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Compliance Advice

When the UK DMA introduced outbound dialing rules some years ago, we decided, unlike all other vendors, that we should incorporate them into Softdial Plugin®. Uniquely, the Softdial Plugin dialer, was specifically designed to achieve maximum performance whilst working within the DMA's rules.

Even today, with legislation becoming more restrictive and widespread, no other dialer can work as effectively within the rules, which means that Softdial users have a key advantage: they can offer their customers the important business benefits that compliant, high performance dialing brings, whilst protecting their business from the penalties, adverse publicity and customer ill-will that non compliant operators risk.

At Sytel, we continuously monitor changes in compliance legislation and industry guidance around the world, ensuring that you can operate within what is appropriate for your territory and circumstances.

When installing Softdial Contact Center, you are presented with the following dialog:

Installer Compliance Screenshot

Sytel enforces compliance for all users as follows.

  • Where the country concerned has government regulations then we enforce those regulations.
  • When there are no government regulations we enforce best practice guidelines. These guidelines are based on codes of practice developed by direct marketing associations around the world.
  • In those countries where regulations apply to certain sectors only, for example in the US, then we enforce best practice guidelines for sectors not covered by regulations. Government regulations tend to be slightly more restrictive than best practice guidelines, and call centers may themselves need to ensure that compliance is followed when the sector they are dialing into is bound by regulation. For hosted contact centers dialing into more than one country, we again enforce best practice guidelines.

As of May 2007, the following compliance regimes are enforced:

Rate of abandoned calls
Measurement of abandoned calls
Early hangups
Queuing of answered calls and playing of messages
Regulations in United States
(F.T.C.)
3%
Measured as % of answered (live) calls
Numbers must be allowed to ring for a minimum of 15 seconds
If no agent is available for two seconds after the ‘greeting’ from the called party has finished, then a brief message must be played giving name and contact number. Then the call must be abandoned.
Regulations in UK
(OFCOM)
3%
Measured as % of answered (live) calls
Numbers must be allowed to ring for a minimum of 15 seconds
If no agent is available for two seconds after the call has been answered by the called party, then a brief non sales message must be played saying who called. Then the call must be abandoned.
Best Practice
5%
Measured as % of answered (live) calls
Numbers must be allowed to ring for a minimum of 15 seconds
The dialer will hang up two seconds after a caller has been identified but no agent is available. The call will be classified as abandoned. A message may be played optionally.

Notes:

Note that best practice guidelines are actually more generous on abandoned call limits than existing regulations in the UK and the US. Historically, direct marketing associations have tended to set a limit of 5% rather than 3%. We believe that 5% is a reasonable figure and it certainly represents a huge reduction on how dialers work outside compliance, however our dialer also delivers excellent performance at 3% abandon rate, beyond what any other dialer can achieve.