Implementing STIR/SHAKEN in the Contact Center


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Individual holding their phone receiving an incoming call from

Alphanumeric believes that adherent patients are happy patients. Therefore, it is essential to provide patient support throughout each patient’s treatment journey that contributes to patients staying on their regimen. However, due to the high volume of unassociated spam-related calls, patients often no longer answer the phone, which has decreased program adherence rates. We recently spoke with Eric Ness, PMP, GRCP, Senior Systems Engineer, Alphanumeric, to discuss how this issue is being solved through a framework of standards called STIR/SHAKEN. 

1. What is STIR/SHAKEN?

STIR/SHAKEN is a set of protocols mandated by the FCC to thwart robocalling / spam calls. However, there is potential to make use of this technology in the contact center, from a branding, support, and adherence perspective.

2. How does STIR/SHAKEN work?

The way it works is by allowing us to tell our customers who we are when we call them, instead of them seeing just an unknown phone number appear. This is because U.S. telecommunications carriers will be required to validate their customers who place outbound calls on their network. There are three levels of validation, and Alphanumeric’s goal, when setting up an outbound calling program, is to have an "A" rating, and a "green checkmark" appear on the target mobile phone when we call our customer. Additionally, a 14-character "tag" can be applied.

3. How does this benefit a contact center?

The issue that we are experiencing is that customers aren’t answering the phone when they see a call from an unrecognized number.  STIR/SHAKEN provides an authentication solution so your customer knows who is calling.

4. When will STIR/SHAKEN be available?

Soon! The FCC has mandated that US telecommunications carriers implement this technology by June 30th, 2021. Alphanumeric's telecommunications partner expects to be fully compliant by that date. 

5. What challenges might someone face in implementing STIR/SHAKEN in their outbound calling programs?

Currently, you may need to contract separately with each receiving carrier, or with separate third-party entities representing each receiving carrier. This can be a cumbersome process, and results in multiple additional vendor relationships to manage. Alphanumeric, and our communications cloud services partner, can manage STIR/SHAKEN implementation across all US carriers from within a single calling platform for our clients.

6. How can this solution benefit patient support calling programs?

Outbound calling programs currently suffer from extremely low efficiency; targeted customers simply are no longer picking up the phone when they see a call from an unrecognized number, due to frustration with "spam" callers. Providing authentication on the mobile device, as to the caller's identity, helps with this, and making use of the 14 characters "tag" to identify your company to the people you are calling will help improve your program’s connect rate, and improve patient support. 

This is especially useful when calling customers who have "opted in," and have a willingness to speak to you when you call them.

For more information on how Alphanumeric can help you ensure your global contact center is STIR/SHAKEN compliant, contact us today!

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