Playback – how does it work?

By October 2, 2015 December 20th, 2020 Solutions

Playback is an important feature of the Verba Recording System. When a call is recorded Playback enables an individual to listen back to the content of a phone conversation. Typically the playback control consists of play, pause, stop, play selected, begin, end, fast forward, fast rewind, playback speed control, volume control and stereo channel control. The functionality is available in the browser window, there is no need to install client applications, any client computer equipped with Microsoft Windows Media Player run the Verba Player.

Why is Playback important?

A variety of scenarios can materialise at work where playback can be of huge benefit:

  • If a disagreement between a contact centre agent and the customer takes place during a phone call, the manager can locate the call and listen back to the conversation. Hence, playback can provide a potentially effective way to resolve a dispute.
  • Training and coaching purposes, a manager may want to use call recordings to demonstrate good or poor examples of customer service on the phone to staff; thereby imparting effective or ineffective techniques of verbal interaction with customers to his or her team. It is a useful way to monitor customer service levels and see where improvements, if any, need to be instigated. In addition, it is a great way to illustrate positive customer interaction and raise staff morale.
  • Compliance, surveillance, IT and audit teams, especially in financial services and trading environments, can benefit from playback functionality when sampling recorded calls, verifying financial trade events, or supporting a regulatory request for trade reconstruction and reporting.

To search for a call playback event on the Verba Recording System, there are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Login to the Verba web interface
  2. Select the date/time interval for the searched media
  3. Set a name or phone number – partial matches are also found
  4. Push the Search button – the result list will be displayed
  5. Click on the Play button of the selected media

The search facility in Verba is optimized for millions of phone calls, and will only show those calls that are allowed according to the logged in users’ access policies.

Key features of Playback

Waveform display

This display enables the end user to review a recorded telephone call and allows them to locate specific parts of the conversation. The waveform display below illustrates the conversation and where metadata field or markers are highlighted (pink segmented area) in the waveform pane below.

Position markers set through phones, web or API

It is inevitable that during particular conversations an end user may want to review parts of a conversation, for instance, for training purposes. Call markers allow users to highlight and annotate parts of the recorded conversations, and share this information with other users (managers or supervisors) in the system. Markers can be placed manually using the intuitive Verba Player or Verba XML Service on Cisco IP phones during the call. This is a great feature that facilitates call reviews and encourages information sharing and collaboration with other users e.g. managers and supervisors.

Video replay capabilities with full screen support

Not only is there a capability to play back voice recordings, but the end user can also view video conference and desktop screen video playback as well.

Download segments of recorded calls

Users can not only download the entire call, but can also download the marked segment of a call into standard wav files. This feature reduces the time an organisation may waste locating relevant parts of the recorded interactions.

For further information, you can read our comprehensive guide on compliance recording.

How does Verba speech search and data discovery work in practice?

Picture the scenario, a supervisor wishes to locate calls made between agents and customers discussing specific technical problems. A supervisor can filter the calls by using key phrases like ‘internet connectivity’ or ‘service down’.  They can enter these phrases in to the search menu under the speech search section of the Verba Recording System. This filters and locates the calls where ‘internet connectivity’ or ‘service down’ are mentioned during certain call interactions.

The accuracy of these searches is increased when  longer phrases are entered within the search menu. This results in a higher probability of identifying those calls in question. The results list displays a column entitled ‘Confidence %’.  This value is an estimate of how accurate that particular hit actually is. In other words, this value determines the success of the search. An example is demonstrated in this screenshot:


There are numerous scenarios where your business can benefit from the Verba Collaboration Recording System with Speech Analytics for quality assurance as follows:

Agent Evaluations

  • Appropriate Greetings – find out if your agents are greeting customers appropriately
  • Inappropriate phrases – locate rude, inappropriate language
  • Agent insecurities – certain phrases point to situations where the agent needs help
  • Compliance message – verify that your agents are following legal compliance rules

Voice of customer

  • Customer and product satisfaction – search for phrases that indicate how satisfies the customer is
  • Campaign responses – find references to ongoing campaigns
  • Lower churn – focus on calls where customers ask for reimbursements and show dissatisfaction

Sales Performance

  • Opportunities for upselling and cross-selling – find opportunities by searching for customer needs
  • Emerging trends – compile your sales plan around ideas your customers mention
  • Sales delivery – evaluate how your sales team pitch customers and listen to responses

What is unique about Verba Speech Analytics?

The Verba Speech Analytics solution can be fully virtualized using VMware or Hyper-V, it offers a highly scalable, distributed architecture. Efficient search and indexing parallelization has significant performance benefit, utilizing modern multicore CPUs.  Work can also be distributed between multiple Verba Speech Analytics servers in the deployment.

Some features worth highlighting:

  • Speed optimized search – search can be executed at speeds up to 500,000 times real time in your audio and video
  • Speech indexing and search can be carried out concurrently on multiple Verba servers –  if high volume of calls need to be searched and indexed, you can just add new servers to the platform, which qill distribute tasks between them and ensure all searches are swifter
  • Searches are secure and authorized – user rights exist within the system. For instance, users who have the ‘Speech Search’ right can view an additional search filter option on the search page entitled ‘Speech Search’. If the user performing the search is not a System (or group) supervisor, they only have the ability to search through their own calls
  • A friendly user interface
  1. Auto suggestions help you search for a word or phrase based earlier searches
  2. When recorded calls are played back, markers  indicate where the search phrases are located during the interaction
  3. Search phrases allow logical expressions – this may contain all of the phrase, some of these or none of them (or Search logic – use logic where results include all, any or none of the given phrases plus a mix of these rules)

Verba Speech Analytics is  an integral part of the Verba Collaboration Recording solution. Ideal for different organizations, from contact centers to financial institutions. The Verba Speech Analytics  feature enables businesses to better manage risk and compliance, develop quality assurance and increase productivity to enhance their business.