The gold standard for telemarketers | ACMA

Telemarketing

08 March, 2013 04:05 PM

Telemarketing

The gold standard for telemarketers

By Editor

All good telemarketers use the Do Not Call Register to wash their lists. But don't forget that there are industry standards that you also need to meet when running a telemarketing campaign.

The Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007 is just as important as the register. It applies to all telemarketing calls, research calls and calls from public interest groups (such as charities, registered political parties and religious organisations) made to Australian numbers. And it applies whether or not the numbers you are calling are on the register.

The standard establishes minimum benchmarks in four areas. It strikes a balance between community and industry expectations about what's reasonable when it comes to making telemarketing and research calls. It includes rules on:

  • the hours/days when you should not make telemarketing and research calls
  • what information you must provide to those you are calling
  • ending calls when requested
  • including a valid CLI (calling line identification).

Time is of the essence

There are restrictions on when you can make telemarketing and research calls:

Research calls prohibited

Telemarketing calls prohibited

Weekdays Before 9.00 am or after 8.30 pm Before 9.00 am or after 8.00 pm
Saturdays Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm
Sundays Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm Calls prohibited
National public holidays Calls prohibited Calls prohibited

 

Share and share alike

The person making the telemarketing call must provide their contact information (including their name and on whose behalf they are calling). For a reputable business, this shouldn't be a problem—of course you want your customer to know who you are! If requested, you must also reveal from where you sourced the recipient's telephone number.

So long, farewell

You must terminate the call if asked or otherwise indicated by the recipient. If they say something like, 'Sorry, I am not interested', for example, you should take this as a reasonable indication they want the call to end. And why waste your time on people who aren't interested in your business? Also remember the power of word-of-mouth—people often tell others (including the ACMA) about bad telemarketing experiences. So don't risk your reputation as well.

Calling line identification

You also need to ensure that CLI is enabled when making telemarketing, research or public interest calls. The CLI displayed should also be one that a call recipient can use for return telephone contact. It's possible that someone who initially declines your offer may change their mind, and a valid CLI means they will be able to contact you.

So remember, meeting these standards will help your business take the right line when it comes to telemarketing.