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Most customers still prefer to pick up the phone, survey shows

September 13th, 2019

People may be spending more time online than ever before, but most still want to pick up the phone before they decide what they’re going to buy and who they’re going to buy it from.

According to research by Mediahawk, 60% of people prefer to call someone before making a purchase decision.

Consumers are particularly keen to speak over the phone if the product or service is complex or expensive, as a personal touch provides confidence and assurance.

The study found healthcare, legal and financial services are among those most likely to prompt a call, while restaurants and travel companies can expect clarifying questions over the phone before a booking is made.

Solving the missed call challenge

Mediahawk noted even digital native younger customers are shifting to verbal communication, with a third of 16 to 24-year-olds preferring to pick up the phone. One possible reason is frustration with the delay caused by typing emails or messages.

It means effective telephone support is essential and should be a priority for every company, particularly as previous research shows 70% of callers don’t leave voicemail messages.

But for a growing business with limited staff numbers, avoiding missed calls can be a challenge.

A professional business call handling service is a flexible and convenient option, as a trained receptionist answers all calls and provides the personal touch customers need when they make an enquiry. For sole traders, they also provide peace of mind that nothing will be missed during a holiday, and allow the freedom to get on with running a business without constantly stopping to take calls.

Accommodating every customer

“In this world of on-demand information, people are less patient and are not prepared to wait a day for an email to be replied to,” Mediahawk said in its analysis of the survey. “Everyone has specific needs and wants, and they like to be accommodated. The more variations you offer, the more questions you are going to raise.”

The trend is likely to continue, as quality service and human interaction are becoming important differentiators for discerning customers. With three-fifths of your potential customers preferring to get information over the phone, are you ready to provide them the support and service they expect?

For information on Eastway Enterprise Centre’s call handling services, virtual offices and other ways we can help you better serve your customers, click here to get in touch with the team.

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