Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Person-to-Person Telemarketing Code of Practice Certification

by Rayland Chan, Executive Director, HKCCA


Since the HKCCA Person-to-Person (P2P) Telemarketing Code of Practice (CoP) became effective on 1 July 2010, most members started implementing the requirements that are outlined in the CoP. The actions taken included conduct internal briefing / training; revise the compliance / quality assurance process; review the equipment setting and reinforce the CoP requirements in the service agreement with business partners.

Background

The CoP implementation is a positive and constructive response to the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (UEMO) that was enforced on 22 December 2007 to regulate all types of commercial electronic messages, including email, fax, or pre-recorded messages, originating from Hong Kong, as well as those sent from overseas to Hong Kong,

Person-to-person (P2P) voice or video messages without pre-recorded or synthesized elements had been excluded from the regulation. There have been calls to include P2P telemarketing into the ambit of the Ordinance. While the Hong Kong Call Centre Association (HKCCA) was supportive of the intent behind the UEMO that contains the problem of spamming in Hong Kong and minimizes the nuisance to the public, the Association has great concern about the possible inclusion of P2P telemarketing within the ambit of the Ordinance and the consequences that this could have on small, medium and large enterprises in Hong Kong in particular those SMEs which constitute about 98% of Hong Kong’s business community

In order to address the concerns of the population at large, HKCCA took the lead to develop the CoP together with several key telemarketing companies (telemarketers). With of support from Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA), the CoP has been effective since 1 July 2010. It is the intention that responsible industry players to adhere to the Practice when conducting their telemarketing business.

To recognize those in full compliance of the CoP and facilitate SME telemarketers implementing the CoP, HKCCA established a P2P Telemarketing CoP Certification Scheme and appointed Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) to conduct independent audit for those participated in the Scheme. The Association also succeeded in getting the SME Development Fund to provide free certification audit for up to 30 SME telemarketers as well as structured training modules for 300 frontline agents of the SME telemarketers.

Objective

The objectives of the CoP Implementation are:

 To encourage best practices and improve the performance of telemarketing businesses.
 To promote cooperation within the telemarketing industry and project a positive image to the public.
 To outline expectations of performance in conducting the P2P telemarketing business
 To seek from those involved within the telemarketing industry a commitment to comply with all the laws, regulations and code of practice relating to the industry.

Approach

 HKCCA launched the CoP within the telemarketing industry through seminars, workshops and press conference
 HKCCA took the Certification Scheme to apply for the HKSAR Government SME Development Fund
 HKCCA appointed Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) to conduct audit on the CoP and certify participating telemarketers who passed the audit
 HKCCA set up a hotline for public enquiries on CoP, Certification and related training
 Structured training programmes to be provided for frontline telemarketers

Certification Sign-up Ceremony

After a number of seminars on introducing the CoP and the Certification mechanism being conducted between December 2010 and June 2011, twelve companies across various industries registered for the Certification. These companies are from banking, insurance, telecom, education and contact centre outsourcing services. A “Sign-up Ceremony” for this first batch of companies was organized on 22 June 11 to recognize their commitment to the CoP and signify the start of the certification process. Another company also signed up for certification in September 2011.

The 13 companies that had registered for the Certification are:

BOC Group Life Insurance Co. Limited
Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited
Datatrade Limited
DYX net
EC Telecom Limited
Epro Telecom Services Limited
Guangzhou Channelbeyond Customer Care Co. Limited
Hong Kong Tutor Centre
Hong Leong Insurance (Asia) Limited
PCCW Teleservices
Teledirect Hong Kong Limited
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
800 Teleservices Hong Kong Limited

The certification audits have been scheduled in November 2011 and we expect the first batch of companies getting the certification in December 2011.

Training Series for frontline telemarketers

A training series comprises of 6 modules was developed to enhance the capability of the frontline telemarketers have been provided free to the frontline telemarketers from June 2011 to February 2012. 5 of the 6 modules had been completed. The outstanding module still in progress is Telemarketing Putonghua.

Concerted Effort

Telemarketing has become a commonly used, relatively low-cost and effective channel to market a product or service these days. SMEs in particular, use such mean for market promotion and business acquisition. This trend will only continue. With more and more telemarketers emerging, there is imminent need to have a set of guidelines in place to facilitate telemarketers conducting their business in a responsible, professional and effective manner.

The CoP and the self-governance mechanism will instill confidence to the public, legislators and the end users of telemarketing service that the industry is self-disciplined and healthily functioning only if the industry can act concertedly to observe the CoP and more telemarketers to be certified. We firmly believe the on-going certification process and the structured training programmes will enable telemarketers of all shapes and sizes to continue to grow and improve.

There is still free P2P Telemarketing CoP Certification audit available for SME telemarketers until February 2012. Interested parties please call 25772289 for details.

- End -

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Telemarketers should also immediately unsubscribe those who they call who don't speak the same language instead of either hanging up or lying and saying "wrong number".

I am fed up getting spam calls from you guys and your associates.

Unknown said...

The stage of good results that this way delivers to the companies that determined to use this, and the variety of companies that has gained from this are just a few of the facts that confirm that it performs.

Telemarketing Services

Telly Le said...

Honestly i really don't know about P2P telemarketing and i am amaze that i read it.Thanks for sharing it.