Running a call center is of the utmost importance for any business that wants to improve customer support. At the same time, it also helps generate leads and improve sales and revenue. In a way, a call center is an integral part of any major business operation.
Of course, running a call center is always an extra burden on any business. You have to think about the added costs, resources, and the need to maintain call center operations effectively. On top of all these things, you must also ensure call center compliance.
What is Call Center Compliance?
Call center compliance refers to the adherence of call centers to various regulations and guidelines governing the conduct of business over the phone.
Call center compliance covers various regulations, including:
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Do-Not-Call (DNC) regulations
- Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Other state-specific regulations.
If you fail to comply with these regulations, you might be subjected to fines and even legal action.
For instance, TCPA non-compliance can lead to fines of up to $500 per violation, DNC non-compliance can lead to fines of up to $40,000, and so on. Sometimes, the penalties associated with non-compliance to some regulations can cross the $1 million mark. For instance, with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) violations, penalties can go all the way up to $11.3 million.
Since such regulations are strictly enforced by the concerned authorities, it is mandatory for call centers to have a comprehensive compliance program in place.
Why Call Center Compliance Is Necessary
There are several reasons why call center compliance is so important for your business.
Firstly, compliance protects your customers from abusive or deceptive telemarketing practices. This, in turn, ensures they are not harassed or misled in any way over the phone by your agents.
Secondly, compliance safeguards your consumers’ personal and financial information, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.
Thirdly, compliance also helps maintain the integrity of the overall telemarketing industry. It even promotes fair competition among businesses.
Besides, through compliance regulations, you can build trust with your consumers and potential clients. This is vital for any business that’s aiming for long-term success. After all, a call center that follows the regulations is more likely to have satisfied customers who are willing to do business with them for the longest time possible.
How Do You Ensure Compliance for a Call Center?
To ensure compliance for your call center, you must keep the following things in mind:
Ensure a Secure Network Infrastructure
Set up firewalls that will constantly monitor your network traffic as well as detect potential threats. This is for protecting your internal networks. You must also safeguard default access passwords to prevent data breaches.
Implement Vulnerability Management Tactics
Deploy vulnerability scanners and update the management software regularly. Deploy specialized call center software to ensure network and data security. This will help you keep track of all network activity as well as monitor potential risks and threats. You should also deploy an intrusion detection system (IDS) that can detect and respond to intrusions within the network.
Protect Your Cardholders’ Data
Specialized data security measures should be in place to protect your cardholders’ data. At the same time, you should also use encryption technology that will maintain regulatory standards while keeping your user data safe.
Implement information Security Policies
This has to be sorted out in conjunction with your legal team. Implementing security policies will make call center agents and employees more responsible when handling customer data.
Implement Strong Access Control Measures
Limit access to your data center or storage facility. Access should only be granted to those who work with data security or are part of the top management. Limit access to this data based on your call center or office hierarchy.
Encrypt Voice Transactions
Encrypting voice transactions will help you prevent outsiders from listening in on your conversations with your clients. The encryption software will be in place to protect outsiders from intercepting sensitive information during the calls.
Never Write Down Sensitive Information on Paper
Leaving a paper trail of your client’s sensitive information is never a good idea, which is why oversight is necessary for this. Ideally, call center managers should be tasked to ensure this.
Limit Mobile Device Usage Inside the Call Center
This will help prevent anyone, including center agents, from recording conversations with your clients on their phones.
Monitor and Test Networks Frequently
For this, you need to bring in a compliance manager or a security expert. They will be in charge of auditing your networks regularly to ensure that they are functioning as intended.
How Much Does It Cost to Make Your In-House Call Center Compliant?
In the above section, we’ve discussed how you can ensure compliance for your call center. Here, we’ll break down the costs associated with hiring or bringing in the necessary software and tools to implement all these strategies.
Ensure a Secure Network Infrastructure: Firewall cost = $1,500 to $4,000
Implement Vulnerability Management Tactics: Vulnerability scanner + IDS cost = $8,100
Implement Information Security Policies: IT Security audit cost = $1,600
Implement Strong Access Control Measures: Access control software cost = $2,750
Encrypt Voice Transactions: Voice encryption software cost = $57 per month
Never Write Down Sensitive Information on Paper: Call center manager’s monthly salary = $5,000 a month
Monitor and Test Networks Frequently: Can be included in IT security audit cost
Based on the above cost calculation, you’re easily looking at costs that are upwards of $100,000 a year, just on compliance alone. Add in costs associated with running in-house call center operations, and your yearly costs will only increase.
Given such high costs, it’s needless to say that outsourcing your call center needs is the preferable and cost-effective option here.
Other Challenges Associated with Call Center Compliance
Apart from increased costs, call center compliance poses a ton of other challenges, including:
- Prohibition of recording and monitoring calls without the customer’s consent meaning the call center has to ask the customer first before it records any conversation between them and the agent for whatever purpose.
- Countries often restrict the use of AI-generated or pre-recorded sales calls.
- People can put your call center number on a block list, meaning your cold calling can’t reach them no matter how you try.
- Letting customers know that their data is being recorded and how you might use it later on.
Why Outsourcing Your Call Center Needs Is the Better Option Here
Bearing the cost of call center compliance makes no sense for a business. After all, why spend so much on an in-house call center when you can simply outsource your call center needs to a third-party service provider?
Since these service providers offer call center services for multiple businesses, they have the capital necessary to fund their resources while staying compliant. They are always updated on the latest regulations and have special personnel like compliance executives and managers to oversee those regulations.
Besides, these call centers also have trained employees who only need to study your company and learn about your products and services before they’re fully equipped to cater to your customer queries and sales needs.
Having established all that, it’s easy to see the need for call center compliance. From the above discussion, it’s also evident that maintaining a compliant call center that stays updated on the latest compliance regulations will end up costing your business a ton of money at any given point.
It also means you have to put in a lot of effort to make sure that these regulations are being met over the years. To avoid such a hassle, many businesses outsource their call center needs to a third-party service provider.
As for choosing a call center service provider, opt for one that can cover all types of industries. Blue Valley Marketing is one such call center service provider that has made a name for itself in this regard.
At Blue Valley Marketing, we provide services to various industries, including B2B companies, telecom, education, hospitality, e-commerce, and even government agencies.
Our America-based call centers and native speakers are always ready to offer our services to fulfill our client’s needs. Whether it’s for customer support or ensuring sales, Blue Valley Marketing has been a trustworthy name in the industry for a while, and we intend to keep it that way. Thus, if you’re looking for a call center service provider, don’t hesitate to contact our experts today.
Last Updated on April 4, 2023 by Ronen Ben-Dror