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Article : Caught in the Cross-Fire: Contact Rates Continue to Decline
Recent initiatives launched by the FCC, intended to combat robo-calls, are accidentally blocking legitimate calls from companies innocently trying to reach their customers.
"Clients have seen a 30% drop since last summer on outbound campaigns."– Dean Garfinkel, Quality Voice & Data, Inc., President
In this article we take a closer look at the FCC’s crusade against robo-calls, and how contact centers are being caught in the cross-fire. We’ll cover:
- Why your answer rates continue to drop;
- What you can do to protect yourself; and
- How we’re working to establish a fair playing field for all.
Why your answer rates continue to drop
Robocall Call Processing ("RCP") is a recent initiative launched by the FCC that uses technology to combat illegal and spoofed robo-calls. Unfortunately, this technology is far from perfect.
In fact, contact centers have become the unintended targets of the RCP initiative, resulting in a serious decline in answer rates that will only get worse over time.
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Robo-Call Processing: What You Should Know
- It gives carriers the power to ‘block or label’ any call on their network that they believe¹ to be unwanted or a robo-call.
- ¹Carriers rely on data, that is provided by unregulated, third-party analytic companies, to identify these types of calls on their network.
- The practice of blocking or labeling is when a carrier opts to (i) block a call from ringing on their customer’s phone or (ii) replaces your Caller ID name display with an arbitrary label (i.e., "Scam Likely" or "Robocaller"), without your knowledge or input.
- It does not require transparency from carriers; which means you’ll never know, or be notified, when your calls are blocked or potentially mislabeled.
- In some cases, carriers are returning false busy signals, network congestion signals, and even routing your calls directly to a recipient’s voicemail.
- It does not hold the carriers and analytic companies accountable; which means when a call is mislabeled or incorrectly blocked:
- It is impossible to pinpoint the provider(s) responsible given most calls involve multiple carriers (i.e., the originating carrier, the transit carrier, the terminating carrier); and
- It is impossible to get your Caller ID numbers correctly labeled or unblocked given there is no designated point of contact.
- It gives carriers and analytic companies unwarranted discretion over ‘what constitutes an unwanted or robo-call’, without requiring:
- Standardization; often resulting in mislabeling or blocking of important calls from companies trying to reach their customers; as well as significant inconsistencies across carriers.
- The necessary oversight (from the FCC or otherwise) that is essential to constructing a universal definition and approach to robo-calls.
These unfair practices are costing contact centers significantly. Especially when you consider the time and resources spent by agents redialing numbers that get the same result, a continued busy.
What you can do to protect yourself
"Analytic companies monitor calling patterns [of Caller ID numbers] and look for any changes in behavior. It’s a critical data point that drives their block or label recommendations." – Dean Garfinkel, Quality Voice & Data, Inc., President
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About Quality Contact Solutions:
Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) is a 100% U.S.-based B2B and B2C telemarketing and call center solutions provider. QCS is PCI Level 1 certified, experienced in many different industry verticals, and has 15 different locations in the U.S.
Published: Friday, January 11, 2019
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