knowledge

What Is Call Screening And How Does It Work?

Have you ever called a business to inquire about a product or ask them if they provide a certain service for your needs? And after calling, you get disappointed because...
Partners

Partners

12 min read

Many customers have changed their minds when purchasing products because of poor customer call service and lack of follow-ups from businesses. This type of scenario can take away profit from your company and affect customer satisfaction.

To completely avoid this, one solution to this could be incorporating a call screening system. Most businesses use this to let their customer service representatives and other employees have a better way of responding and managing calls.

Unfortunately, some businesses don’t know what call screening is, how it works, and its benefits. But with this article, you don’t have to suffer the same fate as them. Everything below will explain all things relating to call screening.

So if you’re ready, then let’s get right to it!

The Problem

Have you ever called a business to inquire about a product or ask them if they provide a certain service for your needs? And after calling, you get disappointed because the person you talked to didn’t come close to answering your questions? Or worse, you weren’t able to contact anyone?

That scenario happens more often than not. It makes your business loose money on the table and makes your prospects not continue their purchase. This makes people look for other companies and lose confidence in your business.

This only shows how important a call screening system is and how vital it is to have knowledge and preparedness in converting prospects to paying customers. It also tells you to carefully pick employees who will answer your business’s phones since they play an essential role in informing interested people and landing a sale.

To make these employees efficient on their job, integrating a call screening process or system can help them achieve this. In today’s business landscape, it’s beneficial to invest in systems that optimize your business processes. Although it might cost you money upfront, it will eventually help your bottom line.

What Is Call Screening?

Call screening

Call screening is generally known as the process of identifying who’s calling and what they are calling for. It also acts as a filtering process to make recipients decide on whether they want to accept the call or not. However, call screening is not just limited to that.

Call screening can also provide caller identification which is one of the best features it has. It can also provide the phone number, location, and whether the upcoming call is a spam caller.

Additionally, some call screening processes include listening to the message before answering the incoming call, displaying the time or date which the call was received, and even pre-screening a call to let the call recipient know whether to redirect it to other departments.

As you’ve just read, integrating call screening into your business can bring many benefits. It makes your customer representatives and other employees more knowledgeable on incoming calls. It lets them have time to prepare for what the customer will ask, which gives them a more knowledgeable response.

How Does Call Screening Work?

When a person calls a landline, that number will be registered to a specific line. The system uses the calling name database to determine who is calling. After the system cross-references the calling name from the caller and call recipient, it will now be able to display the caller ID, and if it’s advanced enough, it can take some appropriate actions by itself.

Now that we know what call screening is and how it works, it’s time to present the whole picture and explain the different pros and cons of using it.

Pros And Cons Of Call Screening

Pros

  • Screening calls
  • Lessen spam callers
  • More options for call management
  • Have details about the incoming call
  • More efficient call center

Cons

  • Some call screening tools are complex to set up
  • Not all screening tools can block spam calls
  • Some customers have the perception that call screening is negative

Although call screening can bring tons of advantages to users, it is still far from being a perfect system. In fact, most business systems will always have flaws. So a call screening system that has its own set of cons is perfectly normal. It doesn’t take away the fact that this is a significant addition to your business processes, making your employees more efficient in answering questions, calls, and converting prospects.

Benefits Of Call Screening

Benefits of call screening

There are numerous reasons why most businesses, especially the big ones, use call screening in their processes. Most of them receive hundreds to thousands of calls per day. Some of those calls are from spam callers, so they need to filter out those types of callers to make their employees efficient in their time and job.

But that’s just one of the many benefits of incorporating call screening in your business. Below are the other top benefits of it to convince you of adding this to your business processes.

I. Increased conversion

Since some call screening systems can have the benefits of a call recording software and it can display who’s calling, your employees can search for the best information in your database to give out the right information. When they can provide relevant information to the caller, this increases the chances of converting.

Callers will immediately realize that your business has the answer to their problems. But this only happens when your employee efficiently relays the proper information and coherently presents them.

II. Better internal delegation

Once your call screening process determines the need of the caller, a great system can transfer that call to the right department. Years ago, all calls would be directed to the customer service and if the problem needs the intervention of a certain department, the customer representative will manually redirect the caller to the proper team.

However, that’s not the case for most calls right now. Since businesses have incorporated call screeners, their overall process is now efficient. It takes away the manual redirecting of calls, making the customer representatives more productive.

III. Improved received calls

In the business world, you can’t completely avoid scammers, spammers, and bad actors that have ill intentions toward your business. Sometimes without proper screening, they can take up a good number of calls your business receives per day.

But with having a call screening process added to your business, your employees can permanently block phone numbers, especially if it’s coming from an unwanted source. Callers without caller IDs can also be blocked.

Some systems even have the feature of allowing users to create a list of what numbers can call them and from what area codes. This has allowed businesses to really customize the calls they receive.

IV. Fewer missed calls

To some employees, receiving and answering calls is not their only job. So it’s natural that some calls are missed. But with the technology today, there can be an automated attendant when the call is not answered after a few rings.

This has become an advantage for businesses because customers aren’t disappointed that no one answered their call. The automated attendant can even tell the caller to call the extension if needed. This is perfect for employees who dabble with multiple job responsibilities.

V. Choose your response

A feature of some call screeners is using a text-to-speech message. This allows users to ready a script for some issues and needs by callers. This makes response time a lot faster than usual.

Most call screen systems adapted this because some businesses receive customers' same queries and needs. So to make the employees more efficient at their job, they enabled this feature.

Excellent Call Screening Features

Call screening features

1. Call blocking feature

Spam calls happen every day. It even feels like this thing can’t be fully avoided when you’re running a business. However, one way to lessen the chances of getting spam calls or calls from unwanted numbers is using the call blocking feature.

Call blocking allows employees to block certain numbers from different area codes and zip codes. Some systems even allow the blocking of numbers that don’t have caller ID information. This is perfect for filtering unwanted numbers in increasing the call queue.

2. Office hours feature

If a customer calls during after office hours, you can redirect that call to voicemail or another phone number. The callers will also get informed that they are calling outside of your time of operation and they will be able to call your line again.

3. Call routing feature

This has to be one of the best innovations in the call screening industry. This feature has saved employees and callers a lot of time. The call routing feature connects the caller to the appropriate department or agent by simply dialing a certain number. This is done through a series of options read by the virtual assistant.

FAQs On-Call Screening

What is a caller ID?

Caller ID is a feature that presents the name and number of the caller. It can also show the identifying name that the user has given to a specific number.

Can a caller ID be customized?

Yes, certainly. Most phone system providers allow this feature to be customizable by their users. Users can change some aspects like the name of the business, the name of the agent, and telephone number.

With Yodel, you can set a 15 character word as an outbound caller ID. However, no assurance is given that the caller ID will show since it will sometimes depend on the receiving carriers on how they look up numbers.

Can a number be tagged as spam?

Definitely. When using Yodel, you can manually block a number or tag it as spam. Although the recipient did not do it manually.

Call screening systems have incorporated such features because of the rise of bot calling in the industry. According to GetVoip, spam phone calls have increased to over 3 billion calls every month. That’s a very high number that’s why some carriers monitor the number of recurring inbound calls their users get from a certain number. They also automatically block it if the number of calls becomes excessive.

How do I avoid being tagged as spam?

You can start with having several phone numbers. If you can, make these numbers come from different geographical area codes. When using local phone numbers, correspond them to the right local number you’re calling.

Make sure to rotate the uses of these numbers. Don’t use a single number for consecutive weeks – it may lead to being tagged as spam for some systems. Also, don’t call the same number in succession.

Will the caller know if his/her number is blocked?

Generally no, since the act of blocking a number is only done on your end. However, the caller might start noticing that their calls don’t go through or it never gets picked up. That may raise some concerns on their part.

In some scenarios, the blocked caller will immediately be greeted with an automated message stating that the number they are calling is no longer in service. Remember, if you block a certain number, they won’t be able to contact you, and you won’t be able to reach them as well.

Call Screening Best Practices

Best Practice #1: Have an excellent CRM software

One way to efficiently use a call screening system would be partnering it with a great CRM software. Some CRM software is used for marketing material and cart abandonment solutions. You can immediately boot up your CRM and check the client history when you see who’s calling.

You can check the client’s purchase history, previous problem, does he/she have an open ticket, what are the updates on it, etc. Seeing these things before picking up the call will provide your employees with sufficient knowledge and the right information to give out great answers or solutions for the client.

Best Practice #2: Utilize voicemail notifications

Using voicemail notifications will help decrease the number of unattended phone calls left by callers. This will make it easy for your team to track follow-up calls and call those that were unattended.

Best Practice #3: Offer different ways to contact your business

More problems arise if you only have one form of communication from your market. If you only have a phone, every single inquiry and concern will lead to that number. To lessen complications and problems, you can always be more present socially.

Incorporate a business email, a live chat, and have several social media accounts. Once you have omnichannel support, you’re cutting the number of inbound phone calls. This will yield lesser problems and more productivity from your employees.

Best Practice #4: Create scripts

Scripts have been used for several years already and even though technology has innovated a lot of business processes, sales and customer service scripts are still widely used because of effectiveness.

For some businesses, most concerns and needs revolve around a certain topic. So to make the job easier, creating scripts alongside having a call screening system can make for a more efficient way of handling things.

If you want a system with script integration alongside call screen system features, make sure to hire an excellent app developer.

Best Practice #5: Categorize each problem to different departments

There are some concerns by customers that only certain departments can answer. To make the delegation of tasks much simpler and faster, you can categorize beforehand what the concern is by using labels.

Before you pick up the phone, some systems have already determined the concern of the caller. If this is already identified, you can redirect the call to the connected department to save some time for you and the caller. This greatly helps in giving the information they need much faster.

Best Practice #6: Be on the lookout for better call screening systems

It’s easy to fall in love with a system that you have come to learn and use. However, if a system isn’t the most efficient one in the market, it’s better to look for others.

For example, Amazon’s BQool had its peak moment but as other repricing tools came to the market, sellers were looking for BQool alternatives – this only shows that even if the system comes from a prominent company, if it’s slow or there’s a better choice, it’s always good to go for the better system.

So if you find your current call screening system lacking certain features, make sure to move on to the next best thing to fully maximize this particular process in your business.

Conclusion

As you have just read above, incorporating a call screening process in your business will bring you a number of benefits. It can make your employees more knowledgeable and prepare them to take calls and give out the necessary information needed.

Although there will be a learning curve in using the call screening system efficiently, the long term effect of it on your employees and company will be great. It can lead to proper call management, satisfied customers, increased conversion, and bigger profits.

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