TNS, in partnership with the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), recently published a Concept Paper titled, “Issues for Measuring Call Branding on Consumer Behavior and Economic Outcomes”. The paper analyzes the impact of branded calling on consumer behavior and businesses’ customer engagement rates.

To produce the paper, industry expert Dr. Eric Burger and his research assistant Rishabh Rastogi looked at branded calling within the context of robocalls. Specifically, how the relentless onslaught of unwanted calls over the past several years has challenged businesses that rely on the voice channel to engage with customers.

For our purposes, branded calling can be defined as a solution that delivers critical brand information on incoming call screens and thorough call authentication measures so consumers are more knowledgeable about who’s calling.

The Concept Paper examines the extent to which branded calling solutions can restore trust in voice calls and what impact this technology might have on enterprises trying to reach their customers.

Here are the three main takeaways from the paper:

Number 1 – With branded calling, businesses can improve customer engagement, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Branded calling could help businesses reduce unwanted and fraudulent robocalls, improve the caller ID experience for customers, and increase customer trust in their brand. Robocalls have depleted trust in voice calls to the point where 75% of people no longer answer calls from numbers they do not recognize. This has made it extremely challenging for businesses in high-touch industries that rely on voice communications to reach their customers, i.e. the hospitality, insurance, financial services, and healthcare industries.

The authors’ view that branded calling can drive customer engagement and satisfaction gains – along with revenue growth – matches TNS’ own analysis. TNS Enterprise Branded Calling trials have shown that businesses can improve their call answer rate with this technology. For a healthcare company, TNS increased the call answer rate by 41%, financial services experienced a 133% answer rate improvement and fundraisers increased their consumer answer rate by 42%.

Number 2 – By reducing unwanted calls and improving the overall customer experience, branded calling can also help businesses to better manage their reputation and protect their brand image.

Bad actors that successfully pose as businesses and swindle customers have a lasting, detrimental effect on those enterprises’ brand image and reputation.

Branded calling solutions are equipped with call authentication technology so that when consumers see brand information on an incoming call screen, they can trust it is that organization trying to reach them and not bad actors.

TNS does this by leveraging its call authentication technology, which verifies caller identity through native OEM integration, business processes and a suite of APIs. It’s a critical prerequisite to delivering a rich branded call display.

Number 3 – More comprehensive and robust analysis will help assess the impact of branded calling on economic metrics.

The report concluded more rigorous testing, research and experimentation are needed to understand the full impact of branded calling solutions. TNS agrees with this conclusion and is confident that the value of branded calling will be further validated with these additional steps.

It is still the early innings of the game when it comes to today’s modernized branded calling technology. While branded calling, as a concept, is not new, it has evolved dramatically over the past few years and can now display critical brand information on an incoming call screen to help increase call answer rates and improve brand trust.

There is also proven demand for this technology: 78% of consumers are more willing to answer the phone if the caller ID displays the logo and name of a brand they recognize.

You can read the entire Concept Paper on our website here. To further discuss the key takeaways from the concept paper, Dr. Burger will participate in a webinar with myself and Shelley Dunagan, Senior Director of TNS Enterprise Branded Calling hosted on May 4. Sign up for the webinar here.

Dr. Burger is the Research Director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative and a Research Professor of Computer Science and Public & International Affairs at Virginia Tech.

Jim Tyrrell is Vice President of Enterprise Product Management at TNS with specific responsibility for TNS’ Communications Market solutions.