STIR/SHAKEN is a standard that was implemented in September 2022. This new standard has impacted outbound call answer rates. Many companies are facing challenges with high call volumes and this new requirement for communications. But what is this new standard and how does it affect your business? Here’s what you need to know.
Caller ID was created many years ago as a way to identify who was calling and where they were from. Some caller ID programs display numbers only. Others display names and numbers. There are many that can’t identify calls so they’ll label them as:
Sometimes, these calls aren’t spam or unknown, but a company the consumer actually wants to talk to. This new rule from the FCC is making sure that consumers know who’s calling so they can respond accordingly.
If you want, you can also outsource to a team like Smith.ai for help with your outreach campaigns, inbound and outbound calling, and more. That way, you can always trust that your team is up to date on the latest standards and protocols.
Now, let’s dive into this new standard and what it can do for you.
This framework of standards is interconnected and designed to validate calls before handing them off, reducing the number of spam calls and spoof calls that use other numbers to reach leads with unscrupulous marketing practices.
Essentially, these acronyms are focused on adding signatures to calls and validating them through multiple carriers during the communication transmission process. The end result is that phone companies can now verify that the number on the caller ID is correct and not being used maliciously or deceptively.
As part of this new effort, the FCC requires providers to implement this standard in their IP (Internet Protocol). Small service providers were put on a timeline to implement by the end of June 2023, as were gateway providers. The FCC has put a requirement in place that every company should have a mitigation plan to protect consumers from robocalls and illegal communications.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the rules and guidelines for all communications, both international and domestic, through wire (telephone), radio, satellite, cable, television, and other avenues. Their goal is to promote connectivity and create a competitive market while delivering the safe, protected solutions that consumers need.
This new standard is just another way that the FCC is working to protect consumers and make sure that companies are truly working to get their business.
Call authentication is all about verifying the origin of a phone call. This makes it much more difficult to engage in spoofing and spam calls, which is why the FCC likes to highlight it as much as they can. When calls come into your business, they should read on the caller ID who they’re from. In the same way, consumers should be able to see on their caller ID that you are the one contacting them.
When people get authenticated calls that they know they want, they’re that much more likely to respond and engage. It will also remove the risk of leaving a bad taste in people’s mouth with cold outreach and less-reputable efforts that some newcomers take on without realizing what they’re doing.
Your reach rate refers to how frequently you reach out to leads and how you communicate with them. It’s also called a contact rate in some places, but the metric is the same:
How many people are you reaching with your outbound communications?
How many people are you reaching with your inbound communications?
Are you reaching the right people?
How can you know?
Having a strategy for reaching out to leads (and responding when they reach out to you) will be critical to your success here. It’s another chance to step up your game when it comes to quality and deliver a better experience for your visitors across the board.
To figure out your reach rate, simply divide the number of people who were reached by the total number of calls made. For example:
1,000 calls / 350 customers reached = 35% reach rate
500 calls / 200 customers reached = 40% reach rate
Having a strategy also allows your team to get better outcomes, hit more conversions, and create a better customer journey because you are contacting people in a way that’s agreeable to them and in line with the new FCC rules.
Along with the new FCC rules, your business can do several different things to improve its reach and ensure that customers are getting the communication they deserve. These include things like:
We live in a world where most people won’t just pick up the phone to see who’s calling. Therefore, if your leads aren’t expecting you, they could miss the opportunity. Therefore, the biggest way to improve your reach rates is simple:
Make sure that people want the outreach you’re giving.
Yes, you can still use cold lead generation tactics and generate leads from other sources, but if you’re connecting on the phone, you need to know the contact is wanted. The good news is that if you’re using the STIR/SHAKEN standard, you’re going to be one step ahead in this area.
At Smith.ai, we take pride in keeping up with the latest best practices for marketing and outreach campaigns, including the new STIR/SHAKEN model. If you’re looking for a better way to field calls and leads, the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai have you covered. We can assist with 24/7 phone answering to ensure that you never miss a lead, and even offer support for lead intake and appointment scheduling.