Tony Furr and Nikki Reives of Anomaly Squared on Call Center Compliance
Tony Furr is Vice President of Sales and Business Development with Anomaly Squared, Greensboro, N.C. He uses his 15+ years of experience to work towards building and cultivating relationships and connections with a wide array of professionals and potential clients to help drive Anomaly forward within the call center outsourcing space. Nikki Reives is the company’s Director of People Operations.
TONY FURR: I recently sat down with my coworker and peer, Nikki Reives, our Director of People Operations and our resident call center compliance expert, to discuss the topic and why it’s so important. Organizations can rack up hefty fines quickly by simply making a phone call at the wrong time of day. And that’s just scratching the surface. Below is our conversation.
All these acronyms at first glance are a lot to take in. Can you give a quick rundown of all of the acts and standards that affect call centers?
NIKKI REIVES: It definitely gets to be a lot! I have to stay on top of it myself to keep it all straight. First, we have TCPA regulations, or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that restricts sales calls through phones as well as automated phone equipment. There are also aspects of this legislation that oversees text messaging and email, not just phone calls.
The TCPA is of course at the Federal level, but there is also state-by-state legislation that must be monitored as well based on where you are making calls to. Dialing restrictions can be narrowed down to as detailed as the area code and what hours you are able to contact.
Then we have the DNC or Do Not Call list. This is a national registry of everyone who wishes to not be contacted in any way with solicitation calls. Every lead list must be scrubbed to ensure you aren’t calling anyone who is formally on that registry.
Not complying or staying up to date can lead to hefty fines for the organization in the hundreds or even up to thousands of dollars per violation.
FURR: That is certainly a lot to keep up with. How do we keep up with all of it and make sure that we stay up to date with the latest legislation?
REIVES: We of course do our basic due diligence and keep our ear to the ground on any new, updated, or reformed legislation. It is never going to be something that is static, especially as technology continues to evolve, regulations will have to evolve with it. Consumers will always be evolving as well in how they prefer to be contacted, which is why we have seen more and more pieces of these acts include omnichannel restrictions to keep up with that.
Not only is it important to have a dedicated compliance individual or team that understands the ins and outs of the compliance aspect of running a call center, but compliance has to be saturated throughout the entire organization, from the top all the way to the bottom. And it has to start from the very first day of training when new hires join the team, as well as continuing education to keep agents up to speed with any new regulations that affect them.
Like I said below, just one violation on one single call can cost an organization dearly and lead to large fines, and that is something that my team and I work hard to prevent.
FURR: How do we as an organization make sure all of our agents are staying compliant on each call?
REIVES: [We have a] Quality Assurance team that monitors calls. Each call is opened with the standard “This call may be monitored…” that we have all heard, and we definitely take the opportunity to review as many as we can across all of our agents.
There are many reasons to record and review calls. Not only does it help safeguard the conversation for both parties, but it helps us look back and ensure our agents are being compliant in every aspect of the phone call.
But really the most important reason to remain compliant is to make sure that all consumer information that comes through our system remains safe and secure. We are all consumers ourselves and I know the thought of my information going through an unsafe system and being handled by non-compliant agents makes me feel uneasy for sure!
Thankfully we have outstanding agents who understand the importance of compliance and take their role seriously because at the end of the day, helping people is the main goal of anyone in a customer service role, be it the consumer they call or the client they are calling for.
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