August 24, 2022

Ethical Dialing Practices for Contact Centers

Ethical Dialing Practices for Contact Centers

Frustration largely stemming from unwanted robocalls has made it more challenging than ever for businesses to reach their leads, prospects, and even customers. Despite the FCC’s attempts to enforce the STIR/SHAKEN framework, Americans report more robocall complaints by the year.

Companies need to try harder than ever to connect with people wary of answering calls from unknown numbers. Focusing on ethical dialing practices for contact centers can help you build the trust needed to contact and convert consumers.

Comply With Industry and Federal Standards

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Do Not Call (DNC) registry protect consumers from unwanted calls. Conforming to federal standards will bring your contact center much closer to following ethical dialing practices. You can start by:

  • Placing all outbound calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (in the contact’s time zone).
  • Maintaining a list of people who have opted out of communications.
  • Scrubbing your contact lists of names and numbers that appear on the DNC registry.
  • Hiring real people to contact consumers (instead of using prerecorded or artificial voice technologies).

Additionally, your contact center should follow any regulations that apply to your industry. For example, you must comply with HIPAA regulations when contacting people about healthcare services and products.

Failing to comply with regulations can lead to expensive fines. Even worse, you will damage your reputation and make it harder for your representatives to talk to leads.

Register Your Caller Name Delivery (CNAM)

People don’t want to answer calls from unknown numbers. You can make them feel more comfortable by claiming ownership of your outbound numbers and using enhanced caller ID services that identify your company’s name, department, and reason for calling.

Registering your CNAM ensures consumers see your business’s name when you call them. It also helps protect your numbers from spoofing, flags, and negative labels.

Enhanced caller ID goes even further by letting you display your company logo and other information that helps convince leads that they’re receiving calls from a legitimate organization.

Manage Your Contact Lists

Your ethical dialing practices rely on well-managed contact lists. Regularly scrub the contacts your reps have by comparing your lists to:

  • The DNC registry
  • Your internal opt-out lists
  • The Reassigned Numbers Database (RND)

Retain Ownership of Old Numbers

Some contact centers get rid of old numbers after using them during outreach campaigns. You could potentially save a small amount of money by dumping old numbers, but you also put your reputation at risk.

Unused numbers often remain connected to your business’s brand. Your name might appear on caller ID screens months after another business starts using the numbers. Your brand’s reputation will suffer if the new owner doesn’t follow ethical dialing practices.

Maintaining ownership of unused numbers gives you more control over their reputations. You can let them “cool off” between campaigns, making them more useful when you reintroduce them.

You will also save time by keeping phone numbers you’ve already registered. When you keep your old numbers, you can pick them up later and get to work without taking the time to register them. They’re already prepared for your next campaign.

Train Agents to Use Empathy

Ethical dialing practices also include how your contact center’s agents treat people. Each interaction creates an opportunity to strengthen or weaken your brand reputation. Train your employees to use empathy and compassion while interacting with consumers. Your representatives should strive to understand any pain points or frustrations consumers experience. Even a simple statement of solidarity (such as “I know that feeling”) can go a long way.

You can build some empathy into your calling scripts. Ideally, your contact center reps should have enough training to go off-script to connect emotionally with consumers. It will improve your reputation and help drive conversions.

Monitor Your Phone Numbers’ Reputations

A phone number’s reputation can change faster than you think. Carriers might flag your number because you use it to place too many calls within an hour or day. Third-party apps might flag your number because a few people report calls as nuisances. Following ethical dialing practices helps lower the number of complaints you get from consumers, but someone who’s having a bad day can always report your number simply because they didn’t want the phone call. Algorithms will treat those complaints like legitimate ones reporting robocalls.

You must monitor your phone numbers’ reputations daily to ensure you haven’t picked up flags or labels that will prevent you from reaching leads. Reliable monitoring software makes this job much easier and gives you accurate results.

You want to avoid getting flagged or labeled incorrectly even when you have software that scans your numbers. Give your contact center an advantage by:

  • Attaining an A-Attestation for STIR/SHAKEN.
  • Swapping out numbers often so they don’t get “too hot.”
  • Having extra phone numbers on hand in case you need them.

Prioritize Ethical Dialing Practices

Robocalls have eroded consumer trust. Prioritizing ethical dialing practices for your contact center gives you better opportunities to reach people. Good ethics won’t solve all your contact center’s challenges, but it will position you for success. Failing to prioritize ethical dialing practices has the opposite effect of undermining your outreach efforts.

Learn more about embracing ethical dialing practices and other strategies by sending a message to CallTools.

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