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Why Customers Won't Take Your Call

Give Your Customers the Confidence to Answer Your Call

For most organizations, improving outbound calling is a top customer experience goal this year. With threats like robocalls and call spam continuing to grow, organizations will need to find new solutions to protect a critical component of their customer service practice.

Over 300 business and technology decision makers responsible for outbound call experiences were polled recently to explore the current state of outbound calling.

On this webinar learn how trusted call solutions may hold the key to restoring customer trust in outbound calling and unlocking key business benefits.


"Why Customers Won't Take Your Call" Transcript

Today's presentation is being recorded, and of course, that recording along with the slide decks will be made available to you within 24 to 48 hours. Again, I want to thank you for joining us on today's presentation, why customers won't take your call. New research evaluates the current state of outbound calling.

And with that, we do have our presenters today, Kate Leggett. She is vice president and principal analyst with Forrester. Joining her is Jason Lord, senior director of product marketing with Neustar. And also joining is Jonjie Sena He is also senior director of product marketing with Neustar. With that, I will turn the floor over to Kate Leggett.

Hey. Thanks, Phil, and thanks to all of you on this webinar who have taken an hour out of your busy day to listen to Jason and I and Jonjie and I talk about why customers aren't going to take your call today. So with that, let's get started. And the way I'd like to start the discussion is to really take a step back and talk about customer experience and our expectations for engagement with companies that we do business with.

Great Customer Experiences

So to do that, just think about all the great experiences that surround us. Think about the consumer apps that you used this morning, like social apps or the mapping apps that you used to get to your destination. Transportation apps. All of these consumer applications have really up leveled our expectations of engagement.

And we really expect that anytime we want data information or service, that it's available on any device on any touchpoint at your moment that you need it. And so what we say at Forrester is that customers, like all of us here, we take these expectations of engagement into every interaction that we have with companies, either in our lives as consumers, or as well in our business lives. And what we say is that consumers, customers, are empowered today, and they really control the conversation that they have with companies that they do business with.

Again, in their consumer lives, and in their business lives. And what it means is that companies, enterprises have to really be obsessed with delivering customer engagement in line with the expectations of your customers to be able to garner their satisfaction, their long term loyalty to the brand. And so we go a step further at Forrester, and we break down what customers expect out of an engagement with a company.

And we have this framework of three E's of customer experience, where we say customers expect easy, effective experiences that really leave you feeling good about having interacted with a business. So what does easy mean? It means that a customer can effortlessly interact over the channel of their choice. They can move between channels without having to repeat any information that they've already communicated to the company.

Effective. Customers want to be effectively supported and what they're trying to do. Having it-- if it's in customer service, being able to get their issue fully resolved. If it's in a purchase process, they want to get their transaction fully done, but in a personal way. And for the experience is highly contextual to who they are and what they're doing.

And in terms of emotion we mean by this, that a company has to have an understanding of who the customer is. Their interaction history, their transaction history. Do the right thing for them. Help build that emotional connection with your customers that helps nurture and strengthen relationships.

Why Deliver Great Customer Experiences?

So why do we care about delivering great customer experiences? And it's all about money. It's great customer experiences impact top line revenue, so a satisfied customer is who's interacted with a company is one who's more likely to keep their business with that company. They're less likely to take their business elsewhere.

A customer who's satisfied with the engagement that they've had with a company is more likely to buy more products from that company. A cross sell, an up sell, or a whole new other product. And a customer who's satisfied with the interaction and engagements that they've had with the company is also more likely to talk about that company or their experiences with their network, either their professional network or their personal network, and this helps drive second order sales.

So what we say is that these three dimensions of loyalty that we call retention, enrichment, advocacy, have a direct impact to top line revenue, because your customers will stay with you longer, will buy more from you, and then we'll talk about you, which drives second order sales. And at Forrester, we got lots of data and we actually go a step further, and we quantify the revenue impact of increasing your customer experience that you deliver to your customers.

So how we do this is that every year, Forrester measures the customer experience that hundreds and hundreds of companies that we organize into dozens of industries deliver. And then what we do is we calculate the revenue impact that a company can realize if they delivered a customer experience score that was just incrementally better, just a point better than what they do today.

And so that's the data that you're looking at in the rightmost column up on the screen. And so we have these revenue models, where we tie revenue to increased customer experience by brand and by industry. And then we go ahead and we validate these financial models with case studies of companies that have gone through a customer experience transformation effort.

And in every industry that we have data on, we see that there is a correlation between a better customer experience score and increased top line revenue, and that is ultimately why you care about understanding how customers want to engage with you and the value of delivering great customer experiences. Because it will directly impact your top line revenue.

Global Contact Center Insights

So how are your customers engaging with you today? And what you're looking at here is some data that we got from Dimension Data. And Dimension Data every year goes out and surveys thousands and thousands of global contact center decision makers, looking at communication and engagement trends that these contact center decision makers are reporting. And their data says that contact center decision makers are projecting that self service and digital volumes will grow this year and next year. And this is both inbound and outbound.

And why are self-service and digital volumes growing? Because these modalities of engagement provide a really easy way to be able to get data, to be able to get information to customers. It's an easy way to connect with customers.

Fewer calls that are longer, more complicated

What their data also says is that contact center decision makers are predicting that phone volume will decrease, but there's a nuance there because even though there may be fewer calls, these calls are longer, they tend to be more complicated, and they are the more important calls. So it's because all the straightforward questions, the inquiries are being picked off by self-service or in easy digital interaction like over chat.

And the harder work is now getting to the contact center agents like high value transactions, where a customer perhaps has to share sensitive information, and the phone channel is also an escalation point for complex issues. For example, callbacks from a self-service interaction or from a web interaction, where you have to verify information, where you have to communicate delivery information, or even appointment reminders.

Higher stakes with important calls

And in all of these cases, these are the more important calls, and there's also another dimension to these calls. So these phone calls are typically for a customer who could be anxious or who could be angry. And for example, they're anxious because they haven't been able to understand why their claim was denied, or for example, why the medication that their doctor prescribed for treatment isn't covered.

And so they're anxious waiting for these calls to be able to get the information that they need. And so being able to connect with a customer. Be able to transfer the information that the customer requires. Be able to nurture that customer relationship. To be able to emotionally connect with a customer.

These moments of connection with your customer, they don't happen very often in the digital first world, and they're actually important times, where you can connect with your customers to be able to nurture the relationship. And so what it means is that even though the phone channel is projected to have fewer calls over the voice channel, these calls are the more important calls to answer customers question, to help resolve an issue, to handle, again, a high-value transaction.

And then there are moments in time when companies can connect with customers, and again, strengthen that relationship with the company, which helps increase their retention and their lifetime value. Whoops, sorry. But what we see is that typically, the call experience doesn't measure up to the experience that other channels offer, like digital channels.

I mean, think about the experience that you receive over a digital channel. Typically, you can move through digital channels without having to repeat information, like being authenticated on a website and then looking for information on a website, and then transferring to chat to a customer service representative. And that agent knows who you are, has the context of your journey, even your emotional state, which they can detect using tools like sentiment analysis.

Now, think about the typical phone experience, like what you're looking at on the screen here. You typically don't answer calls if you don't know who's calling you. And more than that, it's like, we all have been at the receiving end of robocalls of phone number spoofing, and other types of fraud scams. And so trying to reduce the risk of these phone scams we're often advised or told not to answer the phone if you don't recognize the number.

And so if you end up adopting the strategy, you're missing out on calls that you want to receive. And then this really affects the brand experience. And more than that, it also impacts businesses, because they can't communicate with their customers. Important calls can't get through, and this increases operational costs and decreases the experience that they offer to their customers.

Current State of Outbound Calling

So what we wanted to do in partnership with Neustar is evaluate the current state of outbound calling and how the current level of trust affects the customer experience. So Forrester partnered with Neustar and conducted an online survey with over 300 business and technology decision makers who are responsible for the outbound call experience.

And the survey respondents were responsible for the outbound call experience strategy, as well as the technology selection, and all our respondents came from the United States, and we surveyed respondents in financial services, travel, hospitality, retail, collections, telecommunications, energy. So a broad swath of industries to be able to explore the topic of, again, how the current level of trust of outbound calls is affecting the customer experience.

And so our survey respondents came from contact centers that placed 5,000 or more calls each month, and then a third of our respondents came from the smaller contact center between 500 to 1,000 employees. Just over a third came from companies that had between 1,000 to 5,000 employees. 18% came from the larger firms between five and 20,000 employees, and just over 10% came from the very large enterprises.

And again, if you look at the management level of the survey respondents, a third held management titles, a third held director titles, and just under a third were either VPs or c-level executives. And so the first thing that we wanted to find out is how important is customer experience to these survey respondents? What is the top company business goals for the next 12 months?

Customer experience is a top priority for companies

And so in order of priority, we found that companies really want to improve customer experience. They want to grow revenue, and this is very much in line with Forresters thinking that, again, that customers control the conversation with companies that they do business with. And companies have to be laser focused on delivering these great experiences to be able to retain their customer base.

What we also found in the survey is that companies wanted to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency. So the data that we got back is a real balanced scorecard of goals, but revenue-generating goals are take a lead over efficiency and productivity goals. So again, it's a real focus on your customer and customers' expectations for engagement. So then we asked for details around the top customer experience goals.

What are your top customer experience goals for the next 12 months? And what we found was the most important goals for these survey respondents was to improve customer service. And this is really important because if you think about it, 2/3 of a customer's interactions with a company is for customer service.

Top company goals: improve customer service

Either as a pre purchase interaction, where a customer is looking for additional information about a product that they're thinking about purchasing, or contacting a customer could contact a company to get onboarded after purchase or learning how to use the product, and then post purchase interactions. So 2/3 of a customer's interactions with a company is for customer service. And what's really interesting and all this data that you're looking at on the screen here is that the survey respondents rated improving the outbound call experience as the second most important customer experience goal for the next 12 months.

And this is a head of channels like digital or mobile, and you look at the data too, and you think about the focus on the outbound call channel. It's an important part of other customer experience goals like increasing frequency of engagement, better understanding the customer journey, improving the cross-channel customer experience. Because again, we've said that the phone-- the voice channel-- is an escalation point. It may not be the first point of engagement of a customer with a company, but it tends to be an escalation point.

OK, and so we wanted to better understand with our survey respondents. The importance of the voice channel as an outbound channel. Because of the data that I've shared with you are about channel use, both inbound and outbound. So we just wanted to focus on the outbound channel.

Preferred Outbound Channels to Engage with Customers

And so we asked what outbound channels are companies offering to engage with customers? And so first of all, that data-- it's really interesting. It's the data on the left side of the screen in blue. So what you're seeing is that email takes first place, followed by voice for an outbound channel, followed by SMS and chat.

And then what we did is we asked, how important are these channels in meeting your customer service goals? And that's the data that you're seeing on the right side of the screen in green. And so what we found is that survey respondents said that voice-- they felt that voice was almost twice as important or twice as critical as email for customer communications.

And again, we can understand this because the interactions that take place over the voice channel tend to be the more important ones, the more critical ones. The ones that have a higher-- perhaps a higher value to the company or to the customer. And has a bigger impact on the customer experience if they go awry. The phone channel is typically an escalation point for complex issues.

And again, these are moments where you can actually connect with the customer and help nurture relationships. And so what else-- I think that's all that I wanted to say about this data. OK, so again, even though email is being used as the most frequent outbound channel, voice is seen as the most critical channel.

Types of Outbound Calls Made to Customers

And then we said, what type of outbound calls does your company make to customer and to prospects? And again, the number one type of outbound call to customers is really that call back, where again, the customer's initiated the interaction perhaps on a website, and then the company's calling them back to supply them with more information or be able to help them resolve a sensitive or critical issue.

And again, all our research at Forrester is showing that customers want to use self-service as that first point of contact, but then they're again, using voice when they need to escalate, or when they need assistance, or when they can't find the answer on their own. And again, in these cases, customers want to be contacted.

And then not being able to connect with the customer it's a real source of frustration and anxiety for both the customer as well as for the business. So other top use cases for outbound voice were, for example, customer notifications at 52%, information verification, like to register products, 42%. And again, these are communication types where your customers want to supply this information. There's a real benefit in being able to get this information from the customer.

And again, not being able to connect with a customer negatively impacts, not only the customer, and the business. So we've established that outbound calling is important for customers and companies. But it's being able to get your calls through to your customers. Why are calls not getting through?

And we found that there's real-- there's really two overarching reasons that your calls aren't getting through. And the first reason, it's complex. And it's really a combination of customers really not trusting calls when they don't recognize the caller's identity or purpose, and it's also compounded by the fact that companies don't have great data on their customers. So they're not contacting customers at the right time or in the right way.

64% of Customers Aren't Picking Up

So our data is showing about 64% say that customers aren't picking up because they can't identify who's calling. That unknown caller problem, and that's something that we can all relate to. And related to this, customers aren't picking up because that they're annoyed from robocalls, call spoofing, fraud. And these threats are growing.

Our data shows that last year, there was a 47% increase in robocalls. Actually, that's from 2018 compared to 2017. And a 47% increase in robocalls in the United States this equals over 26 billion robocalls. And then, looking at the data, there's 45% call fatigue.

Again, this is that companies don't have the right strategy for contacting their customers. They're either calling too often or they're calling at the wrong time of day, and so your customers aren't picking up the call. So the second problem of why your calls aren't getting through is because of the anti-robo calling legislation that that's being put in place to protect consumers from all these fraud scams.

Regulators are Taking Action Against Robocalls

And regulators like the FCC are already in the process of taking real aggressive anti-robo calling action, and they're pushing carriers to implement call blocking services. And what it means is our legitimate business calls are getting caught up in this, where your legitimate calls are being stopped by call blocking tools. And so businesses aren't even aware that they're outbound calls are blocked or are being mislabeled or tagged as spam.

And today, there's no real current or standard way to figure out what calls, what legitimate calls are being blocked or tagged as spam. And so all of these factors really create a lose-lose proposition for businesses, as well as for your consumers. Again, your customers aren't getting the calls that they want. They're not getting their calls in a timely way to be able to help them with their decision processes.

And companies have to contact their customers over and over again or they have to use other methods to connect, other channels, other modalities to connect. And so what this does is it decreases your productivity of your contact center, drives up your costs, and more than that, businesses risk penalties for noncompliance with regulations if they end up contacting the wrong party.

And so again, on the screen here you're seeing our survey results. Nearly half of businesses said that they have they've experienced decreased customer satisfaction, and increased operational costs because of these outbound voice challenges. Here, nearly four in 10 say that they've become less productive and their revenue is impacted, and what it all means is that this method of connecting with your customers that is so critical to businesses and customers alike is really at risk.

And so what we also see is that there's a whole list of operational improvements that companies really need to make to improve this outbound call experience. Again, companies really have a-- are really facing a lot of challenges. Again, regulatory compliance fines because if they inaccurately contact customers who don't want to be contacted, or things like improper scheduling of agents, where their agents aren't available to connect with customers at the right time or at convenient times for the customer.

Data Management Can Be a Struggle

Most organizations struggle with not having good data management processes, and they don't have up-to-date CRM contact information so that businesses can connect with actually the right party. And then, like we've said, companies are also struggling with calls that are incorrectly tagged as spam or blocked. So of what are our survey respondents told us, and remember, survey respondents are those who are responsible for the call center experience, strategy, or operations.

They're really looking for solutions to help manage this outbound call experience. Almost all. 94% of them said that there's a real gap in their call center technology solutions today. And so here's some more granular data for you. We're looking at the current call center technology ecosystem. Our survey respondents said-- 37% said that their solutions can't deal with call blocking or spoofing and spam tagging.

Close to a third said that the solutions that they offer using today don't have the critical information needing-- that they need to be able to contact customers, like the best time of day to call or even up-to-date contact information. . Notifications when contact information changes, to be able to keep your CRM contact database up-to-date and accurate.

26% said that they can't display the company's name or logo on outbound calls. They can't tell the customer who they are. Again, the company's name, even the reason for the call. And so the current state of outbound calling, as well as the technology that businesses are using, are really hurting, both customers and businesses.

And again, our survey respondents, which are decision makers responsible for the outbound call experience are really looking for these technology solutions to help them better manage the call experience. For example, help them better manage the customer contact data and preferences, like time of day to call to help make sure that their business numbers are not blocked or mislabeled as spam. They're looking for solutions to help stop scammers and spoofers from using their numbers in a fraudulent way, so that their customers can better trust calls.

Call Center Operators Want Better Technology

And they want technology solutions to give customers a reason to answer the phone for-- like telling a customer who is calling, the purpose of the call. And again, our survey respondents believe that these solutions will really help improve the customer experience, as well as help them make their operations more efficient. Again, survey data for you. 69% of respondents think that these trusted call solutions will lead customer experience gains.

61% expect to see improved customer retention. OK, so you really have to think about improving the outbound call experience. And there's lots of reasons to better manage the outbound call experience, from increased customer satisfaction, customer confidence, nurturing your customer relations, to making your operations more productive and more efficient.

Customer Experience Impacts Retention

But the overarching reason that you want to focus on better managing your outbound call experience is because your customers expect you to do so. Customer experience is a core company strategy. That's the first slide-- the first data slide I showed, where our survey taker said that customer experience is a core company strategy. It's their top priority.

And your outbound operations have to deliver experiences in line with customer expectations. And so this means you need to understand how each individual customer wants to receive communications. Preferred phone number, best time to talk. Again, if you're able to deliver upon a customer's expectations, you'll keep them as a customer. They'll be more likely to buy from you, they'll be more likely to be an advocate for your brand, your products and services, and all these three dimensions of loyalty positively impact your top line revenue.

So with that, I'm to turn it over to Jason to talk about your solutions and get your perspective on what I just said.

Thank you very much, Kate. I appreciate that. That's some great insight that you brought to us. And what I'm hearing from Kate say, is that outbound dialing remains a very critical channel for engaging your consumers, and yet, outbound dialers are facing a number of uphill challenges in ensuring that those messages reach the consumers that they were intended to at the time that they were intended to.

Build Trust with Customer Intelligence

And building that trust back into the system requires having better intelligence on who and how to reach consumers. At Neustar we view that in terms of four different categories of challenges. Who you should contact, because they represent someone most likely to answer your call. What number you should use when calling that consumer. What time of day and day of week you should contact them for the greatest likelihood that they'll pick up. And how you can ensure that your calls are not being improperly blocked or spam mislabeled.

Now, unfortunately because of our unique data assets and technology, including powering over 90% of caller ID in the United States, at Neustar, we're able to use predictive phone behavior insights to assist our customers along each of these different dimensions. Let's start with the who to call. So our customers need to prioritize the most contactable accounts, and by using these predictive phone behavior insights, we can analyze the phone usage to score the best accounts.

In those accounts with high usage characteristics are scored high, those with lower score accordingly, and then the counts, which there's no usage in last year, can be eliminated entirely. So now we know who to call, and that's step number one. The second step is knowing what number to use when dialing those accounts. Now, because we can drill down into each individual account, we can prioritize the numbers within those accounts according to contactability.

For example, the five numbers shown here are connected to a single account. Neustar analyzes the phone quality of these five numbers, and then reprioritizes numbers based on the ones that are most likely to be answered, and also indicates which number should not be dialed at all. So now you know who to call, what number to use, but sometimes you don't have the ideal number. Maybe the person has changed their number and no longer uses the one that you have on file, or maybe they originally signed up using their landline, but they actually prefer their cell phone and haven't updated their account.

This is another place where Neustar start can help. We'll take the non contactable accounts, provide additional phone numbers for those accounts, and now some of those non contactable accounts have become highly contactable. That's the who to call and what number to use. The when to call.

Neustar further analyzes those numbers to determine the best time to contact those accounts based on predictive insights on when those phones are most active, both the time of day and the day of the week. So here's an example, where the middle column represents when dialers currently dialing an account, versus when they should be dialing those accounts in the last column. And based on that, you can set an optimized plan for workforce scheduling during the ideal window when consumers will most likely answer their phones. And that means reduced resource costs and even higher right party contact rates.

I'm going to turn it now to my colleague, Jonjie to talk about a few more solutions that address right party contact rates and build trust back into system.

Thank you, Jason. So just following up on some of the areas that Kate was talking about, another part of what we address is really trying to address this call blocking issue. So in response to a lot of the robocalls and fraud that Kate mentioned, carriers have started rolling out a lot of these anti-robo call solution sets. And the issue, as we've highlighted though, is sometimes some of those calls-- those legitimate calls, those callbacks, those notifications that Kate mentioned, they're sometimes being flagged as spam, as you might see in some of the images here, or there getting blocked.

And the challenge here is that the business may not know that this is in fact going on. So the caller name optimization is a mechanism that we provide that allows legitimate callers to register their information so that one, they can manage and dictate how their name should show up when they call users to address the unknown issue, but they also make sure that we register this information with the ecosystem with carriers and the mobile apps, so they don't get incorrectly flagged or blocked. We also can apply that same ability to do what we call the do not originate calls.

Smarter Inbound Number Strategies

One of the best practices we see is using inbound only numbers for contact, but then making sure that you don't dial outbound for some of those numbers, because when that is seen, we could actually stop those calls or inform the carrier community to block those calls. Finally, we provide what we call a brand protect. We're looking at the caller name associated with your outbound calls. We can look for people that provide similar names, maybe registering, not your numbers, but their own as a means to hijack the caller ID.

So this is something that's been pretty well deployed across many different industries and we're seeing really positive impacts on those answer rates. 15% to 30% is not an uncommon improvement we've seen depending on the industries that we've been working with. And really to look where the call experience or the digital experience that Kate is talking about is evolving. Fundamentally, we still want to match how the digital experience has evolved and bring that back to the phone calls.

And so one of the areas that's starting to deploy now and we're an active pilot with several enterprises in here is to take advantage on that mobile screen, and provide personalized information, maybe display logos or the name of the person that's calling, as well as additional context. What's the purpose of the call, why are you calling back, and provide that information.

At the end of the day, the primary goal here is that rich content is really to inform the user and let them make the choice to pick up the call and thus, improve answer rates, and it goes well beyond answer rates. It goes into addressing the information that they're asking for. Those are the two I was covering today, Jason. Back to you.

Thank you so much Jonjie. Because Neustar grew up as an identity company addressing the internet handling global DNS, managing over 90% of caller ID in the US, as I mentioned before, we have significant experience and insight working with these top brands to bring trust back into the outbound call. And it's the reason that Neustar was the CODiE award winner for the best customer relationship management solution. We help brands make those trusted connections at the moments that matter most.

Q&A

So with that, I'd like to turn it back over to our moderator, and we can begin Q&A.

All right, thank you, Jason. And ladies and gentlemen, if you haven't already submitted a question, please, this is your time. So use the QA moderation tool on the left-hand side. Just type your question into the lower field, and then be sure to hit Submit to get that question placed in the queue. We do have a number of questions that have come in, and I will turn the floor over to Jonjie to begin moderating this.

Is outbound polling still relevant?

Thank you, Phil. So just picking up some of these questions here. I'm going to throw it out to some of our speakers here. I'm just going to pick through a couple of these that's say is outbound polling still relevant given the amount of self-service and other digital channels? I think, Kate, this is something that you were covering earlier. Could you expand on this a little bit?

Yeah, yeah. I think we talked about it a lot on the webinar, where customers go to self-service as a first point of contact with a company, because self-service provides that easy way to be able to get straight forward information from a company. And our data, Dimension Data's data all show that self-service and digital volumes are growing. But what's also happening is that the more important calls, for example, or more important contacts. For example, if a customer isn't able to find what they're looking for on the website, they need to be-- they escalate to the voice channel.

Or if it's a sensitive issue, or if it's an emotionally laden issue. The voice channel is the channel-- the preferred communication channel. So you may look at overall volumes, and yes, self-service and digital volumes are exploding, but voice still remains. And the most important channel for the harder questions, the emotionally laden questions, the questions where you or the interactions where you are exchanging sensitive information or time-- or you need timely follow up, and the voice channel is so important that it has a disproportionate impact on overall customer experience.

If you get those voice interactions right, a customer-- that interaction has, again, a much larger impact on customer retention and ultimately, revenue, than being able to get a very simple self service interaction right.

Why aren't consumers answering calls?

Excellent. Thank you, Kate. So I see an interesting follow up that goes along the lines of what you're answering. And if these are high-priority and they're so important, why aren't and consumers answering the call?

It's because of everything we talked about. Customers are increasingly annoyed with-- they're being spammed, they're being flooded with robocalls, they don't understand who is calling, and they have been trained not to answer the phone. And because they don't know who's calling, they don't know the purpose of the call, more likely than not, they won't call because the call most companies call experience is suboptimal compared to, for example, the experience that you get on other channels.

I've just seen two inputs that came by that are more comments, but I'd love your reaction to this Jason and Kate, and it says, while communication costs are trending to zero, voice is becoming priceless. And then it adds, just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a conversation is worth a thousand texts. That is a very positive perspective on this. I am curious on your reaction to those comments.

Yes, yes, absolutely. I couldn't agree with that more. And Kate has echoed a lot of these comments earlier, but there is definitely a trend toward wanting to automate and maintain within the system conversations that can be handled in an automated way or through chat bots or other types of systems. But at those moments that matter most, when customers really need to communicate, when they really need to understand, when they need to connect with the brand, nothing replaces voice except perhaps in person.

And what we've seen even as-- you would assume that younger generations are going to phase out calling. And certainly, they are more comfortable with alternative technologies than perhaps older generations are, but it's the exact same pattern. As soon as they need to have a communication because it's a sensitive issue, or they don't trust the information that they're providing will be used in a fraudulent way, they want to talk to a person. So that need for voice remains constant no matter what the generation is and no matter what the location is.

Excellent. Kate, did you want anything to add to that?

No, I think Jason covered it. I mean, our data shows the same thing. I mean, think about it. If you have a condition and you have your prescription that your doctor ordered isn't covered by your insurance-- how are you going to be able-- what's the best way to understand that? I'm not going to a website, I'm not chatting with a claims agent. It's being able to pick up the phone and have a discussion with someone.

So again, the phone call is-- there is nothing that replaces that the intimacy of a phone conversation for important, sensitive issues, and I really like those two sentences that you started the question with, where the voice comes priceless. Absolutely true.

What is a trusted call solution?

Absolutely. And so I have another question here. Jason, this looks a little bit more targeted to some of the solutions you talked about, so it's asking here, what is a trusted call solution? How does this affect the other call experience?

So just to call a solution it's a concept, right? It's a concept that embodies a lot of what we're talking about, and it's about understanding your customer enough that you can reach them-- well, first of all, reach them correctly, right? Because we want to make sure that knowing that CRM databases constantly are going out-of-date, that you're working with an identity provider who can keep the information correct so you don't risk TCPA violations, for instance.

But also that you're calling them at the time they want to be contacted using the number they prefer to indicate with, and that they can trust the call, because when they're receiving the call, it's not showing up as blank. It's not showing up as spam. It's not being blocked entirely because of some type of spoofing or fraudulent event that has happened before.

What we've seen is that customers do want to trust whether it's a pharmacy calling them or a bank fraud department calling them, they want to trust those calls again. Utility companies have found that if they're not able to get through to the customer, there's enormous costs, in not only in terms of truck roll, but in terms of customer satisfaction. Those customers want to know if their electricity is about to be shut off.

So trust and call solutions embody ensuring your CRM hygiene is at the highest possible level, that you have predictive intelligence on what number to use when to call, and also that all the elements of call blocking, spam tagging, and making sure your call display is proper are all up to speed. All those things together will restore trust back into the call.

What anti-robocall legislation is helping to protect calls?

Thank you, Jason. So there's another question here now. I think this is more about regulations, and it's asking, how has anti-robo call legislation affect the call experience? What are some of the regulations we should be aware of to protect the calls?

Jason, I have an opinion on some of these areas as well, but what's your take-- is there something that you'd like to add around the regulatory aspect of this?

You know what, Jonjie, why don't you take this one?

So I think the questions, I think, were pretty well highlighted by some of the surveys that Kate mentioned, that a lot of the-- so let's talk. The anti-robocalls scenarios there's actually a couple of these are probably referring to. So one of them is what the FCC has mandated, and asking carriers to deploy solutions to protect consumers. There's really been two primary responses we've seen from carriers.

One is the rollout of robo call analytics or solutions that try to understand each call, potentially flag it, and maybe block it. And currently, the other one that people are talking about now is the idea of call authentication or using digital certificates for phone calls. In terms of what that impacts the call experience, for the most part, what's happening is if that is not done completely accurately, then the legitimate calls are getting blocked, and we've seen some pretty rough numbers with the already low contact rate.

And Jason, I think you and I have seen sometimes 3%, 5% effective contact rates, but we're also hearing that some of that is falling even more in the last year to about an additional 20% drop. Again, it depends on the industry, but with a question about the specific regulations, I think there are two. And they're not legislations yet, but they are in front of both chambers of the US Congress.

So the Congress, for example, has been looking at the stopping bad robocalls act, and the Senate has looked at something similar called the trace act. And in most of these cases, they're really talking about the ability to provide these capabilities to actually stop the calls, and it does a couple of things. One, it raises the penalty for making a lot of these calls, and two, they're starting to push for the deployment of a lot of these analytics as well as the stirred/shaken technologies to get deployed.

The acts are approved. They're approved in their respective chambers, but I think the general feeling is that in the industry, many of these will probably become law by the end of the year. Kate or Jason, did you want to comment or add onto any other regulatory questions?

The only other thing I'd mentioned, and this is a tangent off of the robo calling and spoofing is those who make up on outbound dials that volume are also seeing regulations limiting the number of attempts that they can make, which has shifted the focus from quantity to quality. If you know, for instance, you can only make seven outbound dials by law, it's all the more important that when you do so, you know exactly who you're contacting, that somebody is going to answer the phone, and that you're using the right number and calling at the right time.

So all these things in combination, in addition to the legislation you're just talking about have put the emphasis back on ensuring that this is a trusted connection and a trusted call.

And I think Jason, you and I started to see that a lot of the regulations are starting to conflate the idea of TCPA or the appropriateness of calls and actual robocalls. So you're starting to see, both a compliance requirement, as well as this customer experience requirement that we've been talking about today and many of these laws are starting to tie the two together. It's not clear exactly how that will shape up, but that's where it's going.

So we are at a minute to go. I wanted to see if there were anything else that we needed to do before we sign off. Phil, I'll pass it back to you.

All right, thank you, Jonjie. And thank you Kate and Jason for your presentations and information. I just want to thank the audience, and before we do sign off today, we will send you to this quick post-event survey. Just be aware of that I want to find out a little bit more about what you'd like to hear about in sessions in the future.

So thank you again for your time today, and feel free to disconnect and have a great remainder of your day.

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