Sep 8, 2022

Contact centers: How to mitigate inbound spam and robocalls

Robocalls are occurring at a higher rate than ever before. Between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022 U.S. citizens received over 24 billion robocalls. Robocalls are a known frustration for consumers – in fact, 79% of unknown calls are unanswered due to the onslaught of illegitimate calls. (State of the Call (hiya.com)) Consumers aren’t the only individuals that are negatively impacted. Contact center agents experience robocalls, too. And they can’t ignore them.

Robocalls to contact centers are more than just annoying. They also waste precious agent time, consume resources that could be spent on legitimate callers, and increase caller wait times.

The difference between spam calls, scam calls, and robocalls

Many people lump spam calls, scam calls, and robocalls into the same group. In reality, they’re different from each other, which changes how your contact center can handle each case.

Spam call: A type of unwanted call that occurs when a person/organization calls a very large group of people at once.

Scam or fraud call: A type of unwanted call that occurs when a person/organization calls with an illegal intent.

Robocall: A type of automated call that occurs when a person/organization delivers a recorded message. There’s more to robocalls than spam or scam calls:

  • Not all robocalls are bad – they can also be sent by political parties or to provide updates to a group of people.
  • Robocalls fall under spam calls because they are made to a large group of people.
  • If the robocall is also created with illegal intent, like to steal money or data from consumers, it can also fall under the definition of a scam call.
  • Unwanted robocalls often use phone spoofing, which occurs when scammers mask their real number with a fake, known, or local number. The intent behind spoofing is to trick call recipients into answering the call.

So, why does the definition matter? The answer is that some technologies exist to allow contact centers to screen out some robocalls before they reach agents, alleviating wasted time and resources, and decreasing caller wait times.

Mitigating robocalls with inbound spam screening

Contact centers can combat time-consuming robocalls with inbound spam screening, which operates through workflow automation.

IntelePeer’s templated Inbound Spam Protection workflow is part of IntelePeer’s Communication API platform, which helps contact centers modernize without replacing existing infrastructure. In addition to Inbound Spam Protection, IntelePeer’s Communication APIs allow contact centers to integrate customer service automation features like real-time voice, messaging, chat, and more. The Communication API layers over the top (OTT) of the current contact center, turbocharging contact center capabilities without the cost and disruption of moving to a new service provider.

How Inbound Spam Protection works

Inbound Spam Protection assesses every call that comes into the contact center. Because IntelePeer’s Communication API platform layers on top of the contact center, the Communication API interacts with the call first. Calls can be from a human caller or a robocaller. When a call comes in, the workflow will make an API query to an anti-spam engine, which has already conducted an analysis of the calling number based on the nationwide calling pattern from that number. The anti-spam engine will determine if the call has no risk of being spam/scam, is moderate risk, or is high risk. The API query is automatic, adding no perceptible delay to the inbound call.

If the anti-spam engine indicates to the Communication API platform that the calling number is rated as “no risk”, the call moves through to the contact center. If the call is rated as moderate or high risk, a request is sent to the caller to confirm that they are human, such as dialing a certain number to complete the call. For example, the confirmation may be as simple as an instruction to press 1 to talk with an agent. The calls that do not interact and confirm will be directed away from the contact center. Callers that confirm they are human will move through to the contact center without knowing that they were initially marked as a risk.

The advantages of leveraging Inbound Spam Protection

Decreasing inbound spam is beneficial to the organization itself, the agents, and the customers. Inbound Spam Protection can help:

Streamline agent productivity: Eliminating robocalls reduces the time agents spend answering illegitimate calls. Instead, agents can increase their productivity by putting more time towards calls to prospects and customers.

Decrease caller queue time: Using Inbound Spam Protection means customers will spend less time waiting in call queues and decreases the risk of abandoned calls.

Improve contact center data: Robocalls skew metrics; reports can’t tell the difference between a real caller and robocaller, which means that call quantities are inflated, call abandonment rates are artificially high, and average call duration is low. Removing robocalls from the equation cleans up data, so that contact centers can rely on their metrics to make important decisions.

Are you ready to learn more about how IntelePeer’s Communication API platform and Inbound Spam Protection can turbocharge your contact center? Contact us today.

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