Tim Segall

Who doesn’t love watching acrobats walk the tightrope at the circus? Balancing carefully on the highwire; placing one foot in front of the other with only an unwieldy pole for balance. The net below is ready to catch anyone should they fall.

Today, contact centers face a similarly tenuous balancing act. The business focus to develop positive relationships with consumers while juggling a growing and evolving array of compliance regulations is enough to elevate the fear of falling – and failing to comply. The penalties for non-compliance are significant and costly, including fines, litigation, loss of revenue and reputation damage. It’s no wonder companies are barely keeping up and in fact, some have fallen out of compliance. Where’s the safety net?

Approaches are available to companies looking to simultaneously strike a balance between compliance costs, operating efficiency and positive customer interactions. As the technologist, I’m always inclined to find the best solution using automation and technology-driven rules. Compliance transcends technology though, and knowledge of the challenges and a clear path to solving them empowers management and staff. A better informed team is more likely to understand and embrace technology, and more confidently walk the compliance tightrope.

Focus on these three areas to ensure your contact center doesn’t need a safety net and compliance does not become a circus:

  • Education: Your geography or industry likely has specific compliance regulations. Know them. Understand them. And adhere to them. As most companies are now global businesses, look beyond your own walls to understand the broader compliance landscape.

  • Cost/benefit analysis: Non-compliance is expensive and never a good strategy. Why invite the exposure? How are you suppressing do-not-call lists or ensuring contacts only during safe contact windows? How are you managing your agents, many of whom are working with multiple clients with varying compliance concerns? How is the mobile device landscape impacting your business? Those are real challenges, real dangers and the real highwire for contact centers. What are you doing to solve them?

  • Technology implementation: (You knew we’d get here, right?) Technology is a critical component for compliance. The challenge for you and the technology you use is how to stay on top of changing regulations and the crippling backlash that comes with non-compliance. Industries must have the right technology solutions underpinning their efforts to avoid these pitfalls in the future.  Certain features – such as automated contact rules and campaign filters, 100 percent call recording, safe contact windows, setting maximum contact attempts, mobile identification, opt-in and deactivation – can be used to enable compliance with fewer resources.

Compliance knowledge is not a burden, it’s a mandate. Contact centers that more effectively mitigate risks, manage privacy and comply with regulations, worry less about the multitude of regulations. The result? Increased contact control, more cost-effective outreach, better customer experience and greater success. Striking this balance – reducing the cost of compliance and implementing technology to meet governance – need not be a circus.

To learn more about how SoundBite’s solution mitigates risk and enables compliance in contact centers, please visit www.SoundBite.com/Compliance.

Tim Segall drives the innovation of SoundBite’s on-demand, multi-channel Proactive Customer Communications Platform. Tim brings extensive programming and software development management expertise to his role. Prior to joining SoundBite, he was a partner with Computer Sciences Corporation, specializing in the Healthcare market and the Internet, and was program manager and architect for the New England Healthcare EDI Network. Prior to CSC, Tim was vice president of Engineering and CTO for Open Software Associates, a provider of Internet deployment solutions, and has held various management positions in product development at Hewlett-Packard. Tim has an honors degree in Computer Science from the University of Queensland, Australia.