What would you consider a vital piece of business equipment? You may be surprised to learn that audio recording devices could be a business owner’s best friend, and here are just 10 reasons why:

1. Minute taking in meetings

We’ve all been the designated minute taker for a meeting, and it’s not a fun job. Keeping up with everything that is said and making a record of it that can actually be understood later, while also participating in the meeting, is hard work. You can make it a lot easier with one simple step, switching on a recording device. Provided everyone is happy with the meeting being recorded – and they should be if the meeting minutes would be publicly available anyway – you can keep a full audio record of every meeting and transcribe it in your own time should you wish to.

2. Keeping a record of phone calls

There are dozens of reasons why recording business phone calls is a good idea, some of which will be covered further down this list. These recordings provide you with important information and a record of what was said and by whom. They constitute evidence of verbal agreements and can help with everything from training to customer service.

Now for the big question – is it legal to record business phone calls? And do you need to notify customers that they are being recorded? There are of course exceptions and complications, but businesses recording phone calls without notifying the other party on the call is perfectly legal provided you do not make the recording available to a third party. This means you can’t give, sell or share the recording with anyone else. It should be for your own use as a business for a particular purpose such as:

  • Providing evidence of a business transaction
  • Ensuring that a business is complying with regulatory procedures or quality standards
  • Protecting national security, preventing or detecting crime
  • Investigating the unauthorised use of a telecoms system (this last one mainly applies when you are recording your own employees without their knowledge).

3. Memory aids

Ever had a great idea in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a meeting and forgotten it before you had a chance to write it down? Switch on your portable voice recorder and make an audio note, so you’ll never forget your brilliant idea. This is just one of the ways that audio recorders can be used as memory aids, especially when you don’t have time to write things down. You can also use these devices when you need to go hands-free, as many are voice-activated.

4. Dictating letters and memos

Just like with the point above about using audio recorders as memory aids, you’ll also find them extremely useful when it comes to dictation. It can be a tortuous process to sit there while your secretary furiously scribbles notes to type up later, whereas an audio recorder makes it simple and quick. You can record letters and memo transcripts at any time, getting them out of your head and ready for playback as soon you think of what you want to say. You can then email the file to your secretary or just leave the device on your desk.

5. Improving customer service

To keep customers and to win new ones, you need to be providing excellent customer service. A lot of the service you provide happens over the phone, which is where call recording can be useful. You can use recordings to review how customers are dealt with by your staff, analysing how effectively queries and complaints are dealt with.

6. Staff training

Just like with the above, call recording can help with staff training, and not just in relation to customer service. Recorded calls can provide examples of what to do (and what not to do) in a variety of call scenarios. New recruits and existing staff can learn from these good and bad examples to improve service, efficiency, satisfaction and also improve their sales techniques. They are an invaluable tool for staff training, helping your team prepare for anything that comes their way.

7. Capture all the details of a phone conversation

In conversation, it’s easy to miss those little details. Your staff may be recording as much information as they can, but they also need to be listening to and engaging with customers at the same time. Recording calls takes the pressure off, so they can fully participate in the call while the business has access to all the details and information they need.

8. Fleshing out buyer personas

The ability to capture and review a wealth of customer information that comes through calls gives you a particular marketing advantage. It allows you to identify buyer trends and patterns, as well as mapping the interests, ages, locations and other demographics of your customers. This information is used to build and flesh out buyer personas. These are the target audience you’re aiming to attract, and knowing more about what makes them tick can significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

9. Avoiding legal headaches

One of the biggest benefits call recording can offer businesses is evidence. If a lawsuit or legal issue comes along, you will have concrete evidence in the form of audio recordings to support your case – or tell you when to back off before the case becomes too expensive, if it turns out that the business is in the wrong.

10. Aiding disciplinary proceedings

Provided you have a policy in place and you ask for the employee’s consent, it can be useful to record disciplinary meetings, hearings and other proceedings. This way, neither party can deny they said or admitted to something (when you know they did) and there is a full, clear record of all steps that have been taken. This protects you, and it protects the employee. It also means that you can fully concentrate on the meeting, which can be tricky to navigate at the best of times without having to take notes as well.