If you’re a business doing any kind of automated outbound dialing, you can run into the problem of caller IDs being labeled as “Scam Likely”, especially if you’re calling mobile numbers. This is due to the proliferation of illegal robocalls. In an effort to combat spam and scam calls, carriers, operating systems, and apps have adopted new technology that allows call recipients to flag numbers as “Spam Risk” or “Scam Likely”. When a caller ID shows this information to a recipient, they can choose whether or not to answer.
These technologies have led to a reduction in call answer rates for legitimate calling scenarios. In the United States, a protocol known as SHAKEN/STIR (also STIR/SHAKEN) has been introduced as a means to combat this by allowing calling parties to validate the legitimacy of their telephone numbers and thus reduce the risk of them being flagged as "Spam".
What is SHAKEN/STIR? (United States)
SHAKEN/STIR is an authentication framework introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reduce illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing. By using encrypted digital signatures, information about the calling party is provided (such as the caller’s identity, whether the caller has the right to use the number, etc) to each provider, along a call’s path all the way to the recipient. To be considered an authenticated telephone number, businesses need to go through an attestation process with the originating carrier.
There are 3 levels of attestation:
- Full Attestation: The service provider has authenticated the caller and the caller is authorized to use the calling number.
- The service provider has authenticated the call origination but cannot verify that the caller is authorized to use the calling number.
- The service provider has originated the call on the network but cannot authenticate the call source.
How can you get your phone numbers verified?
If you’re a Talkdesk public switched telephone network (PSTN) service subscriber, Talkdesk has provided you with telephone numbers; if you’re a Talkdesk customer using a Talkdesk phone number, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager to kickstart the attestation process.
If you’re a BYOC customer using your own carrier, you’ll need to reach out to your originating carrier to understand their attestation process.
Other strategies to increase the likelihood of calls being picked up include:
- Multiple Caller IDs: Cycle through a set of valid caller IDs to reduce the total number of calls from a single number.
- Local presence: Obtain a number for every region, state, or area code you’re calling, and automatically change to that caller ID when calling that area.
- User Caller ID Name (CNAM): This displays the name of the calling party, minimizing the risk of someone tagging it as spam.
- Mix warm and cold prospects: Dial a mix of cold and warm prospects from the same line to help improve your overall rate of successful connections.
- Area mixing: Mix up the geographic area you are calling to spread calls over as many receiving carriers and call blocking systems as possible.
- Minimize abandonment rates: If you’re running a dialer, reducing your abandonment rate will reduce the likelihood you’ll be flagged as spam by a consumer.
- Register your number: Register your number with major caller ID reputation registries. Here is an example.
- Consistent phone number usage: Avoid using the same telephone number for multiple purposes.
- Comply with “Do Not Call” lists: Comply with the national registry of DNC lists and the DNC list for your own business.
- Keep your lists up to date: Remove phone numbers that don’t connect.