April 3, 2024

How to Secure and Maintain Your Phone Number Identity

How to Secure and Maintain Your Phone Number Identity

How often do your outbound calls get answered? While fewer consumers answer calls of any kind today, this is especially true of phone numbers they haven’t saved and numbers with caller ID information marked as suspected spam or likely scams. Companies that pay attention to how their caller IDs display on called parties’ phones can improve answer rates and build trust. However, you must maintain a positive phone number identity to build that trust with increasingly wary consumers.

What Is Phone Number Identity?

Your phone number identity is how consumers, call-blocking apps, and service providers view your business calls. Customers should know your business is on the other end of a call whenever you call them. This can significantly improve answer rates and build your brand’s reputation with your company. Unfortunately, simply identifying your calls isn’t enough anymore. Bad actors are giving a bad name to good businesses through call spoofing.

These call spoofing attempts have degraded consumer trust in business calls. Thus, business phone numbers must maintain a secure, consistent, and accurate caller ID identity to ensure consumers answer their phones when receiving legitimate calls.

Maintaining Phone Number Integrity

To achieve this, businesses must follow steps to ensure their phone numbers maintain a good standing with consumers and service providers. Taking a proactive approach through registering business phone numbers can maximize the benefits of your phone number identity as opposed to using reactive strategies.

For example, some businesses see phone number rotation as a helpful practice that ensures their phone numbers are always fresh. However, constantly buying new phone numbers has more than a few drawbacks.

You might think the number you just bought is brand new, but it likely is not. The number could have multiple issues from its past use, such as a spam label or multiple complaints registered with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Its mere historical use, good or bad, can elevate the chances it’ll get a “scam likely” label attached when you put it into rotation.

Plus, think about your customers. If they’ve saved your number, it means they trust you, and they want to do business with you. But if you change your number, even once, you risk disrupting the relationships you’ve already built.

Rather than frequently purchasing phone numbers frequently, a better direction is to register your current business phone numbers and manage your outbound outreach strategies.

What Is Phone Number Registration?

Establishing your calling identity begins with registering your phone numbers. CNAM registration is the first essential step in this process. Registering your numbers is simply your company identifying yourselves to the major carriers in your country as the owners of your phone numbers. When you register your business phone number(s), the benefits are many. Most importantly, you help these carriers identify fraudulent callers.

Since the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, ensure your rich call data is registered with the appropriate parties so your caller ID displays accurately to consumers. To register your CNAM information, submit your telephone numbers through the United States caller ID registry. Provide your business name, phone number(s), and other details to prove you’re the legitimate owner of your numbers. You only have to register once, and registration for businesses is entirely free of charge.

Some of the benefits of registering your business phone numbers include:

  • Taking a stand against fraudulent actors using your business’s phone number for nefarious purposes
  • Reducing the number of unwanted phone calls in your area, market, and/or industry
  • Establishing trust among consumers

These benefits are all the more reason why proper call management techniques are so important.

Call Management Techniques

Proper call management techniques help maintain the reputation of your phone numbers. Bad dialing habits can cause your numbers to receive flags or blocks by consumers and call-blocking apps. These practices will ultimately cause your business to suffer and consumers to lose trust in your organization.

Some call management tips to consider include:

  • Keeping your data clean
  • Ensuring ethical dialing practices
  • Registering your CNAM data
  • Monitoring your business’s phone number(s)
  • Striving for higher call attestation ratings
  • Redress flags or blocked calls with carriers

So, hang onto your business phone numbers and refrain from purchasing new ones.

Maintaining Phone Number Ownership

Your caller ID is an extension of your brand’s identity. As such, maintaining your phone numbers should be the most important aspect of building trust with consumers.

Spammy call centers engage in practices of buying bulk numbers, over-dialing, and releasing numbers back into the market once they receive flags. Doing so damages the overall dialing ecosystem because recycled numbers carry “baggage” forward to new (and usually unsuspecting) businesses.

Maintaining long-term ownership of your outbound numbers helps you ensure those numbers maintain a positive phone number identity and reputation for your business.

Caller ID Monitoring

Maintaining a positive phone number identity requires your due diligence and consistent monitoring. While STIR/SHAKEN helps to identify call-spoofing attempts, it has not been able to stop the practice altogether.

It’s important to monitor your phone numbers for flags on a regular basis. Ongoing monitoring across all major carriers (because they each maintain their own caller ID registries) can help your business discover and identify issues that could affect how your caller ID displays to called parties.

Phone number flags can result from several things, such as:

  • Call spoofing attempts
  • Unethical or deceptive dialing practices
  • Poor customer interactions
  • Ignoring compliance standards

A caller ID flag can even occur through no fault of your own whatsoever. For instance, if you’re a receptionist for a doctor’s office calling patients to remind them of upcoming appointments, you may inadvertently catch a patient on a bad day. They could flag your call as spam if they don’t recognize your phone number.

This is not only bad for your office but also for your patients because if they miss your call, they’re also missing out on important patient communications. Identifying flags quickly helps your business remediate and redress any potential issues that affect your caller ID display.

Building Trust With Rich Call Data

While rich call data is still in its early stages, businesses and consumers will likely benefit from robust support of this technology. Rich call data is a worthy weapon against robocalls and call spoofing.

Branded calling has proven successful but has limitations, with consumers often required to use third-party apps for this to be effective. Currently, branded calling is only sometimes uniform across carriers and devices; one network or device might display your business information accurately while others do not.

As rich call data seeks to bridge this gap, caller ID monitoring is more important than ever. Identifying potential issues with how your caller ID displays to consumers can help your business mitigate and reconcile any potential issues with consumers and service providers. Take control of your caller ID reputation today.