2020 Predictions: How Data will Change the Game in Communications

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Click to learn more about author Rob Chen.

The year 2020 promises to see some big shifts in how data will impact communications. Two of these trends are: a resurgence of consumer trust in voice communications as robocalling and spam decline and a change in how people customize communications experiences.


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Good Data Will Kill Bad Calls

The first data hero in 2020: Calls Per Second (CPS). As it sounds, CPS refers to the number of phone calls that can be handled in a second, and the data from CPS can help communications service providers determine whether calls originate from human sources and so are more likely to be legitimate or whether they are driven by automated sources (e.g. robocalls).  While CPS is not a solution in and of itself, in 2020, we’re going to see more technologies being applied against CPS metrics with the goal of stamping out the nuisance of robocalling.

Robocalling has gotten a lot of attention – negative and positive – as wireless and traditional carriers have made massive efforts to crack down on untrusted and unidentified sources. In response, the FCC has mandated that carriers and handset providers be able to implement SHAKEN/STIR, which is a method of assigning phone calls with attestation levels and certificates that identify the source of the traffic as well as its legitimacy.

In the future, calls without this signature or ones that have a low level of attestation (likely calls from overseas and from untrusted organizations) will be blocked at the network level from reaching consumers. One way this can be done is for communications providers to combine CPS thresholds with voice-based authentication solutions – think the equivalent of the CAPTCHA “I’m not a robot” buttons people see online today – to detect suspicious patterns and automatically manage outbound traffic.

The result: thanks to data at work, more people will answer their phones than they have in the past five years. In other words, data can help bolster consumer trust.

Communications Data Will Take Customer Engagement to the Next Level

App usage overall will begin to decline as consumers increasingly prefer the convenience of communicating with businesses via their native voice or messaging channels.

When communicating with customers on native channels, businesses can leverage big data sources across the enterprise to mine for information that can help them better utilize different communications data and capabilities to enhance brand presence and engagement. For instance, data from CRM can trigger the proper Rich Call Data (RCD) based on customer experience and buying history.  An example could be a consumer ordering wings on Grubhub and receiving a call from a driver with a caller ID displaying the Grubhub order and an automated message saying “driver calling with a question about your wings order.” As companies increasingly utilize multiple data sources in their customer interactions, they also can use Rich Communication Services (RCS) to further those experiences – such as enabling consumers to browse restaurants and menus and place an order through RCS –

all within the native messaging client.  

The overall takeaway: Data can significantly improve communications and engagement opportunities with customers – but only if businesses know how to mine it and leverage the intelligence and new emerging capabilities of their communications technologies to transform customer experiences.

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