27 September 2021

Research reveals telephone remains customers’ preferred method of contact

Research & analysis

A new survey of consumers across the US, UK and Australia has revealed that the telephone remains their overwhelmingly preferred method of contact when getting in touch with businesses.

A staggering 88% of those surveyed said they actively chose the phone over other contact methods, despite businesses investing in digital alternatives, such as websites, social media and automated chatbot services – an investment that’s reflected by almost one-in-five business owners’ (17% US, 21% in UK and Australia) belief that the telephone is no longer the most important method of communication for their business.

The wider findings of the survey have revealed that there’s an increasing demand for and use of the telephone; most business owners reported an increase in calls over the last 12 months. This is especially true in the US (84%), but a majority of respondents in the UK (54%) and Australia (65%) reported the same.

This additional exposure has put the caller experience under increased spotlight; when asked about how their caller experience could be improved, 50% of US consumers (26% UK, 31% Australia) stated that engaging audio content would make a difference – a figure which reflects that just 35% of businesses (23% UK, 24% Australia) are using ‘informative on-hold messaging’.

It’s clear that, given a choice, customers would prefer to deal with a real person owing to its ease of connection (PwC, ‘Human Interaction as Tech Grows’); however, they believe that there’s significant room for improvement in terms of the caller experience being delivered by brands.

Survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of PHMG. The poll surveyed 1,000 consumers and 1,000 business decision-makers in each of the US, UK and Australia.

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