Common Call Center Compliance Traps (And How to Avoid Them!)


Nov 10, 2015

Compliance with industry regulations and guidelines is vital for call centers. Because call centers can be all over the world, they can be difficult to manage and ensure that every call center is working in a consistent, compliant fashion.

With so many calls being made and received and so many transactions or conversations being held through call centers, there are myriad opportunities for compliance to fall by the wayside. It is only through vigilance — and using the right tools — that companies can make sure their call centers follow the latest guidelines.

Even with the best of intentions, there are ways that many call centers can become non-compliant for doing the simplest things. Focusing on how to prevent these traps is key to making sure you remain compliant.

When to Stop Recording

For calls that involve taking credit card information, there is a compliance trap that can be avoided with a little planning. The trap involves the gathering of the CVV code on the back of a credit card.

While this happens during many transactions, it is against PCC-DSS regulations to store that information, no matter how good the company’s encryption software might be. However, there is a way to work around this problem.

By using an API (application programming interface) to stop the voice recording just during the time the customer is saying or inputting their credit card information to the call center agent, and then resuming recording immediately after this part of the conversation is complete, you can maintain compliance.

Another variation of this trap is when a business collects credit card information for repeat transactions. The call center must pass that information through to an approved processor, then get a unique ID for the card to use it again. The information cannot be maintained by the call center or its company.

Are You Listening?

Two compliance traps that many companies fall into can be avoided simply by making sure there is a proper script in place to keep the calls compliant. In this world of eavesdropping and recording, there are laws on the books in a number of states that make is illegal to listen to a call with the consent of all parties involved. For the call center, this requires proper planning and execution to maintain compliance.

Most call centers notify inbound callers that “their call may be recorded for training purposes,” but many call centers fail to mention the same thing when making outgoing calls. If a call center’s outgoing communication is recorded, it would be a violation of many state laws to do so without adding the simple message at the beginning of the call.

Similarly, many call centers have supervisors listen in — and sometimes speak to the agent without the customer hearing — to better serve the customer. While this is a valuable service to have, it also can be a violation of California law, as well as other states. This non-compliance can be avoided simply by informing the customer that the call may be recorded and monitored — not just recorded.

Maintaining compliance requires constant vigilance, and companies must remember to keep it up at all times. These issues might seem simple, but if they occur often enough, there can be consequences. One major aspect of running a successful call center is to ensure that personnel are trained to adhere to proper procedures at all times.

Learn how to keep your call center TCPA compliant – download our eBook The Complete Guide to TCPA and a Compliance Checklist for Call Centers.


About the Author: Adam Dummar

Adam Dummar manages new client implementation, testing of system updates, ensuring client satisfaction, and oversees new employee orientation and training within the Customer Service & Support department. His background in legal services involved debt collections compliance and management of security processes for sensitive data collection. He routinely travels to client sites and assists with setup and training for new accounts as well as troubleshooting and presenting new features to existing clients.