November 2, 2022
Why Proper Calling Behavior Improves Your Business Reputation
The average person is inundated with stimulation — from social media to news programs, everywhere is full of stimulus. People tend to use their smartphones more to text with friends and family than call them. So, it’s no secret that consumers hate unwanted calls.
Even calls received from legitimate businesses may come across as nuisance calls. However, abiding by new regulations, proper dialing behavior best practices, and staying on top of your caller attestation ratings can help build and maintain your business reputation with consumers.
Importance of Managing Your Calling Behavior
Caller ID Reputation’s analysis indicates an average of 32.4% of business phone numbers are at risk of negative call labeling associated with robocall mitigation efforts. Calls from these phone numbers will likely go unanswered and may snowball into receiving more flags.
By managing your calling behavior, you can boost your business reputation and help instill trust in consumers. Proper dialing behavior and overall calling practices show consumers your business respects their needs, time, and privacy. This benefits the dialing ecosystem at large by building trust in consumers.
Lack of consumer faith in telecommunications led to legislation that introduced the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The TCPA: What It Is
In 1991, the TCPA became law to protect consumers in the United States. Aggressive telemarketers, collection agents, and otherwise nuisance callers used automated dialers to reach unsuspecting consumers. The TCPA now regulates businesses and others using:
- Automated dialers, also known as robodialers
- A prerecorded message
- An AI-voiced message
The TCPA also protects consumers from receiving text messages they’ve not explicitly agreed to receive.
The main goal of this law is limiting how many nuisance phone calls consumers receive every day — but it’s also a major step forward in the overall recognition of consumers’ rights of privacy and right to be free from bullying tactics and harassing phone calls.
TCPA Regulations Your Business Must Follow
At the very least, your business’s calling behavior must abide by the regulations set forth in the TCPA, which include:
- Don’t call or text cell phones or landlines using an autodialer without previous consumer consent.
- Check the Reassigned Number Database often to scrub your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, keep your customer information clean, prevent calls or texts to reassigned numbers.
- Provide opt-out options for artificial or prerecorded voice messages.
- Minimize call abandonment rates for telemarketing.
- Limit telemarketing calls between 8AM – 9PM in the customer’s time zone.
- Keep your CRM clean by checking the national Do Not Call (DNC) registry regularly and scrubbing any new numbers added.
- Require telemarketing agents to state their name, company, and contact information.
- Even consumers that owe money to businesses are protected by the TCPA and can tell harassing callers not to call anymore.
It’s also essential to remain up-to-date with the DNC registries in the states where you do business. Each state has its own registry with time and day/date restrictions that may not be the same as the rules at the Federal level.
Knowing these regulations, keeping your calling databases scrubbed, and abiding by DNC lists across the nation can save you: businesses that violate the TCPA rules must pay a minimum fine of $500 for every call made that shouldn’t be. If a consumer asks you not to call them anymore and your company continues to, each call is a separate violation — continuing to violate the TCPA could cost you $1,500 for every nuisance call you make.
So, how can you maintain your business reputation and remain aligned with the TCPA?
Strive for Full Attestation (A)
Attestation ratings tell a terminating service provider that how trustworthy a call’s origination is. Scammers have gotten rather good over the years at masking their own phone number with that of a legitimate business in a practice known as spoofing. By getting and keeping a full attestation rating of A, you:
- Show your carriers, analytics engines and customers it’s really you calling
- Help prevent scammers from using your number (because location and other caller ID information on file will not match)
Attestation ratings have three tiers:
- A or Full
- B or Partial
- C or Gateway
Having an A attestation rating means:
- The correct carrier originates the calls.
- That carrier has a relationship with your business and can verify it’s genuinely you calling.
- The carrier has verified there’s a correlation between your business and who you’re calling.
Calling Behavior Best Practices
Ensuring your agents and managers abide by proper calling behavior is crucial to maintaining the reputation of your caller ID. You can maintain this through diligent work in data and dialing hygiene.
Proper data hygiene involves scrubbing lists frequently and maintaining accurate lists scrubbed against the DNC, RND, and internal opt-out lists. A dirty dataset can have information that’s duplicated (leading to more calls than necessary) missing or that doesn’t comply with TCPA regulations. This can happen when switching CRMs, when agents forget to update a phone number, or if more than one agent is responsible for one account.
By abiding by dialing hygiene best practices, your caller IDs will benefit from organic improvement. Your numbers will have less of a chance of becoming flagged or blocked through these practices and your agents can benefit from higher answer rates.
To ensure you’re practicing good dialing hygiene:
- Acquire appropriate consumer consent before making the call.
- Limit each phone number to 100 calls per day.
- Ensure compliance with all national, state, and local laws.
- Keep call duration brief.
- Do not have agents disconnect prior to at least 15 seconds or four rings.
- Have prerecorded messages give recipients a clear way to opt out of further contact.
- When using auto dialing, do not connect to multi-line businesses.
- Understand, process, and honor consumers’ DNC requests.
Know Your Client
Ideally, your campaigns should target your ideal demographic for the best impact. Segmenting your lists for different campaigns is one way to achieve more efficient targeting. Your calling behavior should match the demographic you are targeting as well.
Some factors may include:
- What is the goal of your campaign? Outreach, awareness, updates, sales?
- Are you dialing consumers or businesses? There are different regulations between the two.
- Is your demographic regional or nationwide? Regional calling is a little easier for several reasons, whereas nationwide calling means coordinating your calls with the called party’s local time zone, for instance.
- Does your demographic adhere to a set schedule (school, work, family, etc.)? Be mindful of when your average consumer wakes up, has supper, or goes to sleep.
You need to understand your sales targets and refine your approach regularly. Remember, businesses must pick up the phone when it rings, but individual consumers do not.
Remediation for Flagged Numbers
Even if you are abiding by proper calling behavior, there is a still a chance your numbers might receive flags. Monitoring your phone numbers can help determine when this occurs. If a number is identified as flagged, you can take steps to remediate these issues.
Consumers may block your phone number for reasons that have nothing to do with your business. To help gaurd against this, consider sending a physical mailer or email prior to a phone call letting your customer know the day and time they should expect your call.
Caller ID Reputation can help you monitor and manage phone numbers’ reputation, and mitigate the risk of receiving negative labels.