By Russ Haderer, SVP, BPA Worldwide
January 28, 2014
At its December 2013 meeting, the BPA Board voted to change the rules and redefine the nature of Direct Request and Company Request copies. This represents a significant change in the definitions. Therefore, this blog post has been written to help with our efforts to communicate these recent Board actions.
The nature of the request changes were largely driven by copies obtained through telecommunication requests. For telemarketing efforts, the previous BPA rules allowed a “direct request” classification to be applied to a name when:
a) Personally speaking with the qualified individual and securing their request for the publication;
b) Speaking to the targeted individual’s assistant, supervisor or spouse. Anyone else requesting from a company would be considered a “company requested” copy.
The challenge had always been with the first part of “b” in reaching a targeted individual’s assistant (by job title or function). The reason for this is the fact that the role of an assistant in business environments has been diminishing; employees are working more in team environments (without assistants); and some B2B vertical niche markets, and smaller workplace locations, never had any “assistants” roles to begin with.
It sometimes proved to be a thorny process obtaining (and confirming) if the person spoken to was authorized to make the request on behalf of the targeted individual and that they also fulfilled the role of an “assistant.” For employees at companies that might not fully conform to these requirements, their requests for others were considered “company requested” copies.
BPA polled its Teleservices committee to learn the nature of requests that occurred during typical telemarketing campaigns. The questions researched were “how many completed calls were”:
a) direct to the subscriber
b) co-worker requesting for one co-worker
c) co-worker requesting for multiple co-workers
The research showed that between 95-100% of the results were a and b.
Based on these results and responding to a changing marketplace, the Board voted to amend the request definitions. Direct Request is now defined objectively by numbers – not subjectively by the subscriber’s job title or function. This approach changes the definitions from qualitative to quantitative.
The new rules stipulate that in the case of a single phone call when a person making a request for themselves and one other co-worker (regardless of their job title or function) both shall be a Direct Request source. In the case when an individual makes a request for two or more co-workers, the person spoken to would be sourced as a Direct Request, while the co-worker copies would be reported as Company Request. The “spousal” allowance as a “direct request” remains unchanged.
We were asked if the first co-worker copy is considered a Direct Request and all other co-workers after that would be counted as company requests. The answer is no. Once any employee requests for two or more co-workers, per the new rules, all of the copies for co-workers requested by that employee are considered Company Requests.
The rule for obtaining the name and job title of the person spoken to has not changed. This information must still be gathered during the call. If it is not, these will be considered communication other than request (see rules 1-2 515f and 1-3 515f).
The change to the rules ensures the subscriber acquisition and renewal process will become more efficient. The “Qualification Source Breakout” table found on the report will remain in its current format.
In addition, the change in definitions for Direct Request and Company Request applies to all “written,” “telecommunication” and “electronic” (e-mail/online) forms of registration as well.
Here are a few helpful real-world examples:
Example 1: Target Subscriber: John Smith
Caller reaches John.
John may request for himself = direct request John also requests for one other co-worker. The co-worker is recorded as direct request. If John requests for more than one co-worker, then all of the other co-workers are considered company requests. (John himself remains a direct request.)
Example 2: Target Subscriber: John Smith
Caller reaches Sarah Stone.
Sarah may request for John and herself; both are direct requests. Sarah requests for herself and also John Smith and Bill Blair too. Sarah is a Direct Request, John and Bill are both Company Requests.
If Sarah does not request for John, nor herself, but she requests for two other co-workers there, Linda Bell and Frank Thompson, then BOTH Linda and Frank are company requests. (Sarah requesting for two or more co-workers.)
Example 3: Target subscriber is no longer there; call is forwarded to a replacement:
The replacement can request for themselves and one other, both would be Direct Requests. If the replacement requests for themselves and two others at the company, the replacement name is a Direct Request and BOTH the other two co-workers are Company Requests (two or more co-workers). Earlier this month, BPA held a free 30-minute webinar training session on this topic, as well as all other December 2013 rule changes. We encourage you to view the archived webinar by following this link.
We hope that this blog and the webinar will help with the understanding with these new definitions. If you have any further questions on this or any other BPA rule changes, please feel free to contact me personally or anyone else at BPA.
Phone: 1-203-447-2805; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org