How do you legitimately run a call center? Why is it important to be educated with compliance, rules, and regulations?
A common reason companies run away from these things is the cost. It is human nature avoid to be presented routinely with how much risk there is in space. People don’t understand that risk entails reward.
In this episode, Rob Seaver, Executive Director of LeadsCouncil, and I talked about his role in setting standards and advocating for Performance Marketing Industry. We also talked about how technology takes its part and becomes a necessary component in improving quantity vs. quality.
Learn about compliance, ethical corporate culture, call center standards, and understanding the value of change.
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Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com
Connect with Rob on LinkedIn
An industry veteran with a career in sales & marketing. U.S. Navy Veteran & Air Traffic Controller, Rob has spent the bulk of his career helping companies navigate the challenges of offline-online marketing. Executive Director of LeadsCouncil for the past half-decade, leading the fight for setting standards and advocating for the Performance Marketing Industry.
[00:00:00] Jason: [00:00:00] Rob, welcome to the scalable call center sales podcast.
[00:00:04]Rob: [00:00:04] Thank you for having me. I can’t tell you, this is the most exciting part. My hour. Thank you very much for having me.
[00:00:10] Jason: [00:00:10] I can always appreciate you for appreciating our time together. So I don’t normally do this, but I think it’s important to put things in context and to help people understand, explain more about leads council, what that is, especially within the industry of let’s say sales call centers, consumer sales, and then your role at all.
[00:00:31] Rob: [00:00:31] Sure. And most people run from me when I come, because they don’t want to hear what I have to say. I routinely from the stage wear a shirt that says I scare because I care, from monsters, Inc. And it’s really true. The council has been around for as long as leads con. If you’re familiar with that show has been around.
[00:00:49] We were born pretty much on the same dates and we were brought out to largely be an education and advocacy side of the industry that is so heavily regulated predominantly for phones. Operations, telecommunication operations call center operations. That’s where most of our legislative and regulatory oversight comes from, but in general, even privacy and just educating people on best practices.
[00:01:17] And so the council has evolved over those years and now. We are now formally voted in as a self-regulating organization for our mission, which means not only are we going to set standards for the industry, our members can then voluntarily sign up for an audited side that a buyer or either side can recognize somebody for them going above and beyond as it relates to standards for the industry.
[00:01:45] And so setting those standards. Responsible behavior in an industry that traditionally has struggled with that, but more importantly, educating our people in the space, but educating the regulators and legislators out there also what the consumer’s best interest is. That’s our main.
[00:02:02] Jason: [00:02:02] So why would somebody run from someone as nice as you Rob?
[00:02:07] Rob: [00:02:07] They don’t like my jokes. I don’t know. Hey, if you mess up, you’re going to jail. They don’t like that. I don’t know. It’s a concept that I haven’t grasped yet. No, really. I think. One of the things that I hope to talk about today is, traditionally, how do people really run call centers?
[00:02:24] And from what my understanding is that it’s always been a quantity game. It’s always been a numbers game. The more you call, the more you convert and so more numbers, more leads, please. And so when you start talking about changing that mindset, That would naturally probably reduce the quantity and replay and replace it with quality.
[00:02:46] What we look at are companies that really need to grasp that, and we need to take them along slowly as they understand that transition. And so when I’m sitting there screaming about. The, this is the latest TCPA, telephone consumer protection act change to the law that happened in the ninth circuit, where all things were considered at the time, automatic dialer people are like, oh, I don’t want to hear that.
[00:03:11] I just don’t want to, I don’t want to hear the bad part. I don’t want to hear that somebody received a CID, which is a civil investigative demand from the federal trade commission. I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to know. And I understand that’s human nature to not want it to be presented, routinely how much risk there is in this space, but with the risk is reward.
[00:03:33] And I think that’s why you find so many people in this space doing what they do. And so from my angle, my job and our obligation, and our mission says that we have to keep you educated and we have to advocate on your own. And we have to make sure that, if there are opportunities to lobby to change those laws we’re aware of what you in the industry want.
[00:03:54] And so when we formed the council on invited the members to join, that’s the mission, that’s what we’re trying to do. And it does scare people. It does.
[00:04:03]Jason: [00:04:03] And hopefully people are still listening if you’re still listening or watching this. I take that as a good sign because we are going to talk awesome.
[00:04:11] Rob: [00:04:11] Where did they go, Jason? Where did they go?
[00:04:14] Jason: [00:04:14] That crickets, it is one of those things where, I’ve been to many conferences where the session about compliance. It could be empty. It could be filled with people who are looking for ways to not deal with it. And let me know what all the rules so that I can still skirt it, or there’s the other group that’s in there that wants to know how to do what they can to stay within the boundaries of the rules, to be able to survive and play and win long-term, which is what I appreciate about you and what you’re doing both again for the educational piece.
[00:04:45] Helping people understand what’s going on. And then also the advocacy, which is on behalf of consumers on behalf of sales teams, call centers, lead generators, all of those being able to advocate for towards the government and say, Hey, here’s, what’s actually going on. Let’s put in some best practices in place.
[00:05:02] When you look at things that go on, why do you think companies just don’t want to embrace these things? And these things. Compliance regulations, the rules in your
[00:05:15] Rob: [00:05:15] experience. What I can tell you and this has been very common. First of all, a lot of times it’s going to boil down to the dollar that, the costs and, and I can appreciate the fact, especially if you’re in that co-reg market or something where quantity is the game.
[00:05:33] If you start throwing compliance, People equate that to cost. And so I understand that because if I’m going to have to put a third party lead verification pixel in play to verify that there was some level of compliance when the lead was generated, that’s going to cost me at some point. And yes, you could say I could download the Jordan Aja pixel or that, the script and, or the active prospect script and run it.
[00:06:01] And there is a no cost barrier, additionally, and eventually there’s going to be some level of cost to ensure compliance. And I think that’s the number one fear that I have you’re eroding my margins. And I don’t think that the industry traditionally is out there saying I’m money hungry and I’m going to do everything to scrape as many dollars into my pocket.
[00:06:20] I don’t think that’s the case. I think that in some of these cases, some of these companies are running on such razor thin margins, that when you start introducing layers on top of that, it is going to impact your profitability. And that is a true concern. I’m well aware of it. And we respect that because everybody has to deal with it at some point.
[00:06:39] You have to be responsible for making sure that the person on the other side that’s responsible for that P and L they understand why that cost was necessary. And so we are a necessary cost and that sometimes is something that is cause for resentment. I think that’s the first thing part of it is that we have a mentality, as I’ve mentioned that anything could impact quantitative.
[00:07:07] Which on a regulatory compliance side could impact quantity. If you don’t have consent, you don’t call. And so the reality of that is, is that the more layer that you’ve put on me as a best practice or a best standard for the industry, or even a rule of the industry, whether it’s a law or not, I’m going to have to decide whether or not I’m going to absorb that extra energy to.
[00:07:31]To follow or comply and that’s going to be another cost, but it also could potentially impact quantity, which goes right back to revenue. So I feel like people see it as an expense instead of an investment. And. I can tell you firsthand for those companies who have been on the other side of that CID, that civil investigative demand the subpoena from the federal trade commission or the consumer financial protection bureau.
[00:08:01] I can tell you that the cost is far exceeded on that side of the fence versus the upfront cost of preventing it altogether. It’s where do you want to pay the price? And when you also layer in not only the civil penalty to it, which could be an enforcement action on a legislative or regulatory front, but the potential of a criminal penalty tied to it as a decision maker in a company that may have been breaking the law, either through ignorance or intent, I can tell you that criminal penalty is far more expensive than the civil case.
[00:08:37] And that’s a reality of doing business in this space in a non-compliant way now, do you get why people run from me? Yeah. For sure. You’re going to jail.
[00:08:50] Jason: [00:08:50] Yeah. And the thing is, I think a lot of times people think that whatever is potentially going to happen or those potential rules. It isn’t going to, isn’t going to affect them, either they can either outrun it or outsmart it. I see a lot of people who started a business and they feel like, Hey, they’re smart. That’s why they started the business. And they can always just figure out how to stay ahead of it. And it just becomes this,
[00:09:13] Rob: [00:09:13] but there could be another, a number of reasons.
[00:09:15] It could be what you’re talking about, but it also could be that you’ve got, and you’ve received counsel that says what you’re doing. Isn’t. And that we see a lot of times because look, I love attorneys because does, they help do what I do. And without them there, there’s no way to defend.
[00:09:31] And so what I can tell you is that I know a lot of attorneys, and I also know that a lot of those attorneys have very different outlooks and perspectives on what the law is and where it’s going. And so when you hire an attorney, it’s like a doctor, if you were just diagnosed with cancer, Is that going to be where you stop that first doctor?
[00:09:51] I don’t think that’s best practice. And so a lot of times people either listen to some of these things and they get their legal advice from a webinar which literally happens. Or the, they hire an attorney because the guys or girls said, $200 an hour versus, another attorney that’s 13, 14, $1,500 an hour.
[00:10:10] I get all of those. And I understand that there are different dynamics depending on where you are in your business. That require that. But at the end of the day you do get what you pay for in this world. And this is a shining example of if you took taking somebody else’s advice on what to do in your call center, from a compliance and regulatory side, especially when they’re civil and penalty criminal penalties tied to it.
[00:10:34] You really need to make sure that the advice that you’re getting is from somebody that you believe is telling you that.
[00:10:41]Jason: [00:10:41] And this is a great place. I wasn’t planning on this, but the disclaimer, neither of us are attorneys and providing any kind of legal advice. I’m a dude with the Marine biologist, that Marine biology degree.
[00:10:51] So I’m very far from offering any kind of advice from that side. So yeah, sure. I’m sure you have one that you do all the time.
[00:11:00] Rob: [00:11:00] Maybe not, I don’t know. Maybe I can find him on the stage with an attorney. We give that disclaimer, because the attorney can’t be giving that advice out and they have to make that disclaimer.
[00:11:10] And so I hear it all the time, but I rarely have to. If my advice is always going to be, do as much as you can to be as compliant as you can in protecting the consumer as much as you can now, how can you do that? If you call somebody 10 times. Look, those are the types of things that call centers have to decide.
[00:11:28] Is it, is there an ROI after the fifth or six or seven? It, is it, does it become, invasive to that consumer and are you actually harming your brand or the brand that you’re representing in the call center? Those are things that, a lot of times people, I think they have very different perspectives.
[00:11:45] It’s certainly a subjective point in the industry of how often, how many, how long do you keep the consent? If you’ve got consent, May 1st do you call them on October 1st? Yeah there, there are different viewpoints on all of that. And there are some laws, but very little as it relates to those types of things.
[00:12:04] And so you end up in the hands of the federal trade commission, making a subjective call on whether or not you are guilty of something, tSR is a very weird law, or it’s not even, it’s just there the way that the FTC regulates and was written back in the, seventies or whatever, and maybe not reflective of technology and best practices today, but those are the things that you have to run your business.
[00:12:29] Jason: [00:12:29] That’s where the recent stuff with TCPA that came out and auto dialers, robo dialers, different times like that, where, the general rule, the way it was written was anything that stores a phone number. That’s one part of it and
[00:12:42] Rob: [00:12:42] random sequential capacity, when you start low, I remember when the FTC when, I’m sorry, the Supreme court came out with the most recent ruling involving Facebook and.
[00:12:55]The word capacity kept coming up because it was a slam dunk rolling, a slam dunk ruling. But at the same point, there was a lot of ambiguity. We put something out immediately with a couple of attorneys to try to explain what just happened. And what was amazing is I saw after we published that within a couple of hours of the ruling, I saw the evolution of the narrative continue to change hour by hour after we published.
[00:13:20] And that was interesting to watch because once again, the law was written at a time where today’s technology and when it was written, don’t match up properly. And so trying to get the ninth circuit to believe that this is an automatic telephone dialing system, or that is, or isn’t. One of the things is that the way that some of the laws have been interpreting the TCPA law, says that this can randomly and sequentially dial them.
[00:13:46] A cell phone and it stores numbers, which means it’s a, it’s an automatic telephone dialing system, and so for me, those are the types of things that drive us nuts and and offer an opportunity for failure because of the subjective and fluid nature of these laws.
[00:14:04] Jason: [00:14:04] How much in your experience.
[00:14:08] Is there the resistance to embracing more of these things, making these changes because companies just don’t want to upset the status quo, not even from an ill intent, not because they hate, just want to, not follow the rules, but just don’t want to change because things are working well enough.
[00:14:27]Rob: [00:14:27] Everybody loves status quo and protecting it because it’s comfortable. I remember I was in the military and we watched this movie called paradigm paralysis and it was after a lot of mistakes had happened, fatal mistakes out in the real world with airplanes and crashes and deaths.
[00:14:43] And so the Navy stood us down and they made us watch this movie of paradigm paralysis. And it was talking about, early on how the Swiss made watches and how somebody came along and said, Hey, I’ve got a better way of doing things and how resistant the Swiss were because they had the best time keeping peace in the world.
[00:15:00] Why would it. How could you make the best better, and why would you make the best better if it works? And I got that the guy ended up being somebody that had, LCD courts, liquid courts and somebody else took advantage of that, where the Swiss didn’t and you can see where LCD has gone since.
[00:15:17] And so it’s the inability the paralysis of an inability to make change because of fear, which is maybe the most motivating. But also because you think you’ve got the best plan it’s been worked out for generations. Why change it? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I think that’s a lot of the mental.
[00:15:39] And the only way that you can push somebody out of that comfort zone is to prove to them that if they do it, there’s some pot of gold on the other side. And that’s sometimes somewhat difficult to really visualize without doing it. Some of it’s conceptual on hypothetical, but I’m seeing more and more people understand the quality game long-term is better than the quantity game.
[00:16:05] Jason: [00:16:05] Yeah, and I think that status quo wanting to. Embrace change. Be okay with change, understand the value of change. And especially the long-term value short. It’s never great. It’s the long-term that you’re going for. And I think that’s the key, especially when you’re talking about this and you keep bringing up this quality over quantity, which I think is interesting because the communities that we’re both a part of in the lead generation space me as a buyer, you on helping everybody be compliant is that.
[00:16:35]There’s, as you’ve said to me before a general race to the bottom, when it becomes about price, when it becomes about quantity, and then what’s interesting from a buyer’s perspective too, is people think, okay I’m just going to buy the cheapest leads I can cause that’s the best way to go.
[00:16:52] And then you get what you pay for. And even if the performance would be better out of a higher cost. Lead or data, they just don’t want to do it. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t trust themselves or they just don’t think it works out. But there’s this weird barrier. Where did the math makes sense?
[00:17:07] They just still don’t want it.
[00:17:09] Rob: [00:17:09] Look I think that the industry is definitely maturing. I’ve been on several of these calls where we’ve talked about the evolution of the call center, how do people run more data centric in the way that they operate? How do they. Technology that’s out there and employ it in a different way.
[00:17:27] How do they, the pandemic was really something that a lot of people will be like, oh, I can’t wait to this thing is over. I’ve been telling people lately that I’m really appreciative of the opportunity to go through it, because I think all of the social experiments that we’ve all thought may or may not come out this way or turn out that way.
[00:17:46] We’ve been able to actually live through some of them and come out of it with some understanding and learning. And I really felt if there was one industry that was impacted really more than hardly anything else I’d seen, especially in my role, it was that call center, the in-house call center stuff, where you had, two to 300 seat call centers that were disrupted over night virtually and had to find a way of maintaining compliance.
[00:18:13] Because that was a big issue is how can I put somebody in their house that I’ve always had control over? The only way to do some of this is to trust and find technology that allows you to maintain that quality while doing something in a very unique, different way. That’s that paradigm paralysis. I remember having conversations with call centers before the pandemic and people were like never go.
[00:18:37] There’s too much to miss. If they’re remote, I can’t maintain it. Yeah. It’s not possible. And guess what it was. And not only that, we’re seeing a lot of them not going back to the traditional way of putting 250 peoples next to each other. They can operate and operate efficiently, effectively and profitably by running strong remote operations, but that’s all an adoption of a different process, a different mindset, and also bringing in things like technology to allow you to.
[00:19:09] Jason: [00:19:09] Hey, it’s Jason here. We’ll be right back to the podcast in a moment, but first, are you ready to help your inside sales team close more deals? In my experience, there’s a certain percentage of your team that acts more like order takers than sales professionals. The first step to creating a scalable sales team is to equip your reps with the right mind.
[00:19:26] And proven strategies to transform them into quota breakers, to build a team of authentic persuaders that will crush their goals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. I totally agree. Early pandemic to talk to people who running call centers. Offshore other countries, not in the us where, in the U S it is never a thought of having people at scale work from home, because then you can’t micromanage them, manage them, keep them compliant, keep them working, keep them productive, and then talk to people, running call centers in the Philippines and India.
[00:20:04] And then all of a sudden their, everybody has to go home and it’s whoa, like then you have this technology piece as well. And. Everyone who wanted to figured it out. What do you see as some other than the technology piece, what are some ways that you’ve seen for that compliance for that regulatory side to make sure whether it’s in-house it’s this remote world or the hybrid world that we’re entering in, which is some people coming back, some people staying home, different shifts, people who aren’t comfortable, people who want to come back.
[00:20:35]How, what are you seeing as some best practices for?
[00:20:38] Rob: [00:20:38] There’s a lot of things that we could probably, rabbit hole here, but some of the things is, how do you manage that remote? Oh I remember at the very beginning, some of it was some of these companies had no ability to hire remotely.
[00:20:49] They didn’t have a process. They didn’t know how to actually onboard somebody. How could you verify that somebody is able to even. Work for you, there’s none of those processes. And so I think that the pandemic for those companies have been able to, shown a company how to evolve to a way of being able to, and that, except that somebody can be as if not more productive, remote as they they are in your call center.
[00:21:14] Part of that. And I go back to a mentality shift is also how does the technology that you’re using? What is your tech stack look like right now? And does that tech stack support and promote those types of new ways of thinking? Am I able to effectively not only. Keep an eye on that remote operator, but can I find ways of making them more productive?
[00:21:38] Can I quickly find those that can not work remotely and get them either out of the ecosystem or move to something that works better for them? Those are the types of things that I think technology. And what’s available out there currently to be able to do some of these things is starting to really match up, artificial intelligence and some of these in some of these platforms that are allowing some really creative script writing on the fly that will help, convert and bring some of those quantity versus quality games, to a more even playing field.
[00:22:12] I think AI is one of those areas that. Absolutely has to be an area that you’re looking at because there it’s just so difficult, especially if you are in a call center that handles multiple brands and you’re, you’ve got multiple messages and compliance also, how do I keep somebody from saying, Hey, We’re going to make you a millionaire with our educational program, or something like that, so completely illegal.
[00:22:38] And how do you catch that? What did he just say? I think he just offered them, career, and so those are things that technology absolutely can play a major role today. And I think it, it becomes, a necessary component of evolving to tomorrow’s call center or the 2.0 call center.
[00:22:55] Okay. Just feel like I’m talking to enough companies out there on the CRM, the dialer side, that just in general, the overall management process that are getting it and creating, new opportunities where they’re platforms for you to operate in a different line. Yeah.
[00:23:14] Technology to me and a management mind shift is absolutely necessary to evolve your call center for right.
[00:23:24] Jason: [00:23:24] Makes total sense. And
[00:23:27] Rob: [00:23:27] there was a silence there. I was like, oh, again, I’m way off.
[00:23:30] Jason: [00:23:30] Oh no. I was just, I was thinking about, I didn’t want to just jump on it, is that not just the technology piece, which is easy, but I appreciate the fact that you also brought in the management shift, but then also the management piece, because one of the things that I see a lot is a growing trend that.
[00:23:46] I guess I’m not a huge fan of, especially the results is companies who get talked into or think that the latest tech to add to their tech stack. Whatever it is. Dyler CRM compliance, call analytics, AI whatever the popular thing is that’s going to solve everything and that’s going to do it for them.
[00:24:08] It’s essentially like that’s going to raise their kids for them. And it’s but it’s, you need that balance. And just having these tools and then hoping, okay, I’ve got this thing that’s going to monitor and hopefully find and help the reps be more compliant. That’s not enough. You need the culture shift, you need the right culture, corporate culture.
[00:24:26] That’s going to support that and encourage it. I think also you need the management to back. Yeah.
[00:24:31]Rob: [00:24:31] I think what and I do a shameless plug for you at the same time is that sometimes you get that, what they call stink and thinking, I haven’t read any health self-help books in my life.
[00:24:41] So you get that, blue light, let’s just throw them all out. Let’s get them all going in one conversation if we can. But that stinking thinking of where you. So mired down and just in that process and that minutia that you can’t really break the cycle because there’s nothing new being introduced.
[00:24:59]Bringing in somebody like you even, and being able to offer a fresh perspective at a. This is where we desperately need to see that in these call centers, that can’t make that evolutionary jump on their own. You’ve got to be able to connect with somebody that can come in with a fresh perspective, either through hiring or through some consults you have to network with other people.
[00:25:22] It was amazing on some of the calls that I’ve been on. Some of the webinars where I’ve moderated. Multiple call centers asking questions. And what was amazing in most of those calls was the difference in ideology and philosophy and management styles from call center to call center. And you could clearly see in some of these cases where there’s a cost.
[00:25:44] Absolutely gets it in is crushing it. And another call center. That’s just struggling to figure out how, how can I keep up? And I did they do for bathroom breaks last hour, holy cow. You know what I mean? And that’s the mentality and the mindset that I see out there. And I want to tell people that there are people doing it, right?
[00:26:02] You just got to figure that out and get with people who understand that so that you can get that new and fresh perspective in your book.
[00:26:11]Jason: [00:26:11] I appreciate the shameless shameful plug. Yeah,
[00:26:15] Rob: [00:26:15] everybody call Jason cutter right now.
[00:26:19]Jason: [00:26:19] Jasoncutter.com for more information is it’s interesting how many business owners and business leaders I talk to where they fundamentally know they have some good sense of what’s missing or what’s not working.
[00:26:31] Wrong. If we want to use that word, what could be fixed? And still it’s that outside perspective. It’s somebody say, okay, yes, that needs to be fixed. And here’s how we’re going to do it. It’s like most people, I think we all know we have something that’s not working in our life. We know it’s not working.
[00:26:44] Rob: [00:26:44] That’s why we go to doctors. My elbow has been hurting. I’ve tried everything. I just don’t know how to fix it. So I have to go to a doctor. And that’s the same thing that I’m saying here is it’s maybe time for your call center to see a doctor. I’m saying.
[00:26:56] Jason: [00:26:56] Yeah. And then what’s interesting is that shift that you’re talking about too, which is the management embracing the change, which I think is important.
[00:27:03] We keep bringing this up, but it’s that when you go to the doctor and you know that you should go to the doctor, maybe someone nagged you to go to the doctor, they tell you what’s wrong. And you’re like, yeah, that’s cool, but I’m not doing anything. Versus going to the doctor being like, yeah, I’m ready.
[00:27:15] I want to do something different, which really lends into what you do with leads council, which is, helping people just adapt because that’s one of the things is that if you’re going to be compliant and if you’re going to play a game that’s quality and compliance and successful, not just long term, what we’re going to become, we’re going to be compliant, which means we’re not going to do enough deals.
[00:27:37] And we’re probably going out of business. It’s no, I firmly believe that. You do quality, you do compliant and you can do it at scale and happen for you and your customers.
[00:27:45] Rob: [00:27:45] And it’s a long-term game. You mentioned it, you said it earlier. This is not five minutes left in the fourth quarter, trying to throw a hail Mary.
[00:27:53] This is literally a game plan before you even step a step, a foot on that field, having a plan and being able to execute, and then being able to step back for a second and learn and grow and evolve. Those are all necessary components that I really do believe. That’s where these call centers who are crushing it, they’re adopting that philosophy.
[00:28:12] And they’re actually asking external, influence to come in and evaluate, gamification is another area that I love because I like playing games. And so it’s always been an interesting thing of how can you. Incent these operators to enjoy their job instead of resent the job.
[00:28:31] And how can you do that to where it’s not just a manager, trying to squeeze every living breath out of their call center operator agent before they quit and or not show back up. These are things that I think that companies are going to have to do. Look. Every industry out there has been impacted from an inability to hire quality staff.
[00:28:50] And so you’ve got to start getting creative with how do you bring people in and how do you retain them? Which is the harder of the two, how do I keep people from burning out? And those are things that I, once again, go back to shifts in management philosophy. Employing the right technology, not just technology, but the right technology and continuing to evolve externally and in asking questions and educating yourself and trying things, those are things that absolutely those who are crushing, it are doing right.
[00:29:22] Jason: [00:29:22] What do you see for the near future of call centers? So let’s say the rest of 2021 going into 20, 22. What do you see? Happening.
[00:29:35]Rob: [00:29:35] Fire sale on cube furniture. What tell you that if you have 200 cubes, you might want to sell it right now because it’s not going anywhere fast. That’s no lie.
[00:29:47] I actually was sitting in somebody and they’re like, we have all of this stuff. No, like they’re going to charge me to pick it up and take it. I’m not, can’t sell it anymore because. If you can appreciate this the commercial real estate market has evolved. It’s changed because people have found a way of operating efficiently, remotely.
[00:30:08] And I, I was listening to somebody tell me the other day, and I remember this individual who was looking to hire me at one point and said you would have to move to California for sure. If you came to work for me. And I was like I’m not moving to California. What I can tell you is that person two years ago, who had that philosophy that everybody has to be in house.
[00:30:30]Everybody has to have, have to have my fingers and eyes on them at all time. That’s shifted now. So if you haven’t gotten on board with the fact that there are ways of you operating efficiently and profitably with having remote operators or remote management or remote this or that.
[00:30:47] A year behind because these companies that are crushing it have already made that step. And some of them are already there to begin with. And this just only shot them out of the cannon faster, but there are companies that have that person who said that I had to move to California. I just noticed that they hired three new people and not one of them is in California, nor will they go to California.
[00:31:08] That’s a shift in philosophy. You have to get on board with that. So once again having. Preparation plans in place for whatever the next. Pandemic, I’m air quoting early this little bunny foo for those who have kids. Anyway, you never know where it’s going to go with me, but the thing is that, having plans for disasters that might impact your business, we all sat there and had heard about the swine flu and the avian flu and this thing and that thing.
[00:31:43] But how many of us had a real plan? All I remember is when that thing really went down. How many webcams could you find? Zero? How many webcams? You couldn’t get anything really? How I remember one of our larger corporations, that’s on the board of directors that has a 200 plus seat call center here in Tempe.
[00:32:06] How did you find 200 laps tops to PR to probate? God, that was so hard. And so where can you learn from what we just went through over the last two years and position your company better for whatever is going to hit it or impact it, have that? How part of your daily or monthly or yearly process dedicated to looking forward instead of dealing with today?
[00:32:32]And learning from what we’ve seen before. That’s the only time you look in the rear view is so that you don’t make that mistake a second time, but how can we learn from what we’ve learned in the last two, three years about everything and have a plan for when it may happen. Again, those are, I think are super important and a lot of people right now are running almost their wheels off there.
[00:32:57] Some of these industries are super busy, right? For me to get a hold of some of these C-level execs that are on our board of directors, it’s become more difficult than it has been in six years to get ahold of these people, because they’re just running wide open. Yeah, you have to slow down and plan for the future.
[00:33:16] You have to have that and you have to listen to people who are out there crushing it and spend time and you can’t just cut. That’s one of the things that these cameras have really ruined us, we wake up and two minutes later, we’re talking to somebody on that first call. We don’t have any decompression time or, we have to change the way that we’re doing things.
[00:33:34] And you asked a question. I doubt I even answered it, but at the end of the day, I really do believe did I? Okay.
[00:33:44] Jason: [00:33:44] Mostly, no. It’s about the near, the near future of call centers and you’re right to look forward. And I think the thing that I would do to extend that is there’s the physicality of what happened. Going remote and separating teams and having to get all and stuff. And then I also think there’s the looking ahead and always spending time to be prepared, even for what were the main theme we’re talking about, which is those compliance, which is a regular regulatory changes that could happen in the next couple of years.
[00:34:11] And are you prepared for that? If they changed the rules about phone calls, what other channels do you have? What are your other processes? Do you have the ability to adapt and overcome essentially,
[00:34:23] Rob: [00:34:23] something that should scare everybody in the space. There are multiple states right now proposing active anti telemarketing laws in their state.
[00:34:33] It won’t be able to call into their state even with consent, and so these are the types of reactions that we’re seeing from legislators right now, who are up there trying to stop the number one, consumer complaint. Number one. I far unwanted phone calls. And so at the end of the day, when we know that, that stuff isn’t in front of us right now, we better be great stewards of protecting the consumer one.
[00:35:01] It’s our job. It’s our obligation. And if you don’t believe it, wait a few years in that mentality and see if you’re still operating the call center. We’ll talk and you can prove me wrong, but I will tell you right now, We are seeing a huge regulatory push on getting rid of unwanted phone calls.
[00:35:18] And we’re talking about very technical things that you can’t just prepare for. And so those are the things that, I think that you have to have that hat and those glasses looking forward and trying to position your company so that when those next real impacting events happen.
[00:35:34] Jason: [00:35:34] Yeah, the nice thing is I think you’ve scared pretty much anybody who might’ve started listening or watching this.
[00:35:40] So they’re not even still on at this point. If you are congratulations.
[00:35:44] Rob: [00:35:44] I haven’t even gone to scare you.
[00:35:48] Jason: [00:35:48] You went with the red light theme. If you’re listening, make sure to check it out. Wherever I end up posting it probably on YouTube as well. Rob’s the master at the lights and the cameras, but he went.
[00:35:58] Devil mode cause which we knew it’s going to scare everybody. But it’s true. It’s and, this is the other part that I wanted to, hear from you about, which is you started with the shirt that you have and I’ve seen it, which is the ice scare because I care, the monster is inclined. And that you do this because you care, what’s been the key to your success. Getting people on board with this, or becoming a part of Leeds council or listening to what you have to say.
[00:36:25] Rob: [00:36:25] And it’s been evolutionary for me when I first started this gig. I didn’t know what TCPA meant.
[00:36:31] I didn’t know what a CID was. Barely knew what the FTC stood for. I remember I was sitting in an office, a big attorney firm in DC, listening to the better business bureau and people from the FTC talking about something called ping tree post and things like that. And I was like, oh, I’m never going to understand these acronyms and everything.
[00:36:51] So it was a very. Cold bath moment for me when I started this and I, then I was like, oh, I’m executive director of leads council. We’re going to make the industry good for the consumer. And everybody that’s associated with the council is the right, the white hat people. And the black hats are on the other side of the Leeds council fence.
[00:37:10] Not us. Over five, six years now, being in this role and having now over 30 something companies that are just on our board of directors alone, that are some of the biggest players in the space with some of the biggest cost centers in the space. What I can tell you is that I’ve had to take those rows clutter, right?
[00:37:29] Tinted glasses off. If I can get that out and look at the industry in a different perspective that maybe the white hat that I thought was lone ranger and just, everything about that show that w that wasn’t real. I come to the conclusion that maybe that is the space and that even the best actors in the space start off with the best intentions, but the, sometimes the world of profitability and margins get in the way.
[00:37:55] And I understand that I truly do so I’m not pointing fingers at anybody, but what I can say is that I have watched this industry evolve over different administrations. That makes a huge difference in how this industry reacts to potential threats and laws. The last four years were the salad days.
[00:38:12]If you like raising Arizona the movie where, it was pretty good for an, a regulatory compliance standpoint, but now we’ve woken up with not just the federal regulators, but we’ve got active pending legislation at the state level. That’s more impactful than any of the Federalists. What I can say is that I am not sitting here thinking that everybody that’s out there is a bad guy, because they’re not doing something the way that we want them to do it.
[00:38:38]This is an evolutionary process for us. Education is crucial. Proof of concept. I’ve gotta be able to say that not only am I threatening you with what the potential is, but I got to prove to you, this is actually happening. And unfortunately, we’re getting enough of those cases also to where we can say this happened to this person in this company.
[00:38:57] And unfortunately this is also happening to this company and some of our best people, it can happen. And so I’m not sitting here thinking that, where the best and cleanest of the space, because the nature of what we do lends its hand to people out there taking advantage of people.
[00:39:14]We want to set standards. We want people to follow those standards. We want people to protect consumers and you are consumer first. You’ve been impacted by those who aren’t playing by the rules. And so we’re just trying to get people to start understanding what they need to do. And slowly adopting.
[00:39:33] This is, this is not just a Creek crawl, a Creek crawl walk run for me. This is more of just pushing. To the light or to better, and we will continue to do that. And that’s what I asked the people who are involved in this space to do let’s wake up tomorrow and do something a little bit better.
[00:39:50] Let’s be better than we were yesterday. And it’s resonating. We’re finally in a lot of it’s through threat and active legislation. That’s impacting the industry, which is pushing people. But I see people now on the outside pulling people into the light and pulling people into better practices and that’s encouraging.
[00:40:11] Jason: [00:40:11] I love it. And it reminds me of what somebody told me once when they hired me. And it’s now become my consulting philosophy, which is evolution, not reveling. The goal was to be watching
[00:40:20] Rob: [00:40:20] Hamilton, holy cow.
[00:40:24]Jason: [00:40:24] It’s that evolution right. Of, of the industry. And I love the fact that you’re not looking at it.
[00:40:28] Like everybody is good or bad. And if you’re on this side, you’re on this team. You’re good. If you’re not on this team, then you’re bad. It’s, let’s all move the industry. And. At wherever they’re at and everything anybody can do will help improve it. And I think that’s a great way to go because there’s a lot of times, a lot of industries, a lot of companies, service providers, things like that, where it’s you’re either on our team or you’re not.
[00:40:49] And if you’re not, then you’re bad.
[00:40:52]Rob: [00:40:52] I couldn’t operate that. We wouldn’t be around tomorrow if I had a line. I just, I can’t say Hey. You’re on this side of the line or you’re on that side of the line. If I did that, I’d shut down tomorrow. What we’re saying is that this is the line we need as many people to to follow that as they can and interpret it the same way we’re interpreting it.
[00:41:12] It’s a process. Love it. I will tell you that this is one of the more rewarding things I’ve done in my career. And part of it is because I can see outcomes. I can see people change their mindset. Like I said, that gentlemen, two, three years ago that had no interest in hiring somebody remotely because he felt like he had to have his finger on that individual every year.
[00:41:36] And so just seeing that evolution is really super cool to be around. And to know that, maybe I was part of it or the council was part of it. That’s super.
[00:41:45] Jason: [00:41:45] Yeah, I love it. I appreciate you coming here. For anybody who made it to the end that you didn’t completely scare off.
[00:41:50] Hopefully they got lots of value. I hope everybody did. I always hopeful that, people want to learn how to improve and do things in a sustainable longterm way. So I know that for myself and again, not pro paid product placement, not a plug from this in any way, but I joined leads council after we talked.
[00:42:09] Earlier this year. I’d been familiar with it and I was like, oh yeah, I definitely want to be a part of that and support it any way I can. So people are interested. Leeds council.org. There’s a membership thing on their SLAs membership. I know. No matter what you are, where you are in the industry, I recommend it just to be a part of this and to be engaged and to support it.
[00:42:27]It’s like supporting an industry. So the leads, council.org website, your email re Rob at leads, council.org. You do stuff online, a lot of cool things. You have your YouTube channel with shows, different things, obviously join your email list and be a part of that to see the webinars and all those various things that come on.
[00:42:47] And there’s lots of great content and I appreciate the fact that you’re putting all that out there to help improve in any way that you can.
[00:42:54] Rob: [00:42:54] And that ripple. Yeah. I certainly appreciate that. Plus I also like the fact that you just volunteered yourself for the sales and marketing committee for us.
[00:43:01] That was awesome. You did great job. Good audition. Okay. That’s great. I’m
[00:43:06] Jason: [00:43:06] glad I could do that. Me, anything I can do to help. You guys are doing such great stuff and again, it’s for everybody in the industry and so much value. Again, without drawing that line. So I super hate anything I can do to help.
[00:43:20] Rob: [00:43:20] Jason. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this. I really have enjoyed it. So thank you.
[00:43:26] Jason: [00:43:26] Yeah, thanks for being here and that’s it for this episode, I’ll catch you all on the next scalable call center sales show.