Engage™ puts the “phone” back into smartphones

Despite being called a smartphone, these devices are often used for anything but. The vast majority of Americans own a cellphone of some kind – 95%, according to the Pew Research Center, making it one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies in recent history. And 77% of those are smartphones, with even higher percentages among people under the age of 50. So it’s no surprise that over half of Americans have ditched the landline in favor of mobile-only; as friends and family began to ditch the house phone, the only people calling that line were salesmen and scammers.

In the early 90s, the game would change again when text messaging became commonplace and the phone call slowly began to grow in obsoletion.

People are using their mobile devices more, too. Mobile outpaces desktop or laptop computers as the most common way Americans get their news; U.S. adults are using them to search for jobs, find a date, read e-books, order food, and find their next destination. When it comes to competition, smartphone apps and utilities are constantly competing for attention.

But as often as people are staring at these digital devices, it’s harder than ever to get customers to pick up a call. Each year, consumers and businesses receive over 100 billion calls from known scammers and an additional 30 billion nuisance calls. T-Mobile reported this week that they’ve tagged over 10 BILLION calls as “Scam Likely” from its conception. First Orion estimates that nearly 84% of all calls go unanswered, making it nearly impossible for businesses to reach their intended customers.

So what’s the solution? Some businesses have turned to text marketing, which is only legal when consumers opt-in, and only effective when they’re not lost in a sea of notifications. And if a number come in as unknown, most people will ignore it – even if they’re expecting an important call. We found that 92% of wireless consumers don’t just want to know who is calling; they also want to know why they’re calling.

That’s why First Orion developed a solution called Engage™. When an Engage enabled number calls, consumers will see a branded screen showing a business name, logo, and the reason for the call, rather than an “Unknown Caller” screen. From there, they can choose to answer or decline the call, or interact in a different way, like “Decline” or “Confirm.”

From rideshare apps to airline notifications, Engage can simplify user experiences and help businesses reach their customers. Ordered food for delivery? Your driver John is calling to tell you he’s outside. Flying to Fresno this morning? The friendly airline can call and give you an extra hour to pack, thanks to a flight reschedule. Your pharmacy can confirm orders or changes to your prescriptions. Your credit card can alert you of fraud in real time.

With 8 billion legitimate business-to-consumer calls in the U.S. each month, Engage aims to get more of those calls answered the first time. The early adopters of Engage have seen their answer rates double. First Orion verifies your business number, letting customers know your call is safe to answer. This builds loyalty, brand awareness, and leads to quicker connections. It’s better for your bottom line, too; when customers are answering and returning calls in a timely manner, your call center spends less time waiting around for people to pick up.

Want to see how Engage might look to your customers? Play around with the Demo on our website to see different text and templates for branding. From shipping companies to delivery services, there are endless opportunities to connect customer to brand with Engage.

Cut through the scam calls and get through to your customers. This technology is already being rolled out directly at the carrier level. You can also download PrivacyStar or Engage Calling to enable your handset to receive branded calls.


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