The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is perhaps the most significant piece of call center legislation affecting businesses today.
It restricts solicitations and the use of automated phone equipment, with regulations including (but not limited to):
- Restrictions on automated dialing to cell phones.
- Callers must stop calling reassigned wired or reassigned wireless phone numbers.
- Consent, whether given or denied, “survives” when an individual ports their landline number to a mobile device.
- Consumers may revoke consent at any time.
And as call center veterans know, compliance can be costly; not only in time, technology investment, man-hours to maintain compliance, but also in steep fines (one of the more famous examples being Sprint’s $7.5 million 2014 settlement with the FCC for violating Do-Not-Call regulations).
However, while many companies understandably view compliance as a cost center for their business, this doesn’t need to be the case.
In fact, the latest call center technologies not only make compliance easy and automated (reducing costs), they also include features that can directly contribute to call center effectiveness and the bottom line.
10 Ways Software-Based TCPA Compliance Solutions Can Protect and Grow The Bottom Line
How can the right call center software help protect companies from costly fines while improving performance to boost the bottom line?
Here are a few features and solutions to look for.
1. Telephone Scrubbing
One of the key components of the TCPA is a restriction on automated calling and messaging from outbound dialers to mobile phones. In short, if there isn’t prior consent to do so, these telemarketing techniques are prohibited. Non-telemarketing calls like service and bill-related calling have fewer restrictions.
Call center software that includes TCPA compliance solutions will include some form of automated mobile phone number identification and scrubbing to remove these numbers from call campaigns and can help companies avoid accidental violations.
More sophisticated cell phone scrubbing solutions will include both Block Assignment Identification, where numbers are removed based on block ranges that are known to be assigned to wireless carriers, as well as Portability Identification, where numbers that were originally landlines but have been ported to a cell phone are also identified to avoid any potential consent restrictions.
2. Prior Express Consent Records
Prior Express Consent (PEC) is both a requirement and protection: with permission to call for business and marketing purposes, there’s a far lesser chance of a contact center being found in violation of Do Not Call (DNC) registry violations for automated calls and messages.
But, acquiring and recording PEC can be tough for many outbound calling organizations.
We’ve covered a few strategies for getting consent in our recent TCPA litigation defense webinar recap. Once you’ve obtained consent, however, it’s important to integrate that confirmation into your calling strategy.
That’s why PEC records are a great integration platform integration for call centers. Those features help quickly and effectively sort phone numbers into lists that allow managers to auto-dial or manually call contacts according to compliance and efficiency needs.
3. Predictive Dialer Software
Predictive dialer software automates the process of calling numbers on a contact center’s lists based on a variety of factors like detected-busy-signal numbers, disconnected numbers, and answering machines.
Modern predictive dialers should also incorporate consent, DNC list, and cell phone scrubbing factors to help outbound centers maintain compliance with low management overhead.
4. Manual Dialing
In certain situations, however, the risk of automatic dialing makes manual dialing a more appealing option.
Effective software-based contact center solutions can help manage contact lists such that they route calls through automated or manual dialing systems and queues to balance compliance risk with agent labor costs.
5. Voice Broadcasting
Voice broadcasting (‘phone broadcasting’ or ‘message broadcasting’) is a technique that sends pre-recorded messages to hundreds or thousands of recipients in a relatively short period of time. More sophisticated solutions can deliver these messages to live callers or answering machines, and can even schedule messages for delivery at a later time if they detect a no answer or busy signal condition.
Again, DNC and PEC restrictions apply here, but good contact center software with built-in TCPA compliance solutions can help you structure campaigns that avoid regulatory pitfalls while reducing agent time spent delivering scripted messages.
6. Interactive Voice Messaging
Interactive Voice Messaging (IVM) makes it easy to not only automatically deliver pre-recorded messages, but actively respond to customer inputs without ever involving an agent.
In addition to automating the process of collecting key contact information concerns, IVM can also help call centers manage consent (or withdrawal of consent) and instantly connect customers with a live agent if needed.
7. Agent Gateways
Modern Agent Gateways offer an intuitive agent interface that simplifies and streamlines all aspects of a contact center agent’s role.
In addition to providing contact info and tools for note-taking, effective Agent Gateways also provide scripts and prompts to guide agents through prospecting calls and ensure they complete any actions necessary to maintain compliance.
8. Selective Call Recording
Call centers can find many benefits in automated call recording, including insight into agent effectiveness and compliance assurance.
Call recording can also help contact center managers better coach and place agents based on their performance. Not only that, it helps prove consent.
Concerned about human error? Recordings can also be paused when clients offer sensitive information like credit card numbers and social security numbers. And to fight further against human error, TCN automatically redacts certain sensitive information from transcripts, should an agent forget to pause the recording.
9. Speech Analytics
Historically, call engagement analytics has been an expensive and resource-intensive process, but modern cloud-based call center software solutions leverage automation and more efficient computing load management to make fast, cost-effective analytics more available than ever.
These solutions not only offer engagement metrics dashboards and rich search features, they can also reduce legal risk through compliance tools like automated PCI redaction – as mentioned in solution number 8.
10. Automatic Updates
Finally, though this might seem obvious in our digital age, not all contact center solutions offer regular, automated software updates.
Technological capability and TCPA regulations are constantly changing, so it’s important any investment made in call center software includes updates to ensure outbound organizations remain competitive and compliant.
Is Your Company Making These Costly Compliance Mistakes?
TCPA compliance is a never-ending battle.
For call centers not using the latest software-based TCPA compliance solutions, the answer is obvious: it’s time to update.
Perhaps your company already uses advanced call center technologies. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee you’re not making costly mistakes.
What mistakes might these be? That’s exactly what we cover in our free report, Seven Costliest TCPA Mistakes in Call Center Compliance.
Make sure your company isn’t losing thousands on these easy to fix mistakes by checking out the free report today.