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September 4th, 2018

Transforming the Contact Center to Reach More Customers

Despite all the technological innovations of the past few decades and the explosion of new options for business and customers to communicate with each other, a phone call still plays a vital role in maintaining strong customer satisfaction. Research shows that when it comes to discussing high-value or complex issues, resolving problems, or conveying sensitive information, a phone call is still the top channel of choice for consumers over social media, email and chatbots.

In fact, research shows that 65% of consumers prefer to use the phone to contact a business compared to only 24% who say they would rather use a web forum. Overall, around $1 trillion dollars in consumer spending each year is influenced by phone calls.

But there’s a problem. People just don’t trust incoming phone calls anymore. In fact, 88% of all business calls go unanswered these days, and when you factor in calls that go to the wrong number due to incorrect customer data, right-party contact rates are dragging along at a dismal 3%.

So what is making it so incredibly difficult to reach customer by phone? There are a host of factors — starting with trying to keep up with ever-changing consumer data. People’s information is changing faster than ever before. Neustar data shows that, on average, 37% of people have at least one change in their name, home address, or phone number in a single year and an estimated 5%-15% of typical CRM data can change in a single month. Unless a company is regularly updating its customer and prospect data, the inaccuracies mount incredibly quickly. How can a brand expect its contact center to connect with customers if the reps are using incorrect or incomplete information?

And then there’s the issue of those unwanted, illegal robocalls. The onslaught now totals close to 3 billion robocalls to U.S. consumers every month. Between robocalling, phone spoofing and other fraud scams, incoming phone calls are now more of a nuisance than an effective means of communication. Upwards of $350 million is lost to call scams each and every year in the U.S. and fraudsters are 10 times more likely to use the phone as their scam channel of choice. Who can blame consumers for not wanting to pick up their phone anymore?

How Robocalling and Call Blocking Can Impact Contact Center KPIs

Lower Customer Satisfaction

Higher Cost of Service – Agent Productivity

Decreased Right-Party Contact Rates

Increased Operational Costs

More Risks to Regulatory Compliance

Damaged Brand Trust

The FCC Decides to Step In

Unwanted robocalls were the No. 1 complaint filed by consumers to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2017. So in an effort to combat the problem, the FCC took action and announced a plan in November 2017 that allowed communication service providers (CSPs) to block calls that look fraudulent based on the number where the call was originating, along with other factors. This would include calls from numbers that are invalid, unassigned to a provider or a customer, or from Do-Not-Originate (DNO) numbers that are not supposed to be making outbound calls.

Good for everyone, right? Unfortunately, not quite. While the new call blocking rules may very well start reducing the volume of robocalls, there has been some collateral damage. Legitimate business calls to consumers may be blocked or mislabeled as spam. As a result, along with the increased popularity and renewed focus of mobile caller ID apps that identity incoming calls as “potential spam”, answer rates have plunged an additional 20% in the past year.

Not only does this hamper the efforts of brands to provide a higher level of customer service, it leaves a negative impression on customers and impact revenue potential. In a recent survey, 75% of consumers expressed frustration at missing important calls and only 18% say they listen to voicemails from unfamiliar phone numbers. This translates into multiple extra calls that relay urgent and critical information such as fraud alerts, appointment scheduling and delivery confirmation. This results in unnecessary expenses incurred for delayed deliveries or installations and missed sales opportunities.

Fortunately, there is a better way.

6 Key Questions for Improving Contact Center Efficiency

Are my CRM records complete, accurate and up-to-date?

What is the best number and time-of-day to reach a specific customer?

How do I avoid my calls being blocked or mislabeled as spam?

How do I improve the odds of my calls being answered?

Is this number at risk for TCPA violations?

How do I reduce the risk of fraud without adding friction?

Neustar’s Contact Center Solutions for Optimizing Outbound Dialing Operations

Our comprehensive approach to helping contact centers reach more customers addresses every aspect of outbound dialing — from proactively pushing changes in CRM records to your database, to ensuring you have the robust phone intelligence needed to improve dialing efficiency and increase right-party contact rates, all while protecting your brand identity and reputation.

Neustar works with leading brands to manage and customize their Caller ID for outbound calls through a centralized online portal and enhancing caller identity with customized brand displays for differentiated and enriched mobile call experiences. In addition, Neustar offers trusted call solutions to mitigate call blocking, phone spoofing and spam tagging.

We grow and guard your business through an industry-leading set of outbound dialing solutions that both optimize dialing strategies for better ROI, and mitigate the financial and brand risks of fraud and TCPA compliance violations.

Deliver Trusted Call Experiences and See Improved Answer Rates

In a recent survey, 88% of consumers confirmed they are more likely to pick up the phone if the caller is identified. That’s why it’s more important than ever to manage and protect your brand’s display for outbound calls.

As the U.S. market leader in caller identity services, Neustar helps businesses to deliver a better and more trusted omnichannel experience, allowing them to reach their customers, while protecting their brand identity.

Neustar has services that can significantly improve the voice call experience for businesses:

Caller Name Optimization

Manage and customize Caller ID for outbound calls through a centralized online portal. Protect phone numbers from call blocking, spoofing and spam tagging.

Update on-demand calling name and number for accurate and consistent call display over landline and mobile phones across 850+ voice service providers and leading caller ID apps.

Designate verified, legitimate business numbers used for outbound calling to prevent inaccurate call blocking or spam mislabeling. Designate verified in-bound only business numbers to prevent them from being abused by call spoofing and damaging your brand reputation.

Branded Call Display

Enhance caller identity with a customized brand display for a differentiated and enriched mobile call experience. Give customers a reason to answer and to engage in the conversation.

Provide expanded name information, business location, title, department

Leverage the mobile screen with logos, images and e-business cards for a rich multimedia display

Add a targeted message to deliver

Better Data Improves Phone Behavior Intelligence Rates, Lowers Compliance Risk

Neustar’s Phone Behavior Intelligence solution offers a more reliable way to validate and verify phone ownership, while also providing predictive consumer contact intelligence — including best phone number to use and best time to call — to drive higher RPC and revenue-per-dial KPIs. Make the right connection the first time, at the right time, and your odds of recognizing revenue increase.

Phone Behavior Intelligence “fills in the blanks” on your CRM records. Traditional data likely provides a few attributes (e.g., name, address, phone number), but provides very little insight into that consumer’s actual phone behavior. With consumers using multiple devices and consumer data constantly changing, having the most up-to-date information is crucial to making a connection.

With the authoritative data gathered from Neustar’s extensive network of trusted sources, you’re able to obtain a 360° view of your consumers to make informed decisions for outbound dialing strategies while also mitigating risk of TCPA violations and fraud.

Why Neustar?

Neustar is the industry leader in consumer identity resolution. The Neustar OneIDsystem leverages hundreds of authoritative data sources, continuously corroborating consumer and device identity with an exceptionally high degree of trust, in near real-time.

Trusted by all of the top 10 U.S. banks and top 10 credit card issuers

Unparalleled coverage of wireless, VoIP, and non-public phone numbers

Unique insight into billions of call transactions

Management of over 90% of the U.S. caller ID market

Precise linkages between a consumer’s name, phone number and phone activity

Consumer data refreshed every 15 minutes

To learn more about Neustar’s outbound dialing optimization, send us an email at risk@team.neustar or call us at 1-855-898-0036.

*This article was also published as part of Destination CRM's Best Practices Series -- 2018 Contact Center Innovations in September 2018.

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