30 December 2013

Rule: Unified Communications for Regulated Mobile Phone B2C, B2B

You're celebrating because the firm finally embraced the holy grail of Unified Communication. Finally the telephone handset -- that perfect symbol of the pre-digital age -- can become a manageable part of the infrastructure. Outlook-to-phone, Gmail-to-Hangout or prop CTI solution? All good. Especially the links to customer and supplier contact records.


Does the schema identify which of those contact phone numbers are mobile? Turns out, that could be quite useful. The FTC's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) went into effect in 1991, but rule changes could affect many commercial enterprises who reach out to customers or prospects. As the Marketing Research Association noted in their opinion piece on the subject:

Nearly two-fifths of American homes (38.2%) had cell phones and no landline phones in the 2nd half of 2012 – almost double since 2008. About 36.5% of all adults (86 million) lived in wireless only homes -- and the same for 45% of all children (33 million children). In addition, a sixth of American homes (15.9%) still had a landline, but received all or almost all calls on their cell phones.

The October 2013 TCPA regulation update could mandate that firms conduct phone transactions with cell phone owners differently from others. One of the clearer set of guidelines is provided by IBM SPSS. Their list concludes with this sample solution:

Federal regulations prohibit the use of autodialers for dialing cellular phone numbers. In order to comply with the regulations, an additional column (IsCellPhone for example) can be added to the Sample Table. The new column contains the values True/False, to denote which sample records are cellular phone numbers. The Sample Management Script will then need to be modified such that if IsCellPhone = True, then the number should be manually dialed, rather than autodialed by the system.
Got it. Time to tweak scripts and add a few more audit rows in case the FTC or a class action lawyer comes calling.

Conclusion: Commercial organizations may be required to use manual methods to contact cell phone numbers and to demonstrate that they have policies in place to achieve this. A rule-based solution will require mobile bits associated with each phone number.

No comments:

Post a Comment