Nov 29, 2021

What they don’t tell you about your number reputation and management

Your phone rings. You glance down at your desk to see your phone display “Possible Spam,” then turn back to your monitor and send that email without another thought. Robocalls like this get completely ignored these days. But what if that wasn’t a robocall? What if it was a reminder about an appointment? Opportunity (and appointment) missed.

You need to know the facts about your phone number reputation to avoid spam mislabeling. It has a significant impact on business and customer experience. For any business doing outbound calls, a good number reputation is essential.

Phone number reputation can go by many similar names, among them: 

  • Number reputation 
  • Caller ID reputation 
  • Phone number reputation 

Caller ID reputation has changed a lot in recent years and misconceptions abound. Let’s examine what it is, why it matters, and what your IT team can do about it.

What call labeling is and how it affects your number reputation

Call labeling – born from the rise of robocalls – is a result of terminating providers trying to keep customers happy by trying to identify spam. Terminating providers outsource the call labeling process to analytic engine platforms. These platforms help determine a legitimate call from an illegal call.

No system is perfect. The call labeling process can make mistakes, mislabel your calls, and ruin your number reputation. 

Many different sources contribute to number reputation and call labeling

Analytic engine platforms use AI and lots of data to determine a spam label. Data includes: 

  • STIR/SHAKEN  
  • Call volume 
  • Time of day calling 
  • Duration 
  • Originating call location 

As mentioned, analytic engine platforms don’t always hit the mark. They can sometimes allow illegal traffic through and stop legitimate traffic.

For example, imagine a legitimate call made from a different country late at night with a confusing message. That call might get a negative reaction from the recipient. This type of call could be marked as spam for many reasons.

STIR/SHAKEN plays a role

STIR/SHAKEN authenticates caller ID for providers using three levels of confidence, or attestations. There are three levels of attestation: 

  • Full Attestation (A) has a verified source and phone number 
  • Partial Attestation (B) has a verified source but not the phone number 
  • Gateway Attestation (C) has neither verified 

It’s possible that both legitimate and illegal calls can receive any attestation level – or none at all. So, while analytic engine platforms do pull data from STIR/SHAKEN, this process alone doesn’t define call labeling. 

Reputation data is a factor 

Reputation data is crowd-sourced data from call recipients. Call recipients often have the ability to provide feedback about a call directly from their device. You might have even tapped the “mark this call as spam” button yourself. This feedback can devastate a number’s reputation. 

All major providers use your number reputation

If your calls get labeled as spam, then you might not get through to your recipient at all. Most major providers block, filter, label, or screen incoming calls. Some, like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, even provide an elevated, paid version of screening.

Your number reputation matters 

The price of missed calls can be high. You could see a 20-30% drop in call contact rates if your calls get mislabeled by the analytic engine platforms and your number reputation goes down. Providers might block your call, or recipients might ignore anything indicating spam. Either way, answer rates plummet with a negative label.

Missed touchpoints result in a poor customer experience and lost revenue. Take the first step to solve the issue now, before it gets worse.

Take the first step now

There’s no way to instantly clean up your phone number reputation. But, by working with a reputation management partner like IntelePeer, you can correct your call labeling. We’ll manage providers, analytics companies, and call-blocking apps for you. 

With a high degree of success, these services can help with: 

  • Registering your numbers with analytic platforms 
  • Accessing and monitoring your reputation data 
  • Removing Negative labeling automatically 
  • Creating visibility into number reputation with reporting and analytics 

Number reputation and call labeling consider many different factors, but all may be flawed. It’s important to identify and manage your reputation before answer rates plummet and revenue takes a turn for the worst. Fixing the situation is one reputation manager away.  

Editor’s Note: Information in this blog provided by Numeracle.

AttestationMeaningExamples
Full Attestation (A)The originating carrier knows which customer placed the call and knows the customer is authorized to use the caller id.Calls from consumers homes and handsets. Calls from businesses where the originating carrier assigned the phone number to the business (or the business ported their numbers to the originating carrier).
Partial Attestation (B)The originating carrier knows which customer placed the call but does not know whether the customer is authorized to use the caller id.Calls from businesses where the business sources their phone numbers from a different provider, or where the business distributes their calls over multiple carriers.
Gateway Attestation (C)The carrier does not know which customer placed the call.International calls to the US or Canada (calls are attested by a transit carrier because the originating carrier did not apply STIR/SHAKEN).