A new global report has revealed the impact of changing consumer behaviour on business communications.
Moneypenny, an outsourced communications provider which handles 20 million interactions for 21,000 organisations each year, surveyed 2,000 consumers across the UK and US to identify trends in customer behaviour, communications preferences and the biggest gripes.
Despite the growing reliance on digital channels, the phone still comes out on top as consumers’ favourite method of contacting a business, with 35% of those surveyed saying they prefer to call than use other tools.
Crucially though, data reveals that the nature of business calls has changed. According to the survey, 30% of respondents make fewer calls than they did three years ago, yet 45% admit to spending longer on the phone to businesses – demonstrating that inbound calls are more valuable than ever.
As a result, call handlers are likely to face more urgent, complex and sensitive queries and must be prepared to deliver the appropriate level of care and attention.
Joanna Swash, CEO of Moneypenny, said: “There’s a strong emotional rationale behind how an individual chooses to get in touch with a business. And with the phone, it’s increasingly because they have complex needs that require a blend of expertise, empathy and discussion that simply can’t be met any other way.
“These are the calls that businesses cannot afford to miss yet there remains a lack of understanding around the motivation behind customer calls that’s fraying tempers and testing patience. Only the businesses that appreciate the fact that inbound calls are driven by a specific need and give callers the time they need to find a solution, are the ones who will have happier, more fulfilled customers.”
The trend is consistent across all generations with at least 40% of Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and baby boomers each reporting an increase in the amount of time they spend on the phone to organisations. The behaviour is mirrored between the UK and US, and the genders.
Joanna Swash continued: “As a business that handles inbound communications for thousands of organisations across the globe, we understand the true value of these calls and the commercial and reputational impact of failing to handle them correctly.”
The survey revealed that following a badly handled call, 36% of people will take their business elsewhere, 34% will make a complaint and a quarter will leave a negative review.
Joanna concluded: “Businesses have a duty to do right by their customers and by prioritising caller experience, they can increase loyalty and stand out within their industry. It’s time to give calls the attention they deserve.”
The report includes practical advice to help business leaders ensure positive caller experiences and understand how to respond appropriately to different types of calls.
It is available to download for free on Moneypenny’s website: https://moneypenny.com/uk/calltrends/
Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions. In total, more than 21,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology.
For more information, visit: www.moneypenny.com/uk