DMA issues new advice on contact centre compliance

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The DMA has published new guidance on contact centre compliance, reminding contact centre operators of the various different organisations that hold them accountable.

In different sectors this can vary – for example, there may be different rules governing specific products and services, or best-practice guidelines for contact centres from specific trade bodies.

But there are also some organisations that have almost universal relevance for contact centre compliance:

• Ofcom
• Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
• Payment Cards Industry Security Standards Council (PCI)

These organisations will not apply to every single contact centre, but in general they are the ‘big three’ for UK contact centre compliance as a whole.

What do they do?

The PCI develops global security standards for organisations that collect, process and store credit card information, and will only be relevant for contact centre compliance if your call handlers accept card payments or have access to customers’ card details.

The ICO protects UK information rights in general, and enforces some key pieces of legislation such as the Data Protection Act and the 2003 Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations – in essence to ensure personal information is treated fairly by businesses.

Finally Ofcom is the regulator for UK communications in general, with broad scope covering everything from telephone communications, to TV and radio.

What are my responsibilities?

As a contact centre operator, it’s important to understand the regulations that apply both in general and in your specific industry, as the DMA explains:

“Contact centres are frequently the part of the organisation that both touches the most consumers and is required to handle and interpret multiple business systems and policies.

“Therefore, the team responsible for the contact centre operation needs to have a confident understanding of the regulatory restrictions and expectations on their work.

“There are no shortcuts to this, but sector and contact centre peers, trade bodies and the regulators themselves are all potential points of useful guidance.”

What should I do?

A good start is to begin by monitoring calls, flagging up any interactions between call handlers and customers that are a cause for concern, and recording calls for regulatory compliance and future training purposes.

Daviker’s contact centre solutions help you to do just this, while also enhancing efficiency and productivity in call centre operations.

For example, our Daviker  Dialler helps to avoid incorrectly dialled numbers, preventing unintended breaches of data protection and improving call agent talk time.

Meanwhile Daviker Speech Analytics can automatically identify inappropriate phrases in live calls and flag the call for further investigation – again allowing you to spot potential breaches and take action to prevent them.

Our past experience shows us that less than 5% of calls in a typical contact centre are analysed across the key criteria of quality, best practice and crucially, compliance.

With Speech Analytics, 100% of calls are automatically monitored, while at the same time your compliance team is freed up from general monitoring tasks, allowing them to investigate high-risk calls as and when they occur.