Study Shows Outbound Calling Legislation Having Little Impact on Overall Volume in UK
February 07, 2008
While consumers throughout the world often cheer when the contact center industry faces another regulation or law that limits their ability to call a consumer at home, those organizations that run the contact centers must find a way to continue to do business and remain in compliance.
According to The UK Contact Centre Operational Review (5th edition),
a recent study of more than 200 contact centers carried out by ContactBabel, legislation curtailing outbound telemarketing is actually having little impact on the overall volume of outbound calls being made.
The ‘Outbound and Call Blending’ chapter of the report revealed findings that show proactive customer service—such as informing of delays and arranging deliveries—accounts for one-third of all outbound activity.
Sales calls to existing customers are still an important aspect of the contact center and these calls made up for 20 percent of outbound calls, with cold calling still accounting for 14 percent of activity.
“Legislation against outbound calling is cutting more deeply in the US, probably because the UK has a stronger service ethic,” said Carl Adkins, CEO, Infinity CCS, in a statement. “Only 4 percent of survey respondents said that they had reduced their outbound activity a great deal, with a further 17 percent saying that it had reduced slightly since legislation. These figures are less than half of their US counterparts.”
Steve Morrell, the report’s author and respected call center analyst, noted that the relatively low impact of legislation on outbound activity can be greatly attributed to the considerable amount of service and sales related calls made to the existing customer base, which generally do not fall under legislation against outbound calling.
Proactive outbound calling remains a powerful and effective branding technique, especially for reasons of customer service. Such a practice also provides the added benefit of avoiding unnecessary calls.
Morrell provided a prime example that when a business calls its customers to let them know the time of a delivery, it is providing a useful service to its customers, reducing inbound calls on the same subject, and saving the wasted cost of making deliveries to alternative addresses when no one is in to accept.
At the end of the day, contact centers still need to be able to contact their customers and prospective customers. The key is to do it in a way that not only complies with all laws and regulations, with also with accepted standards among consumer preferences. The smart center has already captured this information and can implement it into an effective strategy.
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.