It’s the end of the month, and the clock is ticking! Agents are supposed to close on collections, but customers are not easy to reach. There are thousands of reasons why customers can fail to repay debt in the designated time.
- Financial hardships
- Lack of understanding of debt repayment options
- Difficulty in budgeting and financial planning
- Unforeseen circumstances
- Scams or Fraud
- High-interest rates
The heat is increasing, and agents are getting more and more restless. And bam! Someone spills out some inappropriate language. The customer gets angry, leaves a vile review, and the customer experience goes south.
Although compliance is a strict set of rules that a contact center must adhere to, maintaining it can get tricky sometimes.
Agents find themselves in stressful situations that unintentionally force them to lose their calm. Many agents even end up mis-selling. However, businesses must run smoothly. This puts contact centers in a pickle.
1. What is Call Center Compliance?
Compliance refers to the adherence to laws, regulations, and policies that are put in place to ensure that organizations and individuals conduct themselves ethically and legally.
Compliance impacts agents in various ways, depending on the specific laws, regulations, and policies they must adhere to.
For example, suppose an agent works in the financial industry. In that case, they must comply with laws such as the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act. As a result, specific reporting and recordkeeping requirements help prevent money laundering and financial fraud.
According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.44M. The same report stated that the healthcare industry's average cost of a breach stood at $10.10M.
Another example is if an agent works in the healthcare industry, they must comply with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which mandates particular security and privacy requirements that protect patient health information.
Compliance with these regulations may involve additional training, procedures, and documentation for the agent.
Call center compliance can significantly impact agents, as it may require them to -
- Change their work processes.
- Undergo additional training.
- Be more diligent about following procedures.
- Documenting their actions.
Nevertheless, compliance can affect the agent's performance and productivity, as they may have to spend more time on compliance-related tasks.
2. What Are Some Compliance Practices Call Centers Follow?
Contact centers must comply with various laws and regulations, such as data privacy and consumer protection laws.
So, might you ask, “how do you become compliant in a call center” we have a few examples of compliance practices that contact centers may follow:
- Data privacy: Contact centers often collect and store personal information from customers, such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. They must comply with data privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and ensure that customer data is protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.
- Recording and monitoring calls: Many contact centers record and monitor customer calls for quality assurance and training. They must comply with laws and regulations regarding recording and monitoring calls, including obtaining customer consent when necessary.
- Do Not Call (DNC) and Do Not Email (DNE) Lists: Some individuals add their phone numbers and email addresses to the DNC and DNE lists. Contact centers must comply with laws that prohibit them from making unsolicited telemarketing calls or sending emails to them.
- Training: Contact center agents must be trained on all relevant compliance regulations and laws. This includes data privacy, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, fair lending, fair credit reporting laws, and more.
- Incident and Risk Management: Contact centers must establish incident and risk management protocols to identify, report and mitigate any compliance incidents that may occur.
- Auditing and Reporting: Contact centers must have robust auditing and reporting processes in place to ensure that they adhere to all relevant laws and regulations and demonstrate compliance with regulatory bodies and auditors.
The requirements will vary depending on the specific laws and regulations that apply to a contact center.
By following these compliance practices, contact centers can help ensure that they are conducting their operations legally and ethically and protecting their customers' rights.
Results first, payment later.
3. What Is The Impact Of Call Center Compliance On Agents?
Compliance can have a negative impact on agents' deadlines in a few ways. Some of these include:
Agents may have to spend more time on compliance-related tasks, such as training and documenting their actions, which can take away from their time to complete other tasks. This can lead to delays in meeting deadlines for other projects or tasks.
Compliance-related processes, such as data privacy and incident management, may be time-consuming and can reduce agents' efficiency. This can make it harder for them to meet deadlines for other tasks.
Agents may feel increased pressure to meet deadlines for compliance-related tasks, which can lead to stress and burnout. This can also affect their ability to meet deadlines for other tasks.
Compliance requirements can limit the flexibility of agents' work processes and procedures, making it harder for them to adapt to changing circumstances and meet deadlines.
Additional documentation and reporting
Agents may have to spend more time documenting and reporting compliance-related activities, which can be time-consuming and lead to delays in meeting deadlines.
It's important to note that compliance is mandatory to ensure the contact center operates legally and ethically, which protects the rights of the customers and clients.
However, compliance should be balanced with meeting deadlines and achieving business objectives. By creating a compliance program that is efficient and streamlined, contact centers can help minimize the negative impact of compliance on agents' deadlines.
4. Is There A Solution?
A report on the cost of a data breach in 2022 by IBM stated that organizations using AI and automation had a 74-day shorter breach lifecycle than those without and saved an average of USD 3 million more.
Call center solutions have emerged as a savior to both businesses and agents. AI is replacing conventional call center processes with faster, more reliable, and more efficient ways.
We can assure you that agents no longer need to bang their heads against a wall.
Call center software can help agents stay compliant and meet deadlines in several ways, such as:
Automating compliance tasks
Call center software can automate many compliance-related tasks, such as recording and monitoring calls and flagging potential compliance issues. This can save agents time and reduce the risk of human error.
Providing real-time compliance alerts
Call center software can provide real-time alerts to agents and supervisors when a compliance issue arises. E.g., Convin sends an email alert immediately on the occurrence of a breach. This can help agents quickly address and resolve compliance issues, which can help them meet deadlines for other tasks.
Centralized data management
Call center software can provide a centralized data management system that allows agents to access and manage customer data in one place. Agents can quickly and easily access the information they need to comply with data privacy laws, such as GDPR and CCPA, and can help them meet deadlines for other tasks.
Compliance reporting and auditing
Call center software like Convin provide 100% compliance monitoring and auditing features, which allow agents to analyze and report compliance-related activities easily. This can help them meet compliance deadlines, such as incident and risk management.
Learning Management System (LMS)
With contact center software, you can continually upskill your agents whenever required. Convin has an inbuilt learning management system that allows users to initiate peer-to-peer coaching for agents, create coaching sessions from existing snippets, track the agents’ progress, and hold personalized assessments.
Most call monitoring software today have an omnichannel presence to ensure that they don’t leave any stone unturned while preventing and tracking compliance violations.
E.g., Convin provides automated quality assurance that 100% of calls, chats, and emails.
Listen To This Podcast: Typical quality management problems that contact centers need to fix in 2023.
5. The Road Ahead With Call Center Software
The time has come to ignite harmony between agents’ deadlines and call center compliance. Having said that, let’s look at some of the many benefits that call centers can expect to witness with call center software coming into the picture -
- Improved efficiency.
- Improved communication.
- Increased flexibility.
- Better data management.
- Improved coaching and training.
- Better performance tracking.
And most importantly, if you have ever found yourself pondering over the repeated question, “how to improve agent performance,” you have it as a primary benefit.