Are you taking full advantage of your cell phone recorder, while keeping your call recording legal? Many people do not use their recorders as much or well as they can, while many others skirt the law when it comes to recording phone conversations. These tips will help you make the best use of your recording device.
1. Learn the laws in your state. In most places, you can legally record a phone call if you get the permission of the other party at the beginning of the call. As long as you’re recording the call for legitimate reasons, this should not be a problem. However, some jurisdictions have different rules for recording phone conversations. Before you make the call, spend the time to research state and local calls for your location and the area where the other party lives. This can be a pain, but illegally using a cell phone recorder can cause you much greater legal headaches. It’s worth the time involved to research the law.
2. Always ask permission to record. Even if you talk with the same person every week and record the conversation every week, always get permission, on tape, to record the call. Again, getting permission every time can be irritating, but the best way to make sure you are using your cell phone recorder properly and legally is to follow every rule and law to the letter, even when it seems unnecessary. There is no point in taking the risk of breaking the law; knowing and following the rules is worth the effort.
3. Keep your recorder with your cell phone. If you plan on recording cell phone conversations, it makes sense to keep your cell phone and your cell phone recorder together. If you wear your cell phone on your belt, consider getting a larger pouch to hold the recorder, as well. You never know when you will find yourself needing to record a conversation. Cell phones give us great freedom to move around and talk wherever we are, but they also remove us from our offices, where we tend to keep things in one place. Taking your recorder with you makes it easier to record important conversations outside of your office.
4. Record phone conversations whenever you can. Get in the habit of recording all of your important business conversations. Use your cell phone recorder to keep records of all business discussions, and you will always have access to the details of those conversations. You may not strictly need to record all of these conversations, but when you record calls as a matter of habit, you always have access to a call if you lose track of details.
5. Archive your phone conversations. When you use a digital cell phone recorder, you can upload all your conversations to your computer, and archive them by date, other party and topic. Any time you need to refresh your memory about the details of a project or discussion, you can listen to the phone call on that topic. You can archive conversations using any filing convention you like, as long as you always use the same procedure to file conversations.
6. Have important conversations transcribed. If you know you will need access to a conversation later, have it transcribed. If you don’t have a secretary, you can hire a virtual assistant over the Internet to transcribe your conversations, or use a transcription service for your important phone calls. Using your cell phone recorder to capture the conversation and having it transcribed for easy reference makes your job, and your life, easier.
7. Always listen to the conversation before you refer to it. If you are planning another conversation with the same party, or a discussion relating to a particular conversation, take the time to listen to the whole call or read the transcription before you refer to something the other party said. You can capture everything someone says, but if you quote them wrong, you’ll embarrass yourself and possibly hurt yourself professionally.
Using a cell phone recorder can make your business life much easier, but you need to understand the laws in your area and take the time to use your recording ability well. Even the best tools are only as good as the people using them.