Call Center Compliance Keys Your Business Should Know
Yet another business has learned the hard way--a reported $61 million lesson--that call center compliance is something you should not be taking lightly in 2017.
Reports list DISH Network as the latest, and possibly largest in a line of settlements that have nearly doubled since updates to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
While TCPA violations may represent only one area of compliance concern for your business, this illustrates the need for your business to take a longer and deeper look at its call center activities.
You may think you're doing it by the book, but how can you be sure? Will your business avoid the trap of compliance violations and lawsuits?
There's one simple solution: it's vigilance.
"Understanding the exemptions and rules on the federal level (TCPA and TSR) as well as the state level is of vital importance for compliance," says Rob Jannicelli, Director, Government Affairs & Legislative Compliance for DialAmerica.
Jannicelli adds that steep settlements aren't your only concerns from compliance violations, but there's also the considerable time and resources you'll spend remediating areas of fault and repairing your damaged brand reputation.
It's crucial that you design and manage your call center's compliance program wisely. Here are three important foundational steps:
1) Know your point person
Successfully monitoring rules and regulations in a rapidly-changing compliance landscape requires your organization to name a set person responsible for call center compliance. Not only does this establish a leadership role in its vigilance, but it also ensures buy-in to compliance from the top down.
As part of compliance management duties, your point person should develop and maintain the compliance manual, a documentation of all internal processes relating to compliance.
2) Choose to stay informed
Who will you turn to when questions arise as to whether your call center agents are making the right choices? Having a close-knit tie to compliance-savvy legal counsel is your most valuable tool. Many compliance citations have been handed down recently to businesses who misinterpreted regulations of compliance—in many cases dealing with automated dialing technology and revocation of consent by customers. It's imperative your business has legal counsel who will proactively provide you updates to compliance changes.
Additionally, it's beneficial for your business to stay tied to compliance rules and legislative changes through industry associations like the Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE), and resources such as webinars, conferences, and a network of compliance-related contacts.
3) Perform routine compliance audits
Knowing your rules isn't enough. It's how well your business is aligning itself with compliance rules that matters. The best way to ensure this is to perform routine compliance audits. A compliance audit involves reviewing your call center processes and measuring performances based on these processes through customer feedback, agent documentation, and call recordings. At a minimum your business should be doing this on an annual basis.
Not only do you gain the ability to make swift course corrections, but it also provides you with a well-documented defense should your business be charged with violations. For the sake of continuity, your previously-discussed compliance manager (see above) will maintain these compliance audit duties.
Strengthen your business
Having a set plan for call center compliance isn't a foolproof, but it gives your business the best and possibly only chance for avoiding massive compliance penalties.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Have one "point person" whose job is to provide leadership in monitoring rules and regulations.
- Keep informed through legal counsel as well as various industry resources
- Audit your compliance processes on an ongoing basis (minimally once per year)
How does your call center compliance measure?
Maintaining compliance takes more time and vigilance than most businesses set aside time for. Make sure you partner with a call center team that prioritizes compliance and keeps abreast of the changing compliance landscape.
Please give us a call and let's discuss why partnering with DialAmerica can ease your call center compliance concerns.
For your reference: TCPA Facts