With the right provider, Caller ID Name (CNAM) is a feature that adds a more open and human element to your telecommunications while it drives revenue, too.
To understand CNAM better, I spoke with Alex Goulis, President of VoIP provider, RateTel, and Principal at CIDName, a CNAM lookup service that makes CNAM simple. In the world of VoIP, CNAM sometimes gets complicated. Not all carriers offer the service, so often you’ll need to get a third party involved. If that’s the case, reliability, quality, compatibility, and cost can be as variable as hipster hairdos.
What does CNAM do?
Alex explained the idea behind Caller ID Name isn’t complicated. Carriers publish a 15 character ID associated with individual numbers on their network (storage). And other carriers query that database, or pay for access to aggregated DBs, when one of their customers receives a call (lookup). It’s the execution that gets cloudy. Improperly set up and managed CNAM can actually stand in the way of strong connections.
Why does CNAM matter?
Without proper CNAM storage, you lose control of how your business is represented when you call. Your number might display, “Unavailable,” your carrier’s name, or at best, your city and state. “What are the chances people are going to answer the call that says, unavailable?” Asked Alex. The fact is, proper CNAM results in more answered calls. Which is a very good thing for cold callers, call centers, and carriers.
CNAM is a sales tool.
CNAM storage makes interactions more human from the beginning. People want to know who’s calling. When they don’t, they’re less likely to answer. Which means fewer opportunities to make your pitch. And, said Alex, sending the name of your business with your number not only boosts response, it automatically identifies your brand as open and trustworthy. People like buying from brands they trust.
CNAM let’s you know who’s calling.
According to Alex, that can be powerful knowledge. CNAM lookup provides the basis for preferential routing through your PBX and Unified Communications, more personal greetings, and an all around more professional caller experience.
CNAM helps catch telephone and credit card fraud.
When someone’s CNAM doesn’t match the payment info they’re providing, you’ve got an automatic red flag that maybe this sale isn’t the best. Abort, or dig deeper. It’s another reason major retailers and call centers are finding ways to implement CNAM lookup.
The bottom line here is, CNAM is great for your business, your brand, and your bottom line. But make sure you know what you’re getting into a relationship with the right CNAM provider.