This month I want to kit my sales chaps out with mobile call recording. As workers turn to their smartphones in preference of the desk phone many businesses are now looking for mobile call recording solutions. Thanks to the FSA mobile call recording is already a requirement in the banking industry and has been for over 12 months now. What about the rest of us out there? If you aren’t a major financial institution but still need to record calls as part of the sales process what are the options? David Dungay donned his false moustache and did some investigating.
After about five attempts I came across a reseller that actually knew what call recording was! I got straight through to Peter who seemed to be fairly fresh behind the ears. Although polite and helpful I got the impression Peter was just starting out his sales career with Compliant. Peter did have some knowledge as to what I was after and immediately recommended the Blackberry range as that was the easiest route to go down. I wasn’t too sure about buying new devices as my team had their own devices already. Apparently there isn’t an adequate solution for the iphone yet. Peter talked me through the Blackberry app which would sit on the phone and record all calls in and out. Obviously there is the problem that personal calls outside of work will still be picked up. Peter suggested another solution offered which would just record outgoing calls (initiated calling) which would have been considerably cheaper than the app route (£54/ month plus extras). Again, what happens if someone calls you on your mobile…the call won’t be recorded. I left an email address and was expecting an email with a few more details. Instead I got a call back within the hour and good old Peter wanted to chat a bit more about the solutions on offer. He mentioned one of his supervisors was listening in and he should have emphasized the cost differences between the solutions we discussed. Poor old Peter was probably getting some good old school sales training…or he was making up excuses to work his sales magic on me. I’m going with the former!
Highlights: Polite with moderate knowledge. Persistent.
Lowlights: A bit of a bumbler on the phone, could have known products better.
Helpfulness 4/5 – Manner 3/5 – Knowledge 2/5
Understanding 3/5 – Sales Technique 3/5 – Clarity 2/5
Middle of the road. I would have liked to have found out if Peter was actually in the middle of some training because this makes a huge difference to the score. Peter was the first person that I spoke to that actually knew anything about mobile call recording and that was a huge relief to me as I was starting to get a bit despondent with our resellers out there. I like the fact that Peter rang me back, even though I didn’t really want him to, and actually started asking me some probing questions about my business. He had looked me up online to learn more about my business and couldn’t find anything, obviously! Although the score may not be up there Peter has some potential.
I thought I had broken the back of the resellers that didn’t offer, or know anything about, mobile call recording and then I rang Shore Communications. I spoke to a Garry initially who didn’t have a lot to offer than a friendly demeanour and an eagerness to help me in my quest. Garry took some details and told me although he couldn’t help he would put me in contact with someone that could. I was going to get another call back…just an hour or so later I got the call. Calling me back on behalf of Shore Communications was Everton. He was ringing me straight from Retell! This was a great example of how reseller supplier relationships work at their best. Everton had absolutely excellent knowledge, and so he should. We discussed my options and he described two solutions which may fit. Again, Blackberry was mentioned but the solution involved initiating a conference call everytime you rang out which would trigger the recording in the cloud. This resulted in using up of minutes twice as fast as making a regular outbound call. He also took me through a solution that he recommended for Android devices. He said this may be the way to go if the recipients of the solution were used to an iPhone type experience. Everton also said the Android solution was actually a very robust solution that would do a good job. The recordings were pushed to a cloud server which could be accessed through a user porthole on a browser. You would have to watch out for your data allowances but these days the standard allowances for mobile data are adequate for this type of solution. Everton also pointed me in the right direction if I wanted to find out a little bit more.
Highlights: Hard to beat this kind of knowledge. He knew his products inside out
Lowlights: Perhaps didn’t push me enough on the sales side.
Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 4/5 Knowledge – 5/5
Understanding – 4/5 Sales Technique – 3/5 Clarity –3/5
Total – 23/30
Good score. The reason I liked this call so much was that it highlighted how effective reseller supplier partnerships can be. Although I would have liked to score the reseller directly, I had to mark based on my second conversation with Everton. Given the fact that Everton worked for Retell directly it was no wonder his scores were good in the product knowledge categories. It would have been a great experiment to get a bit further down the sales process to really scrutinise that relationship but that would have been a bit too unfair. My impressions of Garry for Shore Communications were good and although he didn’t have the answers at his fingertips he knew where to go, that’s why partnering can be so effective.
This call was both positive and negative for me. It really highlighted the importance of picking your staff correctly. I was put through to the mobile team and spoke to Matt who instantly told me they didn’t actually offer those types of solution. Ordinarily that would have been the end of the conversation but Matt actually had some knowledge in the area. He had previously worked for a call recording firm and gave me a brief run down of some of the options out there. He gave me three names to investigate further and explained that for my purposes I would probably want to go down the third party app route. We chatted about the FSA regulation and he explained that before the legislation came in mobile call recording services weren’t actually that great, but they have got a lot better over the last 12 months or so. He mentioned the new Blackberry Z10 (his office were using them) and said generally this type of solution works well with Blackberry because it is the predominant handset used in the financial industry. Again, iPhone was probably going to be a problem but he did admit there might be something out there he wasn’t aware of. Matt was very good and was basically helping me out with a solution he couldn’t even sell me! We did get onto my business and where we were based and Matt offered his help with anything we may need other than the mobile call recording. Great call all around.
Highlights: Good knowledge, helpful despite not being a direct sales lead.
Lowlights: Couldn’t give me definite costings…can’t really hold that against him!
Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 4/5 Knowledge – 4/5
Understanding – 4/5 Sales Technique – 3/5 Clarity – 3/5
Total – 22/30
Great score considering. Matt was excellent and very knowledgeable despite not even having a mobile call recording solution to sell me! The beauty of this call was that Matt engaged with me and my business so much that even though he couldn’t help me out with this enquiry for any further communication services I would have happily gone back to him. I was impressed at this level of helpfulness and he sent me away with some good providers to follow up with.
It was a bit of a battle this month getting through to the right people off the bat but once I did there were some excellent conversations. Peter was bringing up the rear this month for a few reasons. He didn’t flow with his conversation over the phone and managed to miss out some important pricing details with our initial call, I did like the fact that he picked up the phone and called me back despite being asked to email. I suspect he is getting some decent sales training…which he may be in the midst of. I was very impressed with Calteq and Matt who didn’t have any commercial value in talking to me but still gave out some excellent advice. The winner had to be Shore Communications who were clearly taking full advantage of the support Retell give them and got the specialist to call me back. It’s hard to beat that kind of service! One concern I had this month was that several mobile dealers/ resellers that I rang didn’t really know anything about mobile call recording and thus weren’t providing it. Are these not the kind of value added services that the channel can offer so well?
1st – Shore Communication – 23/30
2nd – Calteq – 22/30
3rd – Compliant Phones – 17/30