As a telemarketer, you run the risk of heavy penalties that amount to thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues fines that run between $100 and $1,500 per reported call if you get sued. While that is the worst-case scenario, there is also the risk of blocked numbers.
Telemarketing continues to grow increasingly challenging. In part, this is due to stringent measures put in place by the Federal Trade Commission to combat unsolicited calls from sellers. The rise of mobile phones only makes matters worse, given the presence of call blocking apps that automatically detect spam.
How Telemarketers Get Blocked Numbers
In 2017, the FTC announced a new plan to address consumer complaints against unwanted calls. The FCC indicated their plan to share Do-Not-Call Registry violations reported by users with telecom service providers. The same goes for robocall violations.
Before this, telecom networks relied on internal technology to detect and block robocalls. Most of these solutions monitor the networks for signs of suspicious calls based on proprietary algorithms. While the technology is not very effective, it does identify automated calls and block their phone numbers.
Call Blocking Apps Accomplished What the Federal DNC Could Not
The Do Not Call Registry is a big part of FTC’s fight against unwanted telemarketing calls. Telemarketers must go through the registry every 31 days and avoid calling any numbers that are on record. There are exceptions to the rule though, such as already having established business relations with a customer. However, despite these exceptions, company numbers are still blocked thanks to apps like Hiya and Nomorobo.
If Too Many People Flag a Number, It Can Be Blocked
These call blocking apps depend on a global database of phone numbers and their associated caller ID information to detect spam. If too many people have marked your phone number as spam, even while you’re not violating any federal laws, call blocking apps may still show phone number as spam or block it automatically.
5 Ways to Prevent Blocked Numbers
Good telemarketing ethics lower the chance of phone numbers getting blocked. Here are a few ideas that you can put into practice, immediately:
1) Honor the restricted times set by FTC for telemarketing calls. Do not call before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm.
2) Predictive dialers remain compliant and enhance telemarketing sales, but avoid abusing this technology. Make sure you have enough agents to answer the calls. An agent should be available to respond within 2 seconds. If your number is associated with a lot of abandoned calls in a short period of time, telecom operators may mark the activity as suspicious and block it.
3) Train your agents to seek permission before they make their sales pitch. Ask the customer if it is the right time to talk with them. If they refuse, respect their response. Also, avoid calling such a customer repeatedly. Space out your calls over days, or, even better, ask the customer for a specific time for a conversation. By doing so, you reduce the chances that the customer marks your number as spam.
4) It is a good idea to show some empathy while calling. When a customer answers the call ask them if they are driving or at work. Immediately apologize and end the call if they confirm.
5) Follow the FTC’s guidelines for abandoning calls. You should let the phone ring for at least 15 seconds before ending the call.
Checking Caller ID Reputation Helps Too
Caller ID reputation software is a tool that lets you see which of your numbers are marked as spam. It is a good idea to switch out flagged numbers before they get fully blocked. You’ll want to follow a few practices to maintain the integrity of your caller ID. These include using a local area code and displaying your business information clearly on the caller ID. Here are some more best practices for caller ID reputation.
What To Do If Your Phone Number Is Blocked
The only solution to a blocked number is to swap it with a clean one. First, you need to identify the problematic number. Tools such as Caller ID Rep come in handy for this task. Once you have identified the number, release it from your telemarketing system and get a new one. Caller ID Rep allows you to swap blocked numbers with clean ones quickly.
Make Sure You Swap Blocked Numbers for Clean Numbers
When you’re replacing your blocked numbers with new ones, make sure the replacements are not associated with spam. It shouldn’t be related to fraudulent activities, either. For those reasons, it is essential to use a trusted service when replacing your blocked telemarketing numbers.
Caller ID reputation plays a crucial role in lowering the risk of your number getting blocked. Together with best dialing practices, it helps you increase your contact rate and reduce downtime for your call center.