New law in Spain forces companies to answer calls within 3 minutes – will other countries follow?

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The Spanish government announced this month a new draft bill to make it a legal requirement for businesses to answer all calls within 3 minutes. They are also proposing to make it a requirement for any IVR phone tree to demand the attention of a live operator.

We have all experienced the pain of having to wait long periods for businesses to answer their phone lines, or long and never ending automated systems which seem determined to make sure you give up trying to contact the business.

Well, the Spanish government announced this month a new draft bill to make it a legal requirement for businesses to answer all calls within 3 minutes. They are also proposing to make it a requirement for any IVR phone tree to demand the attention of a live operator.

Essential services such as utilities will even have a legal requirement to operate their contact centres 24 hours a day, 365 days per year – and they must be free-of-charge to call. There’s also further requirements to ensure all customer issues are dealt with within 15 days, down from the current 30 day period.

There’s no denying these would be ambitious targets for most large contact centres, but Spain is not just making these the targets but the legal minimums. With fines of up to €100,000 for breaches, it’s never been more essential for contact centres to not just ensure they have enough staff, but also to monitor compliance.

“Research shows you are 100 times more likely to make contact with a new inbound lead within 5 minutes of then reaching out versus 30 minutes after.”

Forbes, 2021

QContact can help ensure you are have enough staff for your shifts with our automatic workforce management forecasting reports, allowing you to predict future call volumes and staffing requirements. We also ensure you can get maximum efficiency from your increased headcount by allowing the same agents to handle enquiries across multiple channels at the same time. Whether you are handling calls, texts, emails, live chat, social media, reviews, WhatsApp or more – we can bring them all into a single unified interface.

You can also monitor your compliance against these new legal requirements using our SLA monitoring tools, and prevent your business receiving fines of up to €100,000. Further, QContact provides a one-stop shop for all channels – including telephony services – through our CNMC regulated partner.

Will other countries follow Spain’s lead? At the moment these regulations will only apply to businesses with over 250 employees or €50m turnover, but it’s clear to see the direction the regulations are taking to ensure businesses handle their customers well. We would expect other countries to implement similar laws across Europe to prevent businesses relying solely on automated bots to handle custom enquiries.

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