Nope, it’s not just you – robocalls have been lighting up our phones at an annoying frequency, and there’s no sign of a slowdown. In 2019, it’s expected that nearly half of all calls will be spam robocalls, so if your business depends on phone calls as a main communication source for your audience, it’s time to set up alternate channels. Here’s why robocalls could be a problem for your business and what you can do about it.
Why are robocalls calls on the rise?
If you’re unfamiliar, let’s first answer the question: What is a robocall? Robocalls are automated phone calls with a pre-recorded message. They can be sent by entities such as telemarketers, political parties or scammers disguised as another service.
The rise in robocalls starts with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and how it classifies phone calls as a Telecommunications Service. This label provides carriers with a limited ability to block spam robocalls from reaching our phones every day. Unsurprisingly, robocalls are the FCC’s top consumer complaint.
Major companies have taken it upon themselves to tackle the issue head on. Google Assistant, for example, lets users screen calls when an unknown number comes through. The virtual assistant will answer the call, ask who’s calling and why, and provide a transcript of the conversation so users can then decide whether to take the call. While this is a step in the right direction, accessibility is limited since it’s currently only available to those with Pixel phones 1, 2 and 3.
While phone carriers are continuously rolling out spam-blocking services, they don’t stop robocalls all together, and spammers are just finding sneakier ways to get us to answer. (One of them is called neighbor spoofing where the number that pops up on a caller ID is altered to make it look like a local call. Read more about it here.)
Consumers and lawmakers have been pushing the FCC to place stricter regulations on robocalls, and the FCC has taken steps to ease the problem, but it may be a while before things get better.
How robocalls affect your business
Not all robocalls are bad news. Many businesses use recorded calls to save time on administrative tasks, like reminding patients to set up an appointment for their yearly checkup or letting customers know that their prescription is ready for pickup.
The problem lies with recipients ignoring calls because now that robocalls are such a nuisance, we’re all being conditioned to not answer our phones. Furthermore, robocalls affect anyone with a cell phone, which leads more people to search the web for advice on how to protect themselves. Among the many tips that appear, a popular one is to simply not answer the phone from numbers we don’t recognize.
How does this affect your business? If you use phone calls to communicate with your audience, you run the risk of being ignored. Playing phone tag only wastes time, and yes, you could leave a voicemail or send an email, but these mediums aren’t very reliable for getting priority messages across.
What your business can do
You can’t replace phone calls, but adding a layer of communication to your customer outreach is a safe bet to ensure your message gets across. We recommend enabling your business phone number for texting. Once your customers have opted in to receive texts, you can send them a message before you call or to replace a call altogether. We think this is the perfect solution for a few reasons.
For one, texting lets the recipient know right away that they’re being contacted by a human or a reliable business rather than a robot. For example, if you need to reach a customer about an appointment reminder, sending a text allows you to identify yourself up front and gives you the opportunity to provide an option to call you back or simply reply to the text.
Texting is still protected from spammers thanks to a recent FCC ruling, making it a non-polluted medium to adopt that won’t annoy recipients. In fact, texting has become a favored medium for consumers of all ages. Your audience wants you to text them, so leverage their preference by incorporating texting into your communication strategy.
The texting tool to use with customers
Don’t let your audience think your calls are just another spam robocall they can ignore. Instead, reach them with Zipwhip’s texting-for-business software. It’s the fast, easy and convenient way to text from your computer and mobile devices using powerful features to streamline workflow and keep teams organized. Check us out with a free trial.