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Robocalls: What They Are and How to Use Them Ethically

Robocalls: What They Are and How to Use Them Ethically

When used ethically, robocalls can be a powerful tool for businesses to enhance customer service, deliver timely notifications, and gather valuable insights. In this blog post, we explore how companies can leverage robocalls, the importance of respecting customer preferences, and the benefits of using robocalls properly. 

Table of Contents

What Are Robocalls?

Robocalls use auto-dialing systems that can make thousands of calls per minute. This allows businesses to reach a large audience quickly, making it an efficient communication tool. The messages delivered through robocalls are often pre-recorded or use a “text-to-voice” feature.

The term “robocall” usually has a negative connotation because companies will abuse the service to send marketing, sales, and spam calls. However, robocalls can be used ethically in a business context with the right approach.

Ethical ways for businesses to use robocalls include:

  • Announcements
  • Closings & Delays
  • Employee/HR communications
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Reminders
  • Surveys

Public Perception and Response to Robocalls

As we mentioned above, robocalls are generally viewed very negatively by the public, but understanding why is the key to using robocalls effectively.

Why There’s Negative Sentiment Surrounding Robocalls

Negative feelings toward robocalls often stem from those who have received unsolicited calls, spam calls, or frequent, irrelevant robocalls. To overcome the negative feelings contacts have about robocalls, businesses have to work hard to build positive associations with their calls and let customers know they respect their time.

At Text-Em-All, we get it. We always say that we also loathe unwanted and annoying interrupt-dinner-with-the-family spam calls. That’s why we don’t allow any marketing, sales, or political robocalls or messages to be sent from our platform.

The Importance of Respecting Customer Preferences

Respecting your audience’s preferences is the most important aspect of gaining their trust and being able to send effective robocalls. Letting them know that you’ll never take advantage of them and spam their phone with frequent calls is half the battle—you have to show them you mean it by truly listening to them and following some best practices.

If you disregard your customers’ preferences, you could start to build a negative brand image and possibly face legal ramifications. 

Benefits of Using Robocalls Properly

After overcoming the negative feelings associated with robocalls, there are countless good reasons to use robocalls ethically. Here are some of the benefits:

Enhancing Customer Service with Timely Notifications

Businesses can use robocalls to deliver timely notifications to customers, such as order confirmations, appointment reminders, or service updates. Notifications enhance customer service by providing relevant information in a timely manner, contributing to overall customer satisfaction.

Cost-Effective Outreach

Compared to traditional outreach methods, robocalls offer a cost-effective solution for reaching a large audience. Automating the calling process reduces the need for extensive team resources, making it an efficient option for businesses of all sizes.

Gathering Actionable Insights Through Automated Surveys

Robocalls can be used to conduct automated surveys, enabling businesses to gather valuable insights into customer preferences, satisfaction levels, and feedback. This data can inform strategic decision-making and help businesses tailor their offerings to meet customer needs.

If you send out a survey through Text-Em-All, we’ll automatically gather the results for you in an easy-to-read graph. With voice surveys, you can have up to 9 options. 

Ensuring Compliance and Respect in Robocall Usage

To use robocalls ethically, businesses must also adhere to regulatory measures and respect customer preferences. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Do Not Call Registry, and guidelines for obtaining consent are crucial aspects of compliance.

Key Points of the TCPA for Businesses

The TCPA establishes rules for telemarketing calls, including robocalls. Businesses must be aware of these rules, which include obtaining consent before making automated calls, providing opt-out options, and maintaining a "Do Not Call" list.

Read The Complete TCPA Compliance Checklist for Business Messaging

Adhering to the Do Not Call Registry

Businesses should regularly check and respect the national Do Not Call Registry, which allows individuals to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls. Scrubbing call lists against this registry helps ensure businesses are not making calls to individuals who have opted out.

Guidelines for Obtaining Consent

Obtaining consumer consent is essential to ethical robocall usage. Businesses should clearly communicate the purpose of the calls, provide opt-in options, and respect individuals' choices. Transparent and honest communication builds trust with customers.

Best Practices for Using Robocalls Effectively

To maximize the benefits of robocalls, businesses should adopt best practices for crafting messages, timing calls, personalization, continual monitoring, and integration with broader communication strategies.

Crafting a Clear and Concise Message

The success of a robocall campaign often hinges on the clarity and conciseness of the message. Businesses should craft messages that are easy to understand, relevant to the recipient, and provide clear calls to action. A concise message increases the likelihood of engagement.

Timing Robocalls for Optimal Engagement

Timing plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of robocalls. Businesses should schedule calls at times when recipients are most likely to be available and responsive. It’s always a good rule of thumb to schedule calls during business hours instead of times when the recipient may be resting or enjoying time with family or friends. Avoiding inconvenient times ensures that the message is received positively.

Personalization and Respecting Customer Boundaries

Personalizing robocalls by addressing recipients by name and tailoring messages to their preferences can significantly improve engagement. At the same time, it's essential to respect customer boundaries by avoiding excessive calls and irrelevant content.

Continual Monitoring and Response to Feedback

Robocall campaigns should be continuously monitored, and businesses should actively seek and respond to customer feedback. Analyzing campaign performance allows for adjustments and improvements, contributing to a more effective and customer-friendly approach.

Integration with Broader Strategies

Robocalls should be part of a broader multi-channel approach to communication. For example, integrating calling with texting and email creates a seamless customer experience across various platforms.

You can send a combination text and voice message from the Text-Em-All platform, which expedites your communication strategy.

4 Examples of Non-Marketing Robocalls

As we stated earlier, most customers don’t appreciate marketing calls. Luckily, there are many ways to send robocalls that aren’t related to marketing. Here are four examples of non-marketing robocalls:

Natural Disaster Notifications

During natural disasters, robocalls can provide timely and critical information to affected communities. Emergency alerts, evacuation notices, and safety instructions can be efficiently communicated through automated calls.

Waste and Utility Shut Down Notices

Utility companies can use robocalls to notify customers about planned maintenance, service interruptions, or issues related to waste disposal. Timely communication ensures that customers are aware of any inconveniences and can make necessary arrangements.

School and Higher Education Alerts

Educational institutions can use robocalls for various purposes, including school closures, event reminders, and important announcements. This ensures that students, parents, and staff are promptly informed about any changes or updates.

Community Emergencies

In community emergencies, such as outbreaks or safety concerns, robocalls can serve as a vital communication tool. Authorities can use automated calls to provide instructions, share critical information, and keep residents informed about the situation.

Streamline Your Outreach with Ethical Robocalls

Using robocalls ethically is essential for businesses looking to harness the benefits of this communication method while maintaining a positive image. By implementing best practices and using robocalls for non-marketing situations, businesses can use robocalls to their advantage and turn them into a positive and helpful experience for their audience.

If you’re looking to start sending ethical robocalls, try Text-Em-All. We’ll help you build trust and engage with your audience effectively while ensuring you only send messages your audience wants to receive. Create your free account today.