Compliance: Staying Ahead of Changing Legislation

By Frank HealyAugust 26, 2014

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled to make changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 2012, companies in every industry panicked. The TCPA revision included a new prerequisite of prior express written consent for contacting consumers via autodialed or prerecorded calls. Marketers scrambled to both define and implement this new regulation by its effective date in late 2013. As our own company prepared for these changes, we realized that this was an opportunity to increase both quality and transparency in lead generation. In review of the last year since the TCPA implementation, it is clear that FCC reignited an important issue for organizations: compliance. Compliance has become a rising topic in industries from education to financial services to health care as companies recognize its far-reaching effects.

In business, compliance means adhering to legislation and guidelines that are set by the industry or company. This is a main focus right now in a large part due to the growing number of regulations in every industry – as regulations increase, organizations must learn, adapt and apply new procedures that cost time and money. As we’ve seen in recent news, non-compliance results in mild to severe fallouts. The allegations of legislation disobedience alone can ruin an institution in terms of both clients and prospects. Repairing the damages of negative press surrounding non-compliance is exceedingly difficult, and few companies are able to fully recover. Current concerns are undeniably focused on the more serious consequence of lawsuits, which can financially devastate companies. With the risk of losing an organization to negative press and lawsuits, it is no wonder that businesses are eager to understand compliance.

So how do organizations ensure they are compliant and remain that way with ever-changing legislation? Recently, the word showing up alongside compliance is “transparency”. Transparency means, in a broad sense, effectively communicating the expectations and outcomes of doing business with your company to clients and prospects. This transparency applies to every part of the company model. In online lead generation, landing pages and disclosures should accurately describe what the prospect will receive (calls, emails, etc.) when submitting their information. Contact center representatives need to be honest and knowledgeable, providing prospects with a clear understanding of company services. Transparency ensures that companies are not sidestepping necessary procedures for the sake of conversions. Processes should be audited continuously, checking for gaps in compliance or transparency.

Remaining aware of upcoming and current rulings in the industry is crucial to planning and staying ahead of the curve. It is also important to realize that ensuring compliance is a continuous process of research, updating procedures and auditing. When companies are transparent, they reduce the risk of negative media and litigation. With a steady rise in government regulations surrounding businesses, there is no doubt that compliance will remain a central topic of discussion as companies calibrate to comply.

Higher Ed Growth is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. Higher Ed Growth has a long history of understanding and evolving to provide compliant solutions. Visit www.higheredgrowth.com to learn more about our services and how quality prospects lead to successful students.

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