May 22, 2017
India, like the United States and the European Union (EU), regulates and oversees telemarketing and contact center operations. But who is the entity that guides regulation? And what call center regulations impact India’s contact centers? Here’s what you need to know about India and its contact centers.
Meet the Contact Center’s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitor call centers and collections agencies. The two organizations ensure adherence with regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The European Union, comprised of several smaller countries, usually leaves oversight to the countries in question; however, those countries must obey the rules and standards outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
While India has close economic ties with both the United States and members of the EU, the primary regulatory authority there lies with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which develops best practices and standards for not only telecommunications but also telemarketing and net neutrality.
Resources for Contact Center Compliance
Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal
Some of the TRAI’s practices complement the EU and the United States. TRAI’s Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal — it’s a mouthful, we know — acts like the United States’ Do Not Call list. The TRAI’s portal, though, may bear closer similarities to the EU’s guidelines about customer opt-in. There, contact centers can find helpful information on compliance guidelines for contact centers, like:
• Which commercial entities are defined and monitored by the TCCPR
• General rules for contact centers, fees and the need to self-register
• Timelines for self-reporting changes to the TCCPR – and much more
Telecom Consumers Complaint Monitoring System
The TRAI also oversees the Telecom Consumers Complaint Monitoring System (TCCMS). In some respects, the TRAI/TCCPR/TCCMS performs like the United States’ FCC. They catalogue complaints, keep records of service providers who fail to follow the rules set out by the government and fine agencies and contact centers that act out of line.
List of Registered Telemarketers
Besides those two arms of the TRAI, another one exists: the List of Registered Telemarketers. Contact centers in India are required to register with the TRAI. Those that do not can face fines, discontinuation of services, and imprisonment. Those contact centers must also follow the Guidelines for Telemarketers set out by the TRAI. Again, those that remain non-compliant face fines, blacklists, and other punitive measures.
Why Do Companies Outsource Contact Center Functions to India?
The obvious reasons lie in operational efficiency and operational costs. By outsourcing noncritical functions to third-party vendors, companies can focus on processes and abilities that grow profits and customer satisfaction. Outsourcing also allows companies to cut certain costs, such as employee wages and overhead. Contact centers, at least legacy ones, often claim higher price tags and ongoing maintenance needs. By moving contact center operations offsite, companies sometimes improve their balance sheets.
Outsource2India, a business process outsourcing company, cites a few more reasons for businesses’ interest in Indian contact centers. First, India possesses a large, educated workforce. Second, India’s 12-hour time difference allows contact center agents to meet companies’ needs for 24x7x365 service. Third, India’s contact centers often encompass other strategic abilities, such as CATI services, disaster recovery services, and accounting services.
Unfortunately, India’s favorable qualities have been overshadowed in recent years. Many English-speaking customers prefer non-regional speech, an issue which has moved some outsourcing away from Indian contact centers. Data privacy and security laws are changing too, causing businesses to keep a more watchful eye on third-party providers. Heightened concern about customer satisfaction ratings and the decreasing cost of cloud-based services also contribute to businesses bringing contact center operations back to the United States.
If you would like to learn more about how a cloud-based call center platform could decrease your costs, facilitate international compliance and increase customer satisfaction, request a demo today.
About the Author: Mckay Bird
Mckay Bird is the the Marketing Manager for TCN, a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Mckay oversees all marketing operations, campaigns and conferences including; content production, email marketing, and other inbound marketing activities.