May 8, 2024

Google Pixel’s Lookup Button Helps Consumers Screen Unknown Calls

Google Pixel's Lookup Button Helps Consumers Screen Unknown Calls

Despite ongoing efforts from government agencies and the telecom industry to curb illegal robocalls, the FTC still received 1.2 million complaints about these unwanted communications in the 2023 fiscal year. Now Google is joining the fight against spam with a new “Lookup” button for its Pixel phones. When tapped, it searches for unknown numbers to identify callers. 90% of consumers screen calls from unfamiliar numbers, and Google’s new Lookup feature speeds up this process.

Why Do Consumers Screen Calls?

Scam calls are more than just a mere nuisance. They pose a serious financial risk to consumers, with around 68 million Americans losing over $29 billion to scammers over the phone in 2022 alone. Even with new government frameworks like STIR/SHAKEN, which assigns certificates of authenticity to phone calls across telecom networks, robocalls persist. As a result, people are becoming increasingly wary of unknown numbers.

While caller ID can provide context about a caller, this technology is patchy, with clever scammers able to falsify the names and numbers that appear on-screen. It’s no wonder, then, that more consumers are screening calls themselves before picking up the phone, either by manually Googling unfamiliar numbers or checking reverse telephone directories. Other times, consumers just block numbers they don’t recognize or let calls go to voicemail. Research reveals that 75% of Americans will never answer calls from unknown numbers.

Illegal robocalls show no signs of slowing down, with the U.S. experiencing 55 billion of these communications in 2023 — up 10% from 2022. Robotexts are also a serious issue, with Americans receiving 160 spam messages last year, including 19 billion in December alone.

Google Pixel’s Lookup Button

The new Google Lookup feature makes screening calls easier than ever before. You simply tap an on-screen button when receiving a call and choose from a list of apps that search for an unknown number, including Google Search. Doing so lets you check whether a caller is legitimate or not, saving the time it takes to type a number into a search engine or a reverse lookup app.

PC Tablet says:

“This development suggests Google’s intention to delve deeper into enhancing phone call management and security. By potentially integrating such features directly within its ecosystem, Google could offer a streamlined, built-in alternative to third-party apps like Truecaller, albeit with its unique twist.”

Google’s Lookup button is still in test mode, and you’ll need the latest Google Phone app beta and a rooted phone with specific flags enabled to try it. However, Google will roll out this feature for all Pixel phones soon. Technology website Zdnet also says that the button could be available on other types of devices in the future.

How to Protect Your Business Calls

Not all unknown calls are nuisance calls. However, many consumers presume that someone phoning from an unknown number is trying to steal their money or identity. This prevents genuine companies like yours from reaching potential customers. Luckily, there are various steps you can take to increase the likelihood of people answering your calls.

Register your phone numbers

Registering your numbers ensures phone carriers know you are a legitimate business, resulting in more accurate Caller ID information for consumers. Start by registering your CNAM data with your phone number provider or carrier. In addition, companies can utilize branded caller ID services to receive enhanced caller ID features.

Monitor your caller ID information

Caller ID monitoring lets your company scan outbound numbers for phone number flags. Excessive phone number flags could lead to blocked calls or warning labels applied to your caller ID, such as “Spam Risk” or “Scam Likely.” These warning labels will result in consumers avoiding your calls or blocking your numbers. Additionally, Caller ID Reputation’s Device Cloud service allows your company to receive screenshots of how your caller ID displays on real devices and real networks.

Dial with integrity

Adhering to industry standards builds your phone number’s reputation, reducing the chances of carriers flagging your numbers as spam. Make sure you comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Do Not Call Registry, and other regulations.

Ethical dialing practices increase consumer trust in your company. These practices include calling people from legitimate lead lists, using the right type of dialers, and creating opt-out scripts for agents.

Redress phone number blocks and flags

If carriers block your numbers, you can solve these problems through remediation. This process involves identifying the party barring your calls, correcting any poor dialing practices, and submitting a call blocking redress request with the carrier. Making changes to your dialing practices and contacting a carrier for redress can also remove unwanted flags on caller ID displays.

Increase Your Business Answer Rates

Google Pixel’s Lookup button makes it easier for consumers to screen calls from unknown numbers, further reducing answer rates from these numbers. Businesses must take steps to ensure an accurate caller ID display when dialing customers and consumers.

Monitor your outbound numbers for flags and inaccurate caller ID data. Abide by ethical dialing practices to avoid blocked calls or negative phone number flags. Finally, remediate negative calling behavior and redress warning labels on your numbers.

As a result of these practices, your business can call with confidence, with consumers knowing who’s on the other line.