Top 5 Compliance Mistakes

by:  Angela Morris

Staying on top of every facet of your telemarketing compliance program can be a daunting task. At Quality Contact Solutions, we recommend to our clients that they maintain a weekly compliance report that is submitted to senior management and the company’s compliance officer on a weekly basis.

Without a real-time, hands-on compliance monitoring program, it is easy to make a mistake by assuming that your systems and people processes are working as intended and as they were originally established.

There are five common compliance mistakes:

1) We often find that management is assuming that the outgoing Caller ID has a ring-back number that is being answered (either by voicemail or live person) and a Do Not Call request can be made by a consumer. In fact, many times, the ring-to number is not set up properly or perhaps has even been inadvertently disconnected. Other times, the ring-to number will ring to a group of call center agents and the wait times can be very lengthy which is not good service to those seeking answers about why you were calling and perhaps requesting to be put on your Do Not Call list.

2) Many companies do not calculate the abandoned call % correctly. Somewhere along the way, some companies began to utilize a calculation of abandoned calls divided by dials. This is not correct. Per the FTC and FCC, the correct calculation is abandoned calls divided by answered calls, which should not exceed 3%.

3) Speaking of abandoned calls, we often find companies that do not have a proper abandoned call message. The abandoned call message must state that the call is for telemarketing purposes and provide a phone number (could be toll free or a toll number) where the consumer can make a Do Not Call request. Some companies do not make it clear that the call is for telemarketing purposes. Check your outgoing abandoned call message and adjust it accordingly. And…. Be sure that the number you have in the message rings back to a voicemail box or a live person so that a Do Not Call request can be made. Again, we’ve found that many times this number was set up properly to begin with, but somewhere along the way, the number has gotten disconnected or the ring-to doesn’t work. Checking this type of thing weekly, by simply dialing the number contained in your abandoned call message can help detect a problem right away.

4) To rely on a safe-harbor defense, companies must be able to document a comprehensive training program related to Do Not Call and other telemarketing regulations. Many companies have a good training program in place, but fail to get signed training acknowledgment forms and fail to document the specific training that was conducted with each of their outbound telemarketing sales reps. We recommend that a brief test be administered (in writing) and at the bottom of that test is a signed acknowledgement that training was conducted.

5) Probably the riskiest compliance error occurs when a company relies on the contract with their vendor or client regarding responsibility for scrubbing or blocking applicable Do Not Call numbers from being called. Yes, the contract should clearly spell out who is responsible for which aspects doing a Do Not Call scrub or establishing a blocking solution. It is a mistake to overly rely on the contract because if there is an error, both companies (the call center and the client) will be held responsible for the applicable state, FTC or FCC. We recommend doing regular data audits (at least monthly) to check for potential errors. Test your processes to ensure they are working as they were originally intended. There is room for tremendous human error and interpretation mistakes. Don’t assume the other party is handling their responsibilities properly. You can’t afford to make this assumption.

QCS Launches At-Home Contact Center Solution

Aurora, NE. Quality Contact Solutions’ President, Angela Morris announced that her firm has launched a new division, “QCS At Home Inc.” and has hired Marcia Jenkins, a sought- after 10-year call center veteran, to manage the newly formed home-based operation. QCS At Home is a work-from-home telemarketing and call center solution focused on business to business outbound telemarketing, test-bed projects and special programs which are typically not well-suited for the traditional brick and mortar call center operation.

According to Ms. Morris, the addition of QCS At Home was a natural expansion to better serve the ongoing needs of the company’s existing client base. “We often come across unique client requirements that just don’t fit well into a brick and mortar call center. If a program needs to be tested and tweaked or needs the honing of a special skill set, this is often difficult to accomplish in a typical call center environment. QCS At Home agents are the best in breed, true home bound professionals looking for a career. This new option provides us with the flexibility to nurture programs in the At-Home environment and then consider the option of a brick and mortar call center when the program is ready to scale.”

QCS At Home utilizes state of the art, secure web-based technology for inbound and outbound call routing, data and call resource management. Predictive assessments are utilized to assist with determining which individuals will perform best on various programs in the at-home environment. In addition, the Quality Contact Solutions support staff, utilizing proven proprietary processes and tools, facilitates the ongoing management of all client campaigns, ensuring the absolute highest quality of service.

When asked about the experience so far, Nathan Teahon, Quality Contact Solutions’ Director of Operations, stated “Since inception, Quality Contact Solutions has been a virtual company so QCS At Home was really just a natural expansion of what we were doing already. We already had the processes and the tools to coach coworkers without being face to face. It has been a smooth startup and we are seeing truly amazing results from our At-Home team.”

About Quality Contact Solutions:  Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) is a specialized consulting and telemanagement firm serving the call center industry. With deep experience in inbound and outbound program management, QCS helps clients get better performance and make every contact count. In addition, QCS has on-staff personnel who are certified to perform the third-party, independent audit required for ATA-SRO accreditation. For more information about our services, visit www.qualitycontactsolutions.com.

About QCS At Home:  QCS At Home is a division of Quality Contact Solutions that is focused on providing high quality inbound and outbound call center solutions for clients which desire to benefit from the At-Home model. For more information visit www.qcsathome.com

QCS Conducts ATA-SRO Audit for Synergy Solutions

Quality Contact Solutions’ President, Angela Morris announced that the firm has completed its second American Teleservices Association Self-Regulatory Organization (ATA-SRO) audit. Synergy Solutions, Inc. successfully met all ATA-SRO Accreditation criteria and was been approved by the SRO Trustees and the ATA Board of Directors.

According to Ms. Morris, the audit process went smoothly. “Synergy Solutions has been a long-time supporter of the ATA-SRO program. In fact, its President, Lori Fentem is active as an ATA board of director and ATA-SRO trustee. Completing this step in the process (being audited by an independent third party) just validated the compliance program that Synergy Solutions already had in place for the last few years,” stated Ms. Morris. Continue reading

QCS Receives Woman Owned Business Certification

Quality Contact Solutions, a business specializing in telemanagement and call center consulting services, received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Development Center/Chicago, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Women’s Business Development Center/Chicago is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

Company president, Angela Morris, commented: “Since forming the company in 2007, the company has been 100% woman-owned. We became aware of the opportunity to become certified and it made sense to participate in the process because we already met each of the requirements.” Ms. Morris went on to say, “We’ve already received positive feedback from numerous clients that QCS’s new certification will help meet their supplier diversity goals.”

About Quality Contact Solutions: Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) was founded in 2007 by Angela Morris. The company specializes in telemanagement, consulting and quality monitoring for the call center industry. QCS currently serves healthcare, radio promotions, business to business, consumer goods, insurance, and manufacturing sectors. In addition, the company maintains an active membership and involvement in the American Teleservices Association, Direct Marketing Association and the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals. To learn more about Quality Contact Solutions, please visit www.qualitycontactsolutions.com.

About WBENC: The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs. For more information about WBENC, please visit www.wbenc.org.