The Spam Call Problem
According to robokiller.com, 6.54 billion robocalls were made in the United States in September of 2021. I think 1/3 of those were made to my line alone! But seriously, it isn’t a revelation to anyone that spam calls are way out of control. This affects prospects’ willingness to answer the phone and if a call is flagged as spam, forget about it.
As a result of ongoing struggles with spam and scam calls, the federal trade commission launched a series of consumer protections. Part of the consumer protection legislation is enforcing phone carriers to do their part to stop robocalls and scam calls to consumers by displaying suspected spam or spam likely on your smartphone. Part of the current problem for legitimate businesses is that they can be swept up and flagged as suspicious even when conducting routine business calls to prospects.
Now suppose that your number gets flagged. If you are lucky, one of your prospects might reluctantly answer and tell you that your caller ID is showing up as a "spam" or "spam risk.” But how often do you answer a spam call to tell them it’s flagged as spam? You must put a process in place to prevent getting flagged in the first place. You should also understand why your calls are being flagged in the first place.
Why do my calls likely show up as suspected spam, spam risk, or spam?
There are two primary ways that your numbers are flagged. The first is from the end-user who uses spam-blocking technology on their smartphone to block spam calls. The second happens on the phone carrier level.
It is unlikely that a single prospect blocking your phone number using a spam blocker will flag your outbound numbers. However, if too many outbound phone calls originate from your phone number in an hour or day, it can get flagged by various phone carriers such as ATT, Verizon, or T-Mobile. If there are too many flags, your phone numbers will show as spam.
Carriers are also monitoring caller activity. If your local phone number makes more than ten calls per minute or 100 daily, the phone carrier will likely associate that number with robocalling. And, you guessed it, the phone carrier will label your number as spam, impacting your contact rates.
What can you do?
For starters, make sure you are sourcing your leads appropriately. If you are capturing web leads, use appropriate opt-in language. Use omnichannel marketing outreach techniques to compensate for heavy outbound dialing.
Don't rely solely on calling your internet leads; employ text messaging and outbound emails. If someone is not interested in your services, promptly remove them from your calling lists. In other words, just don’t spam-call them over and over.
Use Multiple Outbound Numbers
If you have a large sales team calling into a large geographic area, make sure you have the appropriate volume of local numbers. For example, it’s advisable not to have a group of ten call center agents using the same local phone number for your outreach call attempts, as carriers will quickly flag that number as spam.
Periodically rest your numbers; the same is true if a phone number is flagged as spam. As soon as you confirm it is flagged, remove it from your outbound rotation.
Set Your Caller ID
Ask your phone provider to update your CNAM (the Caller ID) to your business name if possible. Try placing test calls on various carriers to see which may have flagged you as spam.
There are also some solutions out there now found in lead management and CRM that makes this process easier for their customers. ClickPoint Software offers a number management solution. Other CRMs even offer warning systems once an agent has reached a certain number of calls to prevent triggering a flag from a phone carrier.
Register Your Numbers
Lastly, consider adding your phone numbers to a call registry through major analytics organizations and your telco carrier like Twilio. This move lets the phone carriers know that you are a legitimate business trying to contact those who use that phone carrier. Importantly, this is not a whitelist, and your phone numbers can still get flagged as spam. It is also important to note that there is no guarantee that your spam flag will get lifted even if you submit a request.
Learn more about calling restrictions:
T-Mobile (via First Orion)
Verizon, Sprint & US Cellular(via TNS Call Guardian)
ATT Wireless(via Hiya)