Despite being one of the foremost developers of open-source voice, SMS, fax and email broadcast software, ICT Innovations remains committed to ensuring that its customers adhere to all national and international regulations regarding cold calling, or “robocalls”. The company’s founders have established a business that is based just as firmly on integrity as it is on a keen desire to push for greater and greater technological innovation.
The insistence on its customers using its ICTBroadcast software only in a legal and moral way is demonstrated by a quick look at its Terms and Conditions. ICT Innovations is not just interested working for its own customers’ interests, but also in ensuring that those who indicate that they do not wish to be contacted for telemarketing purposes should be respected, and their wishes honored. It encourages its customers to maintain accurate and up-to-date Do Not Call lists, and has ensured that its software allows easy in-call updating of Do Not Call lists. For instance, if a recipient does receive an unsolicited call that was made through the ICTBroadcast platform, but wishes to have his or her name removed from the calling list, he or she can simply press the designated Opt-out key, if Admin has enabled this during campaign set-up. This results in the number being removed from the calling list, and added to the DNC list instead.
Furthermore, both the Enterprise and Service Provider editions of ICTBroadcast allow customers to upload National Do Not Call Registry lists. The Service Provider package also allows customers to create their own customized campaigns using either the IVR Designer or Agent Campaign features. In either case, ICTBroadcast will check any DNC lists before initiating a call to any contact, and will only allow permitted calls to go through. Only when a recipient answers the call, will it be forwarded to a Live Agent for further interaction and support. The Agent Campaign feature ensures that only numbers that have been answered are fed through to an available agent. The recipient does not hear any recorded message, and speaks only with a real human voice. As with the IVR Designer, when the campaign manager is creating this type of campaign, he or she can choose to enable the DNC option. If it has been enabled, a recipient who wishes to be removed from the contact list has only to press the designated key for this to happen.
But why is cold-calling such an issue, and why would a telemarketing software team be so interested in preventing customers from calling certain possible clients? Firstly, a major part of the reason that cold calling has become such an issue, is the sheer volume of calls, with many homes and businesses receiving a number of calls each day. This is annoying and frustrating for the unfortunate recipient, but it is also detrimental to the business that originates the unsolicited calls. It is counter-productive, and a waste of time and other resources, for the both the company, and the recipient.
In recognition of the problems that such calls, as well as other contact types, such as SMS, faxes and emails, can cause, the authorities in many countries have acted to minimize their impact, or in some cases, to virtually ban them altogether. In the United Kingdom, consumers and businesses can register with the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of receiving live or automated calls.
In the United States, robocalls have been banned by the Federal Trade Commission since 2009, unless the firm placing the calls has the express written permission of the recipient. As there are severe penalties for any infringement of the regulations, it is essential that telemarketing companies have the appropriate software tools to enable them to comply with such legislation. ICTBroadcast software can support them in meeting their legal obligations, in a simple and straightforward manner.
As many of ICT Innovations’ product features aim to assist their in making contact with customers or other service users, clearly there are still instances when is perfectly legitimate to initiate contact by voice, SMS, fax or email. In many countries, customers normally signify that they are willing to be contacted by that company by signing a written agreement, or ticking boxes on an online form.
There are also a number of categories of callers that are considered to be exempt from these rules, though clearly regional variations apply, and would need to be confirmed locally. However, they generally include doctors’ practices, hospitals, dentists, schools, charities, banks and other financial institutions, and other bodies such as transport companies that may need to pass important information to their clients, or employers that need to contact their workers. Such bodies generally need have no concern about making contact with their customers or users.
For instance, if a doctor’s practice would like to send appointment reminders to patients, most patients would welcome this. As appointments are often booked in advance, patients can forget the date or time. In countries such as the United Kingdom, doctors have started removing patients from their surgery lists if they miss an appointment. As this is no one’s interest, most patients appreciate this service that the ICTBroadcast package can support the practice in providing.
ICT Innovations remains committed to supporting its users in delivering high-quality contact in situations where this is desired and permitted, while also supporting them in preventing unwanted or unlawful contact.