Avoiding bizarre caller ID errors

22Feb11

A few days ago, I saw a rather strange name flash by on our caller ID. The text simply said “Server Room”, without any indication of the caller’s name or their company name. Assuming their organization isn’t actually called “Server Room”, I’m guessing that their outbound caller ID is configured incorrectly. In other words, while an identifier like “Server Room” might be helpful when making internal calls within the same company, it’s not very useful to people outside of that organization.

Seeing this bizarre caller ID made me think about how we tested our own caller ID configuration after changing phone providers last year. In particular, we placed calls from the office phone system to:

– Our own office phone numbers, to make sure the caller ID looked correct when looping a phone call back on the same network.

– Outside phone numbers (such as an employee’s cell phone) to verify that the caller ID was accurate when calling third-party numbers.

As it turned out, there were several mistakes in how the phone company configured our caller ID. It took several hours of troubleshooting with their help desk to fix the problem. And I’m glad we invested the time to get it all resolved. Given how important it is for any company to project a consistent image to customers, vendors and employees, it’s well worth the effort to make sure your caller ID is showcasing your brand name — rather than working against you by causing confusion for the person on the other end of the line.



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