As consumers, we’ve all experienced the inconvenience of being bombarded with unsolicited spam calls from scammers looking to coax personal information from unsuspecting victims to defraud them out of large sums of money. As marketers, we’re always on edge about having our companies represented as none other than the significant entities they are, especially when we launch well-intentioned outreach campaigns to our clients. On the legal side of things, however, it’s no longer about the inconveniences of spammy calls or brand misrepresentations — things are much more serious as they relate to company integrity and the protection of consumers and businesses. The good news is that while “Scam Likely” calls are a common nuisance for consumers and businesses alike, telecommunication regulations are actively and purposefully being rolled out and enforced to keep spam calls at bay. As an extension of that, FCC regulations under the TRACED Act now require that all voice service providers and carriers comply with STIR/SHAKEN (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) protocols and procedures designed to deter calls from unverified sources — otherwise known as caller ID spoofing. While some voice service providers have become STIR/SHAKEN compliant since its initial rollout deadline of June 30, 2021— many are still taking steps toward achieving that goal. And there are still a significant number of companies unaware of the effects STIR/SHAKEN non-compliance can have on their operations, especially for their respective call centers. Let's take a closer look at STIR/SHAKEN and how compliance can alleviate disruptions in call center operations and improve the customer experience and busines outcomes. What Is STIR/SHAKEN Compliance? The FCC has mandated STIR/SHAKEN (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN)) compliance to mitigate robocalls and caller ID spoofing on public telephone networks. The STIR/SHAKEN authentication protocols also help validate caller sources to ensure that calls come from real people and not spoofed or fake caller IDs. Who needs to comply with STIR/SHAKEN? Any business making calls to consumers or other businesses could be negatively impacted if its service provider fails to meet and maintain compliance with STIR/SHAKEN. This also includes service providers, like Phonexa, who handle third-party calls. The Ramifications of Non-Compliance FCC regulations required all voice service providers and carriers to fully comply with STIR/SHAKEN protocols by June 30, 2022. Penalties for non-compliance include: \tBlocked calls by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) termination providers \tHefty fines ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000 per day \tBeing subject to investigation by the FCC In addition to the penalties levied by the FCC, non-compliant entities risk disrupting the operations of their call centers, thus negatively impacting the customer experience for their clients and prospective customers. How Call Centers Benefit From Full Compliance Outbound calls are the lifeblood of call center operations. By failing to comply with STIR/SHAKEN protocols, voice service providers jeopardized their call centers by significantly hindering their call answer rates. According to Hiya’s 2022 State of the Call survey, 79% of unidentified calls go unanswered, with 94% of consumers believing unidentified calls are from scammers looking to commit fraud. Furthermore, out of the 1,800 businesses surveyed by Hiya, 32% think that giving consumers a clear indication of who is calling by adding identity to calls is the most effective way to increase answer rates. Source: Hiya, State of the Call Report With this in mind, voice service providers and their respective call centers must implement STIR/SHAKEN protocols to confirm their company’s identity when making outbound calls, including cold calling prospects, customer service calls, and more. During an economic crisis, consumers are increasingly cautious and cost-conscious about the companies they conduct business with. It only makes sense to give your organization a competitive advantage by eliminating any doubt as to the legitimacy of your business and the services you provide. Complying with STIR/SHAKEN standards does just that by confirming a company’s identity for all consumers, whether they are prospects or existing customers. But STIR/SHAKEN protocols don’t only aid call centers when making outbound calls. Compliance can also help deter attempted fraud by rejecting unsolicited calls from unverified sources. With STIR/SHAKEN regulations in place, voice service providers can validate calls through three levels of validation or attestation: \tFull Attestation: Confirms that the caller is authorized to use the phone number they dialed from \tPartial Attestation: Identifies the caller but doesn’t confirm that the caller is authorized to use the phone number they’re calling from \tGateway Attestation: The caller’s identity and authorization to use the number they called from cannot be verified This is a crucial benefit for all call centers, particularly those operating in the lead generation industry. By authenticating caller sources, call centers diminish the risk of interacting with bad actors providing false information to defraud companies. Benefits of implementing STIR/SHAKEN protocols for call center operations include: \tAvoidance of identity interrogation when vetting caller sources \tShortened call queue waiting times \tThe ability to quickly and securely handle high volumes of calls \tDecreased risk of fraud \tStreamlining the user experience and enhancing customer satisfaction How Phonexa’s STIR/SHAKEN Compliance Enhances the Caller Experience In compliance with FCC regulations, Phonexa is certified for the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN protocols, which enable the platform to validate the caller IDs of its clients and improve the user experience for them and their customers. With our call intelligence platform, Call Logic, Phonexa helps businesses ensure that all inbound and outbound calls go through a series of authentication and verification processes through a certification repository that verifies phone numbers. This added telecommunications security measure optimizes the user experience by protecting parties on both ends of the phone call from fraudulent call activity. Utilizing STIR/SHAKEN-compliant call tracking and distribution software adds protection to Phonexa’s call management software, which already boasts such features as call analytics, call tracking, interactive voice response, and predictive modeling. Is your current provided STIR/SHAKEN compliant? It’s never too late to shore up your business’ telecommunications security. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how Call Logic, in tandem with the rest of the Phonexa suite for marketing automation can give you that peace of mind you need when handling consumer calls or data.