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What is Caller ID?

So How Does Caller ID Work Anyway?

What is Caller ID?

When it comes to sales calls, Caller ID is a hot topic.

How does your name and number display to prospects? Where does this information come from? What are the rules, and who regulates it? What if I want a local Caller ID to display?

In today’s post we’ll answer these questions and clear up some confusion about Caller ID. We’ll also highlight what can be done inside of PhoneBurner to bring you the best results for outbound sales.

What is Caller ID?

Caller ID is a display of information, including the caller’s number and sometimes the name, that shows up on any Caller ID enabled device. The service is included with just about any phone service, be it landline, VOIP, or mobile.

The phone company passes along this information using ASCII code (that caller ID boxes know how to decode) between the first and second ring of a phone call. Neat!

How is a Caller ID Name Determined?

The name displayed on Caller ID is determined by the receiving party’s phone carrier. CNAMs (“Calling NAMe”) are third-party services that phone companies use to attach a name to the phone number that’s calling. Each CNAM maintains it’s own database, and there is no standard or governing body. This is in contrast to Local Number Portability (LNP) which mandates that consumers can keep their local number even when changing carriers within a local area.

Because there are multiple CNAMs and databases, Caller ID name information can vary, and be outdated… or missing.

It all depends on the receiving party’s phone service – and the CNAM they work with.

For that reason, your name can display inconsistently, and can be a bit challenging to control. You can update your name with your carrier, but the frequency with which they update the various CNAM databases will vary.

How is a Caller ID Number Determined?

The Caller ID number is determined by the party placing the call. In the case of a landline or mobile phone, the number is dictated by the registered number associated with the phone placing the call.

In the case of VOIP-based providers, the number displayed can be controlled and  modified. Sometimes this requires a service agent to make the change. In other cases, the caller can make the change directly via a web interface.

When using PhoneBurner, you can control the Caller ID number displayed for your dial session. Simply go into Dial Session Settings and enter the number you want to display (you must agree that it’s an actual working number, and that it’s either owned by you or your company).

This gives you the flexibility to determine what number shows up when you call a list of leads, and ensures there’s a relevant callback number that will route them to right place.

How Does Local Caller ID Work?

PhoneBurner offers a service called Local ID that can increase live answer rates by up to 4 times. Even when agents call out of state, the Caller ID displays a local area code and phone number that the receiving party will recognize.

An agent or admin chooses the area codes they want for their account (we offer flexible packages to fit your needs, from a handful of numbers to the entire USA), and any time an agent dials one of those area codes, Caller ID will display a local number.

PhoneBurner’s software handles this automatically, setting the number for each call during your dial session. The telephone numbers are all real, and fully associated with your account, so callbacks are routed back to the agent who placed the call.

To Summarize

Caller ID helps identify the calling party by displaying a phone number, and when available, a name. This information comes from different places. Names are determined by the receiving party’s carrier. Numbers are determined by the caller’s carrier, or in some cases, directly by the caller or the software they use to place calls.

It’s important to understand how this information gets displayed in order to maximize live answers and facilitate callbacks, while maintaining integrity and adherence to calling rules and regulations.