Do Not Call register fears unfounded

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Do Not Call register fears unfounded

Contact centre vendor, Aspect Software, has dismissed the current concern over the proposed national Do Not Call (DNC) register legislation as a “storm in a tea cup.”

Contact centre vendor, Aspect Software, has dismissed the current concern over the proposed national Do Not Call (DNC) register legislation as a “storm in a tea cup.”

However, contact centre outsourcers will need to reassess their business models if they are to continue to stay on top of changes in the industry.

Speaking in Sydney, Aspect CEO and president Jim Foy said that if the introduction of a DNC register in the US a few years back was anything to go by, a local DNC register would have little negative impact.

“People were arguing that a [DNC] register would drive contact centre businesses offshore but that hasn’t happened in the US and it won’t happen here,” he said. “It’s largely a storm in a tea cup.”

Foy said that if anything, the industry should expect to benefit from the proposed legislation, which will see the establishment of a national register for people and organisations to opt out of receiving telemarketing and other outbound business calls.

“Local legislation will drive higher service levels and a culture amongst providers of disclosure and of callers being more polite,” he said.

“There will also be increased creativeness with marketing schemes as organisations seek to reach people on the DNC register.”

Despite current research suggesting that less than 1 percent of US contact centre jobs were lost due to a DNC register, some 120 million people, or 70 percent of all US households, had opted out of being called, Foy said.

“The upside of having people on the DNC register is that all those off the register are better qualified [as prospective customers] – they are willing to be contacted” he said.

Contact centres could also gain greater credibility in being able to tout a level of compliance with the DNC register, thus helping to weed out less scrupulous operators, Foy said.

Contact Centre business models would also need to change from a pay per call model to a pay per close model in order to extract more value out of a smaller pool of potential customers, he said.

“Outsourcers will be affected by this and their whole practice will change. But the prospect of cleaning up the telemarketing business is great,” he said.

Catriona Wallace research director ACA Research and callcentres.net said the local contact centre industry was 3700 centres strong with 160,00 seats and employing 250,000 workers.

She said the local figure on expected call centre job losses due to the DNC register was about 5000 seats, or 3 percent.

However, this loss in jobs was expected to be negated by strong growth in the contact centre market – seven percent in 2006 - and the evolution of new outbound call service such as automated cancelled plane flight alerts.

“This industry is becoming a little less immoral and [the DNC register] does a lot to improve the image of the industry,” Foy said.

“Someone saying, ‘please do not call me’ is a perfectly reasonable request.”

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