Consent Reverification: A Use Case

by Scott Rice9/28/2015 10:39:00 AM

During conversations with carriers Stacey, our Carrier Relations Manager, and I often get requests for a specific use case that outlines why we feel consent re-verification is such an important service for carriers to provide. [More]

5 Call Center Trends

by Scott Rice12/9/2013 8:10:00 AM

Humans are just more expensive to operate than machines.   We believe this basic fact of life is the driver behind what we perceive as a trend in US Call Center operations.    The time it took an auto-dialer to call a disconnected phone number, hang up, then dial the next number on the list came at a fraction of the cost of having humans do the same thing.    To save the time and human resource cost of having human callers dial disconnected phone numbers, we believe call center managers are looking for products and services that can remove the disconnected numbers first so human time isn’t wasted.   Since mid-October we’ve seen a big increase in the number of call centers interested in our Telified™ line of services.  Among other things, Telified allows call centers to filter out disconnect lines from their files and give their human staff just the remaining, dialable numbers.   We don’t know if this is what the FTC had in mind, but we do think this is going to have broader implications for the call centers.   The following are our 5 predictions for changes we believe we’ll see in outbound call centers here in the U.S.: 1.     Call centers will be hiring more people.   Probably not a large percentage, but definitely hiring more human help because of the need to reduce the use of auto-dialing.    Some of those hires are likely to be offshore.   But the recent trend away from offshore call center help probably means more hires in areas with lower labor costs. 2.     Call centers will be using less call automation like auto-dialers.   Call centers that only autodial and technology suppliers that only supply auto-dialing software and hardware will be struggling to survive. 3.     Call centers will be using more analytics. Analytics allows better selection of those being called before the call is made.    If it costs more to make a call, then anything that reduces the number of calls while maintaining revenue is a good thing.   Analytics, be it “big data” analysis, or traditional predictive analytics and modelling, fits this bill very well. 4.     Call centers will spend more on getting better information.    Services like Telified can reduce overall call center costs.   But getting better quality phone numbers is also important.    We think call centers will spend more time scrutinizing phone number quality and comparing phone append providers to get the most value.  We think this is so important we’re working on a second edition of our Buyer’s Guide to Phone Appending and plan to release it before the end of the year. 5.     Finally, we think many companies who had traditionally been using outbound calling will begin to move more steadily toward to other outbound messaging services like email.  This last October 16th was the date the U.S. Federal Trade Commission implemented its most recent change to the regulations and rules for how commercial telephone calls can be made to consumers as documented by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA.    The FTC’s change that most significantly affected our customers was the change to the auto-dialing rule.   (An auto-dialer is just an automation machine that literally dials a phone number from a computerized list, then connects a human operator to the call as soon as the called-party answers the phone.    Other common names for such devices are robo-dialers and predictive dialers.) While TCPA provides quite a few exemptions to some of the TCPA rules for specific kinds of uses, such as political calling, surveys, healthcare messages, emergency messages and calls from non-profits, the auto-dialing rule is one of those broad rules for which there are almost no exemptions.   Even politicians (and their campaign and party offices) who enacted the law (and who often write in exemptions for political calls into these kinds of regulations) have to abide by the auto-dialer rule.   In fact, the only exception to the auto-dialing rule is if a consumer consents to receiving such calls in advance. About the same time this new, stronger rule went into place PacificEast started to get a lot more requests for the Telified service.    Telified is a status and identity verification service that, among other things, reveals if a particular telephone line is active or has been disconnected.   When the FTC change went into effect in October, we expected an increase in requests for telephone related query services, but specifically we were expecting more requests for our LIA service.  Our Line Identification Append, or LIA, service designates what kind of line or device is associated with a particular phone number… basically, if the number is for a landline or wireless phone.    When the FTC strengthened the auto-dialer rule we expected more requests for LIA so our customers could remove wireless numbers from their call lists.    That’s what we expected, but the increase in Telified requests had us stumped.    Existing customers and new prospects were calling looking for a way to clean out disconnected numbers from their files.    Telified has been around for several years and while it’s had steady growth we had never had such a steep increase in inquiries.   We were stumped.   Why would customers who, it seemed, should be worrying about whether or not they were calling a wireless number want, instead, to remove disconnected numbers from their files?   Then it dawned on us one day: the only way this odd cause and effect makes sense is if organizations who had been using auto-dialers had decided to move back to human dialing.    Having a human actually dial a call can really reduce TCPA restrictions.   Only one portion of TCPA restricts actual calls to consumers.   Consumers on the do-not-call list can’t be called by someone intent on selling them something.   However, if the calling party isn’t trying to sell something the do-not-call portion of TCPA doesn’t normally apply.    For most other uses, TCPA doesn’t say that consumers can’t be called.   It only provides rules for those doing the calling; rules that include restrictions on the time of day, how to handle requests to stop calling and whether or not an auto-dialer can be used.    For most non-commercial uses, if an autodialer isn’t used to initially dial the call or a pre-recorded message isn’t being played for the listener, there are very few restrictions for the calling party.

Month List