Outbound phone calling is rough. Legitimate contact centers that make outbound calls have a hard time getting in touch with their customers. Most customers are on mobile devices and many use spam filters that block unknown calls. Branded phone calls may be a way to get your customers to answer your phone calls.
What is a branded phone call?
A branded call is an outbound call to a consumer that causes your branding to be displayed on the screen of the consumer's mobile device when your call rings.
Imagine if your outbound calls caused your logo and brand name (or other messaging) to be beautifully displayed on the mobile phone screen of everyone you call.
A branded call is a call that causes extra information to be presented along with the call. The extra information may include messaging (like your brand name) as well as images (like your logo).
An example of a mocked-up branded call screen is shown below.
Imagine the possibilities for your brand….
When should I use a branded call?
Branded calls should particularly be used by call centers that are calling on behalf of a well known brand (and that have permission to display the brand's imaging).
Branded calls should also be used in situations where the calling party has a poor caller ID reputation. (a good tactic is to stop using the old numbers with poor reputations and launch new numbers along with branded calling).
In general, any caller or campaign that could benefit from a well known brand or from displaying information about the call may benefit.
Are you a doctor's office calling to confirm an appointment? Your contact rates will skyrocket if you include your branding.
How do branded calls work?
Branded calls work thanks to technology that is being put in place to reduce spam calls — technology relating to “STIR/SHAKEN”. We won't go into the gory technical details here, but STIR/SHAKEN generally requires that telecom service providers authenticate and digitally sign calls they originate and verify signed calls they receive.
Let's break that down a bit.
Because this technology is intended to reduce spam calls (and particularly calls that are “spoofed” where callers fake — or “spoof” — their caller ID), the technology puts into place requirements that callers (like call centers) prove who they are.
Call recipients (like your mobile phone service provider) can then check each call and confirm that it is coming from a verified caller.
If Allstate Insurance wants to call you, they need to register their phone numbers and confirm they own them. Then, when they call you using those phone numbers, your phone carrier can validate that the call is coming from a verified caller — Allstate Insurance.
So how does this have anything to do with branded calls?
The same technology that is used to allow your phone carrier to verify that a call is in fact coming from Allstate Insurance also allows your phone carrier to grab some details about Allstate Insurance (like the brand name and the logo or other images).
So, when calls come in, the carrier checks to see if the phone number is verified and while they check, they also grab any collateral related to the phone number and display it on your phone screen, visually alerting you that the call is in fact from Allstate Insurance.
If you want to geek out on the technology and the data that can be passed in conjunction with these calls, check out this IETF Standard.
How do I use branded calls in my call center?
Ok, if you have read this far, you are probably interested in figuring out how you can use branded calls in your outbound calling campaigns.
First, check to confirm that your carrier(s) are STIR/SHAKEN compliant.
Next, confirm that the phone numbers you are using are in campaigns that have been validated for STIR/SHAKEN usage.
Finally, work with your carrier(s) to see if they have implemented branded calling features from STIR/SHAKEN.
If not, don't fret — you still may be able to implement branded calling by working with a third party service provider. Examples of providers that can implement branded calling on some networks include Neustar and Hiya Connect.
Or contact us for further details and other options.