Protect Your Brand, Keep Your Customers Happy
By Ross Shanken, Founder & CEO, Jornaya
These days, organizations need to keep an eye on more than just the ROI of customer acquisition programs. At the risk of incurring fines and costly lawsuits, it’s critical to harness technology that functions as an alarm system to ensure brand and legal compliance.
What is perhaps even more important: Brands that take consumer privacy seriously, tend to just be better, more successful, companies. Consider this recent Capgemini study which shows interesting statistics, such as 79% of compliant companies showing improvement in employee morale. The point is clear: You can do well for your organization and do right by the consumer. In fact, both are necessary if you want to win.
Outbound telemarketing calls to third-party generated leads are subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The act, instituted in 1991, requires companies to obtain prior express written consent from consumers before calling or texting their mobile phones using automated dialers. TCPA prohibits using an auto-dialer or artificial or prerecorded voice to place calls to a cell phone unless the caller has obtained the prior express consent of the called party.
On average, the FTC receives 250,000 complaints regarding TCPA violations per month. Companies have lost tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits by not complying with the TCPA.
One of the most well-known settlements occurred in August 2014, when Capital One (and three collection agencies) agreed to pay more than $75M to end a class action suit at the use of an autodialer to call consumers’ cell phones.
If you’re a company calling consumers from third-party leads, it can be challenging to know if you have the proper consent since your partners control the consumer’s experience. Proving consent in the case of a lawsuit can be even harder.
Telemarketers need this form of written consent for all prerecorded telemarketing calls placed to landlines. As a practical matter, this means that a purchaser of leads will face a higher standard to prove that the consumer did, in fact, consent to be called.
The FCC defines “prior express written consent” as:
An agreement, in writing, bearing the signature of the person called that clearly authorizes the seller to deliver advertisements or telemarketing messages using an auto-dialer and the telephone number to which such advertisements or telemarketing messages may be delivered.
Because telemarketers hold the burden of proof to indicate definitively that a consumer gave written consent before an autodialed call was made, organizations need to enact a clear TCPA compliance plan. Building an effective deterrent is one of several steps to get the right protections in place. Prevention may not be as simple to measure as ROI, but it is of equal importance to business success and resource allocation.
Risk Mitigation & Management
TCPA compliance is about risk mitigation and management. There are TCPA solutions that can provide compelling proof that the consumers you dial have provided prior express written consent that will stand up in a court of law. Common sense tips to protect your brand include:
- Clearly understand how the firms you work with are driving calls to you and where the original consumer data and phone number originate from.
- Ask if the firms you’re working with are dialing consumers that have filled out an online or mobile lead form.
- Ensure you can trace call data to the original lead form.
- Acquire the appropriate permissions to transfer or make outbound calls.
- Know definitively that the consumer consented to be contacted on the lead form and have persuasive proof the appropriate consent took place.
The results are clear: Do right by the consumer, honor their privacy, be timely and relevant to them. By doing so, you’ll steer clear of TCPA or other violations, and more importantly, you’ll make your company better.
Jornaya’s TCPA Guardian acts as an independent source of truth about a customer’s experience by validating that each lead was generated in a compliant manner. It also provides persuasive proof of consent with our Compliance Report and Visual Playback, which has been used to successfully help clients avoid and dismiss TCPA lawsuits.