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Regulatory Requirements Wakes Up the Outbound Market

Regulatory Requirements Wakes Up the Outbound Market

The outbound market is doing better in 2013 than it has since the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced the Do Not Call legislation in 2003. This IT sector continues to be under great pressure to meet ever-changing and increasingly demanding regulations issued by governments around the world. However, this time, as consumer protection regulations become more stringent, including new restrictions imposed by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new regulations pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, vendors and end users are working together, supported by their lawyers, to come up with effective ways to enhance solutions and best practices to be in compliance while they conduct business. Although it may not always seem to be the case, regulations are not intended to stop companies from transacting business, including collecting overdue payments from people who have not met their legal obligations. Instead, regulations are designed to restrict companies from using unfair and inappropriate techniques when collecting outstanding debts or trying to sell products and services.
A major difference between the impact of legislation in 2003 and what is expected to happen to the market during the next two to three years is that the current regulatory changes are driving technology investments and innovation in the outbound and dialing IT sectors. Just as the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) initially caused great concern and confusion but ultimately yielded outstanding solutions that protect consumers’ private credit card information (as well as the institutions that handle these cards), a similar outcome is anticipated from the January and October 2013 TCPA rule changes. Despite legitimate concerns about being hit with fees and penalties, too many companies depend on outbound dialing technology to conduct business for them or their vendors to back away from using these highly effective solutions. The outbound market is already seeing a substantial increase in research and development (R&D) investments, and more are expected.
DMG predicts that companies that have not updated their outbound dialing solutions in the recent past will take a look at the current generation of applications, looking for an enhanced, more feature-rich and beneficial system. (Many companies have not replaced their dialers in more than 10 years.) Unfortunately, many enterprises will be disappointed by the lack of innovation in dialers, as there have been limited R&D investments in these solutions until recently. Despite this, more outbound dialing solutions will be sold in 2013 than in any of the past ten years, and adoption is expected to pick up momentum in each of the next three years, as long as the vendors wake up and respond to the needs of their customers and prospects. The outbound dialing market has already started a much-needed cycle of growth that is expected to yield better and more effective solutions.
A large number of cloud-based outbound solutions and an increasing number of inbound contact center infrastructure solutions have added preview, progressive and predictive dialing, as well as blending; this is making it easier for companies of all sizes to acquire outbound dialing capabilities. Additionally, organizations are also looking to invest in automated multi-channel outbound solutions that enable them to reach customers in their channel of choice. Although “robocalling,” unsolicited marketing calls, and dialing cell numbers where the recipient has to pay for the call are all being restricted by the new US regulations, companies are still very interested in acquiring solutions that have proven to be highly effective in reaching customers or communicating with prospects.
At the same time as the outbound technology sector has been reawakened, end-user organizations are finally starting to invest time and energy into optimizing their approach to outbound calling. Sure, the primary driver is new regulations and fear of being fined, but the result will be better and more effective methods and tools for reaching customers. When new best practices are used in conjunction with improved and more flexible technology, everyone wins – customers, prospects, the enterprise and vendors.
To obtain a detailed analysis of the top 16 leading and contending outbound dialing solutions and an-depth review of regulatory requirements, market trends and challenges, pricing and end-user satisfaction with the vendors, visit DMG’s website at www.dmgconsult.com. For more information about the outbound market and how we can help you improve your operations and technology, please contact Deborah Navarra at 516-628-1098

Ask the Experts

Question:
I am setting up a blended multi-channel outbound environment contact center. What features should I be looking for in an outbound dialing solution?

Answer:
The goal of an outbound interaction is to communicate with an individual for a defined purpose. In some situations, it’s fine to leave a message. In others, it’s essential to interact live with a specific person, as in the case of late-stage collections or fundraising. Sometimes an organization will use proactive outreach, while at other times they need to respond to a customer-initiated event. Some customers who will never pick up a call from your enterprise may be willing to read an email or text, and could even be warmed up by a social media post. The point is that outbound solutions need to be highly flexible in how and when they interact with their targets, and need to be multi-channel. An important element of this concept, which continues to challenge many organizations, is the need to blend the handling of inbound and outbound interactions.
Outbound dialers are dedicated to reaching out to a large number of targets, prospects and customers, many of whom are not available when the initial contact is made, despite the best predictive dialing algorithms… Read More

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.