December 7, 2022

6 Tips to Mitigate Flags on Newly Purchased Numbers

6 Tips to Mitigate Flags on Newly Purchased Numbers

Phone number reputation is critical for outbound call centers. Newly-purchased numbers or numbers previously flagged as spam can trigger red flags for carriers and call-blocking apps—especially in the wake of frameworks like STIR/SHAKEN. That can prevent you from reaching customers interested in your products and services, leading to lower revenues.

Learn how to mitigate flags and improve your phone number reputation below. 

Beware of Newly Purchased Numbers

You can purchase brand-new phone numbers in bulk for your outbound team. However, these phone numbers might have been flagged in the past by carriers and call-blocking apps, making them unusable. Since the implementation of call labels—”spam likely,” for example—purchasing previously-owned numbers won’t necessarily increase your chances of getting through to customers. 

There are various reasons why previously-owned numbers might be “tarnished.” These numbers might have belonged to businesses engaging in bad dialing habits, such as spamming callers. If those numbers end up in your call center, you will inherit the bad reputation of their previous owners. 

At this point, there’s not much you can do. You might have spent thousands of dollars on numbers, but explaining the situation to phone carriers is a time-consuming and often fruitless task. Each carrier has its own set of complex algorithms that decide whether phone numbers are likely to be spam. If you don’t know why numbers received flags in the first place, removing negative call information will be an uphill struggle. 

You could rotate or recycle the numbers you already use—the numbers you know are “flag-free”—instead of purchasing new ones. However, this can be a tricky strategy because scammers often use rotating numbers to get people to answer their calls. 

Bad Dialing Habits Hurt Numbers

It seems unfair, but bad dialing habits from other companies can make it difficult to carry out outbound operations in your call center. Purchasing numbers that have accumulated flags or negative call labels is just one problem that might impact your company. 

You could have purchased numbers that have not yet been flagged or labeled but might be once you start assigning them to call agents. Phone carriers might have internally marked these numbers as potentially unsafe or fraudulent but require more evidence before flagging them to call recipients. Here are some scenarios when this can happen:

  • Newly-purchased numbers have been dialed too frequently in the past, attracting the attention of carriers. Once your agents use these numbers for outbound operations, carriers will take further action.
  • Numbers have dialed people on the Do Not Call Registry (DNC) or those who have clearly stated they do not want to be contacted by marketers. These numbers already have a bad reputation, even if carriers haven’t flagged them yet.
  • Numbers have called recipients before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m in the recipient’s time zone. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) forbids companies from contacting people outside those hours. These numbers also have bad reputations.

6 Tips to Help Mitigate Flags

It’s difficult to know the reputation of the phone numbers before you purchase them. However, you can take actionable steps to mitigate and remediate any flags. 

1. Purchase Numbers from Trusted Organizations

Always work with reputable companies when purchasing numbers for your call center. You can always return these numbers to the seller if they contain flags or were involved in lousy dialing practices. The best organizations will scan numbers before selling them to companies like yours to ensure they are reputable,

Some of the best companies selling phone numbers are:

Tip: You can register newly-purchased toll-free numbers with a RespOrg (a respectable organization) and boost your phone number reputation.

2. Audit Your Newly Purchased Numbers

You should also scan any newly-purchased phone numbers before assigning them to agents. Find out whether numbers include flags or negative call labels that will prevent you from engaging with customers on your contact lists. Remove any numbers from your rotation if carriers have marked them as spam-likely or potentially fraudulent. 

Tip: As well as scanning numbers, audit what information will display on customers’ devices across different networks with Caller ID Reputation’s Device Cloud and audit network attestation ratings with Call Tester. All of the above methods can improve your phone number reputation and help you connect with customers over the phone. 

3. Phone Number Registration

Sometimes, newly-purchased numbers cause incorrect information to show on Caller IDs. Each time a carrier handles a call, it checks various CNAM databases for the caller’s number. When a database finds a match, data displays on the recipient’s Caller ID. The recipient might not answer the phone or manually block a number if that information is incorrect.  

That’s why it’s essential to register each number’s CNAM (Caller ID name) data with carriers. While this can be a long process, it can establish credibility for your phone numbers. 

4. Retain Ownership of Phone Numbers

Keep already-registered and reputable phone numbers in-between outbound campaigns. That prevents you from purchasing new numbers in the future and dealing with numbers that other companies have used for bad dialing practices.

Because your company has used these numbers for a while, you know they are safe and won’t trigger flags or labels on call recipients’ devices. Keeping numbers can be a great way to increase answer rates.

5. Mitigating Flags With Dialing Hygiene

Practicing good dialing habits will minimize the risk of receiving flags and negative labels. Maintain the integrity of your numbers and Caller ID accuracy by: 

  • Scrubbing call lists (remove numbers from people that don’t want to be contacted by your company)
  • Training agents to use good calling etiquette when communicating with customers (being respectful, providing opt-out options, addressing contacts by the correct name, not hard-selling, etc.)
  • Complying with the DNC and TCPA
  • Using software tools to automate call handling and improve dialing hygiene

6. Redressing Flags or Blocked Calls

If numbers have flags, you need to address these problems. Contact phone carriers (and the analytics engines that carriers use) to dispute issues with erroneous flags. As previously mentioned, removing negative phone number information can be an uphill struggle. However, many carriers now have redressing processes for companies like yours.

Mitigating Flags on Purchased Numbers

Phone number reputation has never been more important for outbound call centers. Use the tips above to mitigate flags and other negative information, and take care when purchasing new numbers for your business. By improving your phone number reputation, you can engage with more customers over the phone and move them through your sales and marketing funnels.