Phone call and text spam has become an all too common nuisance these days, leading many people to not even answer their phone when a number they don’t recognize calls them. According to a study by Consumer Reports, 70% of Americans no longer answer phone calls from unknown numbers. For businesses, dealing with spam, or robocalls, can cost valuable time and resources for their staff who are required to answer every phone call. Fielding robocalls is a waste of time and interrupts your work day, lowering your team’s productivity. Likewise, if you’re trying to reach out to and engage customers proactively over the phone or via text message, you want to make sure your efforts are effective and that your method of engagement isn’t suspicious or being interpreted as spam behavior.
How can you address spam calls for your business, whether you’re fielding spam calls internally, or are trying to connect with customers who are wary that your call may be spam? Below, we share our answers to the most commonly asked questions that we receive about spam calls for CallTrackingMetrics and how to deal.
Why is the caller ID of my tracking number displaying as spam? How can I prevent that behavior?
There could be several reasons why this is happening. It’s possible that enough consumers have marked your number as spam, causing it to be flagged, whether due to messaging, unwanted calls, etc. The underlying carrier of the number could also have been reported as suspicious for having a lot of spam numbers. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the caller ID from displaying as spam, as this is a measure that various carriers have implemented for consumer protection. The good news is that by June 30, 2021, the FCC is going to begin enforcing STIR/SHAKEN, an important security measure which will allow legitimate calls to make it through to customers.
What should I do if my tracking number is showing up as spam?
You have a few options to address this. First, you can recycle the number and acquire a new tracking number. You could also use more than one tracking number for outbound calling. If you are calling locations outside of your tracking number’s area codes, then you could opt to use local tracking numbers instead (we don’t advise on using toll free numbers for outbound calls). If you are using the number for bulk text messaging to customers, we advise you to use tokens to personalize the message and more tracking numbers for the campaign to reduce the chance of the text being flagged as spam.
When I get a “cleaned” number, what does that mean?
Most numbers have been used before, yet most carriers do not put numbers back into service until a certain period of time or until it receives a certain number of calls per unit time.
Will CallTrackingMetrics provide me with a credit for spam calls?
We are not able to refund time for unwanted calls, chats, messages, forms, or faxes. In many cases, there are no clear criteria to use to distinguish whether a specific activity was unwanted, fraudulent or spammy, without careful consideration and us having to potentially analyze each and every call, chat, message, form, or fax. The best defense is to use the tools CallTrackingMetrics provides to minimize the duration of these activities and the distraction they may impose on your team.
Will verified caller ID help?
Unfortunately no, this is not a viable solution. This feature does allow you to place outbound calls from our system with a phone number not in our system—yet this makes tracking, reporting, and attribution very difficult which, for many, would defeat the purpose of using CallTrackingMetrics.
What are some best practices to combat spam?
For incoming calls, you can turn on CTM’s Spam Detective which detects if a contact appears to be coming through at a suspicious rate and if so, automatically routes them to a captcha, voice menu, or voicemail inbox to force them to take particular actions before being sent to a live agent. You can also set up your own voice menu that requires some kind of input such as prompting the caller to enter a certain number to continue to sales.
What is STIR/SHAKEN?
Industry stakeholders are working together to implement caller ID authentication, which is sometimes called STIR/SHAKEN, in order to combat illegal caller ID spoofing, aka “robocalls.” Once implemented, it should greatly help the accuracy of caller ID information and should allow voice service providers to provide helpful information to their consumers about which calls to answer. Calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. STIR/SHAKEN digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is in fact from the number displayed on Caller ID.
When will STIR/SHAKEN go into effect?
All originating and terminating voice service providers are required to implement caller ID authentication using STIR/SHAKEN technological standards in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021. CTM is working closely with our upstream carriers to implement necessary changes as they begin implementation and will keep customers informed about any required actions or next steps.