When you work in a contact center, you get used to an ever-changing and dynamic business environment. New laws, technological advances, and changes in the general market have profound impacts on the industry. This past year was no different. Here’s a quick look back at four TCPA-related events that made industry news in 2014:
The Legality and Jurisdiction of TCPA Compliance – The Ongoing Debate
As noted by the American Bar Association, TCPA judgment and enforcement continues to be a hot topic. Key areas of debate include jurisdiction, enforcement, usage of settlements, and what the FCC defines as a violation in the face of ever-growing and changing technology.
Fines for TCPA violation remain steep, and ensuring you meet compliance remains a key issue in the industry. We expect further refinement and clarification of existing laws will be ongoing, as will the introduction of new procedures, as technology continues to evolve.
Check out our TCPA Compliance Checklist eBook to learn more about how you can avoid costly fines and litigation by ensuring your office is meeting all new regulations and requirements.
Manual Dialing Became a More Common (and Requested) Feature
As it relates to TCPA compliance, autodialers are coming under increased scrutiny. Due to this, call centers are hesitant to overuse automated equipment in fear of stepping outside the legal standards. This has led to increased popularity for manual-only software platforms.
Call center software manufacturers are introducing manual dial features due to market demand from call centers. When managing a call center, it’s important to always stay on top of organizing and streamlining work, which is why the need to automate tasks won’t go away. But moving forward, everyone will be looking for new ways to stay efficient while staying within acceptable business practices.
Automated Software and Systems are Taking Over More Tasks
Automation isn’t a new trend in this industry, but as we kick off 2015, it’s never been more apparent just how much it will continue to be an integral part of doing business. Automated response emails are just one aspect of the business. However, virtual ‘robots’ are handling certain aspects such as keystrokes, standardized testing, and running software platforms.
This is excellent for the industries that have standard operating procedures and responses. The technology enables agents to keep an eye on the system and interact with the customer while automated software handles basic performance aspects, which cuts down on costs and potential errors.
Changes In UK Telephone Law
One of the more interesting changes from this past year happened to companies in the United Kingdom. In June 2014, all call centers whose contact numbers began with 0845, 0870, or other such number combinations had to change their numbers.
This was because many of those numbers are considered premium lines and calling them is more expensive than other numbers. Many saw this as a way to pass costs onto consumers, which is why this practice is now illegal.
Simply put, it was decided that paying extra when asking for corporate assistance is unfair to consumers. For those affected call centers, many already had alternative phone numbers available as part of existing telephone contracts and simply had to activate their alternative numbers and update their contact information and corporate literature as needed.
The call center industry saw many legal and technological shakeups, and the way employees interact with call center technology as they perform their day to day duties changed more rapidly than ever. With a careful eye on trends and the willingness to embrace change and industry shifts in 2015 and beyond, call center execs can expect to have the opportunity to take advantage of technological advances to improve the bottom line.