Inside Feature: Intelligent Timezone Compliance

Introducing Sonar’s new Intelligent Timezone Compliance feature— an added safety measure to avoid sending texts to your customers or prospects during non-business and unapproved hours as stated by TCPA law guidelines. Under TCPA, companies are allowed to text consumers only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the respective timezone of the recipient. Failure to maintain these standards can lead to hefty fines. With this new feature, Sonar has got you covered. Here’s how it works:

First, you need to derive the timezone using one of several options. You can input a timezone manually for customers — either through the Salesforce integration, API, CSV input, or manually in the UI — but this method is reliant on your company already collecting timezone data. In cases where you do not have timezone data, you can utilize the consumer’s zip code (U.S. only). Zip code is better than area code because people move around while still keeping their existing phone numbers. If your company doesn’t follow either of the above routes, then Sonar tries to derive timezone from the area code. However, we recommend being extra cautious in this scenario by specifying the acceptable hours to a more narrow window to prevent accidentally sending a text too early or too late. Specifying an 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. window would give you wiggle room to ensure you are abiding by TCPA guidelines. Sonar gives companies the ability to pre-select their own acceptable hours of text communication if they do not want to run off the default of TCPA hours.



Let’s take a deeper dive with a real-world example. XYZ Company wants to send out a text campaign but it’s currently the middle of the night for several of their customers. Sonar can either cancel OR hold that text and schedule it to be sent out at the beginning of acceptable hours the following morning or at a specified time by the discretion of XYZ Company. In some cases, multiple messages might be queued up to be sent out. XYZ can specify how many texts can be queued. If the number of queued messages exceeds the limit, we will cancel the last text(s) from going out. Now, XYZ Company has an automated away message sent when a text or inquiry is received after business hours. 

You can also choose to program Sonar to bypass the Intelligent Timezone feature and send the away or out-of-office text immediately, to alert the consumer they should expect an interaction the following day. You can select to bypass away messages, out-of-office texts, double opt-in confirmations, chatbot engagements, and for manually sending texts through Sonar. 



The Intelligent Timezone Compliance feature is another reason Sonar is a world-class text messaging provider. We are proud of the steps and measures we take to ensure our partners are not only utilizing Sonar to the fullest but also maintaining compliance with U.S. consumer protection laws. We are continually working to build out Sonar’s functionalities and capabilities to bring further value to our platform. Check back on our blog or read our Product Release Notes to see what’s new with Sonar!

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