When phone calling was new, it was a wondrous way for people to have real conversations across long distances. Nowadays, the average phone call contains no conversation at all. On average, 54% of all phone calls received are uninvited spam. Whether it’s for stuff one doesn’t need or lies about a car warranty, spam has become the norm for phone calls. America is the 8th most spammed place in the world, receiving nearly 46 billion robocalls a year. Worse than being a nuisance, phone scams also swindle Americans out of $10 billion every year.
The problems of phone spam for consumers are known and felt everywhere. Less acknowledged are the effects spam can have on reputable businesses. When scammers spoof real phone numbers to build on their lies, they are difficult to trace and impossible to police. To better warn call recipients, phone carriers established spam algorithms. A good idea on its own, but many legitimate businesses have been flagged as “scam likely” under the system. Thousands of business calls are incorrectly flagged every day, harming their daily operations. Be it a high call volume, customer complaints, or lead blocking, several aspects of spam algorithms can be used to inappropriately target businesses.
If current efforts aren’t enough, what can be done to fix the issue? STIR/SHAKEN is a major effort over a year into the making, a revolution that will restore trust in phone communications. In March 2020, the TRACED Act passed into law. This new law targets voice providers in an effort to crack down on robocalls. In June 2021, STIR/SHAKEN will begin to take effect, implementing caller ID authentication to combat spoofing and robocalls. All service providers are expected to go along with the new standards.
How does STIR/SHAKEN build upon the existing system? It adds a few extra steps to achieve better attestation levels. Whenever a business places an outbound call, their phone carrier sends their number into a system for authentication. The authentication system can assign the call 1 of 3 ratings. An A rating stands for full authentication, meaning both customer and number were verified. One step down is a B rating, or partial authentication. The customer was verified in a B rating, but their number was not. The worst rating is C, for gateway calls. Their call origination was not authenticated by the system. Once an accurate rating is assigned, caller ID on the receiving end may show if a caller is verified or likely spam.
The benefits of the new system reach everyone. Spoofed calls are now more traceable than ever. Legitimate business can be verified in their calling activities. Most importantly, consumers know which calls they can trust.
Should a business want to further reduce their risk of being labelled spam, there are additional steps a company can take. They could have their number validated by professionals, rotate numbers to reduce call volume per number, or mix up hot and cold leads to maximize their response chances. Cloud based power dialer and sales acceleration platform have stepped up to fully support compliance with STIR/SHAKEN, helping their client businesses attain A-level attestation with ease. This can boost calling efficiency without sacrificing customer efficiency, eliminating dropped calls and awkward pauses at the start of each call. Most importantly, they help businesses establish trust, increasing answer rates and high quality conversations.
So call with confidence. Put the real conversations back into phone calls. Recapture the magic calling had when it was new.