You’re in the middle of a customer service call with a frustrated customer who claims your salesperson made a promise they didn’t deliver on. And now it’s your salesperson’s word against the customer’s.
Likely, it was a mix of miscommunication and misunderstanding. We’ve all been there.
But now you have to muddle through what’s left of the conversation in your free, standalone call recording app. And it’s not playing nice. Meanwhile, the customer service issue leaves you demoralized as you try to piece together what happened.
While a free call recording app may sound like a good idea on paper, the best solution for your business can help your team have a clear communication trail and make it easier to follow up with clients.
There has to be something better out there, and we’ve created this guide to help you find the call recording software that fits your business. Read on for a shortlist of your best options:
- OpenPhone: The best phone system for growing teams
- RingCentral: The best phone service with desk phone rental options
- Five9: The best contact center solution for outbound sales
- Gong: The best call recording software for coaching large sales teams
- Aircall: The best solution for call centers
5 best call recording solutions for your business
Besides avoiding the frustration of hopping between standalone apps and your business phone system, here are four other scenarios that might indicate you might need an app that offers more than simple call recording for businesses:
1. Your team needs to have call recordings in context.
For instance, if a customer calls back with a problem, you’ll want to know what was discussed in the previous call — pronto. It helps to have access to call recordings and the entire conversation history.
This can be particularly useful in case a legal dispute arises and you need a clear communication trail.
OpenPhone offers call recordings, texts, and voice messages in one thread, which helps you easily review conversations and keep a single source of truth in your CRM.
2. Your team needs to stay on top of incoming calls and stay on the same page.
Let’s say a customer calls multiple times and speaks with different team members. Having shared call recordings (and built-in call transcription software) can help ensure they receive a consistent level of service and no one on your team has to ping their teammates to get the rundown.
When your team needs to work together to manage incoming calls, shared numbers and inboxes are helpful. Your team members can collaborate and split responsibility for handling calls while including shared context in conversations.
3. Your team needs to stay organized.
Imagine you just finished a call with a potential customer and need to jot a note for your colleague reminding them to follow up. Will you add it as a task in your project management tool, send it in Slack, or scribble it on the napkin you got with your coffee? Maybe email? Unless you have a consistent system in place, your information is everywhere and nowhere all at once.
With OpenPhone, you can easily add a note to the contact’s profile or tag your colleague in a thread directly below the call recording. You get the benefits of stacking a free call recording app with another project management tool — all in context with the rest of your phone communication.
4. Your team needs ongoing training and coaching.
Call recordings let coaches train employees to deliver a delightful customer experience and expand their sales skill sets.
After listening to previous calls, your team can apply what they learned from past interactions with difficult customers to extinguish fires before they even ignite.
1. OpenPhone: The best phone system for growing teams
If you’re looking for peace of mind, OpenPhone is a convenient phone app with call recording. Trusted by thousands of other businesses, OpenPhone is the #1 rated business phone solution on G2. Whether you’re using the iPhone, Android, desktop, or web app, you can easily record specific incoming or outgoing calls with just one tap on your device.
Organize your calls stress-free, and let the app handle the logistics while you focus on the conversation. You can play back the recording at any time from the OpenPhone app. Plus, since OpenPhone keeps business and personal numbers separate, you don’t have to worry about accidentally recording personal calls.
The best part? With OpenPhone’s auto-record feature, you can automatically record calls from specific phone numbers tied to your account. In other words, you can have as many phone numbers as your team needs to support multiple teammates, locations, and departments.
Each user on your plan gets one free US, Canadian, or North American toll-free number your team can use to call and text. What’s more, you can quickly get up to speed on any conversation as all call recordings, texts, and voice messages with a contact are in a single view.
Easily leave a comment to a teammate on a call recording to assign a follow-up task or keep others in the loop. Thousands of teams use internal threads to onboard new hires, give their colleagues feedback, and more.
If you need a way to easily reference information in call recordings later, OpenPhone also offers call transcriptions and summaries as well. Business plan users get automatic call transcriptions for each call, which means you can review any call without having to playback a recording. Plus, AI-generated call summaries give you a quick preview of your calls with action items your team can use for their follow-ups after a call.
You won’t need extra hardware like VoIP-enabled desk phones to get a virtual phone number. No matter what device you’re working with — iPhone, Android, or desktop — OpenPhone allows you to call and text from anywhere with an internet connection.
See for yourself why thousands of businesses use OpenPhone. Sign up for a free, seven-day trial.
Key features of OpenPhone
- Options to record specific calls or automatically record all calls tied to a specific phone number in your workspace
- Options to automatically transcribe calls using Zaps
- Free calling and texting to anyone in the US or Canada
- Custom caller IDs, voicemail messages, and auto-attendants for each of your business numbers
- Group calling (also known as three-way calling) with warm transfer and hold options
- Shared numbers, notes, and conversation history
- Integrations with Slack, Zapier, Google Contacts, HubSpot, Salesforce, and other tools
- Voicemail transcriptions
- Starter: $15 per user per month
- Business: $23 per user per month to access call transfers, analytics, group calling, CRM integrations, and more
- Enterprise: Contact us for more information
2. RingCentral: The best phone service with desk phone rental options
You can also get call recordings with RingCentral — a cloud-based phone system with call management and text messaging features. You can access the on-demand call recording feature through the Core plan.
Many RingCentral customers run into storage issues. RingCentral doesn’t let you store an unlimited amount of data. This means all your call recordings, voicemails, faxes, texts, and call logs expire after a set amount of time — even with the upgraded tiers. Can you imagine the mishaps that could arise from the following limitations:
- New voicemails override existing files once you reach 2000 unread voicemails
- Automatic and on-demand call recordings expire after 90 days
- Call logs expire after 12 months
- Faxes expire after 30 days
What’s more, you’ll need to pay for Advanced or Ultra plans to unlock automatic call recordings that will still vanish after a few months.
RingCentral also gates other advanced features like video conferencing, integrations, and 24/7 support behind higher-priced plans and additional fees. If you were hoping for a business phone app with call recording capabilities, RingCentral has it. But keep in mind you’ll need to reserve more of your budget for it.
Key features of RingCentral
- On-demand call recording (with Core plan)
- Auto call recording (with Advanced and Ultra plans)
- Free calls and texts in the US and Canada (includes 25 text messages per user per month on their Core plan)
- Local or toll-free phone numbers
- Voicemail transcriptions
- Document file sharing
- Core: $20 per user per month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada with business SMS, limited to 20 lines, and includes 25 text messages per user per month
- Advanced: $25 per user per month to access video meetings with voicemail transcriptions, automatic call recording, and CRM integrations
- Ultra: $35 per user per month to get additional storage and device analytics
RingCentral also has separate plans to support contact centers, AI-based sales coaching, and video meetings.
3. Five9: The best contact center solution for outbound sales
The Five9 platform for call and contact centers supplies multiple communication channels to large help desks and customer service teams. You can use the platform to purchase toll-free virtual numbers, then implement AI tools (like intelligent virtual agents) to automate repetitive work typically handled by support reps.
But it lacks some calling features when compared to other business phone systems. While it works for managing customer interactions, consider exploring other options if you want a more comprehensive calling system. With Five9, you’ll have to do without shared numbers and internal messaging — some of the best tools for helping your team deliver an excellent customer experience.
Along with Five9’s steep learning curve, some users find its UI uninspiring and clunky. And the time allotted for your team to learn how to use it will take away valuable time they could spend serving your customers. And the price tag for these systems can also be a deal breaker.
Key features of Five9
- Call routing
- Call recording
- Employee engagement tools
- Outbound and inbound call support
- 150+ third-party integrations (requires upgrade)
- Automatically respond to mentions of your brand on social media (add-on)
- Digital Engagement across chat, email, SMS, social media messaging, video conferencing
- Digital: $149 per user per month (digital only) for chat, email, SMS/MMS, and social messaging
- Core: $149 per user per month for voice only
- Premium: $169 per user per month for digital (texting not available) and voice
- Optimum: $199 per user per month for digital (does not include texting), voice, and WEM (web experience management)
- Ultimate: $229 per user per month for digital (texting not offered), voice, WEM, and analytics
4. Gong: The best call recording software for coaching large sales teams
Gong is a popular tool primarily used by B2B sales teams to record, transcribe and analyze sales calls for team use.
Gong’s in-depth AI analytics can help large teams monitor pipelines, coach sales teams, forecast future sales, and implement strategic initiatives. Analytics can help you understand all of the moving parts of your business. While these analytics can help you understand all of the moving parts of your business, it lacks an all-in-one communications system.
OpenPhone has a Gong integration if you want to seamlessly work Gong’s robust analytics into your workflows, but want to access call recordings to automatically push to Gong for additional analysis.
Key features of Gong
- AI analytics and insights
- Enterprise-grade security
- Audio and video call recording system
- CRM and communications platform integrations
Contact Gong for customized pricing because licenses and platform fees are based on the number of recorded users.
5. Aircall: The best solution for call centers
Aircall is a VoIP phone system for customer-facing teams that offers an API for connecting to other programs you may already use. But some folks have found it difficult to understand how to use all of its features, and it may not work perfectly for all types of businesses.
It’s also more expensive than other options, and you have to pay for at least three users. This means you are on the hook for at least $90 per month using Aircall.
Keep in mind if your team often communicates with customers via text, Aircall’s SMS functionality is limited to 4,000 messages per user per month in only five countries. And some of its best features — like custom analytics and API developer support — are only available when you pay for the most expensive plan.
Do you like to leave a paper trail? Aircall’s data storage limitations may not be suitable for businesses that rely on detailed records, as call recordings are limited to just one year of storage and analytics to just six months. Consider looking for an alternative with unlimited storage if this is a concern.
Key features of Aircall
- Unlimited inbound and internal calls
- APIs and webhooks
- Ring groups
- Shared inboxes
- Custom music and messages
- Essentials: $30 per user per month for local, toll-free, or international numbers, call recording, and click to call (three-user minimum)
- Professional: $50 per user per month for the Power Dialer and Salesforce integration (three-user minimum)
- Custom: Personalized quote for custom analytics, API support, and unlimited calls worldwide (10 user minimum)
How call-recording software helps small businesses and startups
Call-recording software can offer you benefits beyond keeping track of customer conversations and staying organized. Here are some other ways call recording software can help your team:
- Enables Legal Compliance: Recording phone conversations helps small businesses comply with legal requirements in specific industries or regions. Plus, if any disputes arise, you’ll have a clear record of what was said you can always refer back to.
- Facilitates Sales, Customer Service, and Internal Training: Whether you’re training new sales reps or coaching customer service agents, call recording software helps you review calls to identify areas for improvement and provide ongoing training and coaching.
- Enhances Sales Performance: Want to improve your sales numbers? By analyzing recorded sales calls, you can identify what’s working and what’s not and adjust accordingly.
- Provides Valuable Insights: Call recording software gives you a glimpse of your customers’ preferences, needs, and behaviors. Then you can use those nuggets to boost the efficiency of your business operations and improve customer satisfaction.
- Creates a seamless experience for employees and customers: Call recordings — especially when from your business phone system — make it easier for your team to gain context and follow up with specific contacts. Call recordings, texts, and voice messages are in a single thread with OpenPhone giving you a simple customer follow-up system.
Call recording is a must for any small business looking to succeed in today’s competitive market. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, you can save costs by consolidating different communication tools into one platform.
4 features to look for in a business phone system with call recording
As a small business owner or manager, you know quality customer service and sales performance can make or break your company. That said, the ability to go back and analyze customer interactions with your team lets you continually improve your customer experience and continue to meet the increasing expectations many of your clients have. Not only can you hear the conversation word-for-word, but you can also note the tone, pauses, and word choices that give you insight into your customers’ thoughts and behaviors.
But not all call recording systems are created equal. To help you choose the right system for your business, consider prioritizing these four features:
- Different call recording options and built-in storage: Can you record calls automatically or manually and store them securely, so you don’t need to worry about paying for storage elsewhere?
- Integrations: Does it integrate with other business tools and applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to give your team one single source of truth?
- Customization: Are there customization options — like custom fields and tags for contacts — to help meet the unique needs of your business?
- Ease of Use: Is it easy to install, set up, and use? Is the user interface intuitive, and are there helpful customer support resources?
With these features, you can improve customer service, compliance, and sales performance.
How to select the right call recording solution for your team
You’ve likely had a relative or friend recommend something to you that just doesn’t fit your needs. You may also have more nuanced criteria for any tool you ultimately use.
For example, suppose your business operates in a heavily regulated industry, such as finance or healthcare. In that case, call recording may be required by law. But you’ll also need to find call recording software compliant with industry regulations.
On the other hand, if you run a real estate agency, call recording can help will anything from analyzing sales leads to assisting agents to provide more personalized touchpoints as they follow up with clients.
Once you have clear criteria in place with the solution you need, here’s how to narrow down to the right system for your business:
- Use this guide as your shortlist: Start by researching the providers on this list. Personalize your list by looking at the providers that offer the features you need that align with your business’ needs, like customizable recording settings, unlimited storage, or integration with your current CRM system.
- Explore providers’ websites and consider equipment requirements: Visit each provider’s website and review their system requirements. Then, decide if you need equipment — like new phones or microphones — to get the most out of the system.
- Check customer reviews: Look for reviews from customers who have used the system you’re considering. Note the pros and cons they mention, and note the ones with experiences relevant to your business needs.
- Consider pricing and contract terms: Review the pricing, contract terms, and extra fees for each system on your shortlist.
- Evaluate customer support: Learn how each system supports its customers while reading reviews and testimonials. Does it offer support through online chat, phone support, or email support?
- Test the system: Before making a final decision, test the system yourself. Many providers offer a demo or a free trial, which can help you decide if the system is user-friendly and meets your business needs.
After choosing the call recording software that meets your business needs, you can work through how to record calls ethically and responsibly. Keep reading to learn more about the legal considerations of call recording.
How to stay within the law when using call recording software
When choosing call recording software, small businesses should consider the legal requirements in their region and whether the software provides the necessary tools to stay compliant. By learning about the regulations, you can avoid legal penalties and protect your business’s reputation.
If you have any legal concerns, consulting with an attorney is always a good idea. Also, businesses should always ask for permission to record business calls, regardless of the legal requirements in their region. It’s just the polite thing to do.
Businesses can also look to various government agencies for legal guidance. Visit the following links to government offices and other resources to learn more:
- US – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- United States state laws
- Other international laws
Protect your business by understanding legal requirements around call recording and ensuring your team records all calls with the proper consent.
Keep communications and call recordings in one place with OpenPhone
Keeping track of customer conversations can be a hassle, especially if you’re using different platforms for multiple tasks different. With OpenPhone, you can have all your call recordings, voice messages, and text conversations with a contact in one place, making it a breeze to listen to call recordings in context with the rest of the conversation — No more fumbling around with multiple apps.
OpenPhone frees you up to focus on improving your sales performance, delivering outstanding customer service, and gaining valuable insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors.
Sign up for a free OpenPhone trial today to experience the #1-rated business phone solution on G2 for yourself.
Jana Gentry Smith is a freelance B2B SaaS copywriter and content marketer. When not writing about how small businesses and startups can use VoIP phone technology to create a delightful customer experience, she creates content that helps brands build communities. In her downtime, you can find her wandering Maine’s bookstores, seashores, and forests with her family.