The Basics of TCPA Compliance for Call Centers
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed into law in the early 1990’s as a measure to restrict certain types of telephone solicitations. Unfortunately, legitimate businesses often become slowed down by TCPA protocols. Fortunately, cloud-based call center software has built-in features to prevent these slow downs while making your call center more efficient than ever.
What is required for TCPA compliance?
TCPA compliance covers several areas. Any company contacting an individual, unless they have received prior express consent, must abide by a set of guidelines in order to maintain TCPA compliance. Some of these guidelines are as follows:
- Residences cannot be called before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Every company must maintain a DNC list (“do-not-call list”) of those who request not to be called
- DNC must be honored for five years
- Companies must also honor the National DNC
- Companies must provide their name and the name of the company for whom they are calling
- Artificial agent and automated recorded calls are prohibited
- Companies must provide a telephone number or address of the company for whom they are calling
Those companies found at fault for not adhering to TCPA regulations risk legal action, including fines up to $1,500 and separate lawsuits for each violation.
How to maintain TCPA compliance
Here are several immediate considerations that can help you establish a plan for staying compliant:
- Manually dial calls
- Obtain proper consent
- Maintain “do not call” compliance for your company
- Maintain National “do not call” compliance
- Use properly equipped vender who has the ability to identify specific numbers (such as cell numbers that should be removed from your call list)
- Deal with new wireless consent rules immediately
- Remove cell and ported numbers from call lists
- Continually monitor agent activities to insure compliance
- Immediately and sufficiently deal with consumer complaints
- Train employees to understand how to maintain and enforce TCPA procedures and requirements
- Avoid call center software that falls under ATDS (Automatic Telephone Dialing System) classification
- Use software that has built in automatic TCPA compliance updates to maintain compliance
Easier Compliance with the Cloud
There are several reasons why top companies are choosing to use cloud-based call center software that has built in TCPA compliance at their businesses:
-Certain numbers cannot be called dialed, cell phones and ported numbers for example. Excellent call center software should have the ability to automatically remove numbers from the call list that cannot be dialed. Smart call center software has the ability to discover these types of numbers and remove them from the list to avoid TCPA infringement.
-TCPA regulations require that a customer’s privacy be maintained. Quality call center software should have a feature that allows calls to be recorded for quality control and training purposes, yet combines this feature with the possibility of allowing live recordings to be paused when necessary. Such a feature allows for the benefits of recordings to be maintained along with the customer’s privacy per TCPA guidelines.
-Automated dialing is prohibited in many cases. A great call center software has the ability to require agents to manually dial numbers that cannot be automatically dialed. Manual dialing by agents insures TCPA compliance.
-Monitor calling agents. Not only is monitoring of your call center agents beneficial from a training standpoint, it is also very beneficial in the discovery of any potential TCPA infractions. Call recording allows you to get ahead of the game and enforce regulations or redirects mistakes by employees. In the process of insuring compliance a new measure of efficiency can also be obtained.
-Automatic updating is a vital tool for call center software. The TCPA regulations are not static. The government is continually having to update the regulations to encompass advances in technology and creative and sometimes unethical methods designed by telemarketers to solicit consumers. A robust calling center software stays ahead of the curve by continually updating features in order to maintain TCPA compliance. Without automatic updates, although today,you may be compliant, tomorrow you might find that your breaking the law.
Considering various TCPA compliance options
Any business that is serious about continuing to move ahead in their sector could greatly benefit from handing the majority of TCPA compliance needs over to an automated, always up-to-date call center software solution.