“Good evening, Mrs. Smith.
My name is Tom and I’m calling from XXX corporation.
Our company realizes and realizes that your household is in fact on a national database commonly known as the Do Not Call register, and that you have indeed indicated that you do not wish to be contacted by companies such as ours at your private residence on a cold call basis.
Furthermore, we therefore realize that our act of contacting you is therefore, illegal.
Nevertheless, our organization is extremely confident that our products and services represent great value to all of our customers, and that you and your family will be truly excited about our offering.
Accordingly, our organization has decided that it would be appropriate for us to show no respect whatsoever for you or your stated desire not to receive sales calls at your private residence, and to contact you about our great offering anyway.
So, if I may, let me just take a few minutes of your time to tell you about our exciting new promotion …”
‘Do not call’ registers
No company would seriously have call centre telemarketers contact people with the above spiel. Yet from my viewpoint, that is exactly how cold calls from telemarketers sound when they contact private residences which are on the ‘Do Not Call’ register.
I don’t know what the situation is like in other countries, but in Australia, the national government has operated a ‘do not call’ register for the past three years. Under this concept, those who do not wish to receive unsolicited sales calls at their private residence can opt to place their number on the register, and companies are thereafter forbidden from calling them for promotional purposes (charities are exempt).
However, it seems that compliance represents an ongoing problem, and one bank in particular was reprimanded this week by the national regulator for its consistent failure to comply with the requirements of the register.
Poor ethics and poor business
The ethical issues associated with ‘do not call’ registers are clear cut – companies have a very clear ethical obligation to avoid making unsolicited sales calls to those who are on the register. The practice of making such calls is not only illegal but represents a flagrant disregard for the explicitly stated request of call recipients.
If issues of courtesy and etiquette were not sufficient to persuade companies to comply with ‘do not call’ regulations, then business case considerations should be, particularly given the prospect of legal penalties and the adverse impact of non-compliance upon corporate reputation. Not to mention the prospect of lawsuits from disgruntled call recipients.
The brighter side – how the registers help companies
But, for companies there is a more positive side to the story in terms of lifting outbound call centre productivity and reducing staff turnover.
All other things being equal, prospective call recipients who are listed on the register are less likely to be responsive to cold calls than those who are not.
As a result, these types of registers help companies to filter out less promising call recipients, thereby lifting the productivity of their outbound call centers in terms of revenue generation.
In addition, to the extent ‘do not call’ registers help to filter out the type of call recipients who are likely to adopt an abusive attitude toward their staff, these registers assist organizations in terms of staff retention.
(On the other hand, where organizations ignore the requirements of these registers, I can hardly imagine affected call recipients representing any kind of promising sales lead, nor could I imagine that encounters with such recipients aid in call centre staff retention efforts)
In short, use of ‘do not call’ lists provides a great opportunity to raise outbound call centre productivity and staff morale – an opportunity companies would be crazy to miss.
Over to you
Do they operate ‘do not call’ registers in your country? Have they been effective in the elimination of unsolicited sales calls?