Part I of our Call Delivery FAQ series focused on the questions we get asked every day on all things STIR/SHAKEN and Attestation. This Part II myth-busts and answers the important FAQs we get asked on Number Reputation Management and how to set up your calling campaigns for success.
For a deeper dive, tune in to the podcast episode.
When trying to decide what kind of phone numbers to use for your business, will local area code numbers generate a higher answer rate than toll-free numbers?
There are many studies that will tell you that using a local caller ID will increase your contact rate, therefore increasing your total sales. While there's historically been some indication of an increase in people willing to pick up the phone if they see a local number versus an 800 number, we would suggest that there's a much more important factor at play these days that have shifted the scale, the biggest now being your brand reputation.
How can I improve my chances of preventing negative number reputation and stay out of spam labeling territory?
Each of the analytics partners has its own algorithms for identifying nuisance calls and for blocking calls, so they each weigh factors differently in those algorithms. For example, one partner might rely heavily on call volumes, call patterns, and number list hygiene, whereas another partner may rely more heavily on crowdsourced information. Some partners even extract data from the FTC and the FCC databases.
This is all factored into those ratings, and it's their own secret sauce. It's not consistent across the partners. The same dialing strategy can result in different tagging or labeling across all the partners in the calling ecosystem. There's no standard and no consistency among those ratings. It's also important to keep in mind that algorithms are not human, so they dump your call into a scoring system and grade your number as spam or not.
R E S O U R C E S
How does my dialing strategy come into play?
The way your dialing does come into play with how the algorithm will score you, number reputation can become tied to so many factors:
Where is call blocking happening? Is a phone number being blocked at the out pulse level, or is this happening at the originating number on that phone line?
Historically, numbers are blocked at the originating number level, in other words, the original number carrying the traffic. However, with the new onset of call blocking apps, numbers are starting to be blocked at the out pulsed number level as well. So we're seeing it on both sides now.
Once numbers are registered and protected from potential call blocking and labeling, are there other ways for businesses wanting to improve their strategy to enhance their number reputation and increase the likelihood that their calls are successfully delivered and answered?
You can help improve your brand reputation by evaluating if a branded calling strategy is right for you. Branded calling is the ability to display your logo and your call reason on customer handsets. It's often accompanied by a green checkmark. Consumers are more likely to pick up the phone if they know it's a legal call, if it has a recognizable logo, and if it has a meaningful call reason. A recognizable brand showing a legitimate trusted logo gives people that extra ounce of trust to be able to respond to the call.
There are certain industries where you might see branded calling has more of an impact. For example, if you're in an industry like debt collections where consumers may be wary of answering your calls in the first place, the best way we'd suggest improving your contact rate is to avoid having your calls blocked in the first place.
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How long does remediating an improper label typically take once it’s been identified that there's a problem with a phone number? How does remediation work?
Remediation can take anywhere from 24 hours up to about 36 hours but on average it takes about 2-3 business days to reach out to the carriers to provide them with a good summary of why it’s a mislabel, and other details they need. Once you're a verified and registered business and you're trusted through your registration, they are more likely to remediate that number more quickly.
If there's ever a case where they are unable to remediate, we find out why that number isn't going through and what can be done to help improve the reputation of that phone number. We can always go back a couple of weeks later once we've improved the call hygiene and go back and ask for reconsideration again.
What are some best practices to avoid developing negative phone number reputation with the interest of improving, increasing, and maintaining high contact rates?
Healthy number reputation starts with a good dialing strategy. You can contact your dialer management team to understand your dialing settings and current metrics to make sure you’re not abandoning a high level of calls or make sure that your answer rate is set appropriately. Make sure there’s enough time between calls and that your max attempts are set accurately.
From there, monitor your phone numbers and the reputation that comes along with them. Algorithms are dynamic and changing all the time so you can’t expect your numbers to always stay clean, especially if someone may be spoofing your number. Having insight into how they’re being labeled and ensuring you have a remediation process in place is key.
Next up in our series on Call Delivery will be FAQs on Branded Calling and Call Display.