Using good call center hygiene can help you avoid robocall pitfalls when dialing.
Automated robocall volume has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching an estimated 4.1 billion in May according to YouMail, which collects and analyzes calls through its robocall blocking service. This long and hotly debated topic is nothing new. But how drastic measures to stop the practice can have an impact on legitimate businesses trying resolve business matters is.
Stephanie Eidelman, CEO of insideARM, brought a significant issue to the forefront—carriers or software providers may start blocking our calls in an effort to protect consumers from robo-dialers.
The Situation in Brief
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given permission to not deliver certain calls or allow consumers to block calls to help avoid fraudulent or unwanted calls. The interpretation is of course open to the carriers. Many companies are offering apps to easily block any number you don’t recognize or simply want to block. This data of blocked numbers ends up in databases such as Robocall Index the one used by YouMail.
Legitimate businesses are noticing their numbers being flagged as fraud or scam. Finding the source of the flags becomes harder every day. With so many false positives and possible sources, fixing flagged numbers is extremely difficult.
How can you keep your business out of getting caught in the crossfire of false positives that can be brought about by the spammer solutions currently being offered?
Verizon provides a list of best practices which help maintain good call center hygiene. Here are some highlights:
- Provide a consistent, real, and user-dialable telephone number with every call you make.
- Do not “random wardial” and do not call unassigned numbers frequently.
- Align the context and content of your calls to a specific traceable calling party number for the duration of that number’s assignment to a particular campaign.
- Avoid using the same telephone number for multiple purposes.
- Avoid unusual spikes in traffic volumes, and follow and document your expected and normative call pattern description (e.g. 10,000 caller per day).
In other words, don’t look like a spammer by being consistent and open, and avoid tendencies that make you look suspicious. To make thing more complicated, the number of spam blocking apps multiplying and Verizon released robocall screening for landlines.
The June issue of Collector magazine addresses these issues, their root causes, and what the industry is doing to ensure that legitimate businesses can continue to operate. Anne Rosso May and Maria Wolvin from Collector lay out what ACA is doing to address this issue: “Last year, when debt collectors first began to report that their legitimate business calls were being incorrectly labeled and blocked, ACA sprang into action, developing a multifaceted strategy to address this serious issue, including education, research and advocacy.”
They suggest that “the best way to make a difference is to actively monitor your contact rates and let ACA know if you see significant drops that you believe are attributed to call blocking and labeling.”
Josh Stevens, senior associate for Mac Murray & Shuster LLP, adds: “We need hard data like that. Those experiences are critical for both ACA and PACE so when we meet with the FCC we can tell them what’s actually happening and back it up with numbers.”
If your calls start getting flagged as spam calls, or are mislabeled on the caller ID, you wont get through to the consumers. Use good call center hygiene to hopefully avoid a decline in contact rates. Even with clean call practices, numbers are going to continue to decline in contact rates over time.
Look For Solutions
Until a resolution is reached for how these blocking lists are being created and maintained, one option would be to avoiding the use of main business lines in situations that require consumer contact in mass such as when a collector is working through a queue to protect those numbers from being flagged and having your regular business communication damaged.
DAKCS offers an option to purchase local DID numbers for use within our QwikDial product. Utilizing this feature can improve contact rate and in addition protect your core business numbers from registering in the flagged database.
Paying attention to your contact rate metrics and swapping out numbers once they decline is another common practice that can keep the conversations flowing to resolve legitimate business matters.
Using QwikDial’s DID feature, you can purchase numbers to use while dialing through the service. These numbers can be assigned to specific campaigns or for specific uses, and can be cycled over time or replaced as needed, hopefully protecting your main office numbers from being blocked and increasing contact rates.
DAKCS is actively involved in industry, thought-leader discussions centered on finding solutions to this ever increasing problem and will provide further updates as they become available.