What To Say In Every Call to Ensure Call Center Compliance

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Every call made by every agent in your call center must meet stringent compliance requirements. Failing to do so even once can subject your business to fines, reputational damage, and lost revenue.

Of course, even if agents are following a script, every call is different. But there is an easy way to ensure compliance no matter how each call plays out. 

How? Make sure everyone in the call center knows exactly what they must say on every call.

What Agents Must Say In Each Call To Be Compliant

These are not nice-to-add elements to a call. They are the bare minimum to keep the compliance enforcers at bay.

Disclose that the call is being recorded 

It would be ideal if all 50 U.S. states had the same rules about recording phone calls. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. 

A handful of states require both parties on the call to consent to the call being recorded. Other states only require one party to consent. 

Rather than trying to figure out which state requires what, follow the strictest state requirements across the board.

You cover yourself entirely if you make it standard practice to disclose that the call is being recorded. It’s also common courtesy. If you were the customer on the other end, you’d want to know if you were being recorded on a call. Treat your own customers the way you’d want another business to treat you.

If your call center IVR doesn’t already present this statement to callers, your agents should always start off each call with the following. 

“This call is being recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.”

Introduce yourself to the caller 

Making sure a caller feels welcome is important. One way to do it is by letting them know who they are speaking to on the other end of the line.

If you’re running an outbound call center, your agent should clearly state their name and the company they represent once a call is answered. 

“Hi, this is (agent name) with (company).”

For inbound calls, including an agent’s name with the initial greeting is enough. 

“Hello, this is (agent name), thanks for calling today. How may I help you?”

Ask the caller who they are and verify their identity

Security of confidential information is something every business should have at the top of its priority list—especially because the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) requires it by law. 

Data breaches put your company on the fast track to reputational damages, fines, and hits to your bottom line. For some companies, disclosing private information can sink the business altogether.

And again, this is also about treating customers the way you’d want to be treated. You want to know that your personal information is safe and in good hands with any company you do business with.

So make sure your agents are verifying a caller’s identity before providing any confidential information or making transactions on a customer account.

The easiest way to do this is with a series of verification questions. Of course, the verification you do will depend on the type of personally identifying information you have for your customers. The point is to verify things only one of your real customers would know.

“Could I have your first and last name, please? Thank you. Could you also verify your address, phone number, and email address? Thanks. Last question, please give me the last four digits of your social security number. Great. What can I help you with today?”

Disclose the terms and conditions of any offers, contracts, disclosures, or promotions before accepting a caller’s agreement to them

The FTC Act doesn’t just guard customer privacy. It also prohibits call centers from engaging in unfair or deceptive business practices. It does this by stating that a company cannot make false or misleading claims about its products, services, or prices.

In short, all terms and conditions (T&C) must be clear and truthful. You must also make sure they are easily understood by a customer before a transaction is completed.

Customers should always, always know exactly what they’re signing up for—no exceptions.

The best way to do this is to read the T&Cs to a customer during the call. 

“Next, I’m going to read the terms and conditions of this (offer, contract, promotion, etc.), and will need your acknowledgement that you understand them to move forward with this transaction.”

Get consent from the caller to charge them for goods or services, or enroll them in autopay or another subscription service

Consent is king when it comes to customers, and the government and third-parties go to great lengths to protect customers from unauthorized activities.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has a long list of requirements that govern credit card transactions. The biggie is requiring consent from your customer before charging them for products or services. 

Failing to do this leads to big fines and even the inability to process card transactions in the future.

Here’s what to say to get the consent you need. 

“(Caller’s First and Last Name), by providing your card information and verbal authorization today, (current date), you are authorizing (Name of Your Company) to debit your account in the amount of ($ amount) on (selected date). If you wish to cancel this transaction, you must notify us at (business phone number) during our normal hours of operation at least three days before the debit is to occur. Do you authorize (Name of Your Business) to proceed with this debit?”

The CAN-SPAM Act is another pro-consumer heavy hitter. It requires you to provide a clear way for consumers to opt out of commercial email messages. This is important if your agents are adding callers to an email list during a call.

Your agents should ask the caller for permission to send future email correspondence.

“Thanks for your purchase. May I add your name to our email list, so that you can receive notices of future sales and promotions?”

There are other similar privacy protection acts that may apply to your call center, depending on your industry. For example, HIPAA is one that any business dealing with medical or health data must know inside-out.

The bottom line is you must understand any and all privacy protection rules that apply to your business. Then ensure your agents are meeting these requirements during each and every call.

What Agents Should Also Say In Each Call

While this last one isn’t required by any compliance standards, agents should always end a call by asking what else the caller needs.

You want callers to feel heard and know that you value their business. You also want to keep the door open for any additional business requests they might have.

Here’s how to do that.

“Thanks so much for letting us (whatever you did for the caller) today. Is there anything else I can do for you before we end this call?”

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