8 Best Practices for Successful Customer-Centric Outreach and Number Reputation Protection
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There are many reasons why labels like ‘Spam Likely,’ Potential Scam,’ or ‘Fraud’ could appear on your outbound phone numbers when they land on consumer devices, some of which may be out of your control. Once these labels are associated with your phone numbers, however, removing them requires remediation with the major wireless carriers and analytics providers (companies such as Numeracle can help with this).
What is in your control is how you dial and interact with your customers and prospects. Often, spam labels become associated with numbers because of non-customer-friendly dialing practices or phone number usage, resulting in lowered contact rates and loss of business.
Regardless of whether you use a call labeling and/or number reputation management solution, you should consider adopting dialing best practices as part of an end-to-end approach to successfully engage with your called parties. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the perfect contact strategy, starting and ending with your consumer in mind is the foundation.
1. Dialing strategies should be respectful and consistent – Whether manually dialing or using an auto-dialer, your calling practices should always be respectful and consistent to avoid spam tags and consumer complaints against you.
- Be better than compliant: Calling at 8:55 pm is still technically compliant with 9 pm timezone cut-off times for outbound dialing, but calling during personal hours in the late evening, outside the typical work day, is an inconsiderate practice.
- High-volume & multiple dialing attempts: Don’t call someone repeatedly; whether that’s daily or weekly, it’s an easy way to quickly get your number flagged as spam.
2. Consider the time of day you’re calling – How often and when you contact your customers on the same day can put you at risk for call labeling – even when engaging directly! You shouldn’t redial a number more than two to three times a day or redial numbers more than every four hours in the day. Bear in mind the time zones, and always call at a respectful and appropriate hour.
3. Let numbers rest between maximum attempts – Don’t over-dial your customers. This varies by industry but it’s an important consideration for overall dialing strategies. Have a max attempt policy with adequate resting periods so that you’re not over-dialing your lead list, which could result in call blocking and labeling.
4. Don’t originate all outbound traffic on one phone number
- You’re more likely to run into call labeling issues if you put too much traffic through one phone number as your dialing patterns may look suspicious to analytics engines.
- You’re left vulnerable if that one phone number is illegally spoofed by a fraudulent actor posing to be you. And, remediating the label is virtually impossible if the fraudulent actor is still dialing on it.
- If you’re using one phone number for a variety of call reasons, like having sales calls in addition to appointment reminder calls, the call intents associated with your numbers may get mixed up and display incorrectly.
5. Ensure your dialing patterns are compliant with the FCC
- If you’re a telemarketer, don’t ignore Do Not Call (DNC) lists and registries that callers have subscribed to; otherwise, you may be viewed as a scam caller.
- TCPA & DNC Compliance – In response to unsolicited calls, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits telemarketing calls without prior consent & allows companies to have their own DNC lists to prevent unwanted calls.
The National Do Not Call (DNC) registry is a specific provision of TCPA enforcement. It’s a list of consumers who have restricted their availability to receive marketing calls.
Unless someone has opted-in to receive telemarketing communications, you could face fines ranging from $500 to $1,500 per call.
- Consumer complaints against your calls get filed in the FCC’s Complaint Database. Once there, the negative reputation of that phone number will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to remediate.
6. Identity should be consistent in call display & voicemail – How your CNAM is registered to your phone number and/or who analytics believe you might be due to crowdsourcing becomes essential when your name and how your agents identify themselves don’t match. It could lead to consumer confusion and negative reputation may follow.
The absence of any data in CNAM databases can lead to the display of improper call intent labels, so we always suggest requesting that the carriers complete a CNAM update for your calling name.
7. Abandonment Rates for Automated Dialers – Your automated dialer is doing its thing, and one of your called parties picks up just to hear silence, followed by a disconnect, when no agents are available to take the call. This is confusing and frustrating to the consumer and can result in complaints leading to negative reputation. For automated dialers, try to set your threshold around 2% or less, depending on the purpose of your calls.
8. Be careful when using recycled phone numbers – Some solutions recommend rotating or auto-rotating phone numbers to avoid spam labels, but you need to spend lots of monitoring time and resources to ensure the numbers you cycle in aren’t coming with any spam or scam labels from a previous user.
When you purchase new numbers, ensure that the carrier has done a recent CNAM update and only request numbers that have rested between uses; we recommend several months of rest. Keep in mind that number rotation solutions are quite costly and can actually lead to negative reputation from sporadic number history and volume spikes.
Ultimately, most best practices come down to consideration for the person you’re calling, plus common sense. If you do your due diligence and follow the rules but still end up with spam or fraud labels, reputation management companies like Numeracle can help clean up your numbers and avoid issues going forward.