How do consumers react to robocalls, and what are they doing to prevent them? These questions and more are answered in a new survey from Clutch. CEO Martin Senn provided commentary, explaining the benefit of virtual assistants when it comes to robocalls.
More than half of people receive (52%) at least one robocall daily. Overall, Americans received 48 billion robocalls in 2018 - a 60% increase from the year prior.
Robocalls present a massive annoyance to phone owners – and a danger to anyone who happens to fall for the scams robocallers often peddle.
Robocalls also disrupt legitimate communication between individuals and businesses. Nearly 70% of people say they are unlikely to pick up a phone call from a number they do not recognize - a behavior that experts partially attribute to the rise in robocalls, according to a new survey report from Clutch, a leading B2B research firm. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ CEO, Martin Senn, spoke to Clutch about the data, providing industry context.
Individuals and Businesses Taking Steps to Combat Robocalls
What is being done to prevent robocalls? Well, some individuals and consumers take proactive steps to protect themselves.
For example, 60% of people say they block phone numbers to prevent robocalls. This approach is limited in its effectiveness, however - robocallers always have a new number they can call you from.
More proactive methods used by people include signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry (43%) and implementing a third-party screening tool (25%). These methods actively prevent future robocalls – though effectiveness may vary. Almost 70% of people that signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry say that they now receive the same number of or more robocalls.
For businesses, one effective method of robocall prevention is simply investing in an in-house or virtual receptionist that can screen incoming calls, ensuring that legitimate ones get through and robocalls are stopped.
“Businesses should employ qualified in-house or outsourced receptionists that screen all incoming calls properly and ensure proper call routing, communication and productivity throughout a company,” said Martin Senn.
He continued: “It is quite difficult to eliminate robocalls completely, but again, to ensure all incoming calls are properly screened and handled, outsourced call answering services or live receptionist services like Davinci are a great way to front-end all calls, ensure proper screening and allow for quality customer service and availability at all times.”
Davinci’s Live Receptionist Services can potentially save businesses from the robocall invasion.
Spoofing Presents Unique Challenges for Businesses
Businesses face challenges not only from screening incoming robocalls, but also from robocallers who may pretend to call other people from a business’ phone number.
This tactic is known as “spoofing.” Advances in voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) allows robocallers to manipulate caller ID to present any number.
Businesses may receive phone calls from confused customers who believe they were called from their number, when in fact it was a robocaller.
This situation happened to RingBoost, a custom phone number retailer.
“People call back and think RingBoost was calling them,” said Vice President of Marketing Ellen Sluder. “We try very patiently to explain to them what the situation is.”
Sluder explained that the robocalls often asked for sensitive information, such as a Social Security number. This made for an awkward exchange when people called RingBoost back, responding to the robocall.
If this becomes a common issue for a business, it’s important to train those who answer the phone, like virtual receptionist, on how to deal with the issue.