Following call center standards does more than protect you from government penalties—although avoiding penalties should definitely motivate call center owners and managers. It can also help your business build a reputation that makes other companies trust your work.
By maintaining the integrity of your business and phone numbers, you can help other companies meet their goals by reaching customers instead of getting flagged as spam.
If you want to turn your call center into a service provider others trust to get the job done, make sure you abide by these standards.
Follow Ethical Dialing Practices
Consumers hate getting bothered by spam calls. It’s easy to understand why, especially now that over 72% of people carry smartphones everywhere they go. Smartphones also give consumers more power than ever to report spam and block calls. Apps like RoboKiller, Nomorobo Robocall Blocking, and Hiya: Caller ID & Spam Blocker make it easy for annoyed consumers to report numbers as sources of spam.
Make sure you train your call agents to treat every potential customer with respect and empathy. Developing a negative reputation will lead to your number getting flagged as spam. After that, very few people will answer your calls.
Comply With Laws and Standards
Always ensure your call center complies with laws that regulate your industry. Some of the most important regulations include:
- TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) — a collection of rules that requires telemarketers to follow other call center standards, get permission before robocalling consumers, and let consumers opt out of future calls.
- Do Not Call Registry — a national registry consumers can add their numbers to, preventing telemarketers from calling them without permission.
- FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) — consumer protection laws that make it illegal for debt collectors to use deceptive or abusive tactics when attempting to collect debts.
Keep Your Outbound Numbers Separate by Department
Using the same outbound phone number too frequently can encourage carriers and call-blocking apps to flag your number as spam. If your company has several departments, make sure you assign unique numbers to each one. Doing so will reduce the number of outbound calls each number makes.
That means you should have unique numbers for:
- Customer services
- Oher departments that make outbound calls
The number of outbound calls from your customer services department might seem tiny compared to the calls from sales. Still, each call will bring more attention to your number, making it more likely to get flagged or blocked.
Make Sure Your Phone Numbers Can Receive Callbacks
Understandably, you don’t want consumers returning calls to some of your phone numbers. Still, making sure your numbers can receive callbacks conforms to call center standards. You may get some calls from confused people, but when you leave your line open to incoming calls, you lower the risk that the number will get flagged or blocked.
Put up with the slight annoyance so you can keep your phone numbers reputable.
Let Numbers Cool Off Before Reassigning Them
The more often you use a set of phone numbers, the more likely carriers and consumers are to flag them. If the numbers draw too much attention, they can face ruined reputations. That puts you in the position of either losing revenue or spending more money on additional numbers.
Give your numbers at least 60 days to cool off before you reassign them to a different department or new campaign. After 60 or so days, the numbers should have clean reputations that make them almost as good as brand new outgoing numbers.
Use Accurate Caller ID Information
When you get new phone numbers, take the time to register the CNAM data with carriers. In case you haven’t encountered it before, CNAM data is a technical term people in the industry use for “caller ID names.”
Registering your data helps ensure carriers do not block or flag your numbers. Your information will also appear on the caller IDs of consumer smartphones, making it more likely that they will answer.
Registration also makes it harder for criminals to “spoof” your phone numbers.
For an even more effective option, use enhanced caller ID services that let you add the phone number’s department name, your business’s name, and your logo. The more legitimate your caller ID looks, the more likely it becomes that people will answer.
Monitor Calling Activity
Call center standards need to focus on monitoring activity metrics. Key performance indicators (KPI) can tell you a lot about a number’s reputation. Has an agent’s abandonment rate skyrocketed over the last few hours? The number has probably been flagged, so people don’t want to answer calls.
When KPIs show poor performance, consider giving your agents new numbers. If the metrics improve, you solved a problem that was preventing them from doing their jobs.
Minimize Calls to Unknown Numbers
Cold calling can make your outbound numbers look red hot to carriers. Concentrate on calling qualified leads who have expressed interest in your company (or your client’s company). Qualified leads are more likely to convert into paying customers. They’re also less likely to report your call as spam.
You can use cold calling to some extent, but make it a very small portion of your campaigns.
Train Your Agents Properly
How your agents behave during calls determines how well your call center performs. You must make sure everyone has the right training to speak to people professionally and compassionately.
Teach agents to identify themselves, the name of your company (or client), the call’s intent, and opt-out options at the beginning of each call. This might seem like a lot of information, but it eases doubts that may influence whether leads and customers continue talking.
Give your call agents scripts that help them present people with the correct information and prevent numbers from getting flagged. Of course, you should monitor calls to make sure no one uses abusive or foul language. That kind of behavior will get you reported fast!
Make sure you have configured your dialers correctly, so agents and customers get connected immediately. Any lag can seem suspicious.
Maintain Phone Number Integrity
Spoofing remains a threat that can derail your campaigns. However, following call center standards and the industry’s best practices will give you an advantage over call centers that do not take these guidelines seriously.
Don’t take any chances with the integrity of your phone numbers. Contact Caller ID Reputation to learn more about how our software checks for flags across major call-blocking apps, monitors your numbers in real-time, and notifies you when it detects flags.