Using a Phone for Business: How to Avoid Robocallers and Telemarketers
Description: Robocallers are the bane of smartphone users across the country. Do you know how you can avoid picking up the phone on these time-wasting calls?
A smartphone is all but essential for business management in today’s day and age. A smartphone keeps you connected to your business — you can check your email, keep tabs on your social media presence, and take phone calls. Those phone calls, though, are where the issue lies.
Calls are an important part of running a business, even as texting, emailing, and instant messaging become more prevalent. There are some things you just can’t write in an email, and texting is usually best for short snippets of information. As your business grows, you’ll probably be taking more and more phone calls, whether from other members of your management team or from other teams looking for information.
The thing is, even if you’re using your phone regularly, it’s likely that you’re also getting a number of calls from telemarketers and robocallers. Robocalls are on the rise, both in the United States and worldwide — in 2018, robocalling experienced nearly a 50% increase from 2017. So how do you avoid wasting your time picking up those calls? These are some of the most popular and useful ways to do it.
Don’t Pick Up
This one’s a classic, and it’s used by lots of people, especially those who tend to receive a high volume of robocalls and a smaller number of genuine ones. The concept is simple: if you see a number you don’t recognize, send it to voicemail. Once the call is completed, you can listen to the voicemail. If it’s an actual person, you can call them back to get in contact.
The thing is when you’re running a business, differentiating between a robocall and an important one can be incredibly tricky. While many people can just send numbers they don’t recognize to voicemail, you have no way of knowing whether that number is, for example, a journalist looking for information or a genuine advertising opportunity with a business partner.
It’s up to you to weigh risk and reward here. When your business is still pretty small and you don’t receive a lot of calls, sending unknown numbers straight to voicemail can be incredibly useful, especially if you make sure to listen to voicemails immediately after they’re left. As your business grows, you’ll want to look into other methods.
Register for the Do Not Call List
If you mention your robocall issues to some people, they’ll tell you just to add your phone number to the FTC’s Do Not Call registry. The assumption is that by adding your number, robocallers and telemarketers won’t be able to contact you.
This specific assumption is incorrect. The Do Not Call registry doesn’t physically block people from calling your number; it just provides a list to businesses that indicate you don’t want to be contacted by unsolicited advertisers. There are some calls the FTC doesn’t regulate through the Do Not Call registry, and it doesn’t stop unscrupulous callers who are willing to break the law.
Regardless, it’s still genuinely a good idea to register your phone number. Even legal telemarketing calls can still be a waste of your time, and registering for the Do Not Call list gives you an extra tool against being scammed. Once you’re registered, you know that any calls out of the blue to sell you something are illegal, which means they’re more likely to be scams.
Download a Call Blocking App
The prevalence of robocalls has led some people to create robocall blocking apps. These are sometimes crowdsourced, with people submitting numbers they’ve received robocalls from. Some of them are created by official service providers or businesses.
These apps are far from perfect; they’re going to let some robocalls and telemarketers through because they just aren’t able to account for every number at once. If no one’s reported the number, it’s going to slip through the cracks until you report it.
Although it’s true that you won’t be able to block everything with this method, you’ll usually get at least a few of them. If you’re really troubled by robocalls or you just want to be extra sure, a call blocking app can help you stay a little safer.
Use a Reverse Phone Lookup
At the end of the day, one of the best tools you can use is one that actually tells you where these calls are coming from. If you’re able to identify the source of the call, you’ll immediately know whether it’s business-related or potentially time-wasting and even harmful. PeopleFinder’s reverse phone lookup is perfect for this.
With a reverse phone lookup, you can solve the issues that plague most of the other call blocking methods. It’s instant and can be accessed from any device, so you have the ability to immediately see who’s calling you. It also traces the actual phone number — if the caller is using a tool to pretend they’re calling from a different number, you can see that the number doesn’t actually belong to anyone.
To add to your safety both on and off the phone, PeopleFinders also has a suite of other tools available, including public records and criminal record searches. If you’re planning to use these tools in conjunction with your business, make sure you read the “Do’s and Don’ts” page, so you know you’re doing it legally.
Can You Really Block Time-Wasting Calls for Good?
Sometimes, it can seem like you’re completely losing the war against robocalls. Some people get more robocalls than genuine ones, which is a frustrating dilemma for anyone. It’s even more frustrating when you’re running a business with your phone, and it can genuinely impact your success. However, you can get around it.
By using these tactics in conjunction and making sure you always check incoming calls with a reverse phone lookup, you can cut down considerably on the amount of time you spend on the phone. That way, instead of using your time to listen to telemarketers, you can use it to improve your business.