Dialing Strategies to Protect your Phone Number Reputation
Our Top 8 Best Practices for Successful Customer-Centric Outreach
Mary Gonzalez, Brand & Content Manager
Edited by our Expert Client Engagement Team
December 5, 2022
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, removing them requires a solution that can remediate them with the major wireless carriers and analytics providers. For more information on how this works, visit our Number Reputation webpage.
What is in your control is how you dial and interact with your customers, subscribers, patients, etc. Often, spam labels become associated with your numbers because of non-customer-friendly dialing practices or phone number usage, resulting in lowered contact rates and loss of potential business.
What you can do about it
If you find out that some of your phone numbers are labeled across the network, we have some best practices to help your clean numbers stay that way while you determine a more extensive solution to remediate the labels on your other numbers.
You can also use these respectful dialing best practices once you’ve cleaned up your number reputation to make sure you’re engaging with called parties in the ways they prefer to be contacted, so the cleaned-up numbers don’t get mislabeled once again.
Healthy number reputation starts with a good dialing and number management strategy. You can contact your dialer management team to understand your dialer settings and current metrics to ensure your answer rate, conversion rate, and more KPIs are appropriately structured for success.
1 Consider the Consumer: Dialing strategies should be respectful and consistent
It may seem like a no-brainer, but whether you are manually dialing or using an auto-dialer, your calling practices should always be respectful and consistent so that they don’t get flagged as Spam and so consumers don’t file complaints against you.
You should use your best judgment on what your patterns should look like, but here are a few things to consider:
Be better than just compliant: You can call someone at 8:55 pm and still technically be compliant as it falls before the 9 pm timezone close for outbound dialing, but calling at later personal hours in the late evening that fall outside of the typical work day and when timezones close is an inconsiderate practice.
High-volume & multiple dialing attempts: Call others how you want to be called. Don’t call someone repeatedly, whether that’s on a daily or weekly basis, as 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. You might want to consider a strategy where you are not redialing a number more than 2-3 times a day and not redialing numbers more frequently than every 4 hours in the day. Keep in mind that in addition to time zones, what time you call should always be at a respectful and appropriate hour.
3 Let your numbers rest between max attempts
Don’t over-dial your customers. While this varies by industry, it’s an important consideration to build into your overall manual or auto-dialing strategy. Make sure you have a max attempt policy that coincides with an adequate resting period so that you’re not over-dialing your lead list, which could result in call blocking and labeling.
4 Don’t originate all your outbound traffic on 1 phone number
Bulk portions of your calls are more likely to run into call labeling and blocking issues if you put too much traffic through one phone number because your dialing patterns may look suspicious to the analytics engines.
This leaves you vulnerable if that one phone number gets illegally spoofed by a fraudulent actor posing to be you. If that happens, 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, for example, some are sales calls, and some may be customer support calls or appointment reminder calls, the call intents associated with your numbers may get mixed up and display incorrectly if they’re labeled as Spam altogether.
5 Make sure 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 considered an invasion of consumer privacy, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed to prohibit telemarketing calls without prior consent. It also allows companies to have their own Do Not Call lists to prevent them from making 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 a telemarketing communication, you could face significant 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 from call display to voicemail
From a caller identity perspective, how your CNAM is registered to your phone number and/or who the analytics believe you might be due to crowdsourcing becomes essential when your name and how your agents identify themselves don’t match.
If the network is displaying your caller name as ABC Hospital (perhaps they used to own the number, and you haven’t registered it to your name yet) and you’re leaving voicemails as XYZ Energy Company, 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 should 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 that was just answered. 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 about six months of rest will do. Keep in mind that number rotation solutions are quite costly and can actually lead to negative reputation from sporadic number history and volume spikes.
While these solutions offer some monitoring capacity to alert when your numbers are being negatively tagged, it isn’t common for them to have full carrier reach to get the big-picture view of how your numbers are labeled across the board. More importantly, they don’t offer remediation services for when your numbers are labeled as spam or scam. Instead of stressing over a solution where you’re perpetually avoiding labels, remediation solutions tackle spam labeling issues at the core.
Whether you’re still evaluating your options for a comprehensive call labeling and number reputation management solution or have already implemented one, we recommend considering these best practices as part of an end-to-end approach to most appropriately and 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.
You can also reach out to us if you’d like more specific best practices recommendations to maximize customer outreach or would like to know more about the spam labeling remediation services we offer through our Number Reputation solution.