Consumer’s privacy is extremely important when it comes to regulatory compliance in auto dialing. However, it is concerning that certain individuals, groups, organizations, and industries overlook this, as it can have serious consequences if discovered.
Before diving into this article, it’s important to familiarize yourself with certain terms and concepts. Now, let’s break it down.
The DNC (Do Not Call) compliance is the strict adherence to federal rules of a particular country with respect to consumer privacy when it comes to auto dialing.
Auto dialing is “a system or feature of a system by which a device(such as a telephone or computer) automatically dials a preprogrammed telephone number,” according to Merriam-Webster. In other words, an automated dialer is a device that dials phone numbers, records messages and connects calls to people.
Moreover, there is a catalog or registry that contains the names of citizens or consumers who do not wish to be contacted by an auto dialer. It doesn’t matter the relevance of the message, but it is essential to ensure that when calls are being made, the consumer on the other hand must have agreed to receive such messages. These calls are commonly referred to as telemarketing.
According to Investopedia, “Telemarketing is the direct marketing of goods or services to potential customers over the telephone, internet, or fax. It may either be carried out by telemarketers or increasingly by automated telephone calls or “robocalls.”
Telemarketing cannot be done anyhow. There are stringent guidelines, laws and policies that must be observed. Many businesses, particularly those new to the industry, are unsure of how to navigate these requirements. The essential element here is gaining and securing the agreement you have with your customers or consumers. The question then is how can this be achieved?
These are a group of professionals which are adept and proficient in using the automated dialer software and also could be referred to as legal experts that have a wide knowledge, experience and understanding about the compliance laws and regulations.
The DNC compliance laws differ in each country. In order to know the requirements for your country concerning DNC compliance, you have to consult experts who have been running businesses and adhering to these rules as well as to understand and know how to go about it especially if you are new in the business.
A compliance officer should be employed by the business organization or company to ensure proper regulatory compliance in auto dialing.
Additionally, the compliance officer is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the company’s compliance policies are drafted and revised. He or she also assesses and identifies some risks that can be an obstacle to an organization and also proffer solutions to them.
They can develop programs within the company to assist employees in managing compliance in their roles.
Many business organizations hire new employees without providing them with an orientation on compliance laws, regulations, and potential risks, which can leave their organization vulnerable.
Training new employees on the policies, laws, and communicating the compliance issues to them is important. This could be done through seminars, conferences, pep-talks, programs etc.
Series of tests could be conducted after training to know if the employees understand what is expected of them.
This can be accomplished by regularly updating the list of consumers who do not wish to be contacted and coordinating with relevant government agencies.
The registry is usually updated with the names and contact of people. As an organization, it is your duty to ensure proper update of the DNC Compliance list and also review the records on how the laws have been kept.
For instance, in 2007 how many consumers did you auto dial their numbers when their names are in the DNC catalog?
Maintaining such records enables you to track your progress in ensuring regulatory compliance in auto dialing.
This is mostly difficult for some organizations in a situation where a customer raises complaints about a product or service and they do not know how to handle such situations.
As a business organization, it is crucial to establish clear guidelines for your employees on handling customer complaints and suggestions in a manner that aligns with compliance laws and safeguards consumer privacy.
All confidential information of consumers must be treated as important as well as avoid information overload on consumers, as other meaningful strategies could be created to advertise a product or respond to a customer’s needs.
Most businesses feel that telemarketing is one of the keys to having a wider reach of consumers that is why they find all the means to send messages to those who accept such calls and others who do not wish to be disturbed.
Respecting your consumers’ privacy is paramount to maintaining a trustworthy relationship with them in the business world. There are other methods in which you can advertise your products and services other than auto dialing.
Fortunately, technology has provided numerous channels and mediums for disseminating such messages or information. These channels include emails and popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others.
Business owners or organizations should ensure that they update their list of the consumers that do not wish to be notified regarding any changes in their products and services. If this is not done, it may infuriate, irritate or annoy the consumers, causing your business to receive sanction for non-compliance.
Understanding the laws is essential to ensure regulatory compliance in auto dialing.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), and Do Not Call Compliance (DNC) are federal laws that govern compliance regulations in telemarketing operations.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Introduced in 1991 by President George H.W. In the United States , the TCPA contains rules that restrict telemarketing with the use of an auto dialer.
This law protects consumers from information overload and takes into consideration consumers’ consents about telemarketing.
1)Consumers that have their names on the Do Not Call registry, are not meant to receive any calls from a telemarketer.
2) When calls are sent to a consumer or customer, there must be a means of identification on the Caller ID.
3) The agents are not expected to call customers before 8am or after 9pm. This time zone should be considered from the consumer’s perspective.
4) When auto dialing a customer or consumer, agents should refrain from providing any information about the company or contact details.
5) Telemarketers are not allowed to auto dial emergency numbers.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and Do Not Call (DNC)Compliance are also rules that have also been made to check telemarketing calls done with an auto dialer. Most of the rules are similar to that of the TCPA.
Others that have not been mentioned above include:
1)Payment processing rules must be followed appropriately.
2) As a telemarketer, be sincere when providing information about a particular product and service.
3) When auto dialing, ensure to provide your reasons for the call.
In summary, prioritizing DNC compliance is crucial for the smooth operation of your business. Before engaging in telemarketing using an auto dialer, obtaining your consumers’ consent is vital for establishing a strong and trusting relationship with them.