Lawsuits stemming from alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) continue to increase at a rapid pace. According to an article by ACA International, “there were 395 TCPA cases in February, compared to 339 in January, a 16.5 percent increase.” Additionally, “there were 82.9 percent more TCPA cases in February 2016 compared to February 2015.”
This alarming snowball effect verifies that it is not a question of if you need a TCPA compliance solution. So, when you are inevitably exploring your options to maintain (and prove) your TCPA compliance, here are the key questions to consider and ask your prospective vendors.
1. Has this solution been used successfully to dismiss TCPA complaints?
No matter the cost of the solution you choose—whether it is a million dollars or one dollar—if you spend a dollar and the solution doesn’t solve the problem, it’s a dollar wasted. Regardless of the solution you select in the end, what matters is that it works as advertised and does what you are paying for it to do. In this case, you are looking for a TCPA solution that quickly, easily, and reliably dismisses TCPA complaints.
Some things you can do proactively to determine this are:
- Search online: You don’t simply have to take a vendor’s word for it; you can search online for unbiased testimonial evidence. How have others solved the problem you’re facing?
- Ask vendors to provide you with examples: The vendor should be able to provide you with written case studies or testimonials that prove this solution has prevented intensive resource investment due to TCPA complaints.
- Speak with references: Ask the vendor to connect you with some existing customers that have used their solution. Ask the reference to tell you what worked, what did not, and how the vendor’s support helped the company resolve the complaint.
2. Have other brands migrated from other TCPA solutions to this one?
It’s important to understand not only what solutions are available but, but what constitutes the industry standard. Why not take advantage of the experience and progress that your peers have made in making the same decision?
When you are researching, reading case studies, and speaking with customers of the vendors you are considering, be sure to note whether they had a previous solution in place before moving to their current vendor, and see if you can find out why they made the switch. That is where you can really find out what truly differentiates the vendors you are considering.
3. Does this solution provide peace of mind for the vast majority, if not all, of the leads I am calling?
At the end of the day, your TCPA compliance solution is an insurance policy. And, the premium you are paying for that policy needs to cover the majority of the risk you are encountering. If it only covers flood and you live in a desert, you’re wasting money and not mitigating risk.
TCPA compliance is about risk mitigation and management. Therefore, your TCPA compliance solution needs to prove your innocence for the vast majority, if not all, of the consumers you are calling.
Specifically, ensure that the publishers you buy leads from are familiar with the solution you are considering and that the publishers already use it or are amenable to implementing it.It is important to determine upfront that you won’t experience headaches in setting up this solution. It needs to be easy to implement and manage, or you risk investing more resources after-the-fact.
4. How else can this partnership benefit my business?
There are several products available from companies with various missions, and your quest for a TCPA solution is not necessarily going to be an apples-to-apples comparison. Some products act as point solutions that provide the technology illustrating proof of compliance and nothing more. Others offer technology that delivers proof of compliance with additional support when complaints arise. And for a select few, TCPA compliance is just one of the applications of a robust data set that you can leverage to connect with your customers in the most meaningful ways.Ask your potential vendors such questions as:
- What else can you offer, now and in the future?
- Would my organization benefit from the other products you deliver?
- Moreover, what exactly am I getting with your solution?
- Will I get consultative support behind this solution?
Jeff Piotrowski is Senior Director of Insurance at Jornaya.