Telemarketing – Keeping it Legal

Telemarketing can be used as an effective method of marketing and can be a valuable driver of new sales for any company. However, if done wrong it can be one of the methods most hated by the very people it’s trying to woo – potential customers! So, before you consider techniques, good scripts or any other strategy for your marketing phone calls, ensure you’ve ticked the most important box first: stay legal.

annoying-cold-caller
Don’t be this guy…

1. Check the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) or CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service)

It’s a legal requirement in the UK that any company which makes outbound marketing phone calls must check the number they’re dialling is not registered with the TPS. If you don’t, you’re in danger of being fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Services like the TPS Lookup API from Telecoms Cloud make it a breeze to check numbers, and it’s updated every day so you can rest assured that customers’ wishes are being met. Being a web API, the lookup can be integrated right into your phone system’s call-flow making it impossible to dial a TPS-registered number, and you can easily embed it into CRM systems too.

The video below explains how simple the service is:

 

2. Become TPS Assured

One of the best ways to show that you’re a responsible telemarketer is to become TPS Assured. As their website says,

“TPS Assured certification indicates to your clients, regulators and the general public that your business not only complies with all the rules governing telemarketing, but also respects the wishes of consumers by following best practice.

All organisations that achieve TPS Assured certification are allowed to display the TPS Assured logo on their website and corporate literature, showing the world that they are responsible telemarketers.”

Find out more at http://tpsassured.co.uk/

3. Comply with PECR and Ofcom Guidance

It’s not enough just to check that a number isn’t registered on the TPS before you call, you need to make sure you’re complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) set out by the ICO, and also make sure you do not make silent calls. Follow the links for more information.

4. Be Mindful of Vulnerable Customers

Remember that it’s important to give careful consideration to how you support your most vulnerable customers, especially when reaching out to them in a telemarketing context. Back in October 2015, the Direct Marketing Association put out on a webinar on this topic, which you can watch again online at http://www.dma.org.uk/webinar/dma-vulnerable-consumers

5. Always Display a Valid Caller ID

At the time of writing, the UK government is currently consulting on making this law, so you might as well start complying now. By presenting your Caller ID you demonstrate to those that you call that you’re not trying to mask your identity and you have no reason to. It gives consumers more visibility and choice over whether to answer, and it of course makes it easier for consumers to block calls if they wish – and as a responsible telemarketer, you shouldn’t have any problem with that because you shouldn’t be giving consumers a reason to want to block your future calls!

6. Respect Consumers Who Ask You Not To Call Again

Receiving a phone call can be a very private and personal thing for many people, especially if you ring a consumer at their home rather than a company on an office phone. If a customer is not interested in your product/service, don’t persist and make a nuisance of yourself. Equally, if they request that you remove them from your database and do not call again, you have a legal and moral obligation to respect their wishes and do as they request.

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