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Connecting with Customers on the Phone: A Fairy Tale or a Dream Come True?

Reach customers fairy tale

Once upon a time, consumers weren’t afraid to answer the phone. But today’s consumers are hesitant to answer due to robocalls, scams and call spoofing.

We conducted a study of 1,517 US consumers aged 18+ to understand how they use the phone channel, their behaviors when receiving phone calls and text messages, and the impact scams have had on that behavior. The results—summarized in our new eBook: Reaching Customers by Phone Feel Like a Fairy Tale?—tell a familiar story. That it’s increasingly difficult to reach customers, and robocalls, call spoofing, fraud are wreaking havoc on contact rates.

But our version has a twist – where enterprises can play the hero. Here’s what we learned.

Why consumers aren’t answering calls

Impersonation scams topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top frauds in 2022, and the phone channel remained a popular choice for bad actors. Nearly 70 million Americans lost approximately $40 billion to a variety of phone scams in 2021. The median loss among victims via the phone was $1,400, representing the highest per person reported losses.

It’s no surprise that consumers are wary of answering the phone. Our research showed:

  • 48% of consumers surveyed said they rarely or never answer the phone if they’re unsure who’s calling
  • 73% don’t answer calls from unknown callers because they assume it’s a robocall where someone is trying to sell them something
  • 66% are concerned it could be a scam
  • 61% received at least one call where the caller seemed to be impersonating someone else (call spoofing) or was NOT who they claimed to be

A few said they don’t need to answer calls tagged “Unknown Caller” because the caller will leave a voicemail or message if it’s important. None of this is welcome news for companies making legitimate calls.

The costs of missed connections

When customers don’t answer legitimate phone calls, everyone suffers. Enterprises experience poor right-party contact rates, negative customer experiences, decreased efficiency, reduced revenue, and potential damage to their brands — just to name a few.

On the other hand, consumers suffer because they miss important calls they may really need or want. Having to return those calls starts a phone loop that can be frustrating and may wrongly reflect negatively on the enterprise.

73% of consumers reported that they had NOT answered a phone call due to safety/fraud concerns and afterward learned it was a legitimate number calling them.

Read the eBook: Reaching Customers by Phone Feel Like a Fairy Tale?

Be the hero: Protect consumers from phone scams

Currently, only limited options exist for consumers who want to protect themselves from unwanted calls. True protection hinges on steps taken by legislators and communications service providers (CSPs). But enterprises can also play a starring role by using modern customer contact solutions and branded calling.

Branded calling is a win-win solution. For enterprises, it increases right-party contact rates, enhances the customer experience, and deepens brand loyalty.

Consumer responses are a dream – giving enterprises a very clear picture of how they can make better connections and please their consumers.

  • 76% said they would answer calls from businesses with which they do business if the company displayed their name and logo on calls to customers
  • 71% were interested in having the name of the caller (Caller ID service) on their mobile phone.
  • 56% would view a brand more favorably if they added their names and logos to the mobile display
  • 58% would be somewhat or very likely to remain a customer of businesses that verify their calls have not been spoofed and provide name and logo of caller on mobile display

Perhaps most surprising, close to 63% of consumers said they’d pay for a service like branded calling that verifies caller and company name, and authenticates the calls. The good news? It’s free to consumers.

Be the hero with your customers.

Learn how TruContact™ Branded Call Display (BCD) powered by Neustar® lets you add context to calls – and authenticates them with STIR/SHAKEN – so your customers know it’s really you calling and pick up.

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.