The call center is your first point of contact with your customers. It’s your opportunity to build relationships, develop loyalty, answer questions, gain more business, and grow your brand. However, all that reward comes with risks regarding consumer data protection and privacy.
Nearly 96 percent of call centers admit that they face challenges in protecting their business and remaining compliant. And failure is expensive. In 2017, Dish Network was fined a record-breaking $280 million for not following the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including explicitly violating the Do Not Call Registry and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
So, the question is, how do you reduce the risk to your organization?
First, let’s talk about call center regulatory compliance. What is it? It is a set of rules and standards designed to protect customer privacy and provide data safety. It covers everything from cybersecurity to vulnerability management, access control measures, and best business practices.
Every time you exchange, collect, or review sensitive information and communicate with consumers, it falls under regulatory compliance. The idea is to reduce opportunities for agent fraud and data breaches while also increasing security standards. And there are numerous compliance and regulatory mandates that call centers must follow.
Call center compliance isn’t just a “nice-to-have;” it’s a “must-have.” And you are constantly at risk, even just for normal operations. Below, we discuss the four areas where you face the most trouble and how to overcome it.
Problem: If you run your call center from the cloud and store information there, you must ensure that you have the proper and necessary compliance tools. Hackers are waiting to steal your data, and employees are likely to make simple mistakes that leave you vulnerable. Each data breach costs $4 million, so cloud security is vital.
Solution: Ensure that your CRM, call recording software, and other internal and external call center software address all information safety measures required. Steps to take include:
Problem: Whether you’re taking customer credit card information over the phone or online, there are many risk factors for your business regarding customer payments. You must provide the highest level of data security and customer comfort. Already, 86 percent of consumers believe agents will misuse their credit card details, so you have to prove you are trustworthy.
Solution: PCI is the gold standard for mitigating risk, simplifying how you process and accept payments. To mitigate concerns, you’ll need to:
Problem: Outbound call centers face many unique rules and regulations for contacting customers. They must call customers at the right time, not too often that they feel harassed, and allow customers to opt out of receiving future phone calls. This can be complicated.
Solution: The good news is that many tools and dialing controls are available to ensure that you meet compliance regulations. These include:
Problem: Not everything in the call center can or should be automated. Your agents play an essential role in customer satisfaction, but they also carry the most significant risk of compliance. It’s often a lack of agent training that leads to consumer data protection regulations violations.
Solution: The key is to provide regular call center agent training using a learning management system and compliance activity log to track performance. Other ideas to mitigate risk include:
The best way to mitigate compliance risk in your call center is to develop a detailed quality assurance program. This program should help you keep a close eye on typical areas for breach and ensure that you are alerted immediately when compliance fails. You want:
You must follow many rules when dealing with customers—from how and when you can record calls to the right way to gain credit card information. These regulatory compliance concerns are essential to staying in business and being successful. By understanding your risks and taking the necessary steps to mitigate those concerns, you can avoid heavy fines and criminal prosecution.