Product Update for Phone Lookup APIs: Name Hint

As I have talked multiple times, we are constantly working to improve our accuracy and coverage. It’s how we differentiate today and will continue to do so going forward for Trestle. 

An interesting challenge, though, is how we define accuracy. Take this scenario, for example:

  • A family plan where there is a single name registered with the Telco but is being used by different people within the household. 
  • A business LLC, as well as an individual, both registered to a single phone number. 

Which name should we be returning in these scenarios? Most business applications are not equipped to deal with multiple people associated with the same phone number. They typically only have the ability to take a single name and address. Therefore, they need the ‘best person’ associated with the number. 

To help with that, one of the features we are introducing is ‘name hint’ for our phone lookup APIs, including Reverse Phone API and Caller Identification APIs. During the API request, along with the phone number, customers can now provide a name they received in the lead form or maybe they already have it in the CRM system. We will see if we have this name within our database associated with the phone number, and if so, we will prioritize that person/business details to be returned as part of our response set. If we do not have that name of course, we will use our internal algorithms and signals to prioritize the best person/business that might be associated with the incoming phone/lead. 

Here is a quick example. Let’s say we have these two entities associated with the phone number 555-555-1212.

Jon Snow

    • Phone: 555-555-1212
    • Current Address: Seattle, WA
    • Historical Address: New York, NY
    • Additional Number: 999-999-2424
    • Household People: Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Arya Stark

The North LLC

    • Phone: 555-555-1212
    • Registered Address: Seattle, WA

Now when a business, let’s say, House of Baratheon Inc., receives a lead with this number, which entity details might they be interested in? It very well depends on the business. If House of Baratheon Inc. is looking to sell home or auto insurance, probably the person’s details, along with household people, might be of more interest. In that case, when the House of Baratheon Inc. queries for the details on the number, a name hint will be added in, as follows:[insertkey]&phone=5555551212&phone.name_hint=Jon+Snow

With this hint, Trestle will prioritize the response set for Jon Snow and send the details for Jon Snow. Yes, the response set will also mention the other ‘potential owners’ of the phone, including The North LLC , but Jon Snow’s details, including addresses, phone numbers, and household people, will be returned as the entity associated with the phone. 

Two additional points to make: I want to emphasize that this is not about offloading the accuracy work to our customers. Trestle is focused 100% on that and will continue to iterate there. It is about taking into consideration various verticals and use cases that we serve and optimizing our product/solution to their specific needs. 

Also, note that we will not use the name hint to improve our coverage and associate the name hint name to the phone in our database. The query parameter is just used to improve our ranking algorithms. As mentioned above, if we do not have a name associated with the phone or the name hint provided doesn’t match any of the names we have, we will continue with our internal algorithms for ranking the data available.

If this is of interest to you, you can find our API documentation here. If you have any questions or need any assistance to get this rolled out for your business, you can contact us