The Call Experience Beyond Call Blocking and SHAKEN/STIR
Today, many stakeholders are impacted by robocalls and call spoofing. Consumers are beyond annoyed and have stopped answering their phones. Regulators and lawmakers, such as the FCC and Senate, are putting stricter rules in place to protect consumers. Voice service providers have been granted permission to block calls and exhorted to deploy call authentication. Often overlooked, though, are the effects on businesses and organizations that rely on the phone to connect with their customers.
At the recent FCC Robocall Summit in July 2019, the focus was on what’s being done to protect consumers from spoofed robocalls through the implementation of SHAKEN/STIR caller ID authentication. During a panel discussion on improving the consumer call experience, speakers from the FCC, voice service providers, technology vendors, and consumer protection group AARP discussed the role of SHAKEN/STIR and what consumers will see on their call displays. They covered the need for common and consistent ways to display good and bad calls and what kind of SHAKEN/STIR verified icon should be used. It was reiterated that the goal of implementing call authentication is to increase consumer confidence in picking up a call, but also that SHAKEN/STIR alone will not stop the robocalling problem.
One viewpoint not addressed during the FCC Summit was that of the enterprise and how current robocall protection schemes, including call analytics and blocking, are further eroding the ability to conduct business on the phone. Organizations, such as financial services organizations and those that offer health care, are concerned that their outbound calls are not being completed or represented accurately on caller ID. And this means that they can’t relay important and sensitive information to customers over the phone.
Many businesses complain that their outbound calls are being blocked because their phone numbers are mistakenly identified as a scam or suspicious call. And new proposed rules for SHAKEN/STIR authentication and attestation could endanger more types of outbound calls from enterprises. It will be important that businesses have a way of knowing if their calls are being identified as “certified” to the consumer and therefore viewed as trustworthy.
Beyond their calls not going through, 64 percent of enterprises say customers are not picking up their calls because they can’t identify who is calling. In a recent survey by Forrester Consulting of 319 business and technology decision makers who are responsible for outbound call experiences at financial services, travel and hospitality, retail/ecommerce, collections, telecommunications, and energy and utilities firms, respondents said customers are not picking up unknown numbers because of the risk of threats and annoyances like fraud (50 percent), call spoofing (48 percent) and robocalls (35 percent). Lastly, 45 percent took the blame themselves and said that they do not have the right strategy for contacting customers—by calling too often and creating call fatigue.
In consumer tests analytics, companies have found that SHAKEN/STIR–signed calls that display a verified phone number alone have little effect on pick-up rates. Rather, it is the enhanced call experience, in which more context is displayed about the call, where there has been a 2–3 times improvement in answer rates.
Improving the call experience needs to remain a key goal that’s considered in solving for this very complex problem of unwanted and illegal robocalls. Discussions and collaboration need to continue with the rollout of new rules, regulations, and standards like SHAKEN/STIR. Enterprises should play a part in voicing concerns and bringing their unique perspectives to light. Join in the discussion at 2019 PACE Washington Summit.
Want to learn more about overcoming the challenges of connecting with customers by phone and improving the call experience? Check out these resources:
- VIDEO: Deliver a Better Experience with Caller Name Optimization
- WHITE PAPER: Why Customers Won’t Take Your Call
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Bottom Line of Better Call Experiences
- FAQs: Key Insights to Deliver Trusted Call Experiences
- WEBINAR: How to Use Trusted Call Solutions to Drive Better Customer Experiences and Impact Operational Costs
- SOLUTION SHEET: Transform the Calling Experience