People have more power than ever to flag and block calls. Smartphone apps make it easy for them to report nuisance calls, which often get flagged as “Spam Risk” or “Scam Likely”. Even numbers from reputable businesses can earn negative reputations. Once your numbers get flagged, you will have a harder time reaching consumers.
Why Do Consumers Flag Numbers From Nuisance Calls?
Considering that the FCC says nuisance calls are among the biggest complaints that it gets from consumers, you should learn about common problems and how to avoid them.
Calling Too Late
Technically, businesses can call people between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time. The ability to call in the morning or evening, however, does not mean you should do it. Calling at the wrong time will only anger the people you want to reach.
Keep time zones in mind before placing calls. Understanding your demographic can also help, as some days are generally better for calls. Statistics show, the hours of 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. generally are the best times to call, followed by 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Calls placed after 6 p.m. tend to yield low results as customers are often off work and looking to relax.
Not Providing Your Business Information
Ideally, your outbound caller ID should provide your business’s name and contact information. In addition, the TCPA states that telemarketers must provide their name or company name along with acurate contact information. If you don’t want that level of transparency, then you must answer people when they ask who you are and what you want.
When you fail to identify yourself, people understandably assume that you wanted to scam them. Of course, they will flag your number to prevent future attempts.
You can use caller ID to your advantage by using a number that tells people your number and business name. If you hide your number from appearing on caller ID, most people won’t answer. At worst, they assume you want to scam them. At best, they believe that you’re a stranger they don’t want to talk to.
After enough people report your number to their service providers or smartphone apps, your number will appear as “Spam Risk” or “Scam Likely” on caller IDs.
Not Following the DNC List
The Do-Not-Call List makes it clear to companies that they should not call certain numbers. Unfortunately, some companies don’t care about following DNC regulations, even though calling the numbers can lead to stiff fines.
Some telemarketers continue calling numbers on the DNC list because they know that they have to place as many calls as possible to earn higher commissions.
Some estimates show that scammers earned about $10 billion in 2017. They don’t make that much money by following the rules. If you participate in similar behaviors, consumers will flag your number. Even if your company is engaging in legitimate business, “nuisance calls” can be flagged by consumers on call blocking apps.
When you don’t follow the DNC list, expect people to assume that you are not a legitimate business.
Poor Call Etiquette
Poor call etiquette creates a poor experience for customers. Many consumers will not stand for rudeness. Research shows that about 42% of people switch brands because they dislike rude, unhelpful staff members.
If consumers will go through the hassle of switching brands, they will absolutely press a button to flag your number. Pushy sales representatives, repeat calls, and other types of poor call etiquette will get your number flagged quickly.
How to Mitigate Flags From Consumers
Robocalls and scams have annoyed people to the point that they will flag practically anything number that they don’t like. Taking the right steps can mitigate flags from consumers, which will ultimately lead to better relationships and more sales.
Scrub Your Dialing List
Scrub your call list to make sure it doesn’t include any number from the DNC.
In fact, you should go a step further by keeping an internal do-not-call list. If a potential customer says your company keeps calling even though they aren’t interested, let them know that you appreciate the feedback and remove their number from your call list.
Focus on Scripts and Training
Your call center’s agents set the first impression for your brand. Go over your scripts carefully to make sure they give consumers useful information without getting too pushy. A great script will lead to more sales and brand awareness. A bad script will tarnish your reputation.
You also need to make sure that your agents know how to stay professional, even when customers are rude to them. Listen to calls, give them notes, and train them to become better at their jobs.
Call During Business Hours
If possible, only call people during business hours. You do not want to disturb them while they’re trying to unwind at home. It’s best to call business lines instead of personal smartphone numbers.
Make sure you pay attention to time zones. It’s easy to upset someone by calling an area code in a different time zone.
Use Enhanced Caller ID
Enhanced caller ID tells people who you are. If you have an established brand that they trust, then people are more likely to answer. Even if they don’t recognize your name, they will feel more comfortable accepting a call from a company that doesn’t try to hide its identity.
If possible, use branded enhanced caller ID that displays your name, phone number, and logo. The more information you provide, the more likely it becomes that people will answer. Every answer gives you an opportunity to increase sales.
Monitor Your Numbers for Flags
No matter what you do, some people will get upset and report your number. Over time, you could accumulate enough reports that a service provider or app flags your number as a potential scam or spam.
Also, be aware that scammers may spoof your number to confuse customers. Until service providers find a way to prevent all number spoofing, this problem will plague call centers.
Monitor your numbers so you can discard the ones that get flagged.
Caller ID Reputation gives you an easy way to check your numbers across all service providers and major call-block apps. You can upload an extensive list of your numbers to discover which ones you shouldn’t use. That way, you can focus on healthy numbers that have a better chance of reaching consumers.