Having imposter traffic circulate on your company’s telecommunication lines can affect your brand...
Voice Fraud: The Impact on Customer Engagement and Brand Loyalty -- and What You Can Do About It
In our previous blog, we delved into the realm of Trusted Calling systems, shedding light on the problems they address and their operational mechanisms. This blog takes a step further into the domain, unraveling the strategies that enterprises can employ to combat voice fraud, thereby enhancing customer engagement and brand loyalty.
In this blog, we will discuss:
- Voice Fraud’s Impact on Customer Engagement
- Voice Fraud’s Impact on Brand Loyalty
- Strategies to Increase Customer Engagement and Brand Loyalty
Voice Fraud's Impact On Customer Engagement
Voice fraud, a deceptive practice where scammers use voice calls to impersonate legitimate entities, is ubiquitous and significantly hampers customer engagement. When customers are unsure about the authenticity of the caller, trust erodes, leading to decreased engagement. Here are some ways voice fraud affects customer engagement:
- Undermines Transparency: Customers value transparency. When they are unsure of who is on the other end of the line, trust diminishes, impacting engagement negatively. Trusted Calling systems alleviate this issue by providing clear identification, thus fostering transparency and boosting customer confidence.
- Creates Unwillingness to Answer: Both fraud and spam calls ultimately deter customers from answering calls from your business. By reducing the number of these types of calls, Trusted Calling ensures that customers are more likely to chat with your team.
- Generates Bad Press: From getting your name in a high-profile article, down to day-to-day word-of-mouth, news about bad experiences with your brand travels. Unfortunately, even if it’s not your brand, often your name will be shared alongside the word “fraud” or “scam.” In an article, this bad press goes out to potentially millions. But it can also spread from friend to friend, as in “I got this call from (Your Brand), and it turns out, it was a scam, and I lost (something).” Either way, all parties are less likely to engage with your brand.
- Creates Customer Services Issues: Your customer service department could probably tell a wide range of fraud stories they’ve heard. (Pro tip: Go ask them, by the way!). How many gross hours has it taken your team to resolve these? How many refunds or credits have been issued, even it wasn’t your fault? And how many of those customers are still furious at you for the scammer’s actions? How much have you spent legally or in governmental actions? Customer engagement can be destroyed for some defrauded customers, in addition to the direct and indirect expenses this incurs.
Voice Fraud's Impact On Brand Loyalty
The repercussions of voice fraud extend beyond immediate customer engagement to long-term brand loyalty.
Directly, any contact with a fraudster and your brand will gravely diminish brand loyalty. It’s been found that 55% of customers will complain or sever ties with a company which has “defrauded” them, even if this fraud was simply vishing by a bad actor, using that company’s name. The customer’s association with this painful experience, and/or their need to blame a target they can actually reach (aka, you), causes often irreparable harm.
Indirectly, the word-of-mouth and/or bad press of your brand being mentioned alongside the words “fraud” and “scam” and “vishing” and “bad actor” all creates an immense amount of damage to a brand’s reputation, and therefore longterm brand loyalty.
For what is a brand other than the trust that you have spent years or decades earning? And that trust is diminished by fraud in your name.
So clearly Trusted Calling could help minimize the damage to your brand from fraud calls. But how does a brand begin to implement a strategy, when you can’t directly control the phone calls being made in your name? Let’s look at the ways…
Strategies To Increase Customer Engagement And Brand Loyalty
- Educate Your Team: It’s critical to train your team, from Customer Service to IT and even to other management, on your policies and procedures around handling vishing and other fraud calls that use your brand’s name.
- Educate Your Customers: Make your customers aware, proactively, of both the types of fraud (or specific examples of fraud in your name). In addition, if you have enacted trusted calling frameworks (see below), let them know what to look for to verify it’s you. Also, advising them not to give out passwords and other security basics can be helpful as well. Depending upon the size of your organization, consider public awareness campaigns to educate the broader public and your customer base about the risks of voice fraud and how they can protect themselves. This not only helps in reducing the risks but also positions your brand as a responsible and proactive entity in fighting fraud.
- Monitor and Analyze: Continuously monitor and analyze data both from your customer service center, as well as — where possible — external traffic. (For external traffic, you’ll want a partner like YouMailPS to do the monitoring.) It’s said that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” and it’s true with fraud calls as well as with financial statements.
- Leverage Robust Data Analytics: Utilize robust data analytics to monitor and analyze calling patterns, ideally with realtime notification systems. You’ll want device data, SMS and voicemail content, 3rd party reported data, unwanted voicemail reports, robocall index reports, and more.
- Stay Updated with Regulations: Keep abreast of the latest telecommunications regulations to ensure your trusted calling system remains compliant. Compliance can be another significant issue, and the last thing you want is more bad press because of government action against your team. (Pro tip: Use a partner organization!)
- Adopt a Trusted Calling Framework: The most obvious step (in light of this blog’s topic) is to implement a trusted calling framework. But how? Multiple data sources must be considered: Stir/Shaken protocols, traffic behavior insights, number behavior insights, branded calling solutions, brand spoofing protect, and more. That’s why brands almost always outsource this to a trusted partner organization.
- Engage in Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits of not only your communication channels, but your policies and procedures for handling situations. (This is a good time to verify compliance as well.)
- Implement variations of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): For some organizations, it may work to incorporate multi-factor authentication methods to verify the identity of callers. For example, some organizations ask you to pick an image specific to you upon signing up, so that when you login to their website, you know to look for that image. If you don’t see it, you should suspect fraud.
- Develop a Response Plan: Have a response plan in place before fraudulent activity is detected, and certainly before the press gets ahold of the situation. This plan should include steps for informing affected customers, reporting the incident to relevant authorities, and communicating the issue to the public if necessary.
- Customer Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop with customers to learn about any suspicious calls they may have received. This feedback can provide valuable insights and help in improving your anti-fraud measures, makes you appear proactive, and informs you on how to potentially stop future fraud.
- Collaborate with Industry Peers: Engage in industry collaborations to share insights and best practices in combating voice fraud. Collective action and shared intelligence can significantly enhance the effectiveness of anti-fraud measures.
- Legal Recourse: Explore legal recourse against identified scammers. Taking legal action not only seeks to address the fraud but also sends a strong message about your brand’s commitment to protecting its customers. It’s not always possible, but it’s an option.
- Outsource to Experts: If managing voice fraud internally becomes too complex or resource-intensive, consider outsourcing to expert firms specializing in fraud detection and prevention. They have the tools, technologies, and expertise to effectively manage and mitigate voice fraud risks.
- Make it a Priority: The number one strategy is to assure that maintaining brand loyalty is your team’s priority. From coordinating across different departments, to bringing the topic up in management meetings, to allocating the right budget, if it’s not a priority, it’s going to be a problem.
Fighting fraud calls isn’t just about handling a nuisance — it’s about laying a foundation of trust, enhancing customer engagement, and fostering brand loyalty. By understanding the mechanism of trusted calling and taking actionable steps, enterprises can significantly improve their communication channels, leading to a positive and lasting impact on their brand image and customer relationships.
Interested in revolutionizing your phone number reputation management? Schedule a no-obligation demo with YouMailPS today.