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Missed Connection During NFL Draft Highlights Value of Branded Calling: Patrick McMorris thought the Dolphin’s call was spam — so he hung up

NFL spam tagging blog header with man on phone

Prospective NFL players wait their entire lives for a call from a pro team during the draft. When the Miami Dolphins reached out to Patrick McMorris to tell him he’d be chosen as one of their sixth-round picks, he did what many of us do when we receive calls from unknown numbers… he hung up.

When asked why, McMorris told reporters, “I’ve been getting spam calls, and I thought this was just another one because I picked up and nothing went through for a couple seconds, so I hung up.”

Like McMorris, so many of today’s consumers are wary of answering the phone. In fact, our research shows close to 90% of enterprise calls to customers go unanswered due to fear of robocalls, call spoofing and fraud, or just not trusting who’s really calling. That said, it’s usually not NFL job offers that have consumers worried! But, fraudulent phone scams are becoming more complex and sophisticated — and  easier to fall for.

In a recent Forbes Tech Council article, James Garvert, Senior Vice President, TruContact™ Communications Solutions for TransUnion, said:

“It’s getting more and more difficult to keep up with fraudsters who are committing increasingly sophisticated scams involving multiple channels— including phone calls, SMS, email and beyond — as part of a complex process to take advantage of consumers. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers lost over $10 billion in fraud in 2023. Imposter scams — which grew 71% from 2021–2023 — were the number one way consumers were defrauded in 2023.”

Fortunately, the Dolphins called McMorris back. This time, he answered and got the exciting news he’d been drafted. Enterprise callers often don’t get a second chance.

The cost of missed connections 

When consumers don’t answer legitimate calls, they often miss critical calls they really want. According to our recent consumer survey:

  • 73% of consumers have not answered a phone call due to safety/fraud concerns and afterward learned it was a legitimate call
  • 58% received important calls to their mobile phones in the past three months they didn’t answer because they didn’t recognize the callers

Like consumers, businesses suffer too. These missed connections have real-world reputational and financial impacts. Not getting through to customers translates into poor service, inability to promote the brand, less engagement and relationship-building, and reduced revenue. What’s more, research shows the phone is closely tied to a positive customer experience — which in turn helps businesses meet their top goals.

The many benefits of branded calling

Enterprises from nearly every market segment — from financial services to healthcare to media and entertainment — seek new ways to promote their brands while protecting themselves and customers from fraud. They understand the importance of establishing and building trust using secure branded calling that incorporates STIR/SHAKEN call authentication — which helps ensure calls have not been spoofed. 

TransUnion Branded Call Display (BCD) enables businesses to add rich call content to the mobile display so recipients can decide if they want to answer the phone. That includes caller name, logo, phone number, reason for the call and verification the call hasn’t been spoofed. That kind of identifying information would have let McMorris know it was an NFL team calling him.

Here are five reasons why enterprises may want to consider branding their calls.

  1. Improve engagement by making sure your legitimate calls aren’t being mistagged as spam or blocked: Our TCS suite has been proven to decrease spam complaints by 90%–100%
  2. Increase incremental income by 28%–32%
  3. Enhance the customer experience and cut costs: Improving a company’s average CX Index Score by just one point can lead to anywhere from $0.50 to $120 in incremental revenue per customer, depending on the industry
  4. Promote and protect your brand: 99% of respondents in a recent Omdia survey said the customer call experience is important to their overall brand perception
  5. Provide a consistent multichannel experience: 45% of respondents in a Forrester Consulting study commission by Neustar, a TransUnion company, said the voice/digital experience is critical to meeting their top five CX goal of better aligning their digital and call strategies

If that doesn't convince you, here's what consumers said when we surveyed them about branded calling:

  • 56% would view a brand more favorably if it added this information to the mobile display
  • 76% of consumers would be likely to answer calls from businesses with which they engage if they displayed their company names and logos

A happy ending for McMorris

Experts speculate the Dolphin’s call to McMorris was likely initiated from a personal number rather than one of the team’s business lines, leading to the confusion. Many professional teams use branded calling for season ticket sales, community outreach, invitations for high-touch experiences for VIPs and sponsors, and team operations, including calls to players and their agents.

By now, Patrick McMorris has likely added the Dolphin’s coaching staff numbers to his contacts. For those hoping to see him play this fall, watch for a branded call from your favorite NFL team selling tickets!

Learn more about how Branded Call Display can help you reach whomever you want to.

Learn more about TruContact Branded Call Display