It can be tricky legal business to legally record business telephone calls, especially if your business operates in more than one state.
Houston Methodist Hospital was sued by a doctor who alleges that the hospital system illegally recorded patients’ phone calls and, consequently, breached the patients’ confidentiality. No business wants to be at the center of this kind of publicity or have these allegations made against them. Most of the time, a good recording policy, strict policy implementation, and employee training is all it takes to avoid these situations.
Click to read more about the allegations made against Houston Methodist:
Top 3 Things to Consider Before Making the First Recording
Is your business recording some or all of its telephone calls? If so, what is the reason for creating the recordings? Is it for quality assurance, customer service training, documenting contract authorizations, regulatory compliance, or some other business purpose?
Step 1: Create a business policy
Randomness in this can create a lot of problem. In order to create a proper (read: legal) system for recording business telephone calls, start with the “why.” Why is your business making the recordings, and how will the recordings be used? Once these 2 questions are answered, a stout call recording policy can – and should – be created and reduced to writing.
Step 2: Train ALL employees
Next, address employee training. Good employee training at the rollout of the policy together with ongoing training updates will help your business ensure both that the policy is being properly followed and that your employees answer customer questions accurately when asked. This in turn will greatly reduce the chance of your company being in the middle of any social media PR disasters!
Step 3: Strictly follow the policy
After the call recording policy is created, the implementation should be systematic and followed exactly every time. The best practice is to implement call recording using an automated system, so that the call recording rules are followed electronically and automatically. This way, you reduce the chance of human error. An automated system also gives you the benefit of handling recording storage locations, retention, and deletion – all of which will also be part of the overall recording policy.
Consult with your attorney any time you are contemplating a call recording policy change. Even without any pending changes, you should do an annual legal review of your current call recording procedures to make sure no state or federal laws affecting the recordings have changed.