Is it Legal to Record Conversations with Customers in the Home?

Coach your team on how to properly get homeowner consent to record conversations in the home.
Rilla Team
 min read

You’re a home improvement contractor who wants to track and improve your sales rep performance. 

Luckily for your business, physical ridealongs are no longer the only way to measure and evaluate performance. Now, you have the option to record their conversations with customers and ensure they’re following your process and, ultimately, providing the best customer experience. 

Maybe you’re even thinking about getting started with Rilla and hopping on the virtual ridealong bandwagon.   

But there’s one question that inevitably comes up: “Is it legal to record conversations with homeowners in their home?”

The answer is yes. As long as you do it properly. 

One-Party vs All-Party Consent

When it comes to audio recording laws, it’s important to know which states require “one-party consent” or “all-party consent” to be recorded. 

One-party consent means that you can record a conversation without the other person’s consent. This means it’s perfectly legal for your technicians and design consultants to record their conversations with homeowners. Just keep in mind that there are some nuances to the individual laws between states. 

In all-party consent states, sometimes referred to as two-party consent, you need the consent of all parties involved in the conversation to record it. In this case, your team must explicitly obtain consent before recording a conversation. 

Most states in the US are one-party consent states. However, for conversations that happen face-to-face, there are 13 all-party consent states. They include: 

How to Seamlessly Get Recording Consent from the Homeowner

Getting recording consent from a homeowner is similar to that of agents at a call center; there are just a few more steps in the process to cover all your bases.

1. Display a Disclaimer on Your Website 

Displaying a disclaimer on your website is one of the first places your customers can learn about this aspect of your service. Key areas to display the disclaimer on your website include the privacy policy page, the fine print of a contact page or form, or the confirmation page after requesting a quote. 

If your customers have the option to book in-person appointments directly with your reps online, add a consent box to your scheduling form. 

The text should read: “By clicking here, I understand and agree that my in-person appointment will be recorded for quality and training purposes.” 

2. Share the Disclaimer Upon Booking  

When the homeowner calls to book their appointment, members of your call center should be coached to say the disclaimer. This is an opportunity to give the customer a heads up that both the call and in-person visits are typically recorded. 

  • Don’t say: “Thank you for calling. This call will be recorded for quality and training purposes.” 
  • Say: “Thank you for calling. All of our calls and in-person appointments will be recorded for quality and training purposes."

Customers are used to hearing that phone calls are recorded, and most are fine with it. But it’s important to make sure it’s clear that it isn’t just the phone call that will be recorded. 

3. Include the Disclaimer in Dispatch Appointment Reminders  

In your automated dispatch system, make sure text message and email reminders to customers include the disclaimer. This is just another step to reassure and reconfirm that you have consent. You can also use it as an opportunity to let them know you’d be happy to share the recording after the meeting, if that’s something you want to provide your customers. 

Here are a couple examples to send in dispatch reminders: 

  • “As a reminder, all of our in-person appointments are recorded to ensure we provide our customers with the best service.” 
  • “This meeting will be recorded so we can provide better follow-up service and coaching to our team. By meeting with our technician, you consent to such recording. If you do not consent to being recorded, please ask our service rep not to record.” 

4. Have Reps Remind the Homeowner Upon Arrival 

After taking the above steps to inform the homeowner, you’re technically safe to record in the eyes of the law. But, to make sure you’re totally covered–and to win some transparency/loyalty points with the customer–have your rep repeat the disclaimer to the homeowner right after they enter the customer’s home.

Here’s what they can say: “Hey Ms. Homeowner, I’m Jake with X Company. Just to remind you, I’m on a recorded conversation for quality and training purposes. How are you doing today?” 

With Rilla, our users actually track when their reps say the recording disclaimer.

Based on our data, more than 99% of homeowners respond positively to the in-person disclaimer. In fact, we have a large, private equity customer in California, one of the most privacy-aware states in the US, and they observed that less than 0.2% of appointments declined being recorded. 

As you’ll hear below, homeowners are more than happy for you to record the meetings. This is especially true when your reps explain the value of recording for security as well as their own growth and development in the trade.  

Your reps also have the option for asking for a signature of consent. This is an extra step, which isn’t necessary to legally have you covered, but might give your reps and the customer peace of mind. 

And you might even find some like-minded customers who believe in the importance of recording too. After a funny misunderstanding, the customer in the recording below lets the rep know that he was also being recorded!  

Delighting Customers with Transparency

Many of our customers in one-party consent states still opt to inform the home-owner about the recording as a way to differentiate their brand. 

It sounds something like this: “Hey, here at [company name], we care deeply about the experience you receive from our team and making sure we stand by our word. While other shops might try to pull a fast one on you, we record and share our conversations with you to keep us accountable and deliver the best service.”

Remember, transparency around recordings is good for your business and for the customer. Think about it, with a recording, the customer knows the sales rep will be held accountable by their manager. It also keeps everyone on the same page about what was said during the visit so that there’s no confusion or misleading information.

That’s why most customers see audio recordings as a positive. Plus, increasing transparency between you and your customers helps increase trust and loyalty, leading to repeat customers and awesome referrals.

So whether you need one-party or all-party consent, the data is clear: recording your calls is beneficial for all parties involved.

If you want to learn more about Rilla and take your business to the next level, book a demo here.


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