No matter what type of services your contact center provides (sales, customer service, etc.), you need high connection rates to reach goals. Call compliance will help ensure the success of your call center.
You shouldn’t accept the bare essentials outlined by the FCC, though. When you create a proper dialing strategy, go beyond basic call compliance to improve your connection rates.
Common Procedures to Ensure Your Calls Connect
You can’t underestimate the role connection rates play in the success of your outbound dialing strategy. When your call center connects with more people, you can expect a boost in productivity, employee morale, and business revenue.
The following outlines some of the most important steps you should take to help your calls connect with leads and customers.
1. Maintain Phone Number Reputations
Consumers will only answer calls from your center when you use phone numbers with excellent reputations. Maintaining the reputations of your phone numbers requires an ongoing process that deserves daily oversight.
Purchase Numbers From Reliable Sources
Reputation managing starts when you purchase phone numbers. Always purchase numbers from reputable providers. Additionally, you need to make sure that the numbers were not previously used by other companies.
Numbers with histories connected to other businesses are more likely to come with flags and call intent labels. For example, a business that annoyed people with aggressive sales tactics will probably have accumulated plenty of flags. When you start using those numbers, your connection rates plummet because people think that you have a reputation for scamming, misleading, and bothering consumers.
If people see warning labels and intent labels, they will block your call to protect themselves.
Register Your Outbound Numbers
Once you have fresh numbers with untarnished reputations, you need to register them with major carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. You can find the process for registering your numbers in “Why Organizations Should Register Phone Numbers with Carriers“. The article has directions for registering with all three of these carriers. You should also register your phone numbers and physical address with local authorities.
Taking time to register your numbers helps improve connection rates by displaying your company name on caller ID screens. When possible, add department names. Calls connect more often when people know exactly where calls come from.
Monitor Numbers for Flags and Spoofing
Even unblemished, registered numbers can receive flags. Spoofing can also damage a number’s reputation quickly. (Number spoofing happens when someone hijacks your number and uses it for robocalls, scams, and other illegal behaviors.)
Signs that a number has been flagged or spoofed include:
- A low connection rate
- A high number of hang-ups
- An influx of customer complaints
Your call center can also unintentionally damage a number’s reputation by:
- Dialing numbers on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry
- Calling people who have asked you not to contact them
- Using the same outbound number too frequently
Even when you follow proper dialing practices (more on that below), your numbers can still incur flags. That makes it essential for you to monitor your number reputations daily.
2. Follow Proper Dialing Practices
Monitoring your numbers will help you avoid phone numbers with damaged reputations. That’s useful, but it’s even more effective to follow proper dialing practices that protect your numbers’ reputations. Going above and beyond basic call compliance should help you keep your costs down and improve your connection rates.
The FCC has a list of call compliance regulations that you must follow. Most regulations were enacted by:
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
- The National Do Not Call Registry
Some critical call compliance rules include:
- Only calling customers between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time)
- Not calling numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry
- Always providing the name of the company at the beginning of each call
- Never using automated dialing equipment when calling cellular phones or smartphones, or contacting medical facilities or offices, as the customer will get charged for the call
Additionally, you might need to follow industry-specific regulations according to one or more of these:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA)
- Truth in Lending Act of 1968 (TILA)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (most often pertains to financial institutions)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Know your industry’s regulations so you can remain compliant, avoid fines, and maintain your numbers’ reputations.
Teach Agents to Use Empathy
Training your agents to use empathy when talking to customers lowers the chances that someone will report your number as spam. When a customer sound frustrated, an agent should empathize with them, offer any services that can improve the situation, and know when to apologize for intrusions.
You can learn more about outbound phone etiquette by reading “How Outbound Phone Etiquette Can Increase Your Customer Experience“. It offers several pieces of advice that can improve connection rates and help your brand build a positive reputation.
Use Proper Dialing Lists
Before you hand dialing lists to agents, review them for numbers on the Do Not Call Registry. Take additional steps and compare the numbers with your internal DNC list.
You can get even better results by segmenting your lists by factors like:
- Geographic area
- Marital status
- Previous interactions
Segmenting your lists will help your agents prepare for interactions and choose scripts that lead customers toward conversion.
Configure Your Dialers Properly
Configuring your dialers properly will help you connect with customers and avoid flags. If you use a power dialer, start phasing it out as soon as possible. Power dialers often feel robotic and annoying, which encourages customers to report your numbers.
You also want to configure your dialer to swap outbound DIDs (direct inward dialers) throughout the day. Using the same numbers too frequently can attract attention from providers, which might label your numbers as potential scams or telemarketing. Let numbers cool off to avoid these negative labels.
3. Ensure Your Phone Systems Are STIR/SHAKEN Compliant
Not too long ago, call centers tended to choose phone system providers based on price. In fact, a VoIP provider that could offer a lower price would get more business.
Today, the emphasis has shifted to choosing phone systems that are STIR/SHAKEN compliant. Talk to providers to make sure you choose a system that meets STIR/SHAKEN regulations and cooperates with this protocol that verifies Caller IDs.
4. A-Level Attestation
Now that STIR/SHAKEN has been implemented, your service provider’s infrastructure plays a significant role in whether you can reach customers. There are three attestation grades.
- A-level full attestation ensures that phone numbers come from the real caller instead of a spoofer or scammer.
- B-level partial attestation identifies the caller but cannot fully authenticate the dialer’s phone number.
- C-level gateway attestation does not attest to the call’s origin or caller ID.
Every call center should choose a service provider that can ensure A-level attestation. Doing so should have a positive impact on your connection rates.
Diligence Improves Connection Rates
Complying with regulations, training call agents, and choosing providers prepared to follow STIR/SHAKEN guidelines can help your contact center improve connection rates and stand out from competitors.
Even when you follow best practices, there are chances that your phone numbers will get flagged. Contact Caller ID Reputation to learn more about how you can monitor your numbers’ reputations, detect flags, and improve your connection rates.
See how Caller ID Reputation® can support your business!