Is Your Contact Center a Compliance Target?

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while minimizing the risk of TCPA violations.

SCS: How much of an impact can mobile calls make in a marketing campaign, for instance?

McNamara: In any given campaign, it's likely that half of the provided numbers are mobile.

SCS: Is this a new issue affecting the contact center?

McNamara: No. This has been going on for some time, but the number of class action lawsuits has been growing. The plethora of lawsuits are impeding the ability for both businesses and consumers to interact in a meaningful manner that would bring value for both parties.

The key for contact centers is the ability to establish a transparent and unified system to collect, manage, and control data. This includes everything from a database for consent documentation to managing contact strategies that relate to them.

Technology like cloud is helping companies achieve this through a more simplified and centralized network that integrates multiple and often disparate applications that are responsible for the numerous touchpoints across the consumer experience.

SCS: Do you have any tips for call centers in this instance?

McNamara: There are many smaller things that companies can do, but it's absolutely essential that they are working on a foundation that is unified and centrally managed.

The growing trend and accountability that contact center managers face is akin to that of the company's financial statements. From the minute that consumer enters the business' database to the very last contact, the contact center must be able to track, control, and relate every interaction.

Contact centers are finding this incredibly difficult and costly because of the complexity of their networks. The technology responsible for collecting certain data may be completely separate from the technology responsible for contacting the consumer. The result is a hodgepodge of control systems that leave businesses vulnerable to litigation. Cloud technology provides contact centers with the level of centralized control and integration necessary to build a comprehensive and auditable foundation.

If there were three things that I would strongly urge contact centers to examine right away, I would suggest: obtaining explicit consent from consumers; document that consent and interactions; and ensure recording across the entire enterprise.

SCS: Do you think things will change?

McNamara: I am optimistic that the judges are beginning to question the economic benefit to the consumer because of the relatively small payouts to the plaintiffs and the much larger payoffs the plaintiffs' attorneys. Also, technology is providing tools to better mitigate risk. Virtually all firms that desire to communicate via SMS or mobile have created agreements with much better opt-in language.

SCS: What is your long view about this situation?

McNamara: In time, like all laws, the dust will settle and the gaps will be worked out. I'm an optimist by nature. I think between better opt-in language, better technology, the reasonabilities of the court system, and just common sense, TCPA class actions lawsuits will be largely going away.

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