Marketers utilizing call centers as part of their lead generation process must make sure marketing partners are compliant with the revised Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.
“Things are evolving,” says DC Cullinane, CEO, of ThinkingVoice, which provides softwareused by over 36 call centers globally to manage campaigns and improve compliance and agent optimization. “There’s an opportunity to weed out the bad and focus on the good—the bad stuff messes up the pricing on the good, and [following regulations] will get everyone operating more efficiently.”
Cullinane will moderate the session “Is Lead Gen Telemarketing? Best Practices for Lead Generators and Looking Beyond Consent” at LeadsCon Las Vegas, March 25-26, at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.
The revised regulations, which went into effect last October, require unambiguous written consent before a telemarketing call or text message. They also stipulate that an established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior written consent.
The TCPA changes are very closely tied to the rise in mobile phone usage, notes Cullinane. Problems arouse when marketers did things like processed a large number of mobile leads and automatically put them on recurring text alerts.
“Everyone is held accountable when someone engages in a practice that doesn’t make sense,” he notes. “Things like this raise the attention of everyone in the supply chain, from lead generators to buyers like schools, insurance providers, cable companies, etc.”
Marketers need to employ tracking to make sure they don’t make mistakes. While some firms do get nervous with these sorts of changes, the TCPA changes aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
“We need to bring clarity, accountability and transparency to all parties involved,” says Cullinane. “Any time a new rule comes about, people get scared because they are uncertain, but this can significantly improve things.”
It, of course, helps if a call center contacts the lead quickly after the lead is generated. When a lead comes in, it should include a source and a subsource (such as the specific keyword or mobile ad network it came from), as well as a date and time stamp, so the phone agent can tell the prospect why they are being called, if the person asks.
“Call center representatives need to be able to mitigate someone who is upset and might file a complaint,” Cullinane notes. “If they’re operating in a vacuum, they’re going to do something that is not optimal.”
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