(Advanced) Local Based Call-Routing

In one of our previous blog posts, we talked about the need for call routing using Reverse Phone API. We discussed the need to use more than NPA NXX based location to ensure the call is routed to the appropriate local agent or sales representative for maximizing conversions. Given we are a data company, we decided to prove the value of this by using data. 

This post assumes that the business already knows and/or has seen the value of using local area code based dialers. Meaning, if they want to call someone with an area code 425, they will use an outbound number with the same area code. If you have not done that already, you should absolutely do that because you will see a jump in the calls answered and thus conversions by a significant number. With this post, we want to show how businesses can not only further fine-tune their approach used by dialers based on the area code, but also the actual subscriber location.

Our analytics team here at Trestle decided to see how many times the phone number location (based on current residence or subscriber billing address) mismatches with the NPA NXX location based on the phone area codes. This is not just limited to routing the calls to a local representative, but it’s also about using the appropriate phone number dialer so the calls seem local on the other end, thus further maximizing the potential conversion opportunity. Meaning, as a consumer, I am much more likely to pick a call coming from the same area code where I live rather than from a random area code that I am not familiar with or from an area code where I lived 20 years ago. 

We started with a set of random phone numbers and looked up their NPA NXX location. Something as follows:

Then for this same set of numbers, we looked up their location based on subscriber billing data and/or the current address of the subscriber. At times, we have a couple of addresses as current (think vacation homes, etc.), so we recorded all these current addresses (just city, state shown in the image below).

Then we compared these current address locations with the NPA NXX based location. The comparison was at the state level and the city level.

State Mach: 88.49%

City Match: 36.38%

In other words, the current location city does not match the NPA NXX city 63.62% of the time. Of course, the city mismatch is a huge number, so we decided to dig deeper into it to confirm we do not have any false positives. 

One of the scenarios that is common for example is: I am in a Seattle suburb, so my area code is 425. However, I know very well other Seattle area codes like 206 and consider them local. In fact, if I get a call from a 206 number, I think the call is from a local number and am much more prone to pick it up. Hence, the analytics team decided to weed out such ‘suburban level’ mismatches. They went about calculating the distance between the NPA NXX city, state and the current address location. We used Google Maps APIs to do so and decided it is a ‘suburban match’ if the distance is less than 25 miles.

Suburban Match: 67.25%

(Or) Suburban Mismatch: 32.75%

In business terms, even if the business is sophisticated enough and decides to use a local dialer, almost a third of the time they are using a wrong dialing number. A number, which very well might be chosen at random because it has the same probability of being picked up as any random number dialer. That lead being called is not going to recognize the area code or will think that the call is coming from someone where they lived 20 years ago, so it’s probably not worth the time. It also means that businesses who spend the money to buy local dialers are wasting a lot of dollars. They are not targeting it based on where the lead currently is and using antiquated information, which might even risk the number being marked spam by the carriers when it goes unanswered too many times.

If you already know the value or are convinced about using local dialers, I hope this provides a data backed reason on why businesses should fine-tune that approach based on the subscriber location rather than NPA NXX location.

If you are using local dialers or plan to do so, we would love to work with you to see how the conversions change by using the subscriber location based dialing rather than area code based dials. If you are already a Trestle customer, you can use the location that is part of our Reverse Phone API or Caller Identification (CNAM) API to identify the location and the area code to use. Reach out to me at kshah [at] trestleiq [dot] com to get started or to discuss further.