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Many contact centres showing disregard for regulations - report

12th Feb 2014
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It’s been revealed that nearly two in five senior contact centre representatives know that their office does not comply, or may not comply, with Ofcom’s call centre regulations - with many admitting they simply don't know either way. This is despite massive fines being dished out to a number of companies last year – including one of a hefty £750,000 – for failing to abide by these rules.

The research project was carried out by Aspect, who quizzed UK managers in the last quarter of 2013. Even though at least 60% of companies need to meet more than one set of specific industry requirements, only 28% of those who took part in the survey said they thoroughly assess whether or not they are successfully doing so at least four times in a year.

What's more, if and when an audit does take place, it’s often carried out by an internal staff member, with only 6% using an external service. This obviously means that the results may be subject to considerable bias. David Ogden, account manager at Aspect, points out the importance of a fresh pair of eyes: "Admin failures can often be traced back to inefficient and out-dated software, but legacy systems can often escape appropriate scrutiny, as long-standing managers might be reluctant to question their original investment. This leaves it open for possible technical and service problems in the future.

"There are some critical questions that need to be asked each year, of each piece of software, application, or hardware. Is it still performing its major function effectively? Is it costing us more to keep than it returns? Can we improve its use for better performance? Is it still compliant? This is not about overhauling current systems, but instead, placing an emphasis on cutting costs and improving efficiency."

It may be costly to overhaul entire computer systems and call centre processes, but when we’re talking fines of three quarters of a million pounds at a time, a revamp could suddenly become the more economic choice. 

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