In the early days of the telephone, the ability to have a real conversation with anyone over long distances was a treasured moment.
Let’s take a look at the future of phone communication
Today, the typical phone call mill is a run of conversation – one that is often even worse – a spam caller. Uninvited spam accounts for 54% of all phone calls received in the recent past.
Whether they’re a slew of schemes to steal someone’s social security number, a new wireless plan, or a lie about your car’s warranty expired, spam calls can come up all the time.
What is Spam Call?
Spam calls are unwanted, unrelated phone calls made to a large number of people who have not shown interest in receiving them. Spam calls are unpleasant, aggravating and annoying. However, they are harmful. It’s quite risky. Spam callers are trying to cheat you. The number given to you by the Social Security Administration or your credit card information or your entire life savings can be stolen from you via spam calls.
The United States has a high rate of caller spam – the US is the 8th most spammy place in the world. Its citizens receive over 175 million robberies every day – which equates to 2,034 calls every second! The problem goes beyond just being an annoyance; In 2020, phone scams cost Americans $10 billion. It’s no surprise that 90% of people no longer pick up unknown numbers because they know what’s likely to happen next.
Unfortunately, the effects of spam can crush the operations of reputable businesses, as reaching current and potential customers is essential to their survival. Scammers often spoof real numbers to make their lies more convincing.
Unwanted communication includes, but is not limited to, unwanted calls or messages, caller ID spoofing, robocalls and other forms of spam.
What is Caller ID Spoofing?
The method of converting the caller ID to a number other than the actual caller number is known as caller ID spoofing. When a caller deliberately falsifies the transmitted information to hide the number from which they are calling, it is known as caller ID spoofing.
A common version of this is known as neighbor spoofing. The process is extremely cheap, difficult to trace, and nearly impossible to police them.
Neighbor spoofing is a type of spoofing in which robocallers display a number that looks close to you on your caller ID so that you can pick up the phone.
To protect users, many phone carriers set up spam algorithms. Despite the intent of these algorithms and efforts, many legitimate business phone numbers have fallen into the “scam-prone” trap.
Thousands of business calls are falsely flagged as spam every single day. Be it high volume of calls, sometimes false complaints submitted by customers, or lead blocking, many of the things that spam algorithms unfortunately apply to regular business phone numbers.
What comes next when previous efforts weren’t enough?
Enter the STIR/SHAKEN revolution, a new set of laws hoping to restore trust in phone communications. It’s a revolution that’s been over a year in the making: In March 2020, the TRACED Act became law, requiring voice providers to do more to reduce robocalls. 15 months later in June 2021, STIR/SHAKEN has been set up to implement Caller ID authentication to combat spoofing and robbery. Every service provider is expected to adhere to the new standards set for them.
HOW STIR/SHAKEN WORK?
How is the new system different from the current algorithm? There are some additional verification measures to improve the confidence in the call for what it’s worth. Whenever a business makes an outbound call, the phone carriers send their number to receive authentication.
The certification system can choose between 3 possible ratings.
- An absolute rating (which would be an A rating) is the highest possible validation. This means that both a customer and their phone number are verified.
- Below the A rating is a Level B rating, which will be a partial verification. This rating goes to calls in which the customer is verified but does not have a phone number. So the lowest rating is C rating.
- These are C rated call gateway calls whose origin could not be authenticated. Once a rating is given, caller ID at the receiver end can show whether the call is verified or potentially spam.
Almost everyone has benefited from the new system. Spoofing is now more traceable than ever. Legitimate businesses are able to proceed normally with their verified rating. Most importantly, customers know which calls they can trust.
For businesses that are still concerned about false flags such as spam, there are additional steps the company can take. Accreditation of one’s FFC business profile can help, as can one’s number validated by a professional company. Always monitor numbers in use for red flags, switch numbers to low call volumes, and switch between hot and cold leads to maximize the likelihood of a response.
Cloud based sales acceleration platform and power dialer, fully supported by STIR/SHAKEN compliance. They can help their customers obtain A-level verification quickly and easily.
This establishment of trust increases answer rates and leads to higher quality conversations. More than regulation compliance, it can also increase calling efficiency without putting the customer experience on the chopping block. They don’t leave room for call drops or awkward pauses at the beginning of each call. Additionally, it blends phone, email and SMS communications to turbocharge productivity. It’s unimaginably easy to get started with, without complicated setup, upfront fees, or ongoing contracts.
It is time to call back with confidence once again and pick up the phone. The magic of having a real conversation doesn’t last forever. With new regulations and smart business practices coming into play, the greatness of phone communication is making a comeback.
The new STIR/SHAKEN law is promising – but will it matter? Some critics of the laws being enacted will tell you that it is not just the laws on the books but the actual enforcement of the laws that will make a difference. Only time will tell how STIR/SHAKEN will apply in practice, as it is still a very new law.
Learn more about the future of phone calls and how STIR/SHAKEN will change the game in the visual deep dive below:
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the founder and president of Nowsourcing, an industry-leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH, that works with companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 500. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016–present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.