Outbound calling is all about maximizing the number of connections made by agents with customers.
But it’s not always a smooth process.
There are regulations that must be obeyed and it’s easy to fall on the wrong side of the law. The document every call center manager needs to read is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 U.S.C. § 227.
Its goal is to eliminate bad calling practices. Toward that aim, it restricts how a call center can make calls and who they can call.
Here’s what the law actually says:
“(1) PROHIBITIONS.—It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States—
(A) to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.”
These prohibitions extend to landlines and cellphones, along with fax machines and pagers.
If you want more on this, we cover everything you need to know in the complete guide to TCPA compliance.
Recently, the FCC made a new decision regarding call blocking. We’ll get into the details shortly, but this will cause more hardship for call centers.
There is an excellent way to stay TCPA compliant…
Employ a call quality assurance specialist.
We’ll show you what call quality assurance is and how to implement it later in this post. First, let’s take a look at what the FCC has to say about call blocking.
What Is the FCCs Stance on Call Blocking?
On June 6, 2019, the FCC approved a Declaratory Ruling that allows voice service providers (ATT, Sprint, Verizon, etc.) to automatically block telemarketing calls.
The news release states:
“Voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt-out of the blocking. This action empowers providers to protect their customers from unwanted robocalls before those calls even reach the customers’ phones. “
This ruling may negatively impact many call centers and make it harder to reach consumers by phone, but the law has to be followed.
Maintaining compliance will come down to call quality assurance.
What Is Call Quality Assurance?
Call quality assurance is the monitoring and evaluation of the calls within a contact center. It’s typically performed by quality assurance (QA) specialists along with managers, rarely by managers alone.
QA specialists will inspect call lists and scrub lists. They’ll observe call practices. They’ll listen to conversations between agents and customers. They’ll even watch how tasks are performed after calls end.
QA specialists may go beyond simple outbound procedures and inspect operations, processes, workflows, KPIs, and any other data that provides a clear picture of how an organization is running and if it’s TCPA compliant.
How Call Quality Assurance Helps Ensure Unlimited Outbound Potential
Outbound presents so many opportunities to connect with customers and grow businesses, but only if it’s legally undertaken.
Here’s how call quality assurance can make sure call center’s stay productive, stay profitable, and stay TCPA compliant.
Give Quality Assurance Evaluations to All Agents
Everyone in the organization should receive a quality assurance evaluation. But no one requires it more than the agents speaking to customers.
Yes, this will take quite a bit of time – quality assurance is a long, drawn out process.
However, the QA specialist needs to observe, record, and evaluate each agent over an extended period of time to make sure they’re not violating TCPA in any way.
This goes for the new agents on the job and the old pros. Everyone can improve.
Of course, it’s probably wise to focus a bit more attention on those who are already underperforming or making mistakes. But even veterans can fall back to bad habits.
Record All Calls in Real-Time
Managers and call quality assurance specialists need to be able to assess virtually every conversation an agent has with a customer.
By recording all calls in real-time, managers and QA experts can identify issues with a call script, consent, quality standards, and compliance.
Since calls are recorded in real-time, managers are able to listen to live calls and decide if they need to barge into the call or provide coaching to their agents.
But if they’d rather listen to the calls on their own time, they can do that, too. The calls can be accessed anytime from anywhere with cloud call center software.
Ask Customers for Feedback on Call Quality Assurance
Sometimes, QA specialists and managers have a hard time discovering issues on their end. Asking customers for their feedback is one great to find out what you’re doing wrong (and right).
Hearing what customers think of the quality of calls, if they believe a contact center is illegally calling them, if they have concerns about calling practices, can all be found out through surveys.
The one survey we recommend using is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey.
The NPS was first introduced in a Harvard Business Review article, The One Number You Need to Grow.
Here’s how it works:
Businesses (or in this case, call centers) send out a survey asking a single question:
“How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend, family member, or colleague?”
Then a call center provides customers with a scale of 1-10 for their answers.
All answers with a 9 or 10 are your promoters.
If you have few promoters and a lot more people with low scores, then you know something is wrong. This is when you can follow-up with a more in-depth survey if it’s necessary.
How to Get Ahead of the FCCs New Ruling on Call Blocking
Call quality assurance is a great option for a deep review of all your practices.
However, that can take time and a lot of money to implement.
In the meantime, there are things managers need to know immediately about how to handle default call blocking and other new rules from the FCC.
We put together a brand new, free guide on understanding call blocking and labeling. It’ll help you get a feel for the state of the industry, the impact the new rulings will have, and recommendations for complying with TCPA while running a successful call center.
Get the free guide today!