Compliance complicates business processes, to say the least, but it’s essential to maintaining your brand reputation. So how does a bank, hospital, or business owner navigate the labyrinth effectively and efficiently? It starts with understanding how compliance, lead generation, and branding work together.
With an increasing number of federal laws, regulations, and guidelines to follow, compliance becomes more complicated and more important for business organizations. Essentially, compliance involves the following steps:
- Staying current on compliance laws and regulations in your industry.
- Putting procedures in place within your organization to ensure compliance.
- Documenting when and how procedures are followed.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3.
When you do this for multiple regulations over the course of multiple years, it can be messy. But consider the consequences of not being compliant. In 2015, the FCC fined Travel Marketing Club almost three million dollars for non-compliance in regards to telemarketing. That’s just the cost of the fine. Imagine how such negative publicity would impact the company’s future efforts. Could you afford both a loss of business and a hefty fine? What would stakeholders say?
Outbound Lead Generation
One of the business areas most affected by compliance regulations is marketing. Between the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the National Do Not Call Registry, and the CAN-SPAM Act alone, many companies have pulled back on outbound marketing efforts to avoid being non-compliant. That’s a safe option, but it leaves a plethora of leads on the table. In essence, it’s like walking away from money because you might get a paper cut.
How can your organization most efficiently be compliant without walking away from a key source for leads?
The Do Not Call registry eliminates some opportunities, but not all of them. Compliance solutions like list scrubbing keep you within federal regulations while providing you with potential opportunities. In other words, you keep the baby, but throw out the bath water.
Outbound regulations don’t prohibit you from providing proactive customer service to improve retention rates. Lead generation and retention are vital to having a growing business. Both are vital elements you would dismiss by trying to avoid compliance altogether.
Do things the right way and outbound lead generation will work in your favor.
Some marketers say that all publicity is good publicity. Others forget about customers once the sale is complete. The problem with these mindsets is that they are self-defeating. Being “top of mind” is only beneficial if the reputation associated with your brand is positive.
When your company is fined for violating federal regulations, the average person will second guess their current or future association with you. When you treat customers poorly because they are already customers, they have no reason to remain loyal to your brand. Once they stop being customers (or before), their word of mouth, online reviews, and future purchase decisions are tainted by the poor experience they’ve had.
How It All Fits Together
The compliance landscape will not get easier over time. To avoid fines and negative publicity your company needs to have a plan for dealing with compliance, especially in regards to outbound lead generation. Compliance regulations make outbound lead generation a bit trickier. Navigating the two effectively will be key to maintaining a positive brand reputation.
So now what?
What Are Your Options?
You have enough information to make an educated decision. Here are your options:
- You could work to avoid all areas of regulation by side-stepping high-compliance areas. If that’s what you choose, good luck in business.
- You could ignore the regulations. Some people take risks and it works out, but set aside a hefty portion of the budget for fines and legal counsel.
- You could try to navigate the compliance issues yourself. This is what many small business owners opt to do. The question you need to ask yourself is: What other job responsibilities will suffer while you tend to the time consuming task of staying current on compliance?
- You could hire a compliance officer to keep up with the latest regulations and keep your organization operating within the parameters. This is a good option for companies that can afford the big overhead expense. However, depending on the size of your company and the industry you’re in, there may not be enough work to merit a full time compliance officer.
- You could outsource your outbound lead generation to someone else who knows the ins and outs of compliance. This is the best option for efficiency, especially as it applies to your internal business processes. It takes the weight of the responsibility off your plate while maximizing the opportunities still available. Outsourcing is a win-win.
Looking to outsource compliance-based lead generation? Give Alliance a call. We attend multiple seminars each year to help us stay up to date on the latest telephonic compliance regulations so we can represent your company and your brand reputation well.