In the past few years, the telemarketing industry in the UK has groused drastically when the abandon call regulations were revised; a strong proof that they have been implemented across successfully. Or we can say perhaps, it’s an evidence that organizations have gradually learned to use their diallers better.
Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for British communications industries, has reported that the number of registered complaints concerning abandoned calls has dropped by 27 percent since April 2013.
The same study has found that the frequency of consumers experiencing nuisance calls on a landline fell from 82 percent in February 2013 to 68 percent in July of 2013, though the drop-off has gone down since then.
- Are you considering to start call center business?
- Are you implementing Automatic dialler Software?
- Are you making outbound calls from your call centre?
If so, then if you are not aware of the regulations and you might fall under the cosh of the Ofcom Regulations.
We have discussed a few rules about Automatic Dialler Softwares that would help you understand what needs to be followed to avoid getting into any kind of legal controversies.
The Ofcom rules and the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) code of practice state the following:
- First and foremost: In the event of the dialler having to abandon a call, instead of “absence of sound”, an information message should be played that says “so and so is calling”. This prevents the concern or anxiety experienced by many sections of society when receiving a blank call at home by Automatic Dialler Software.
- Secondly, there is a specific limit to the number of calls a dialler software can abandon – 3% measured as a percentage of live calls (not 3% of all calls). Always remember that often as many as six calls are made for every live call by Automatic Dialler Software.
- Thirdly, in the event, if a call is going to be abandoned, it must be abandoned within two seconds of the call being answered.
- Fourthly, all calls need to ring for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Fifthly, all diallers must present a calling line ID (CLI), which must be charged at no more than the national rate. The DMA guidelines actually state that, where possible, this should be a 0800 (A Toll-Free Number).
- Sixthly, summary records must be always kept for six months (24 months for DMA members) – displaying the number of calls made and their various consequences.
- Seventhly, adhere to data protection legalization regarding the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and keep a ‘do not call’ list of your own.
- Lastly, if your dialler gets connected to an Answering Machine then ensure that:
- You do not call again on the same day
- And if you do call again, then this should be a progressive or preview call (assured to have an agent available) without AMD turned on.
To ensure that your Automatic Dialler Software functions effectively:
- Deliver a message when a phone is answered, automatically respond to anticipated follow-up questions and route the customer to a live agent when they request.
- Fully integrate email and SMS management to send, receive, route and provide auto-responses automatically or have agents preview responses before replies are sent across.
- Pick multiple options, including automated, manual, blaster, preview, precision and predictive dialling.
- Manage call pacing and regulation compliance.
- Ensure accurate voice, fax, modem, pager or answering machine detection
- Use advanced pacing functionality to manage proactive customer contact initiatives and high-volume campaigns.
- Allow agents to preview outbound records before automatically placing a call.
- Leverage agent-initiated outbound dialling without any telephony in cases where regulations prevent automatic diallers and predictive dialling.
If you adhere to this, it would surely give you the power to make smart decisions on who to contact, as well as when and how to communicate with them. In conjunction with real-time business intelligence, list and campaign management optimization draws together host data sources, customer interaction histories and complex business rules. This would also allow you to more easily develop, deploy and analyze contact strategies across single or multiple automatic diallers. The result is increased contact success rates, optimized collections and improved sales productivity.