Outbound dialing is all about contact rates. Did the person you were calling answer the phone? Were you able to get in touch with the person you needed to talk to? Your caller ID reputation may be preventing you from getting people to pick up your phone calls.
If no one answers your calls, your contact rate is going to be terrible. (Unless you are using ringless voicemail and you don’t give people a chance to answer!)
For most normal outbound calling campaigns, you want the person to answer. This is particularly true with sales calls. You need to talk to the person to have an at bat to attempt to close the sale.
Unfortunately, spammers are ruining things for legitimate contact centers. Spammers have flooded the phone networks with spam and fraudulent calls. By some estimates, there were almost 80 BILLION spam calls in 2021.
The rise of spam blocking apps
This deluge of spam calls has led to the development of a number of spam prevention applications on mobile phones. There are over 50 applications in the Google Play store tagged as spam call or robocall blocking applications.
Many of these applications (like the popular RoboKiller app) have millions of downloads.
These applications, as well as applications native to different mobile phone carriers, make it easy for users to identify inbound calls as spam.
When incoming calls arrive, the spam blocker apps check a list of phone numbers to see if the call has been previously reported as being a spam number. If it is, the robocall prevention apps either automatically block the call or flash a message to the user telling them it may be a spam call.
But what about legitimate calls? Calls that are made for a legitimate business purpose, or that are otherwise compliant with telemarketing laws?
Unfortunately, if your call center is using outbound phone numbers that have been reported as being associated with spam, your caller ID reputation will suffer (even if the calls are not spam).
How to check your caller ID reputation
Outbound call centers that are making legitimate outbound calls should take steps to confirm the caller ID reputation for each outbound number used.
Luckily, there are a number of services that allow you to check a phone number to see if it has been reported as being a “spam” number. These services include both commercial services as well as free services.
Check your caller ID reputation using commercial services
These services use data from the applications discussed above to track how many times a phone number has been reported as being a spam number.
For example, the TrustCall service offered by DNC.com gives you a view of whether your phone numbers have a spam score (and if so, how bad the score is). Numbers with a high spam score have been reported multiple times as being associated with spam.
Check your caller ID reputation using free services
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) collects do not call (DNC) and robocall complaints from consumers. Consumers with a complaint about a call fill out a simple form with the date/time of the call, the phone number (the caller ID of the caller) and what type of call it was (either a robocall or a live agent call).
This data is published by the FTC on their website in Do Not Call (DNC) Reported Calls Data. You can interact with the historical data using an API provided by the FTC (details are here).
You can also download daily (weekday) files of all complaints here.
In the graphic below, you can see how many DNC and robocall complaints the FTC has received each year since 2018.
What to do if you have a bad caller ID reputation?
If one or more of your outbound phone numbers has a poor caller ID reputation, you need to figure out how to use a different outbound phone number.
Most call center software platforms allow you to easily associate a new phone number with an outbound calling campaign. Pick a new number (preferably one that has a clean caller ID reputation) and rotate it into service.
To ensure your contact rates do not suffer, we recommend checking the caller ID reputation for each of your outbound numbers at least weekly.
Other ways to protect your caller ID reputation
If your call center is using phone numbers from Bandwidth.com or Twilio.com, you probably are able to take advantage of STIR/SHAKEN and ensure that your calls are verified (reducing the likelihood of a poor caller ID reputation).
You also can consider implementing branded calls to present your brand information on your customer’s phones with each call.