Customer data is constantly changing. On average, 5%-15% of a company’s CRM data becomes out-of-sync within a month, and 60% of a CRM is inaccurate within only two years.1 And with over 35 million phone number changes every year in the U.S. alone2 , the task of keeping consumer contact information current and accurate is extraordinarily challenging.
Organizations across a wide range of industries already know the importance of making a personal connection with their customers, because that’s what the modern customer expects. That means providing customers with timely information, whether it’s through text alerts, automated messaging, or interactive voice response. These sophisticated technologies, however, are only as good as the quality of the consumer contact data a company is working with. Inaccurate or incomplete data can put a company at risk for regulatory sanctions, monetary penalties, and harm to its brand reputation—not to mention the operational inefficiency dialing the wrong number represents.
Automated dialing and text messaging are often the fastest and most efficient means to reach customers for appointment reminders, billing, outages, service scheduling, abnormal account usage, or promotional messages. But these methods also pose the highest risk of violating Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations. TCPA requires consumer auto-dialing and/or texting organizations to obtain the consent of the current phone subscriber or customary user — not of the ‘intended recipient’ of a call or text — regardless of whether the phone has been reassigned to another person. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but most consumers aren’t notifying companies when they change their phone number, and their existing consent to text/auto-dial that particular wireless number ends with that number change. Text or dial that number again, and you’re unwittingly at risk of potentially costly fines, litigation and/or negative media coverage.3
Phone numbers are constantly being reassigned from one subscriber to another; approximately 100,000 are reassigned by wireless carriers every day.4 Needless to say, this makes any real-time phone ownership verification process extremely difficult.
Research shows that over 80% of outbound calls go unanswered or ring to the wrong party. Industrywide, right-party contact rates hover at a dismal 3%. Part of the problem is that for decades, contact centers have supplemented their less-than-perfect CRM data with credit bureau/demographic information. Frankly speaking, these sources emphasize quantity over quality, often contain stale data, and have major gaps in coverage (often as high as 40% of phones). Critically, they also lack of any true insight into crucial phone behavior. Want to know the best number to use, or the ideal time to call a customer? You’re out of luck.
But if an organization is able to 1) update and append their existing CRM data with the very latest consumer records, 2) have any changes in a consumer record proactively pushed to them in near real-time, and 3) layer on consumer insights— like best number to use or best time to call— suddenly they are not only able to mitigate their risk of TCPA violation, they’re also able to dramatically improve their RPC rates and revenue per dial. By using better customer data, Neustar has observed client RPC rates improve 18% or more.
Incorrect phone data not only means higher risk of TCPA violation and lower call center efficiencies; it also has a negative impact on the customer experience. Calling the wrong number has the dual effect of annoying a consumer with a call that wasn’t intended for them, as well as missing the chance to provide the right customer with timely information: emergency information, fraudulent account activity, service interruptions, billing updates, or key promotional information.
Customers increasingly expect personalized engagements with call center inquires, which requires both knowing the identity of the caller from the start of the inbound call, and contacting the right customer on the right number at the right time with outbound communications. Despite the extraordinary amount of data gathered by organizations, many companies continue to struggle to identify consumers during the early portion of the interaction. One Neustar client found that by having changes in consumer records proactively pushed to their database, their overall customer satisfaction scores rose 5% in just one year.
Neustar provides unique consumer data intelligence to help some of the largest companies in the U.S. manage customer data to drive operational efficiencies and mitigate compliance risk. With better customer data, companies can instantly identify and verify their customers the moment they contact the call center, ensuring higher IVR containment rates and customer satisfaction. Neustar can score existing phone numbers and append additional consumer intelligence for that contact, such as best number to use and best time to call.
By proactively pushing smart consumer insights and changes in consumer records, such as updated name, phone number, address, email, and other attributes, clients gain a 360° view of the consumer to ensure they are having the right conversation with the right customer, every time.
1. The Marketer’s Identity Crisis - Neustar 2016
2. North American Numbering Plan Administrator Number Resource Utilization/Forecast Reports (average of aggregate numbers for the time period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016)
3. Each TCPA violation represents a potential fine of anywhere between $500 and $1,500 per incident. Some of the most prestigious brands in America have been impacted by multi-million dollar TCPA actions and lawsuits seeking fines and damages, with 4,392 lawsuits filed just in 2017 alone, according to WebRecon.
4. In North America, according to FCC. https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-345473A1.pdf