We’ve all been there – you’re busy at work when, suddenly, a nuisance call comes on the line to hijack your day. At best, nuisance calls are an inconvenience: they interrupt your workflow and waste time. At worst, they can lead to serious consequences and scams: data abuse, fraud, leaking of sensitive information, or violation of company resources.
For a charity, these risks and threats are of critical importance. Your charity’s reputation is built upon its ability to handle sensitive information with care and security, and deliver empathy and excellent service to genuine users. However, in charity communications, these things are made impossible when your agents are busy dealing with junk calls or nuisance calls.
ISPreview report that, in the year 2021, over 1 billion nuisance calls were made in the UK; a 308% year-on-year increase, with this trend set to continue (ISPreview). In order for your charity to deliver the best possible UX (user experience), you’ll need to implement smart and future-proof methods to avoid the risks of nuisance calls. For instance, our VCC (Virtual Contact Centre) is engineered with cutting-edge security tools and streamlining functions to protect your charity’s reputation and save your agents time.
Read on as we explore the importance of call protection services for charities.
Making an investment in call protection services can safeguard the security of your charity, improve its brand image and, crucially, save your contact agents time. So what exactly are call protection services? Let’s answer that question, by first asking a different one: what are nuisance calls?
What is a nuisance call?
In general, a ‘nuisance call’ can be defined as contact that is unwelcome, unsolicited, annoying, or misleading.
|Cold Calls||Unwelcome marketing calls by companies or individuals trying to sell you something. It’s poor practice to conduct cold calls without obtaining prior consent.|
|Frauds & scams||Phishing scams are where the caller attempts to elicit personal or harmful data from the recipient for the purposes of fraud.|
|Malicious calls||This type of call is intended to distress the recipient, and often designed to be deliberately unpleasant.|
|Silent calls||Many silent calls do not have a human issuer, but are the result of automatic dialling equipment in call centres, where more calls are made than there are operators available to handle them.|
|Text calls||Sometimes, a text message might be sent to your charity and translated into electronic speech.|
Call Protection Services: Purpose & Definition
A call protection service is a technological contact centre element that prevents your charity, or any of your human staff, from having to deal with a nuisance call.
There are a number of ways that contact centre technology (such as our VCC) can prevent nuisance calls from ever reaching an agent, which we’ll explore in more detail later. In general, though, the service involves routing unwanted calls to junk or voicemail, including a blocklist as part of your contact centre settings, and giving you as the contact centre operator more control and visibility with inbound calls.
Call protection services intend to minimise (or ideally, eliminate) instances of a human staff member having to deal with a nuisance call.
In this way, they improve the security of charity communications. By never engaging with nuisance and potentially-harmful calls, your charity is significantly less likely to suffer a data security breach, leak sensitive information, or open itself to other types of scams and fraud.
Call protection services also optimise your UX and contact centre efficiency levels. With agents’ time not wasted on handling spam calls, they can devote more care and attention to genuine users, and deliver a more personalised, empathetic service.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
It’s also worth knowing about the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Aside from implementing future-proof and secure contact centre technology, registering (for free) with the TPS is a great way of reducing nuisance calls.
Essentially, the TPS functions as a giant blocklist. They’ll add you to a directory of numbers that do not want to be contacted for sales or marketing purposes. It’s illegal for cold callers to telephone a number registered with the TPS.
However, the TPS can do nothing to stop automated or computer-generated calls – the law applies to people, but not technology. The TPS also won’t stop your charity from receiving scam calls.
So, while the TPS is a useful way of heading-off cold calls before they ever reach your charity, the best way to minimise the risks of nuisance calls is to utilise it in partnership with effective contact centre services.
How Call Protection Services Help Charities
As a future-proof and efficiency-driving contact centre technology, our VCC has a number of functionalities that can improve UX and safeguard your business reputation. What’s more, it’s built with security and data protection prioritised – our security protocols stand testament to that.
Below, we explore some of the ways our VCC delivers call protection services to charities.
With our VCC installed, you’ll be able to see the number and identity of incoming callers at a glance (provided the number has not been withheld). This gives agents the ability to immediately recognise and differentiate genuine enquiries from nuisance calls.
In turn, agents can disregard those calls which are not from ‘real’ users. Sensitive data won’t be open to risk, and genuine users will be serviced with care, attention and empathy.
Caller display information is also useful because it allows you to report those numbers making nuisance calls.
By doing so, you contribute to the overall health of the telecommunications industry; it’s a small contribution, granted, but when it comes to reporting scams and fraudsters, every little helps.
Incoming call blocking/routing
When it comes to inbound calls, blocking and routing (or filtering) can be of great use.
This functionality allows you to automatically route calls of a given nature to the appropriate destination. For instance, you may set up a blocklist, which will prevent certain numbers from ever getting through; or you may choose to send some calls to a junk voicemail box, to ease the workload of your agents.
Of course, you’ll be able to view and/or retrieve any calls in your junk voicemail, so there will always be clarity into the number and nature of nuisance messages your charity receives over any given period.
Anonymous call rejection
In a similar way, you can adjust the settings of our VCC to automatically block calls that exhibit warning signs or red flags: a withheld number, for instance.
Many scammers and fraudsters will attempt to hide their identity by withholding the incoming call number. For a charity contact centre agent – often a volunteer, and one who may be faced with a high volume of calls – this can result in a nuisance call going live.
However, anonymous call rejection means your contact centre will automatically block any calls made from a withheld number. As there is no need for genuine users to withhold their number, this means your agents will only ever deal with ‘real’ enquiries, and as such, both your security and user experience will improve.
Saving Time & Safeguarding UX
As we’ve seen, nuisance or malicious calls can cause great harm to a charity contact centre, both in terms of efficiency and brand image. Having to repeatedly deal with low-value calls, made by automated call centres or cold callers, is a major waste of time for your contact agents. It causes them to neglect genuine enquiries made by ‘real’ users, and as a result, your charity will deliver a sub-par experience.
This, in turn, will hurt the reputation of your charity. Rather than being known as an organisation that always has time for the people that reach out, you’ll become known as a charity whose representatives are rushed, unprepared, and impersonal.
And the damage goes deeper than this. When your contact agents interact with nuisance or potentially-fraudulent enquiries, the risk of security breaches is greatly amplified. No agent is above being duped, no matter how experienced or effective they may be; sooner or later, fielding calls with malicious intent will lead to breaches, data leaks, or the personal information of users being exposed.
In order to protect your charity and minimise the risk of nuisance calls, it’s good practice to implement effective call protection services, such as those that constitute just one part of our VCC. With this streamlining and future-proof technology equipped, your charity will be armed with the tools needed to consistently achieve peak efficiency levels and optimal user experiences.
Find out more about our call protection services and how our VCC can improve the way your charity communicates: book a demo today.