Paula Davis on Helpline Effectiveness [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

Each year countries lose billions to corruption, fraud and other compliance failures.

When it comes to stemming this problem, helplines are crucial.  In fact, a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that 50% of corruption cases were found through tips from employees.

The challenge for helplines is that there is often an assumption that the calls will come in through a landline.  For much of the world, though, that’s not the case.  Employees are more likely to have mobiles, and that toll-free number isn’t toll-free.  Worse, problems often arise in developing countries where English or other European languages may not be widely spoken.  If your helpline provider doesn’t have a native speaker on premises, it can lead to long delays and awkward three-way calls with a translator.

Paula Davis of Waypoint GRC encourages compliance officers to begin rethinking how they put their helplines to use and explore alternatives such as apps.  She also advises “mystery shopping” the line:  making test calls in multiple languages to see how well the helpline provider handles them.  Also, she suggests asking the provider for abandoned call rates, to see if people are staying on the line.

Listen in to get ideas for how you can improve your helpline’s effectiveness.