Remember life before email spam filters? If you’re a regular email user, you probably recall wasting countless minutes sifting through timeshare offers and phony solicitations from foreign royals just so you could answer your important messages.

While email spam has been forced into obsolescence, phone spamming has only metastasized. Thanks to what many of us would call ‘unfortunate’ technological breakthroughs, telemarketers are now able to make thousands of spam calls at once for a fraction of the money it used to cost them.

Consumers are protected against mass-spamming by the Do Not Call List, but businesses receive no such protection; they’re not allowed on the list and left to fend off robocallers on their own. For large corporations, that isn’t a huge deal. Most already pay for large call centers to filter their incoming calls.

Autodialers can suck the productivity out of your day.

But as any small business owner knows, extra cash is hard to come by. If you can barely afford to make payroll, how are you supposed to hire a call center to get rid of your pesky robocalls? As a result, small businesses waste precious time and resources discarding bogus calls. In the long run, the aggravation adds up and translates to expense. American businesses spend 20 million hours a year answering spam calls, squandering $475m worth of productivity in the process.

That’s reason enough to equip your small business with a caller ID service, but accurate caller information can do much more for your business than just stopping telemarketers’ calls.

Caller ID helps businesses ensure that they’re prepared and present when an important client calls. Even if it’s just a matter of 20 seconds, you want to know when that vital call is on the way. That 20 seconds can be the difference between ignoring an unknown number and taking an immense leap forward.

Accurate caller information also gives your business the information it needs to build a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system. Your business needs to track who’s on the other end of every incoming call and how many times you’ve spoken with each caller. Your company should know, for instance, that a prospective client called three times this week.

Save time and gather more valuable customer information for your CRM.

Without a caller ID API like OpenCNAM that can feed call information into a CRM, your staff has to devote time and resources to manually inputting call data. Many sales-centric organizations make thousands of calls a day; Plugging in all incoming calls by hand would take up hours of someone’s time. OpenCNAM Plus, on the other hand, makes it easy for businesses to collect service and sales caller ID data from phones in 229 countries. It’s also able to grab call data from North American carriers that don’t often don’t have caller ID values, such as Google Voice and Verizon Wireless, and toll-free numbers that aren’t covered by traditional CNAM services. That caller information can then be entered into your CRM where it can support further interactions and lead to conversions.

Finally, caller ID has a more subtle but no less important benefit for small businesses: Personalization. Being able to address an incoming caller by their name goes a long way to building a strong rapport. Clients who are greeted by name will feel more comfortable speaking to your sales or support staff, leading to positive brand association and long-term loyalty.

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