As fraudulent robocalls plague everyday consumers, the US government, telco carriers, and consumers themselves are responding with call blocking and flagging measures to stem the tide of unwanted calls.
The problem for outbound contact centers? Their legitimate businesses are frequently getting caught up in the web. For many sales teams, call blocking and flagging are making it harder and harder to reach customers—and tanking business-critical KPIs along the way.
As outbound call centers search for the right strategies and solutions to combat call flagging and blocking, caller ID management needs to be at the heart of their approach. In this guide to navigating the current outbound calling environment, we cover and clarify:
- Actions taken in response to the rising number of robocalls in the US
- The impact these responses and regulations have on call centers
- Why caller ID management is critical to avoiding call blocking and flagging
Responses to Rising Robocalling Volumes
In 2021 alone, 50 to 60 billion robocalls will be placed within the United States, up from 29 billion just 5 years ago — 45-50% of these calls will be illegal, fraudulent calls. With so many fraudulent calls circulating and testing the nerve of consumers across the country, legislators, carriers, and third-party companies are all taking action.
The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act of 2019
With the passage of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act of 2019, the government created safe harbor rules for carriers that allow them to flag or block any number they suspect might be fraudulent without being subject to any liability.
These rules mean that legitimate businesses are unable to sue carriers for blocking their numbers so long as the carriers take “reasonable care.”
The TRACED Act also mandated the implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN framework by June 30, 2021. STIR/SHAKEN standards are intended to combat fraudulent spoofed caller IDs. With these rules, which have already been implemented to a large extent, telephone carriers will also have more leeway to block calls, increasing the likelihood that the numbers of legitimate businesses will be blocked. This is on top of the many compliance regulations already weighing on outbound call centers.
Call Blocking Apps
Consumers themselves are also searching for their own tools to stop the flood of spam calls. Call blocking apps like Nomorobo and Call Blocker enable consumers to flag calls they suspect as spam, and after enough flagging activity the apps will begin blocking calls. Consumers can now flag calls as spam using native smartphone software on Apple, Android, and other devices, as well as report numbers directly to the FTC.
Facebook vs. Duguid
Adding to the mix of considerations for call centers, the United States Supreme Court came down with a landmark ruling on April 1, 2021. Changing the definition of an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the TCPA, the Court’s decision effectively means that express-written consent for placing outbound calls is no longer required in most circumstances under the TCPA. While the ruling will allow for a lot more outbound calls to be placed, this may lead regulators and carriers to become even stricter about blocking and flagging calls.
The Impact for Outbound Contact Centers: Lower Contact Rates
Actions to stop the rise in robocalls are warranted. But for outbound sales teams, they have come with a cost. In this environment, it’s become almost impossible to operate a legitimate outbound contact center without phone numbers being flagged or blocked.
For call center expert and consultant Heather Griffin, the impact of new regulations was night and day. “[At the end of 2019], we all noticed this drop in connectivity, drastically. We felt it happen when the law changed, and it steadily started dropping down further and further.”
One of the consequences of these regulatory actions is a drop-off in contact rates for legitimate businesses. Griffin says, “For all of those bad actors out there who are truly, fraudulently robo dialing, it’s going to be really hard for them. The bad news is the good guys are getting caught up in it.”
Increased cost of blocked and flagged calls
Each time a phone number gets flagged or blocked, the earning potential for that number drops precipitously. What’s worse is that many call centers are unable to identify when a number is marked by a carrier or consumer.
Without the ability to spot affected caller IDs, blocked and flagged calls can be a huge hidden expense that drags on your bottom line. Consider the cost of buying quality leads. If most—or even just some—of those leads see “Spam Likely,” “Scam Likely,” “Telemarketer” or other flag flash across the screen of their smartphone when you call, how can you expect to improve your sales, let alone your ROI?
Before switching to Convoso, One Health Direct’s VP of Sales, Jesse Daniels, says they experienced devastating impacts from call blocking and flagging. He describes why they needed a solution to better manage their caller IDs:
“This spam likely is huge. We’re making a million outbound calls a day. I read a statistic lately that there’s about a 6% chance that they’re going to pick up the phone if they see spam likely. That’s it. So if that’s showing up on their cell phones, they are not picking up the phones. And if people are not picking up the phones, I can’t make money and I can’t keep my business afloat. And I can’t keep the 500 employees that we have nationwide employed. So that’s huge.”
Avoiding Call Blocking and Flagging with Caller ID Reputation Management
Outbound call centers need tools they can rely on to continue reaching and converting customers. Robust caller ID reputation management is crucial is you’re going to combat flagged/blocked calls and sinking KPIs.
To effectively manage your caller ID reputation and improve contact rates, your dialer should be able to:
- Only reach out with clean numbers
- Identify when your calls have been flagged or blocked before there is a negative impact to your KPIs
- Rotate out flagged or blocked numbers
- Improve trust as caller with Google Verified Calls
Your sales and lead generation team has probably experienced dropped contact rates and higher costs as a result of call blocking and flagging. Imagine if you were able to remove incorrectly blocked and flagged numbers from your rotation. How many more sales could you close?
Expanded Caller ID Management Capabilities
Convoso’s expanded caller ID management, ClearCaller ID™, enables users of its predictive dialer software to quickly identify flagged and blocked numbers, determine their impact on business KPIs, and swap out ineffective DIDs.
Empowering call centers to take a proactive approach to managing phone numbers, Convoso DID Reputation Management can help you identify when calls are being blocked or flagged before there is a negative impact on your KPIs. Plus, as you dial customers with clean numbers, you can improve your contact rates by 20 to 40%.
This improvement will significantly lower your CPA (cost per acquisition), allowing you to accelerate lead efficiency and run a much more profitable outbound call center.
Building trust by verifying the caller
When combined with Google Verified Calls, sales teams can even further separate themselves from all the spam, and increase the likelihood of getting leads on the phone. Google Verified Calls lets you display your company name, logo, and your reason for calling, which can help reach high-intent leads who recognize your brand and drive additional opportunities to test messaging.