers within those sectors equally differ, as a result the peak times in all of these different businesses are different too. For example, Christmas is a typical peak time for retailers where they usually have a lot more queries surrounding product issues at this time, and around admission and clearing time Universities see a rise in the number of people contacting them.

These peak times mean businesses need a lot more capacity to deal with their customer service during these periods and so need to scale up and employ more agents. This can become a costly effort however if you require so many more agents and equipment because you need to find somewhere for them to work and install and maintain equipment you might not need for the rest of the year. This financial strain can be mitigated with the help of the cloud. Any software and systems in the cloud are easily adapted to the requirements of the business, so when the business grows or temporary agents need to be taken on board any software can be altered to suit.

  1. Customer Service Improvement

There has been major growth over recent years in using multiple channels to deliver great customer service so using multi-channel contact centre software in the cloud is a no-brainer. It allows you to streamline all incoming information from different channels such as Twitter, Facebook, email, telephone and even text messages into a manageable feed in a central location. Having all of this detailed information in one place allows agents to access all of the detail they need to be to deliver exceptional service to customers and support them to the best of their ability.

Find out more about or multi channel communication platforms for the cloud environment

Mistakes to Avoid to Make your IVR System Excellent

An IVR system is a great component in helping you and your business to deliver excellent customer service, they are extremely helpful in filtering customers to the right call centre agent and delivering extra information to them. However, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is only useful when it works effectively, otherwise it can be a source of frustration for a lot of callers who get passed around the system and seemingly feel like they are getting nowhere. Here are a few things that you should avoid and steer clear of in your IVR system to make sure it is helping customers rather than hindering them.

Too Many or Too Little Menu Items

No caller wants to sit through a long list of 13 different menu options, not only is it frustrating, it’s confusing too. By the time anyone has reached the 13th option it is more than likely that they have forgotten at least the first 5, and they will definitely have to listen to menu all over again. However, it is very unlikely that most of the callers had stayed on the line to hear the option of listening to the menu again and if they did stay to the end they probably don’t have the patience to sit through it again. Customers just want to speak to someone to address their problem, so they will probably put the phone down instead and you would have lost their business.

Setting up between 3 and 5 different menu items is optimal, any less and it creates another problem for the customer. With not enough options the customer can become confused as to which option to choose to get them to the most relevant department. If you have too many options and you’re finding it hard to cut down, you could consider using voice recognition instead to eliminate the push button menu altogether and give the customer the power to tell your system what they’re looking for instead.

Using Jargon

There is a reason this word exists, to describe every word we don’t understand, much like the word ‘jargon’ itself. In most cases the customer is calling you because they don’t understand something, need help or have a question or query about something, so they probably don’t understand all of the technical industry jargon related to your business. You don’t want to blind your customer with these words and confuse them even further, so avoid jargon unless it is absolutely necessary, for example, if a technical term needs to be used in a menu item to point a customer in the direction of the department that deals with that item specifically.

A Lack of Consistency

Changing your wording from menu item to menu item is only going to cause confusion for the caller, don’t go from ‘Press 1 for sales’ to ‘To speak to someone about reservations press 2’, it throws the customer off because they can’t follow an easy, predictable pattern which means they have to concentrate on the menu options even more than before to make sure they select the right one and don’t make a mistake. As well as style of menu items, you need to ensure you keep the same voice and volume throughout, if the caller has to keep turning their volume up and down to suit the varying volume of your IVR system it is just creating more work for them which can really annoy them.

Not Including a Call Back Option

Calling call centres and customer service departments are branded with a stereotype that you will spend a lot of time on hold and being passed around without getting anywhere. No one appreciates being on hold, not even for a few minutes, it often stops you from being able to do anything else while you spend your time hanging on and waiting for a sign that you’re going to be able to speak to a real person soon. If there is no one available to speak to the caller you should always give them the option to hold until there is or to request a call back instead. Offering a call back option saves the customer from wasting their time and their money, it shows the customer that you care about them and understand that they have a life outside of the call that they are making, it’s just good customer service!

Avoid these mistakes to ensure your IVR system is user-friendly and won’t turn customers away! Find out more about our IVR systems.

WhatsApp passes 100 million voice calls a day

Welcome to C3’s Industry Insight blog series inspired by articles and comment on the web.

In this blog, as WhatsApp passes a significant milestone, Martin Kirkup considers the advantages of VoIP

Whatsapp revealed in a recent blog post that its users make more than 100 million voice calls each day equating to more than an astonishing 1,100 calls per second showing the growing demand for Voice over IP (VoIP) calls as consumers move away from traditional ways of communicating.   What’s even more surprising is that the app only completed the rollout of its new voice-calling feature for Android and iOS users in April 2015.

The chat app offers the facility to all its users, allowing them to transmit a voice conversation as ordinary internet traffic rather than as an ordinary voice call. This means that callers can use wi-fi networks or their data plans to make these calls.

Continue reading WhatsApp passes 100 million voice calls a day