The Neglected Impact of Ad Fraud: How It Affects Your Team
Ad fraud can have a lot of negative impacts on a business. In addition to the wasted ad spend used on fraudulent impressions, clicks, and leads, there’s the increased risk of TCPA violations, wasted sales team time pursuing bad leads, and potential reputational damage from reaching out to people who never actually opted in to receive communications.
However, while these are all common talking points for ad fraud impacts, there’s one consequence of ad fraud that often gets overlooked—a hidden cost faced by your sales/customer outreach team. This cost of ad fraud is employee burnout in your call/contact center.
What Does Ad Fraud Have to Do with Your Contact Center?
Ad fraud can have a strong, if somewhat indirect, impact on your contact/call center operations. After all, online marketing is a key strategy for filling out your call center’s list of people to contact.
If the leads generated are fake, then your sales team will be wasting their time on “leads” who never opted in to receive communication, don’t know your company that well, and aren’t interested in your products or services.
In short, it’s a case of “garbage in, garbage out.” When you feed bad leads to your sales team, they’ll struggle to produce results.
What about Call Center Fraud?
Ad fraud is a completely separate issue from call center fraud—or the act of a scammer contacting an organization’s call/contact center as part of a con they’re running. In call center fraud, the criminal is reaching out to the organization they’re scamming. In ad fraud, the fraudster is feeding their victim bad leads—but doesn’t typically interact with call center employees at all.
The specific methods and goals a call center fraud scheme may use vary, but some common elements include:
- Phone Number Spoofing/Customer Impersonation. The scammer might try to impersonate a real customer—even going so far as spoofing their caller ID information to make themselves look like that customer during their call.
- Phishing Attempts. Some scammers might try to get information about a customer out of contact center agents so they can more easily commit identity theft against the customer they’re trying to impersonate.
- Credit Card Fraud. Some fraudsters might use stolen credit card information to complete transactions while posing as a legitimate customer over the phone (or, more likely, on a company’s online storefront). They’ll have the goods shipped to a remote address they know, pick them up, and be gone by the time the real cardholder sees the illicit charge and initiates a chargeback with their bank or credit company.
Fighting call center fraud requires a different set of tools from those needed for ad fraud prevention because of how differently the two forms of fraud work. Common recommendations for fighting call center fraud include things like providing employees with training on phishing scams or applying multifactor authentication (MFA) on customer accounts to reduce risk of impersonation.
However, to battle ad fraud, you need a solution that can filter out fraud before the fake leads generated filter down to your sales team. Ad fraud prevention is a proactive process that seeks to keep fraudsters from hurting your marketing campaigns.
How Bad Leads Hurt Your Sales Team
So, how do bad leads from ad fraud hurt your sales/prospect outreach team? There are a few major impacts of ad fraud on the employees in your call center:
- Reduced Productivity. If your sales team is spending time calling up fake leads, then they aren’t spending time with actual sales prospects. Even if they move through the bad lead calls as quickly as possible, that creates a delay that reduces how many opportunities they have to convert real prospects into customers.
- Increased Stress on Call Center Employees. When a call agent reaches out to a bad lead, they may get a rude awakening when the person on the other end goes: “Who are you? Why are you calling me? I didn’t fill out any form! Lose my number!” Getting yelled at over and over again due to being given bad information can be incredibly stressful to your prospect outreach team—driving increased rates of employee burnout.
- Higher Employee Turnover. Employees can only be yelled at so often before they decide enough is enough and quit—even if the ones doing the yelling are their “prospects.” The stress caused by frequent complaints and arguments can drive employee turnover by hurting their morale and motivation—which can also drive increased recruitment costs to replace departing team members. Employee turnover can cost between $2,792 and $4,725 per employee for the average company (Source: Chally)
For “cold calling” businesses, dealing with irritated consumers who weren't expecting a call is often an assumption. However, for a business using retargeting ads, inbound marketing, and social media to get people to opt into receiving communications, such outbursts shouldn’t happen. This takes one of the biggest benefits of working for a call center that specializes in working with interested prospects away from call center agents.
If the cause of the drop in deals closed remains unknown, call center agents may face unfair evaluations. Being asked why they aren’t meeting goals when they’re being fed bad prospects that have a next-to-zero chance of converting can be incredibly frustrating for employees—which increases the risk that they’ll either become disengaged underperformers or quit outright.
How an Ad Fraud Solution Helps Your Team Succeed and Grow
So, what can you do to reduce the stress, frustration, and burnout that ad fraud can cause in your prospect outreach team? One thing you can do is use a dedicated ad fraud solution to identify fraudulent leads before passing them on to your sales team.
With the right ad fraud solution, you can identify fake leads, clicks, and impressions as they happen—flagging them as fraud well before your sales team ever tries to interact with the “prospects.” This way, you can make it so that you only present good leads to your team.
The benefits of this include:
- Increased Conversion Rates. When sales team members only have to deal with genuine prospects, they can get a higher rate of conversions than when they have to handle junk leads created by fraud.
- Improved Employee Engagement and Morale. Nobody likes being told that they aren’t doing good enough or feeling like they’re hitting their head against the wall over and over again without any real results. By feeding your team better-quality leads, you can help them succeed—creating a positive feedback loop where they feel better about meeting their goals and staying motivated to keep working hard to get more conversions.
- Better ROI for Call Center Labor. If two call center agents spend eight hours reaching out to contacts, and one of them has to deal with 1 in 4 of their assigned contacts being a fraudulent lead when the other doesn’t, who do you think will provide a higher ROI for their labor? It will be the agent who didn’t have to waste time on dead air or trying to calm down an angry consumer who never filled out a lead generation form.
Don’t wait until your entire call center is suffering from burnout because of bad leads. Start protecting your marketing budget and your call center staff from the effects of ad fraud by reaching out to Anura.