By Rich Hamilton, Director of Marketing & Product Development
Creating the perfect telemarketing compliance program is challenging.
Outbound telemarketing managers will tell you that ensuring their outbound telemarketing is compliant is one of the things that keeps them up at night. Whether the telemarketing operation is internal or outsourced, the responsibility for ensuring compliance with the ever-changing telemarketing laws, regulations and statutes can be a tough job.
Here are the primary risks of outbound telemarketing:
- TCPA compliance
- Do Not Call compliance
- Caller ID compliance
- Disclosures and script compliance
- Call monitoring and recording compliance
- Recordkeeping compliance
- Telemarketer registration and bonding requirements
TCPA and Do Not Call compliance are the two heads on the dog. The rest of the compliance issues are what I’d call secondary issues that will be added on during discovery if you’re being investigated or defending a private right of action related to TCPA or Do Not Call compliance.
To ensure your telemarketing compliance risk is minimized, we recommend doing a monthly or quarterly assessment, including a review of the outbound call data to ensure no potential errors are lurking in existing processes. The basis of the assessment is a written questionnaire.
A good telemarketing compliance questionnaire asks questions about and documents the following:
- Do Not Call scrubbing compliance
- Scripting and disclosures compliance
- Permissible calling times and holidays compliance
- Abandon rate compliance
- Abandon message compliance including the Do Not Call automated opt out
- Caller ID compliance
- Compliance training compliance
- Compliant dialer use based on types of outbound calls made and the phone number type (wireless or VoIP vs landline phone number)
- Telemarketer registration compliance
- Consent Language for Prior Express Written Consent (PEWC) compliance
The core problem that makes telemarketing compliance very tedious is that the laws are different State by State and on the National level. That’s where QCS comes in. Because we’re experts in telemarketing compliance, we’ve helped create outbound telemarketing compliance checklists and audit procedures. One client has even hired us to conduct a monthly assessment with each of their outbound call center vendors as well as their internal call center operation.
Why would a company hire a third party to conduct the monthly or quarterly assessments?
- Lack of expertise. Many companies don’t have internal experts with the knowledge and experience that is necessary to ensure compliance with all telemarketing laws. Using a third-party telemarketing compliance consultant can provide the needed expertise on demand.
- Lack of time. Many companies are short staffed when it comes to covering the telemarketing compliance bases. Using a third-party telemarketing compliance consultant can help fill the gap.
- Formal documentation by a professional firm. Using a third-party telemarketing compliance consultant will ensure that you have timely and formal documentation on your compliance efforts.
At QCS, our formal reports are sent to the client with all compliance categories marked with “Pass” or “Fail”. For any categories assigned a “Fail” rating, we work to remediate the failure immediately and a reassessment is conducted to ensure compliance.
In outbound telemarketing operations it is not uncommon to have system changes, process changes and personnel changes. It is critical to routinely assess the organization’s compliance program to ensure the changes have not caused an ongoing undetected telemarketing compliance issue.
Whether you work for a very large company like this client or a smaller business just looking to stay on top of all the telemarketing laws, we can help. We can help you discover any gaps in compliance processes or procedures and remediate them before they become a larger issue. Let the telemarketing experts help you to become compliant today.
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Rich Hamilton is the Director of Marketing & Product Development for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. Rich works tirelessly to bring new products to the teleservices and call center market. Rich is also the creative powerhouse behind executing on a wide spectrum of marketing initiatives for the organization. In addition, Rich is a telemarketing compliance guru with a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP) certification to back it up . Rich can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5105.