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During the recent MEF CONNECTS Business Messaging in Dublin, MEF CEO Dario Betti spoke with Catalin Badea, VP of Product Management at netnumber Global Data Services, a global leader in phone number intelligence data, about the tools necessary for keeping business communications’ lists reliable and up to date so that enterprises can continue building strong customer rapport without losing trust.

The growth in business messaging, often referred to as conversational commerce, is one of the most dynamic areas in the telecom industry today. The ability to engage customers over text messaging is enabling businesses to create real conversations between their brand and consumers with many more touch points along the customer journey.

These touch points – from answering customer inquiries to facilitating payments – bring brands much closer to consumers, which can positively impact sales. Unfortunately, this opportunity can also become a liability if opt-in lists and CRM databases are not managed correctly.

The Beauty and Risk of the Customer Opt-In

Having a customer choose to engage with enterprise communications is one of the most ideal scenarios in today’s modern digital business landscape. After all, being able to relay key product and service messages to a willing, receptive audience across their desired channels is the bread and butter of driving engagement, sales and more.

However, this opportunity can go south if customer information lists and CRM databases are not kept up to date. What was once an eager participant can quickly become a frustrated end-user that is no longer attuned to your business messaging. At the nexus of these two outcomes — customer communications success versus a loss of customer attention (or worse) — is the strategy with which enterprises keep their customer data refreshed.

  Problems with fraud, compromised data privacy or functional hiccups… will alienate customers and derail the goodwill businesses hope to generate through brand messaging..”

Fragmented Opt-in Requirements Present Challenges

Many requirements exist in the telecom industry regarding protecting consumer data and privacy. For instance, in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict data privacy controls in relation to personal data, while in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created various data privacy regulations, including a recent crackdown to prevent text messaging fraud.

At the same time, its northern neighbor is guided by Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), the federal law dealing with spam and other electronic threats in that country.

Meanwhile, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)’s Mobile Advertising Guidelines provide wireless carriers, media companies and other ecosystem members with industry-standard technical specifications and best practices.

While all the various requirements are designed with the worthy goal of consumer protection in mind, they can still create challenges for telecom industry members and businesses due to subtle differences in implementation.

Tools for Keeping Opt-in Lists Reliable and Up to Date

As telecom providers negotiate the various privacy regulations for their corner of the world, several powerful phone number verification tools exist that businesses can use to ensure their customer lists remain accurate and trustworthy.

Laying at the heart of quality number verification tools is phone number intelligence data. Such data is gathered from +200 countries and territories around the world, analyzed using sophisticated algorithms and standardized to ensure high data accuracy. The tools work in real-time, which is critical given the vastness of the global number pool and its ever-changing nature. For instance, consider that up to 20% of phone numbers provided by end users can be invalid and 10%+ of the active phone numbers in the U.S. are ported between operators every year. Being able to take huge sets of data and to deliver an answer (number verification) in milliseconds is essential and should be available in the best of these tools.

In summary, maintaining trust with business customers who opt in for brand messaging should remain a top priority. Problems with fraud, compromised data privacy or functional hiccups (due to number errors) will alienate customers and derail the goodwill businesses hope to generate through brand messaging. Fortunately, tools exist to help businesses successfully navigate number verification and ensure customer privacy during text messaging or voice calls.

netnumber Global Data Services provides phone number intelligence data-based solutions that play a major role in account security and phone number authentication in the telecom industry. With the company’s carefully curated data, users can trust that the phone numbers they receive, either from the consumer side or from the enterprise side, are valid. To learn more about the company’s NumeriCheck number verification solution and NumeriView, a number portability alert system, click here.

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