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What is Call Recording? How Does it Work?

What is Call Recording? How Does it Work?


6 min read

Quick Summary

Call recording is a feature of good VoIP phone systems that allows customers to record their business calls, then playback and download them.

What is call recording?

Call recording is a feature of modern business phone systems that records the spoken content of a call (and, sometimes, the entirety of a call including the customer’s time navigating an IVR menu or waiting in a call queue).

The recorded contents of each call are then stored with your provider, available for you to playback and download at any time.

Different providers will offer different implementations of the call recording feature - some might not offer such a feature at all. Depending on the provider and your agreements with them, you might only have access to your call recordings for a given time period, say, the last 30 days.

Good phone system providers will provide account administrators with the power to toggle call recording on or off globally and for specific users, meaning call recording doesn’t have to be either on or off for the entire business - if the CEO doesn’t want his calls recorded, they don’t have to be.

How does call recording work?

The best VoIP phone system providers have a large amount of control over the code that makes up the Call Handling system of their VoIP platform. This is the system that controls what happens to voice data packets as they’re flowing up to the server and out, across the internet, to the call recipient (for more on how VoIP works, check out our What is VoIP? guide).

This level of granular control enable providers to manipulate these voice data packets - and the connection they travel across - in various ways. In turn, this allows the provider to offer features beneficial to their customers. Such features include call monitoring activities like listening to a colleagues’ calls and, of course, call recording.

Calls are recorded by making a copy of the data as it is transferred and storing that copy to memory. You can then access these copies at a later date.

This is done in much the same way as standard audio recording software, where the analogue signal created by your voice is captured by a microphone and recorded to your hard disk.

The difference here is that the digital data packets are encoded directly to an audio file.

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Why might a business need to record its calls?

In practice, call recordings have a diverse range of applications.

They can help firms meet compliance obligations.

They can make the caller experience you’re offering to clients more transparent to business management, opening the door to constructive improvement.

They can even make it clear what aspects of the businesses members of staff need further training on, or help to resolve disputes with customers or clients in the event of a disagreement about commitments made.

In these ways and more, call recordings can be invaluable for a business looking for another tool they can leverage to get ahead of the competition; to refine the experience they’re offering their customers on the phone; and to establish and adhere to better standards of service over the phone.

Ways call recording can help your business

  • Meet compliance obligations
  • Feedback on and improve the caller experience
  • Identify sticking points for customers
  • Dispute resolution
  • Uphold standards of customer service
  • Use as staff training materials

How can my business get call recording?

If you feel like your business could benefit from call recording, you’ll need to move to a business phone system provider that offers it.

Your existing provider might offer call recording on a different plan or package, so speak to them first to get a sense of what they can offer you.

If your provider doesn’t offer call recording or offers an implementation that’s not capable enough, but you’re locked into a contract, leaving early might come with a hefty exit fee.

If this applies to you, it might be worth looking into using a third-party provider to provide call recording functionality alongside your primary service.

Working out a custom deal for this one feature might be possible, but even signing up for a second full service could save you money in the long run versus paying an exit fee.

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Things to consider


If your provider has thousands of recorded calls on file for your business, it’s important their service is secure.

If cybercriminals get ahold of your recordings, your intellectual property, customer data and staff data will all be compromised.

Therefore, look for a call recording provider accredited by a respected awarding body like the National Cyber Security Centre or an ISO certification body.


If you’ve already invested in a slew of hardware IP phones for your staff, but are looking at using a third-party service or new phone system provider to get access to call recording functionality, you’ll want the new service to be compatible with your existing phones.

Some providers lock their service to one or more brands of desk phones, which limits your options here.

If the new service is not compatible, you’ll have to either find a new provider (again) or swap out all of your VoIP desk phones.

To avoid this, be sure that your new service is compatible with the VoIP phone models your business uses.

This is easily achieved by going with a provider that does not force you to use specific devices.

Buy Call Recording from Yay.com

Yay.com’s VoIP phone system is built on a philosophy of giving our customers the freedom to do business the way they want to. In this vein, you can use any hardware with our service.

On our Enterprise plan, you’ll get unlimited call recording and the ability to auto-sync your recordings to a google drive. For those with lesser requirements, our Starting Out and Flying High packages both offer a rolling 30-day window of recorded calls.

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What is Call Recording? How Does it Work?

Article By

Alex - Content Manager at Yay.com


Content Manager at Yay.com

ISO 27001 Business Continuity Accreditation ISO 22301 Business Continuity Accreditation Cyber Essentials Certificate of Assurance G-Cloud accredited by the Crown Commercial Service
ISO 27001 Business Continuity Accreditation ISO 22301 Business Continuity Accreditation Cyber Essentials Certificate of Assurance G-Cloud accredited by the Crown Commercial Service