A recent survey revealed that most people receive at least one robocall per day, and about 40% of people receive more than one a day.

Despite repeated government attempts to regulate automated phone calls, robocalls continue to grow at an alarming rate. Data shows that people are unlikely to answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize.

As a result, many legitimate businesses are negatively affected by robocalls.

In this article, we’ll explain how robocalls are affecting businesses and offer tips to help you work around the challenges.

We’ll also share examples of how some businesses are adjusting their tactics and easing customer concerns along the way.

How Robocalls May Be Affecting Your Business

In this section, we take a look at how robocalls are affecting your customers’ behavior.

Although some automated calls, or “robocalls,” are an attempt to market products, many come from criminals trying to scam private information or money from people.

One of the reasons robocalls are increasing, despite government regulations, is that it can be hard to track down the source of the calls. Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) makes it easy and inexpensive for scammers to alter caller IDs to display a different number than the one they’re calling from.

According to Rick Dionisio, senior vice president of operations for customer phone number retailer RingBoost, “Illegal telemarketing operations could be generating their calls from overseas,” and “That makes law enforcement or fines nearly impossible to levy.”

Robocalls are more than an annoyance – they can pose a danger to any person who engages in conversation.

For example, in 2017/2018, there were 30 complaints filed with the New York City police from people who were scammed out of a collective $3 million.

Other robocalls try to imitate human conversation to provoke a “yes” response that’s recorded and used to try and gain access to utility or bank accounts.

Today, nearly 70% of people avoid answering calls from unknown numbers due to the risks involved, and this creates a challenge for businesses.

Adjust Your Outreach Tactics

One of the challenges businesses face is how to conduct sales outreach when they’re used to picking up the phone to connect with new people.

Some businesses are finding alternative ways to reach out to customers.

For example, Buy Life Insurance now conducts more face-to-face calls instead of prospecting solely by phone.

“Canvassing face-to-face has increased many of my agents’ presentation ratios,” Owner David Duford said. “It allows my agents to integrate good body language to convey trust and rapport, such as eye contact, smiling, and hand-shaking, all of which is inaccessible on a phone call.”

Businesses that rely on phone outreach will need to get creative about new ways to connect with customers. However, this one-on-one human connection can be a positive experience in an age where robots are preventing people from answering their phones.

Businesses may also want to seek outside expertise. If your business is too overwhelmed to conduct professional and personalized phone outreach, outsourced help, like a virtual receptionist, can help.

Pay Special Attention To Customer Concerns

Robocalls have affected the trust that consumers have in all forms of telecommunications.

Many phone-based businesses will need to take additional steps to ease customer concerns over new fears inspired by robocalls.

For example, VoIP communications service provider VirtualPBX, a company that helps people select business phone numbers, often faces situations in which consumers are wary about the legitimacy of new phone numbers.

VirtualPBX helps build customer confidence in this situation by offering businesses the option to transfer existing numbers to their own system until they find a new local or 800 number.

VirtualPBX content specialist Casey Houser explained, ”Customers’ concerns about our service have been heightened by the prevalence of robocalls. Although spammers often target individual consumers — not businesses — to earn a quick dollar, the fear of spam calls creeps into conversations with our sales team. Businesses don’t want to be hassled, and rightly so.”

As consumers become more careful about the businesses they trust, brands will need to take proactive steps to ease their concerns and build customer confidence. While this may be a challenge for some companies, it’s also an opportunity to build stronger, more long-lasting connections with customers.

Stay Informed About How Robocalls Might Be Affecting Your Business

We’re likely to see the robocall epidemic get worse before it gets better. So, rather than wait for robocalls to disappear, businesses should prepare creative solutions to offset the challenges created by automated phone calls.

The good news is that there’s a decent chance technology will solve the problem before too long.

Current government action hopes to employ technology that will actively validate legitimate phone calls.

One such possibility, called STIR/SHAKEN, would certify legitimate calls with sophisticated technology not unlike the SSL certificates used to validate websites.

In the meantime, keep in mind that an estimated 35% of phone calls placed in the U.S. are now robocalls. Your customers and potential buyers may be hesitant to answer their phones, and there’s a good chance you’ll need to take steps to regain or build their confidence in phone communication.

Stay informed, understand how robocalls affect your customers, and adjust your outreach tactics to meet the challenges caused by robocalls in 2019.