In April, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in a major case pertaining to Facebook that was viewed as favorable to the contact center industry and a blow to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). However, many states began reviewing their own calling guidelines and refining them accordingly. Florida passed an update (SB 1120) to its own Florida Consumer Protection Law and the Florida Telemarketing Act, to extend beyond certain limitations in the TCPA.
Created to protect consumers, companies must now work harder to comply with the nuance of the new Florida regulation such as the mandate to collect consent prior to communicating via an automated dialing system. This can only be done by fostering trusting relationships and providing customers value in return. This is just the start of this new trend. As Florida has updated its laws, many anticipate that other states will follow suit.
How a Company Protects Itself Under New Legislation
As federal, state and global laws continue to evolve, companies need to move toward a mindset of collecting consent, being transparent, and giving customers control of their data. Businesses have always asked themselves the same key questions, “how do we sell more?” and “how do we provide better customer service?” Now, with constantly changing consumer protection laws, the new questions that should be added to the list include:
- “When is the right time in our interaction with customers to ask for consent or preferences?”
- “What value will we provide in return when customers share personal information?”
- “How will we give customers control over their data?”
Implement Systems and Processes to Track Data
Once a company has evaluated these key questions, it must have a system in place that organizes this data in a way that nurtures the relationship with its customers. Customers need to see that brands are using this data as intended and that they're working to give them control.
Companies should think through every single touchpoint, whether it’s the first visit to a website, a point-of-sale purchase, an interaction with the company’s customer service, or other areas throughout the customer life cycle. These touchpoints are the most natural areas of interaction with customers and provide the opportunity to ask for consent. What’s more, if these are positive interactions with the brand, this is the perfect time to ask questions that provide deeper insights into personal preferences. This provides the ability to present customers a tailored experience, which leads to enhanced trust and customer satisfaction.
Maintain an Audit Trail
Collecting the actual data is not the only aspect to take into consideration. When recording all this activity into a system that allows brands to legally contact customers, it’s also important to ensure the brand has the right process built in, with audit and compliance capability, that clearly exhibits that the brand is abiding by these updated regulations. Collecting consent data is one thing, but companies need to be ready to show when, how and what language was used in obtaining that information. Having a solution in place that provides this audit trail is crucial to protecting an organization.
Provide Value to Customers for Sharing Data
Using the strategies stated above makes consumers feel more valued by a brand while also building trust which leads to them sharing data. When brands are presented with this data, they must honor their customers’ wishes and provide great value in return. For example, send customers targeted communications, promotions or product release notes based on their preferences and do so through their preferred channel. This will keep them engaged with your brand.
While new thinking is needed to comply with these laws, it ultimately benefits a brand to evolve with the changes and grow to be transparent with customers to build deeper trust. Consumers benefit from having the power to choose if they want to give away their data, and companies benefit by gaining loyalty in addition to valuable insights directly from their customers. Click here to learn more about Florida SB1120.
Eric Tejeda is the head of marketing for PossibleNOW, the pioneer and leader in customer consent, preference, and regulatory compliance solutions.
Eric Tejeda is the Director of Marketing for PossibleNOW. Eric drives the organization’s growth objectives by launching new products and services, promoting thought leadership, building awareness and nurturing leads. Eric believes the key to success in the post-digital age is being able to Listen, Remember and Respond to prospects and customers and has deployed a marketing technology stack to support that approach. Active in community and industry organizations, Eric recently served on the American Marketing Association Board of Directors.