The amended Telemarketer Sales Rule (TSR) from the Federal Trade Commission says that automated sales communications can be delivered only to recipients who have provided their “express written consent” to receive them. Having an existing business relationship will no longer be sufficient approval for organizations to attempt to sell goods or services via an automated phone call.
Developing a consumer communications preference strategy enables an organization to gain consumer opt-in for future communications and be acted upon by consenting customers, translating into more market share, revenue and profit. Organizations should adopt the following three steps to launching a communications preference management strategy to satisfy the new TSR: First, they should ask consumers how they want to be contacted, then develop a preference-based strategy. Then, they should learn consumers’ preferences in advance to better-position the organization to have communications break through and be acted upon. Finally, once an organization determines its consumers’ individual communication preferences, it can then secure their express written consent, and legally deliver relevant information to consumers who have expressed an interest in their goods or services.
Companies should ask themselves these questions as well: Do we have complete and updated contact information for our customers and prospects? How is it updated? What are our consumers’ communications preferences and do these vary by situation? How do we track and update consumers’ evolving communications preferences? Who can access this info?
Capturing this information is critical to building life-long, profitable customer relationships. Doing this will help maximize the percentage of consumers that can be reached legally and cost-effectively.