How Are Call Centers Regulated?

Call centers provide crucial functions for virtually any business. Certainly, for medium-sized to enterprise businesses,

How Are Call Centers Regulated?

Call centers provide crucial functions for virtually any business. Certainly, for medium-sized to enterprise businesses, the call center is where sales agents pursue leads and customer service agents take calls to provide support. Both of these functions are necessary to keep up normal business operations and uphold your company's reputation. After all, customers are always your most valuable resource, and providing an exceptional customer experience improves your relationship with customers and increases the odds that they'll spread the word about your business.

These days, however, a "call center" may be a bit of a misnomer. It's more accurate to call it a contact center since customers can conveniently make contact using digital channels of their choice including email, SMS, text, video chat, and more. They can even connect to artificial intelligence solutions like chatbots for simpler queries. With true omnichannel quality management provided by Bright Pattern, customers can even switch seamlessly from one communication channel to another all while remaining in contact with the same agent. This saves everyone's time and makes for a memorable and personalized customer experience.

Bright Pattern's omnichannel contact center software also makes it easy to store and retrieve customer data, and it helps supervisors coach agents easier than ever before. A unified agent desktop even allows agents to keep track of all conversations on all channels in one place. Bright Pattern resources even help ensure that your contact center remains compliant with all regulations. Here are the main regulations that call centers must follow.

Telemarketing Sales Regulations

The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) set in place by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is meant to protect consumers from unwanted sales calls and deceptive telemarketing practices. This applies largely to robocalls or the use of automation to make calls to consumers. The national do not call (DNC) registry contains a list of numbers that aren't to be used in this way, and call centers must abide.

Recently, it's been a matter of controversy whether or not voicemail drops count as robocalls. This is a practice where voicemails are automatically uploaded to a consumer's voicemail server without a call actually taking place. This is being handled on a state by state basis for the time being. It's worth noting, however, that each state also maintains its own DNC registry. It's a good idea to check this registry before using any automated features.

Collection Calls

Debt collection services often use call centers to make contact with debtors to remind them of the money they owe. There are standardized practices for this, however, and they can't violate the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). This act covers exactly when, how, and with what frequency third-party debt collection services are allowed to call debtors. Essentially, callers are unable to use threatening language or otherwise harass debtors when contacting them. All call center personnel should be thoroughly trained in acceptable language.

Information Sharing

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Call centers are extremely limited to what kinds of information they can share about customers or clients. Any call center that does business with European businesses must abide by General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). If these call centers record any personal data, customers must be able to have copies for no charge. They must also receive consent before recording a call and provide a compelling reason to do so.

Healthcare call centers in the United States must abide by HIPPA regulations when it comes to customer information. These regulations protect medical records as well as personal information including SSN, account number, or any other identifiable information.

For more information about corporate and labour law in North America, consult an expert like Malliha Wilson. She currently serves as Senior Partner at the Nava Wilson LLP law firm in Toronto, Ontario. She specializes in complex litigation including areas like constitutional law, labour law, human rights, and more.

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