When it comes to communications, customers want to contact businesses by telephone, reveals survey

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2nd January 2020 17:27 - Retail

When it comes to communications, customers want to contact businesses by telephone: A survey looking at the changing landscape of  communication between businesses and their customers has found that despite living in an age of ever-changing and fast-moving technologies, customers still prefer speaking to businesses over the phone.

The poll by communications company, Moneypenny found that more than half of the businesses polled (56%) said that for their customers, being reachable via telephone was the most important communication method, followed by being able to send an email - cited by half (50%). Online forms were seen as important by 28%, while just under a quarter (24%) cited a live chat function and 23% the ability to SMS. Just over a fifth (21%) said their customers liked to contact them via WhatsApp Messenger. 

The survey also suggested that traditional methods such as writing letters and sending by fax machine were preferred by the fewest number of customers (16% versus 12% respectively). 

When asked about the main reasons for their customers getting in touch by phone, the top answer given by businesses was 'to schedule an appointment' - cited by 37% of consumers. This was followed by 'to obtain information (34%) and 'to get a quick answer to a query' (32%). 

Just over three in 10 (31%) said they turn to the phone to book a service or product, while 29% are in search of more information than is offered on the company website. Just over a quarter (27%) said customers like to use the telephone to make a complaint and for 26% of respondents, customers perfer to pay for high-value items over the phone. Finally, 23% said one of the reasons customers use the phone over other communication methods was to chase an order. 

The research also revealed insight into the cost of losing out on a call to a competitor, with 57% estimating that a missed call cost them more than £1,000. For 18% that cost was even higher (£1,001 -£1500); 17% said £1,501 - £2000, while for 11% the potential loss could be as high as £2,001 to £3,000. 

Joanna Swash, Global CEO of Moneypenny, said: "This survey has proved what we've always known: that the phone call is still king, despite the rise in popularity of our new channels such as Whatsapp, live chat and social media."

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