In our first article dedicated to call transfer strategies, we discussed how call transfers can be an efficient way to allocate resources, only connect with interested leads, and improve ROI. Call transfers are an important component of a diverse and comprehensive lead acquisition strategy, but as with any aspect of lead acquisition, it is not without risk.
Let’s examine the most common risks associated with call transfers and the best practices for mitigating those risks.
Risks associated with call transfers
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has forced everyone remotely associated with the lead acquisition waters to tread carefully. Perhaps none more so than call centers that frequently employ the usage of an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS).
An ATDS allows companies to contact roughly 1,000 people every hour and if the proper measures are not taken with every call when using an ATDS, your company could be exposed to TCPA litigation.
A few examples of a TCPA violation include:
- Not obtaining prior express written consent before making contact
- Making contact with someone listed on the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC)
- Not treating texts the same as calls when using an ATDS
Stay up to date on all of the legal trends at TCPA World and don’t expose your business to hefty monetary losses. When in doubt, stick to the ABCs of TCPA: Always Be Compliant because the lead acquisition waters are treacherous, and the TCPA sharks are always circling.
Negative brand association
What do leads think of when they think of your company? If it’s annoying spam calls, rude customer service, or, “that one company that was part of a class action lawsuit,” then it is time to rethink your call transfer strategy. You can never make a second first impression, and call centers are often a company’s first line of approach.
Leads do not want to be pestered or have their time wasted. Leads are people. A well-trained call center staff –operating a cold or warm transfer strategy– needs to be polite, direct, engaging, and decisive.
Your company could employ thousands of people and have worked for years to build a recognizable and trusted reputation. But inattention to the details of every lead can quickly unravel the years of goodwill your company worked tirelessly to create.
Litigators are known to target companies with a history of TCPA violations, and once the TCPA floodgates are open they are almost impossible to close.
If a call center does not perform its due diligence and contacts a litigator, the litigator will stay on the line, find the ultimate buyer, and finish drafting a subpoena letter before lunch. And with TCPA settlements rising in pay-outs, unverified leads can be as equally dangerous as litigators.
According to our friends over at Anura:
- Fines range between $500 – $1,500 for each violation (call or text)
- Since 2020, TCPA violations have increased by 400%
- As of 2019, the largest fine to date is $925 million for violating TCPA
- 95% of customers tell other people about bad experiences with a brand
- 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand following a single bad experience
There is more publicity now than ever surrounding TCPA lawsuits, and these tough economic times are churning out more TCPA vigilantes than Gotham city as the general public becomes increasingly more aware of the financial opportunities.
There will always be risks surrounding call transfer strategies and there will always be litigators sharpening their TCPA knives. However, these risks can be lessened. Follow these two simple best practices to mitigate the risks associated with call transfers.
Best practices for addressing risk
Understand lead origination
Always make sure you are buying quality leads from reputable sellers. Lead quality can vary greatly and it is important to remember bulk-ordered cheap leads are not a savvy investment, but a dead-end to duplicate land fraudulent leads and a shortcut to litigation exposure and a diminished ROI.
With leads, you get what you pay for, and understanding your lead seller is a key step in identifying the quality of the leads you are purchasing. Before the first purchase is even made, it is important to remember that lead sellers can be less than ethical. It is imperative to conduct proper due diligence before buying leads from any seller to verify their legitimacy.
Speaking to partners, ensuring lead sellers are using consent verification, and conducting research via consult-based lead acquisition websites, are all ways to properly vet a lead seller before making a purchase.
In a ping-post auction setting, you can leverage lead acquisition software to verify a lead’s credibility and viability before a purchase is made.
Whether you generate leads for your own use or to sell them to lead buyers, you must be equally careful.
According to Attorney Michele Shuster from the MacMurray & Shuster law firm: “…it is important to implement TCPA compliance policies that include periodic lead audits, regular scrubs against state and federal DNC lists and company-specific DNC lists, and frequent TCPA and similar state laws compliance training.”
Automated lead optimization software can help ease the burden on your lead acquisition and distribution efforts and help verify the quality and consent of your leads, and/or the credibility of your lead seller.
Understanding lead origination is important, but obtaining express written proof of consent will always be the most important first step in lead acquisition and distribution.
Receive proof of consent with call transfer
All companies must obtain prior express written consent if they are going to contact leads on a landline AND when they are going to initiate cellphone contact (calling/texting) via an ATDS.
Beyond just a phone number, a company must obtain a written consent disclosure where the terms of the contract are clear and conspicuous. Once obtained, a company needs to retain this proof of consent in the possibility of a lawsuit to prove consent was appropriately provided.
Consent-based marketing is the practice of only contacting consumers that have given their prior express written consent to be contacted. This practice will ensure sustainable compliance and take your call transfer strategy to the next level.
The ABCs of TCPA are the true ethos of consent-based marketing and the golden rule when dealing with leads.
Risks associated with call transfers are inevitable, but the amount of risk is controllable.
TrustedForm is the highest standard for independent proof of consent and can protect you in the event of litigation while giving you a new confidence that your leads have actually asked you to contact them.
LeadConduit can help ensure you are only acquiring filtered leads and prevent unverified leads from entering your CRM. Accept and reject lead sources in real time by using rules-based logic and say goodbye to duplicate, uncontactable, non-compliant, and unqualified leads.
Mitigate your risk with the power of the ActiveProspect consent-based marketing platform.