Aug 30, 2016
When the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991, the goal was to protect consumers’ landlines from repeat calls from telemarketers and automated systems. Landlines have more or less gone extinct over the course of the past two decades, requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the TCPA accordingly.
As calling technology has changed, the TCPA has evolved as well. New amendments in 2015 have enacted new rules and regulations that safeguard mobile phones against unwanted robocalls and spam SMS messages. While the rules weigh heavily in favor of the consumer, several new rulings are actually to the benefit of everyone, including the call centers tasked with contacting consumers.
These latest rulings place a positive spin on the situation. And it’s not impossible for call centers and businesses of all sizes to adhere to the new amendments. Your call center need not slow down because of a worry about infractions and customer complaints.
With a reliable compliance suite, you can ensure that call center agents keep to the TCPA regulations, as well as other laws and standards such as those found with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). A robust compliance suite provides a number of features designed to meet all your call center needs, from inbound to outbound calling.
Manually Approved Calling (MAC)
Auto, or predictive, dialing is a common component of modern day call centers, as it allows the most number of calls to be placed within a set timeframe. Auto dialing is a continuous action, meaning that it’s easy to call the wrong person, i.e., someone who’s placed their name and number on the Do Not Call list.
There are several ways to maintain the efficacy of auto dialing without fear of violating TCPA regulations. One of them is our Manually Approved Calling (MAC) feature. With it, you assign a group of agents to review and approve calls for other agents, thereby saving everyone time and money. Agents look at third-party contact information in the same format that it would appear on-screen during an actual call and decide whether to approve or reject the call. Approved calls continue to the auto dialing sequence while the others are archived.
Cell Phone Scrub
Our “scrub” feature is almost self-explanatory. It quickly identifies and automatically cancels calls to mobile phones and ported numbers. The service not only ensures a clean calling list that meets TCPA regulations, but also keeps agents from the time-consuming task of manually deciphering which contact numbers are cell phones.
Manual Dial Only
In certain situations, manual dial is the only way to go. Managers can turn the function on or off as needed. As the name indicates, Manual Dial Only requires a person to make a call. The agent must also enter in a 10-key verification code, adding in additional layer of security and compliance.
Call centers record calls in order to protect themselves and the consumer. However, certain information, typically personally identifying information like credit cards and social security numbers, can’t be saved.
Call centers once struggled to meet the regulation, but services like our Pause/Interrupt feature make it easy to guarantee customer privacy and stay in legal compliance. You simply record all conversations, pause or interrupt the call recording when the customer is sharing personally identifying information and manually edit out the data so that it’s never heard during playback.
IP Address Lock-Down
Privacy and security concerns continue to mount in today’s increasingly digitally reliant environment. Because of that, it’s important to have measures in place to a) protect your agents and customers and b) guarantee adherence to regulations and security best practices.
One measure is TCN’s IP Address Lock-Down. The service sets up parameters about where, when and how individuals can access information. While it should be used to layer in security and privacy at your main office, it can be used to protect offsite and satellite offices, too.
A Compliance Suite that Grows with You
TCPA regulations will continue to change, so it’s critical to have a tool that adapts to any situation. Our suite is that tool. Its automatic updates and ability to be customized to meet your unique needs will keep you within any guidelines the TCPA and CFPB endorse.
However, you will need to do more than invest in a robust software suite. It’s an essential piece of the compliance puzzle, but you should never overlook the importance of education. It’s through training your agents and giving them processes, resources and tools that you’ll not only guarantee consumer privacy and compliance with government mandates, but also create a better call center environment and customer experience.
Learn more about TCN’s capabilities and how our cloud-based call center technology can help you address the ever-changing TCPA guidelines. Download our TCPA guidelines eBook for a deeper dive.
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.