Using Speech Analytics and Transcription to Keep Agents TCPA Compliant

Jun 14, 2019

Posted In: Blog, Compliance Author: TCN

Keeping agents TCPA compliant is a constant struggle for managers.

We actually wrote a whole post on some strategies managers can employ to keep agents TCPA compliant.

And this is a deadly serious topic because the TCPA will hit call centers with big fines if they’re found to be noncompliant.

According to the TCPA section titled “Private Right of Action”, a consumer is entitled “to receive $500 in damages for each such violation.”

It goes on to say that “If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.”

Which means call centers could end up owing between $500 and $1,500 per violation.

But that’s just for consumers.

If the Federal government decides to go after an organization found to be TCPA noncompliant, the fines will be exponentially higher.

Take, for example, Dish Network.

The U.S. Department of Justice working on behalf of the FTC sued Dish Network and won.

Dish Network had to pay $280 million in damages and penalties. $168 million was awarded to the federal government, making it the largest civil penalty ever obtained for violating the FTC.

This all makes the case for using the right tools to keep agents TCPA compliant.

In today’s post, we’ll cover 2 tools that every manager should be using:

Speech analytics and transcription.

We’ll demonstrate how these technologies keep agents TCPA compliant. First, however, let’s look at how speech analytics and transcription actually works.

How Do Speech Analytics and Transcription Work?

Speech analytics provides managers with search and discovery tools that let them uncover insights regarding customer interactions.

With speech analytics, managers receive:

  • Transcripts of every call
  • Enterprise-level engagement analytics
  • Cloud-based call recorders
  • Call recording and redaction

These benefits reduce legal risk and enhance regulatory compliance. How? Call recording redaction prevents agents from accessing sensitive information like social security numbers, credit card numbers, and more. Meanwhile, recorded calls, analytics and taggable transcripts build a record that can be used for training and legal defense.

Managers also receive excellent search and discovery tools so they can quickly and easily comb through call transcripts to find keywords, phrases, acoustic measures, and call metadata such as an call disposition, etc.

This is really important stuff, and in the next section we’ll detail how these features help managers keep agents TCPA compliant.

How Speech Analytics and Transcription Keep Agents TCPA Compliant

Train Agents to be TCPA Compliant

The first thing any manager needs to do is train their agents to be TCPA compliant.

Without proper training, no tool in the world is going to help.

So they need to first be taken through the usual courses and seminars, but afterward, they’re going to need ongoing support and education.

That’s where speech analytics and transcription comes in.

Managers can take the transcripts of calls made and walk through them with agents.

They can show where agents went wrong in the conversation and where they went right. What things they said that are not TCPA compliant and what things aren’t up to standard.

Armed with the transcripts, managers can methodically walk agents through TCPA compliance.

Help Agents Obtain “Express Written Consent”

Obtaining “express written consent” is a call center’s legal obligation. It’s paramount to TCPA compliance.

Without it, call centers are blatantly violating the law.

There are a number of ways to get consent, such as:

  • Electronic signature
  • Website form
  • Text message
  • Telephone dial
  • Voice recording

But one of the best suggestions for obtaining express written consent comes from Nicole Strickler, shareholder and partner at Messer Strickler Ltd.

In a recent webinar she said:

“If you build consent into your scripts correctly, it can serve as quite the tool in defeating the class action if your policy or procedure is: every time the collector is speaking to the consumer they say something to the effect of ‘Is this a good number to call you on?’ and the consumer says ‘yes.’

Building that script into your policy can serve as a nice defense tool because, for class action context, if I can provide that type of evidence to the consumer attorney to say, “Perhaps on this one-off call or account we didn’t have consent, but let me show you what our policies and procedures are and here are a bunch of examples of how we’ve used them over the past X amount of time, so you’re never going to get class certification because this is a one-off, this isn’t a pattern or practice of calling without consent.”

And speech analytics along with transcriptions allow managers to see whether or not their agents are obtaining consent every time they speak with a customer.

Encourage Agents to Identify Themselves on a Call and Provide a Callback Number

It’s the little things that matter when it comes to being TCPA compliant.

One of the smallest TCPA compliant actions agents can take (that they often forget) is to simply identify themselves the moment a customer picks up the phone.

It’s so easy to forgo this, but it will put call centers at risk if agents aren’t doing it.

But agents also have to give customers a phone number they can use to call them back and reach a live person. Agents can’t give them the same number that agents used to call customers.

How Managers Can Stay on Top of TCPA Compliance (And Every Other Regulation)

We just provided a few concrete steps managers can take to ensure their agents are TCPA compliant.

But there are many more steps to take, and many more regulations to remain compliant with.

That’s why we put together The Manager’s Guide to Call Center Regulations. Go ahead and click that link to get a free copy!

About the Author: TCN

TCN is a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Founded in 1999, TCN combines a deep understanding of the needs of call center users with a highly affordable delivery model, ensuring immediate access to robust call center technology, such as predictive dialer, IVR, call recording, and business analytics required to optimize operations and adhere to TCPA regulations. Its “always-on” cloud-based delivery model provides customers with immediate access to the latest version of the ClearTouch solution, as well as the ability to quickly and easily scale and adjust to evolving business needs. ClearTouch serves various Fortune 500 companies and enterprises in multiple industries, including newspaper, collection, education, healthcare, automotive, political, customer service, and marketing.