Following federal regulations for call centers can be difficult, particularly when the rules continually evolve. Remaining compliant with regulations is essential to your company’s success because following the guidelines helps build trust and alleviate consumer skepticism. This diligence protects your business from fines and penalties and can boost your brand’s reputation.
What is Call Center Compliance?
Call center compliance protects consumers from predatory and unwanted solicitation. The FCC and other government organizations set up compliance regulations that all call centers must abide by. The most significant legislation includes:
Enacted in 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act established rules for contact centers’ marketing efforts. Marketing calls can only take place between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone and no pre-recorded voices and/or messages are allowed without the specific written permission of the call recipient. Also, contact centers may not contact anyone on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is one of the most impactful consumer protection laws. It established standards to protect patients’ health information from being disclosed without a patient’s consent.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DSS) was established to protect the transfer of credit card data. Any organization that processes credit card transactions is required to adopt these standards to reduce credit card fraud.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European act that established standards for data protection, including lawfulness, accuracy, storage limitation, accountability, etc.
FDCPA, or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, has been in effect since 1978 and works to stop deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. For instance, debt collectors must stop communicating with consumers who have asked in writing that they do so.
The TCPA established that telemarketers need “express written consent” to make calls to cell phones while using an automatic telephone dialing system. You must also have this consent to make pre-recorded calls to cell phones and landlines.
Importance of Call Compliance
Being compliant is key to your call center’s success. In addition to avoiding fines and other penalties, following the law offers other benefits.
Following regulations improves your company’s reputation and builds consumer trust in your brand. These factors lead to increased sales. Non-compliant companies often scare off potential customers who worry that you will not safeguard their personal data or respect their time.
Improves Customer Service
To stay compliant, you need to closely monitor agent interactions with consumers. Analyzing recordings of these interactions helps ensure agent compliance, but it also identifies areas where your company can improve customer service practices. In addition, quality agents want to work for compliant companies. You will reduce employee turnover when you monitor for compliance.
Avoids Legal Issues
If your company does not comply with laws such as the FDCPA, it may face lawsuits from consumers. These legal actions harm your company’s reputation and can also lead to expensive financial penalties.
Avoid Buying Lists from Consent Farms
The FCC is cracking down on consent farms, dodgy operations that collect consumers’ personal information and sell it to telemarketers. If you buy information from these operations, your agents may risk dialing leads that do not meet call compliance standards. The best way to acquire leads is through organic growth or outreach campaigns. Utilize proper opt-in/opt-out practices and let your branding help build your lead list.
Some organic ways to acquire leads include:
- Website content
- Online tools
- Social media
- Refer a friend
- Paid advertising
These methods are more likely to acquire legitimate leads since they identify consumers who have demonstrated an interest in your company’s products and services. Consent farms often get their information illegitimately and indiscriminately. Your agents end up contacting people with no inclination to patronize your business.
Call Center Compliance Tips
You can stay compliant and run a thriving operation. Using the right software, tools, and management systems can help your contact center achieve compliance more effectively.
Customer data should be stored in a secure location, and customer relationship management software creates this safe storage. In addition, these systems allow you to carefully track all customer interactions and improve customer service.
Utilizing a compliant dialer ensures your contact center abides by TCPA standards. Avoid using a power dialer whenever possible. Instead, use a predictive, progressive, or preview dialer. The latter are more selective, allowing you to better target and serve consumers.
Secure payment processing systems are required to ensure your contact center abides by proper compliance. They also secure this sensitive consumer information, greatly reducing the risk of financial fraud.
Keeping customer data secure is essential. GDPR compliance also dictates that European customers have data privacy rights that must be followed. CRM systems, databases, and other storage methods should have security protocols to protect your customers. You cannot compete in today’s marketplace with lax data management and security measures.
Remaining compliant with FCC and international call marketing standards keeps your company out of trouble but also leads to greater profitability and an enhanced business reputation. Consumers are already wary about phone spam and scams. They want to deal with companies they can trust to protect them. Your compliance with today’s regulations helps ensure your company’s success.