In Light of the FCC Declaratory Ruling, How Can Contact Centers Ensure Compliance?


On Friday, July 10, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a highly anticipated Declaratory Ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Included in the Ruling are certain provisions to protect consumer rights on consent to call: for example, clarification that consumers can revoke consent to receive calls in any reasonable manner without businesses limiting the method or medium by which consent can be revoked.

However, an MPS News summary of the Ruling notes that it “dramatically—and impermissibly—expands the TCPA’s reach by broadening the statutory definition of automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and by adopting interpretations that create compliance impossibilities for well-intentioned businesses.”

That may well be but, with the Ruling already in effect, businesses have little choice but to ensure they have a solid understanding of what the new rules mean. Failure to do so can, in fact, result in potentially serious ramifications (i.e., fines or lawsuits for non-compliance).

Let’s take a look at a couple of the ways speech analytics software can help contact centers ensure compliance with the new TCPA regulations issued by the FCC:

Automatically Score and Analyze 100% of Calls

One of the primary benefits of speech analytics software is its ability to analyze thousands of hours of calls and identify areas of compliance risk. While manual sampling of recorded calls or contacts provides little to no prevention of non-compliant behavior to protect businesses against litigation, CallMiner Eureka tracks every call for violations and risky language. Real-time quality contact center compliance monitoring such as EurekaLive tracks specific language and acoustic characteristics while the call is still ongoing.

So, for example, speech analytics would detect a consumer revoking consent during either an inbound or outbound call. Since the FCC Ruling also holds that a business violates the TCPA by making more than one call to re-assigned or wrong call numbers, speech analytics software would also help identify situations such as these before they escalate.

As stated by MPS News, the result of repeated calls to reassigned numbers can be disastrous: “Even if the [second] call does not yield actual notice of the reassignment, the caller is deemed to have ‘constructive knowledge’ of such. The FCC goes on to hold that call recipients have no affirmative duty to inform callers that the number has been reassigned. This means they can sit back and let the calls add up to increase the statutory damages.”

Improve Agent Performance

In addition to identifying compliance risk, speech analytics also helps to boost agent performance by uncovering issue root causes that contact center managers can then use to create coaching and training initiatives. The end result? Agents who are able to work more effectively.

With contact center attrition as high as 20 – 30% annually, it’s critical for organizations to prioritize employee engagement in an effort to retain staff and improve workplace morale. With speech analytics in place, agents can focus on the task at hand, as opposed to worrying about compliance risk or the particulars of new rules and regulations.

While there is some debate as to whether debt-collection calls are impacted by the TCPA – a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled collections calls are not subject to the TCPA while the FCC does not exclude debt-collection calls from the regulations – agents in collections and accounts receivable management can nonetheless benefit from the performance insights provided by speech analytics.

Final Thoughts

Businesses making outbound calls to customers face a new set of compliance challenges in light of an FCC Ruling that protects consumer interest on consent to call. Fortunately, speech analytics solutions can help by analyzing thousands of hours of recorded or in-process calls, resulting in improved agent procedural compliance and performance overall.

How has your business understood and responded to TCPA changes included in the recent FCC Ruling?