March 22, 2023

How to Remediate Blocked Calls and Caller ID Flags

How to Remediate Blocked Calls and Caller ID Flags

Consumers and carriers now have the technology and mindset to block unwanted calls. Your caller IDs need to be clean when conducting an outbound calling campaign or your call answer rate will suffer. Flagged phone numbers lead to frustration in your agents and clients. Worse, they can damage your company’s reputation.

The problem is so severe that Neustar’s research shows businesses are willing to pay more money to carriers to ensure their calls are correctly connected. Healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and even small companies complain that blocked calls negatively affect their reputation for customers. Luckily, you can take action to prevent and remediate blocked calls and caller ID flags.

Identify How Your Calls Are Getting Blocked

Until recently, businesses were unable to pinpoint how and why their calls were receiving blocks. However, STIR/SHAKEN legislation allowed the analysis of SIP header codes to reveal who is blocking your calls. The addition of 607 and 608 codes lets you know if the call was unwanted or if an intermediary rejected the call.

This process is the crucial first step in your remediation efforts. Furthermore, you can find out which carriers and analytics engines are blocking your calls to learn how to proceed.

Why Are Your Numbers Getting Blocked?

Legitimate businesses can experience blocked calls or phone number flags for a variety of reasons. This issue does not only happen to scammers and spammers, but consumers do not always understand this fact. You need to take corrective action to remediate blocked calls. Identifying how and why your phone numbers are receiving flags or blocks is essential to remediation.

Improper Dialing Habits

Your company’s dialing habits may lead to carriers flagging your phone numbers. For instance, dialing too heavily from one number can alert analytics engines, causing flags on your outbound numbers. Using least call routing (LCR) saves you money on VoIP calls but often leads to your A attestation being lowered or dropped.

Some companies are still engage in call spoofing by using local area codes to disguise their true origin. And others change their numbers frequently and then continue to call disinterested consumers.

Unethical Agent Interactions

Customers may flag your phone numbers out of anger if they have negative interactions with your agents. If your agents are too pushy, dial the same lead too frequently, or exhibit rude behavior, customers are likely to block or flag your phone numbers. Consequently, consumers will flag a phone number that causes them inconvenience. In-depth agent training is essential to protecting your company’s reputation. 

Consumer Feedback

Consumers can flag numbers for other reasons. You will commonly experience this problem if your agents are dialing consumers on the DNC or are engaging in unethical interactions. The process is now simple. In the past, it was more difficult and time-consuming. Consumers can report your numbers in minutes via call-blocking apps, carriers’ websites, and the FCC online process, resulting in blocked calls and potential fines. 

Call Spoofing

Although STIR/SHAKEN has reduced call spoofing attempts, it hasn’t eliminated them. Bad actors can use software that masks the true origin of their calls. They hide behind legitimate numbers of well-known organizations or legitimate businesses. If your company becomes the victim of call spoofing efforts, consumers are almost guaranteed to report your phone numbers. 

Newly Purchased DIDs

When buying new DIDs, be aware they may come with flags attached. Often spam callers will buy blocks of numbers, use them until they are flagged, and then release them back to the seller. The next person who buys these numbers will unfortunately pay for the negative reputation of the previous owner. This issue occurs more often when you buy inexpensive DIDs. 

Remediation for Flags and Blocked Calls

While even the most reputable companies can face flags or blocks, there are resources to resolve these issues. The strategy of “identity, remediate, and redress” can repair your phone number’s reputation.

Identify Blocks

First, identify who is blocking your calls and why. Once you have this information, you can analyze your dialing habits and learn why your numbers have received a negative reputation.

Remediate Dialing Habits

Once you have identified the causes of your flags, your company should take action to prevent being flagged in the future. You may need to update dialing habits, improve agent training methods, and increase phone number monitoring. 

Redress With Carriers

After the proper remediation steps have been taken, your company can redress flags with carriers or analytics engines to have them removed. Proving that you have remediated your dialing behavior will convince these organizations that your company is dedicated to ethical dialing behavior.

Responsibly Remediate Blocked Calls

The responsibility to remediate blocked calls and redress calling flags falls on you, even if your calls have been unfairly labeled. Taking a proactive stance is the best defense. Be certain that your DID purchases, agent training, and call monitoring are all on point. Once you identify issues, correct them in-house and then seek redress from carriers and the FCC. Protecting your caller ID reputation requires constant vigilance.