July 29th, 2020

Seven Steps to Combat Robocalls and Scams—and Get Calls Answered

Annoyed by robocalls and call spoofing? So is the FCC. In fact, robocalls are the number one complaint consumers make. Everyone agrees – it has to stop.

Responding to a looming June 2021 deadline set by the FCC, U.S. voice carriers are rapidly implementing an authentication framework known as STIR/SHAKEN, which was designed to reduce the epidemic of robocalls.  While it’s a step in the right direction, it’s still being defined, and no tool is perfect. What we’ve found is that STIR/SHAKEN may end up marking some legitimate calls as spam and block them. As deployment unfolds over the next year, enterprises may find it trickier to reach their customers. In July 2020, the FCC adopted safe harbors that protect phone companies “from liability for the unintended or inadvertent blocking of wanted calls” as long as they use “reasonable analytics” with the intent of encouraging “robust robocall blocking efforts.”

Enterprises can take action!
You don’t have to sit back and watch that happen. As more and more carriers deploy STIR/SHAKEN, enterprises are looking closely at how it will impact their customers and their business model, and how they can get involved in the STIR/SHAKEN ecosystem. Regardless of what path they choose, every enterprise can take the following steps, right now, to combat call blocking and increase answer rates:

  1. Centralization - Inventory the call environment. Having access to a centralized, up-to-date telephone number inventory is the first step in improving your outbound call results. 
  2. Contact - Leverage predictive phone behavior to correct and append incorrect or incomplete CRM record, understand which phone number is most likely to be answered, and when so you achieve higher right-party contact rates.
  3. Consistency - Enable an accurate call display. Business phone numbers often display inconsistent, inaccurate, or even blank caller ID names due to variations across internal systems and processes. But, when customers aren’t sure who’s calling, they aren’t likely to answer the phone. 
  4. Connection - Ensure calls get through. Often, businesses may not even realize their calls are being blocked or tagged until they receive negative feedback from their customers. 
  5. Certainty - Protect brand from abuse by spoofers. Monitoring the use of your brand across the caller ID ecosystem helps to protect your reputation and your customers and minimize your risk of liability. 
  6. Certification – Authenticate caller identity. Understand STIR/SHAKEN standards and integrate them into your network and mobile apps. Make sure you know what attestation level your calls will get. 
  7. Context - Enhance the mobile call display. The more consumers feel they can trust an incoming call, the more likely they are to answer. Consider your device as valuable real estate to give users context and identity – including logos, images, etc., for every call and text. 

Seven steps – many benefits!
In addition to helping solve the robocall issue, these steps on the trusted call journey will also help enterprises achieve higher call answer rates, restore trust with customers, and protect and reinvigorate their brands. 

More resources:

  • Visit our Trusted Call Resources Center.
    You’ll learn more about the seven-step outbound calling journey, solutions to help address robocalling, and have access to valuable resources, tips, eLearning.
  • Take our outbound calling assessment.
    Get immediate insights into where your organization is in the seven-step trusted call journey, and what actions you need to take to ensure your calls are getting through to customers. 

Contact us if you’d like more information. Neustar is a pioneer in call authentication as the co-author of STIR standards, early contributor to the SHAKEN framework, and plays an ongoing leadership role in defining industry standards with ATIS and IETF. 

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