GDPR – how does it affect telemarketing?
GDPR is a regulation that the EU have drafted in order to protect personal information from being misused for direct marketing. As such, telemarketing is directly impacted by the regulation, which will come into effect in May 2018. However, provided that you carry out best practice, the chances are that most of us are fairly close to being GDPR compliant with regard to cold calling specifically.
Fundamentally, it is already the case that the law requires you give people the chance to opt out of receiving further communication at the end of a call. The old “is it OK for us to keep in touch” closing question. An answer in the affirmative is sufficient to permit a call back. But there is a but.
On the assumption that you ask that question at the end of each phone call that you make, you know that you are doing what you ought. GDPR requires you to be able to prove it in court if you have to. The only cast iron way of proving it is call recording, and undoubtedly big players will be doing this. However, since you will be recording pieces of personal data in the conversation, the recording itself then becomes subject to GDPR. It has to be recorded and stored safely and securely, the person ought to know that you are recording the conversation and so on.
So, if this is not an option for you technically, all you can do is demonstrate that you operate on a best efforts basis – to a degree that is appropriate for your business. That means you need to show that you are aware and are taking measures. You need to record the time and date of every conversation that you have, the name of who you spoke to, and that they are happy to be called back.
Finally, GDPR makes permission time limited. If a client has not bought from you in the last 18 months, you need to get permission to call them. If a prospect has not heard from you in 6 months, you need their permission to call back.
Fundamentally, GDPR means that you need to stay in touch with your contacts more regularly and in an organised manner. We can help you do this.