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How to Improve Call Connect and Pickup Rates for International Calls

How to improve call connect rates and pickup rates for international calls.

Are you making business phone calls to people in other countries, but nobody answers?

Well, over 80% of people are “extremely unlikely” to answer a call from an “unknown number.”

As a business, you’ll want to take steps to encourage people on the other end of the phone to answer your calls. This article discusses tools, tips, and strategies businesses can use to improve call connect and pickup rates.

What Are Call Connection Rates?

Call connection rate is the percentage of calls that successfully connect and are answered by the dialed party.

For example, suppose you make 100 calls in a day, and 50 of those calls are answered. Your call connection rate for that day is 50%.

Call connection rates are also known as pickup rates or answer rates.

Strategies for Improving Call Connection Rates

Through our years of experience advising businesses on international telecommunications best practices, we’ve created a comprehensive list of strategies and tips to improve outbound call pickup rates.

Quick Summary:

  • Use a local in-country caller ID.
  • Follow good outbound calling etiquette (call at acceptable times, don’t call multiple times in a row, prioritize warm over cold calling).
  • Ensure your phone number is not marked as spam, and audit how your caller ID appears across countries and networks.
  • Use a multi-channel strategy.
  • Leverage outbound calling technologies.

Let’s dig into these strategies in more depth:

Use a Local Caller ID

People are less likely to answer calls from unfamiliar foreign phone numbers. For example, a business prospect in the United States is unlikely to answer calls from a Mexico phone number.

The best way to improve call pickup rates is to use a local in-country caller ID. For example, businesses calling from Mexico to the United States should show a local US caller ID.

See how Directum Translations used a US caller ID to improve call connection rates from Mexico to the US.

Gunnar Hallgrimsson quote

If you cannot use a local caller ID due to in-country network restrictions or budgeting constraints, the next best option would be to use the caller ID from a neighboring country or close trading partner.

For example, if you’re calling GCC countries, you could show a Bahrain caller ID. Similarly, someone could effectively use an Australian caller ID to call New Zealand.

Prospects and customers are more receptive to familiar caller IDs.

Call at Acceptable Times

If your business calls different countries and regions worldwide, your agents should understand time zones and refrain from calling during unacceptable working hours.

For example, suppose your call center is located in South Africa. Your representatives should only be calling prospects and leads in the Americas during the afternoon or later.

People are unlikely to answer calls before 8:30 AM and after 7:30 PM—and if they happen to answer, they might get angry with you! The last thing you want when trying to do business is an angry person on the other end of the phone.

Use a time zone chart like WTB as a reference.

Don’t Call Prospects Multiple Times in a Row

This tip falls in line with calling at acceptable times. Your agents should never call people multiple times in a few minutes. If someone doesn’t answer your first call attempt and sends you to voicemail, do not try to call them back right away. They probably rejected your call for a reason.

If someone doesn’t answer, leave a clear and concise voicemail and try again a few hours later. If you don’t want to wait a few hours, you should wait at least 30 minutes before calling back.

Contact People Who Have Expressed Interest in your Company

Many continue to debate whether cold calling is still effective. At its worst, it can harm your business’s reputation or waste time since conversion rates are generally low. For this reason, we recommend warm calling over cold calling.

A simple way to improve call pickup rates is to call people who have expressed a prior interest in your company, also known as warm calling.

Some indicators that a prospect might be interested in your company are if:

  • They filled out a contact form on your website,
  • Abandoned a shopping cart,
  • Visited your website,
  • Subscribed to your newsletter,
  • Purchased from you in the past, etc.

Calling these people will generally have higher connection rates than calling people who have never heard of your company.

Use a Multi-Channel Outbound Strategy

Similar to the above tip, a multi-channel strategy will improve your call pickup rates. For example, you might combine outbound calls with emails, supplemental materials like brochures, messages on social media, etc.

Multi-channel outreach builds a sense of familiarity with your call targets and improves their chances of answering them, as they might be expecting a call from you.

Ensure that your Phone Numbers are not Marked as Spam

Spam calls are becoming rampant. Due to increased telemarketing fraud and unwanted calls, carriers have even started marking phone numbers as “Fraud Risk,” “Spam Risk,” or “Scam Likely.”

You can determine whether your number is marked as spam through NoMoRobo or TrueCaller. If your phone numbers are being marked as spam, call pickup rates will likely plummet since nobody wants to answer a call from a suspected scammer.

We’ve prepared some tips to prevent phone numbers from being marked as spam, which you can read here.

Audit How Phone Numbers Appear Across Countries and Networks

In addition to monitoring spam databases, another tip for improving call connect rates is to monitor how your phone numbers appear across countries and in-country networks.

Through our experience attending trade shows and speaking with vendors, we have learned that caller ID verification solutions like NumberTrust and TruContact are becoming increasingly popular. These tools enable businesses to check how their outbound caller ID appears across different networks.

Optimize your Dialing – Consider CRM Integrations

We recommend that businesses avoid voice spamming technologies like auto-dialers. Spamming is one of the fastest ways to get your calls marked as spam and to turn off potential clients. As mentioned, your call connection rates will be better if your number is not marked as spam.

However, your agents should be optimizing their dials by using CRM integrations. Telephony and CRM integrations enable agents to dial numbers more quickly, gain context from prior customer conversations, and maintain a log of past customer attempts.

Combining efforts with tact will make your prospects more likely to answer your calls.

How Can GCF Help?

Effective and reliable communication is key to global business success. At Global Call Forwarding, we understand the challenges of international calling. Our cloud telephony service is designed to provide secure and high-quality voice calling.

With our outbound calling and Local 2-Way Voice solutions, you can increase the chances of business calls being answered, no matter where your business or customers are located.

Want to learn more about how we can help your business? Connect with our global communication specialists; call us or chat with us online!

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