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July 1st, 2019

What’s Happening to Our Connect Rates?

Many call centers and collections operations are encountering declining Right Party Connect (RPC) rates. RPC rates in the low single-digit range are unfortunately becoming typical. Agents are growing frustrated with fewer completed calls, and outbound contact center managers are having difficulty explaining budget variances and increases in cost-per-connected-call.

Several factors are contributing to this decline in RPC:

  • Consumer frustration with robocalls: The growth in robocalls has only increased consumer frustration; according to a recent survey, 49 percent of consumers say they received seven or more robocalls per week, and 94 percent indicate that these calls are annoying.1 As a result, many consumers are simply refusing to answer the phone if they don’t know the number.
     
  • Consumer fear about potential fraud: Telephone scams are unfortunately becoming more prevalent, with losses approaching $350 million annually. Consumers are aware of the trend, and so are less likely to answer an unrecognized number.
     
  • Carriers blocking robocalls: The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently gave approval to carriers to block both suspected illegal and unwanted calls. This ruling essentially provides safe harbor for carriers to block calls they believe to be suspicious without express consumer consent. But legitimate outbound calls are sometimes being errantly blocked as well.
     
  • Legitimate callers being tagged as a suspected scam: Organizations that are not diligent in monitoring their Caller IDs are liable to be caught in the spam-blocking applications being deployed by the carriers. Additionally, only 13 percent of consumers who see “Unknown Name/Number” as the Caller ID are likely to answer the call.
  • Data accuracy and recency: Consumer data is constantly changing. Neustar data shows that, on average, 37% of consumers have at least one change in their name, home address or phone number in a single year. Stated another way, an estimated 5-15 percent of typical CRM data can change in a single month. 

The calling environment is growing more challenging, and based on pending congressional legislation and recent FCC actions allowing mobile carriers to unilaterally block suspicious calls, there’s plenty of reason to think it might get worse before it gets better.

But there’s hope. It is possible to reverse the decline in RPC rates if outbound dialers have access to intelligence on phone behavior and reliable call-blocking/spam-mislabeling solutions. Several leading financial institutions are realizing significant lifts via Neustar Outbound Dialing Solutions.  From proactively pushing changes in CRM records to their database, to monitoring and enhancing caller ID display, to ensuring they have the most robust phone intelligence on who to call, when to call them, and what number to use, Neustar has helped banking organizations regain trust in the phone channel with their customers. 

Consumers want to trust an incoming call, and having the bank name clearly displayed on their phone will provide that assurance. Outbound dialers want to trust that their calls will be picked up. Knowing who to call, when to call, and what number to call will increase the RPC rate, and in turn, the morale of the calling agents. Having a trusted partner in Neustar with proven solutions is the proactive step needed to make measurable improvements to an outbound call center environment.

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