Don’t let call center compliance add to your stress. Find out how thorough training and the right technology can work together to keep you in the clear.
For managers and supervisors in a call center, compliance can bring on anxiety in a flash. Or rather, it’s the possibility of failing to follow compliance regulations that will send shivers down the spine. Is it that big of a deal, though? In short, yes.
Disregarding the National Do Not Call Registry could win you a $40,000 fine for each call. And in case you don’t think the FTC would really fine you that much, consider the story of Dish Network.
In 2016, the United States, along with the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio, took Dish Network to court for millions of TCPA compliance violations. When the case finally ended in 2017, the court ruled that Dish Network had to pay civil penalties of $168 million to the United States, statutory damages of $84 million to the four states, and civil penalties of $280 million to the states. In all, the fines totaled $532 million. I don’t know about you, but if there was $532 million in my bank account, I’d rather keep it there than pay fines with it. And if simply following call center compliance regulations is enough to avoid court cases and fines, it seems well worth the effort.
Incidentally, the judge ordered that Dish was responsible for calls their contractors made, as well. So don’t think that contracting out your call center services will get you off the hook.
Are You at Risk?
Do you just think that the FTC goes after big corporations? Need another example? In 2018, InfoCision paid a $250,000 fine for violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) they made while soliciting donations for charitable organizations.
In fairness, call center compliance can be confusing, but it seems as though Dish Network blatantly disregarded regulations over quite a few years. And InfoCision racked up quite a few violations, as well. The chances that the FTC would take you to court for a minor mistake here and there seems low, but why take the chance? Proper training and the right technology together can keep you in compliance, and, should the need arise, it shows that you’ve made a good faith effort to follow the rules. Here’s what that looks like in practice.
Use TCPA-compliant software like Call Logic so you can focus on your business. Schedule a free demo right now to find out more!
Bringing call center compliance to the forefront of your outbound sales strategy.
It’s always helpful to start with some parameters. In this case, it’s important to know what call center compliance is. You have to know what the rules are in order to follow them. Compliance can be confusing. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) at it’s most elemental lays down a few things you cannot do and a few things you need to do:
- You cannot call an emergency line, hospitals, or health care facilities.
- You cannot use an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without prior consent.
- You cannot call numbers listed on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry.
- Any prerecorded phone message “shall, at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity initiating the call.”
The TSR has additional requirements, which boils down to prohibiting deceptive practices. The TSR also requires that you do not contact anyone on the DNC registry.
In addition to these rules, there are also exceptions regarding preexisting business relationships. This is, of course, a very general description of the regulations. There’s a lot within the text of these laws that can guide you in record-keeping practices, in determining how to write your outgoing call and voicemail scripts, how to accept payments, disclosure practices, and so forth.
So training and technology? Already there’s a lot you could review in terms of training, such as how to introduce yourself on a sales call and how to write your scripts.
Why Regular Training is Important
Regular training around call center compliance is essential, too, for keeping up with laws that are either new, changing, or not well-known. For instance, the Dodd-Frank Act requires that recorded calls include a time and date stamp. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits businesses from changing recorded calls or deleting them before the time the law allows.
While it’s important to conduct regular training for your call center regarding issues like customer service and sales, make sure to include compliance training at least twice per year.
Training is always good, but you also have an enormously useful tool for maintaining compliance: your power dialer technology.
Technology That Keeps You Complaint
We are (naturally) biased, but the fact is that Call Logic is the best technology for maintaining real-time TCPA compliance. We offer real-time scrubbing of the national and state DNC lists. And remember that two-second rule from the TCPA? Call Logic eliminates delays, so there is no downtime when you are in a call campaign.
What else can you do to keep up your call center compliance?
- Do not make calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Provide contact information for your company.
- Include an opt-out function so consumers can include their number on the DNC list.
- If your call center handles medical information, be sure to follow HIPAA regulations.
- If you handle financial transactions, ensure that you follow privacy laws.
This may seem like a lot, especially given the ambiguity of some of the TCPA compliance regulations, but it can work in your favor to be a conscientious business. To begin with, people are much more likely to talk to you if they know who you are. People tend to regard calls as suspicious if they don’t know with whom they are speaking and where they are calling from.
Date stamps on your recorded calls help you locate those calls for training or evaluation or problem-solving purposes. And the prohibition on deceptive practices? Well, you won’t get a very good business reputation, nor will you retain customers, if you aren’t honest and sincere. There’s no mystery there.
Call center compliance doesn’t have to be frightening. With ongoing training and high-quality technology, you can breathe easy and focus on business instead.
Stay in compliance with software that knows the rules. Check out a free demo right now to see how our system helps keep you out of trouble.