Purpose: This report will analyze how telemarketing managers can maintain an ethical environment and improve the professionalism of their agents. This report is also a class requirement for English 205, Fall 2009.
Rapid technological developments in computers and telecommunications coupled with significant growth in the telemarketing industry have created new challenges for management. Ethical abuses have tarnished telemarketing’s reputation and created an environment where observances to the law and ethical perspectives have been overseen.
In telemarketing agencies, the use of the telephone is the most important tool. When the phone is used correctly, it will increase sales, improve customer relations, and establish long term customers. However, when the phone is used incorrectly, the telephone can create grief for a company. The telemarketer on the telephone is to add value to the customer in order for the call to be worthwhile. Therefore, telemarketers must communicate efficiently and use proper communication techniques.
Telemarketing Agencies Face Legal Challenges
Telemarketing is the quickest and easiest way for companies to spend money today. It has been in a decade-long growth spurt that shows no serious sign of weakening. However, telemarketing agencies face challenges that are worsened by encyclopedic lists of complaints about telemarketers and their methods. The complaints resulted in the passage of several pieces of legislation that have forced calling agencies to restrict their calls.
The Do-Not-Call Registry has been in effect for over 6 years and hundreds of thousands of companies have made adjustments to comply. The Do-Not-Call registry has more that 62 million registered numbers (Lieber, 2004). In a Do-Not-Call world, it is hard for a company to make a pleasant and productive telephone contact with customers. Federal law mandates that companies maintain internal, company or client specific Do-Not-Call lists to honor requests from consumers not to receive future solicitation calls. All such requests from consumers should be honored. Companies must adhere to this mandate whether using internal or contracted telephone representatives (Ethical Marketing Guidelines, 2007). The Do-Not-Call list is continuously growing and is preventing telemarketing agencies from contacting customers.
Telemarketing companies have to filter their lists in order to avoid calling phone numbers that are placed on the Do-Not-Call Registry. To make the rules stricter, the list filtering interval has changed. As of January 1, 2005, the minimum interval for filtering against the Do-Not-Call list changed from every 90 days to every 31 days (Lieber, 2004). The change put more pressure on telemarketing agencies because they have to scrub their lists much more often. This change took away numbers from the lists telemarketing agencies call. In February 2004, CNN conducted a poll of 1,000 people to shows the distribution of people who signed up for the Do-Not-Call list, and how telemarketing to their home has changed. Below are the results of the poll (Do Not Call, 2004).
The pie chart at the left shows that out of 1,000 people, 45% have signed up for the Do-Not-Call list. The chart on the right shows that out of the 45% who signed up for the Do-Not-Call list, 74% have received less telemarketing calls. The graphs support the fact that the Do-Not-Call lists are effective. However, they are creating challenges for telemarketing agencies nationwide.
Calling Hour Restrictions
The time restriction placed on telemarketing agencies also creates problems. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telephone Consumers Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits telephone solicitation calls to residents before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. (Ethical Marketing...