Call center management knows that there are risks and rewards when it comes to running a business. However, some things, such as compliance and security are things that should never be risked. Information on your customers is sensitive data and needs to be continuously managed. Your business needs to find the leaks in security before any con artists can break in, which unfortunately is becoming a common practice today.
Due to a streak of data breaches, the Federal Trade Commission has created new rules and regulations for security that your business needs to be up to par with. If your business is not up to the standard, you will find yourself dealing with huge fines and legal battles.
In order for your business to stay compliant, you need to make sure that the following compliance acts are satisfactory.
Encryption is a useful tool that allows companies to gain access to customer information by using coded messages that unauthorized users cannot get hold of. This can be used through call center interactions over the phone or through emails and chat. These encryption codes need to be adequately managed by your IT employees.
Many call centers have a variety of login systems that can timeout very quickly. This can frustrate customers and agents alike, but there is a solution. Single sign-on is standard for the FTC and can work with several systems at once.
Storing data is an essential piece of managing all data that is unfortunately overlooked by many companies. Ensure that your company has enforced multiple backups to your data storage and that old data is being disposed of when it is no longer necessary. When your storage becomes compromised, it can become a massive headache for businesses. Therefore, it is best to plan ahead and have good recovery software in place.
Call centers use recording as a means to learn from mistakes and to look back on calls during disputes. However, recording important information can cause issues. In the past, call centers have had their agents turn off their recordings while being given important information, but that is not up to regulations anymore. What call centers can do is use an IVR to secure important data like credit card information and social security numbers. Also, in order to stay up to standards by the FTC, all callers must be notified that the call may be recorded.
5. Do Not Call
All call centers must be up-to-date on those consumers who have added their number to the do not call registry. Failure to stay up to date can result in massive fines.
6. Debt Collection
If you work for a debt collecting agency, the FTC is cracking down on those who do not follow the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. Therefore, if your agents are using threatening language or shady collection practices, you could find your business in the midst of litigation.
7. Truth in Lending Act
All call centers must provide crucial information such as interest rates and late fees to their consumers before a customer agrees to purchase a product.
8. Equal Credit Opportunity Act
This act forbids companies from denying loans or credit to consumers based on their race, religion, marital status, age, gender, etc.
9. General Data Protection Regulation
GDPR is a relatively new regulation that call centers must accede to. This rule is for companies that store information for European residents whether or not the business itself is located in Europe. European customers can ask for their data to be erased. Businesses must grant their consumers their requests in a timely fashion in order to remain compliant. Therefore, if you have European customers, you must have a plan in place that can quickly erase data.
If your call center is not fully compliant, you could face some serious headaches in your future. The truth is, your company can not afford to wait to become up to standard because of the mounting security risks and in light of the critical data breaches that have already happened to several major businesses. Be sure that your vendors and IT staff are aware of all new regulations as they both play a significant role in call center compliance and security.