Six ways to curb spam calls
You’ve probably noticed an increase in the amount of spam calls you’re receiving. In fact, most people are now picking up automated calls from computer programs – known as robocalls – on a daily basis.
Here at CallTrackingMetrics, we’re no exception to this issue; all phone numbers are equally susceptible to spam calls. This is because a tracking number purchased through our software is provided by a third-party carrier, just like the mobile phone number you use with Verizon or AT&T.
Swapping out your current phone number for a new one probably won’t affect the number of spam calls that ring your line, as most phone numbers have already been used previously. However, there are still ways to curb the encroach of spam calls, especially when you’re managing your calls with a Voice Over Internet Provider (VOIP) like CallTrackingMetrics.
Courtney Tyson, a talented member of our Customer Success team, works with our clients every day to optimize their business communications. We knew she’d be a great resource to learn more about combating spam calls.
Courtney, what sort of issues are your clients having with spam calls?
Clients often come to me with issues related to:
- Robocalls, phone calls that use a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message.
- Fax calls, calls consisting of fax machine sounds.
- Caller ID spoofing, when a phone call looks as though its coming from either someone you know, or your local area.
- Calls with no recorded audio (talk time). A call with no recorded audio is a red flag. Our platform only creates recordings for calls that were answered. No recorded audio means that no audio was conveyed to CTM to be captured.
- To add to this, some clients who have experienced this particular issue have noticed that the calls with no recorded audio also last for the exact same amount of time. For example, they’ll see twelve calls with no recorded audio in the call log, all that have a call length of 15 or 16 seconds.
What is the business impact of spam calls for a typical client?
Good question! These calls are definitely annoying, but they can also really affect an organization’s bottom line. The impact is a little different, depending on the client’s business and they way that they utilize our platform, but here are a few of the situations I’ve seen:
- Clients using us to manage their contact centers are frustrated that their agents are spending time and energy to field spam calls.
- In busier call centers, spam calls actually can be a real threat to the number of real calls agents can answer. If agents are busy fielding spam calls, then real callers might be forced to wait to be connected to an agent. Every second of wait time increases the risk of losing the caller, and potentially even losing a customer in the process.
- Spam calls can even throw off the data in our Real Time Agents reporting by artificially inflating the volume of calls that agents are fielding. The reports produced might say, for example, that an agent took 36 calls in one day, even if 10 of those calls were spam.
- Carriers charge us for every call, even spam calls, which is passed down to our clients. So, unfortunately, these calls are costing real money long-term.
- Spam calls can throw off marketing attribution, by inflating the number of calls attributed to certain ad campaigns. If a single tracking number receives more spam calls than the rest, a marketing agency might mistakenly believe the campaign is working… when it’s not.
- For our lead generators, spam calls can throw a wrench in the actual number of phone calls generated by a lead campaign, making it difficult to report back to clients with concrete numbers.
- In general, spam calls are ANNOYING, even for businesses, and they’re a major interruption in our daily life.
Where do these spam calls originate from?
Spam calls can originate from anywhere in the world, and believe it or not, human, legal telemarketers still exist. Of course, there are the robocallers, who use a technology that places your phone number on a list which is automatically dialed time and time again.
What kind of solutions are you able to offer?
We work with our carriers to ensure the numbers we offer for purchase are not involved with spam schemes, though in today’s world of pervasive spamming, this can be pretty difficult. It’s important our clients, and prospective clients, know that our numbers sit unused for 6 months before they’re released for purchase, which helps identify whether they’re compromised by spammers. That being said, there are a variety of actions clients can take to help manage the spam calls that hit their CTM account.
- Block the number: Use the red flag icon the call log, under the Actions menu, to block the phone number.
- Exclude the activity from the call log, so as to not to throw off your data. You can also use the red flag icon in the Actions menu to do this.
- Release tracking numbers consistently being hit by spam.
- Set up an IVR menu: This is one of the best ways to detect and avoid spam. IVR menus ask callers to enter a specific key press in order to connect with an agent, for example “Press 1 to be connected to an agent.” Spam calls cannot take this action and therefore won’t make it past the menu, causing the call to end.
- Turn on Spam Detective: You can turn this feature on for a small fee, depending on your plan. The Spam Detective allows us to look at the path of a call in order to determine if it’s spam. If we deem the call spam, then you can decide which action you would like to take place, whether it be automatically hanging up, or tagging the call so it can be filtered out of reporting.
- Report the phone number to the FCC.