Calls a challenge to the internet age?

Published: 5 May 2015 09:30

Half of Scots prefer to get information over the phone

CONSUMERS in Scotland looking for basic information about companies are just as likely to use the phone as go online, new research has revealed.

“Businesses should be looking carefully at how information is communicated on the phone,” – Mark Williamson, PH Media Group

“Businesses should be looking carefully at how information is communicated on the phone,” – Mark Williamson, PH Media Group

The study of 1,000 consumers, conducted by global research consultancy TNS on behalf of PH Media Group, discovered that 50 per cent of Scots would still rather have enquiries such as opening times answered quickly over the phone than look online.

This puts them slightly behind those in London (52 per cent) where people were more likely to pick up the phone when it comes to gathering company information.

Mark Williamson, sales and marketing director at PH Media Group, said: "Although Scottish companies are putting more and more effort into the way their websites look, these stats show they are missing a trick if they don't do the same with their phone line.

"The phone remains a key method of communication and a core component of brand image.”

Interestingly, 33 per cent of Scots even prefer on-hold messages to actually speaking to a customer service adviser.

This trend is particularly strong among the young, with 39 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds and 41 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds in the UK preferring on-hold messaging to a customer service adviser (in contrast to only 15 per cent of 54 to 64-year-olds.)

Williamson added: “Given younger people are more inclined to get information from an on-hold message than a customer service adviser, businesses should be looking carefully at how information is communicated on the phone.

“The research also shows that there may be many touchpoints with potential customers without them even speaking to an adviser. Each call represents a significant opportunity to keep customers engaged, informed and entertained when placed on hold."

People in the North West, meanwhile, were the least receptive with only 33 per cent preferring to use the phone for basic enquiries rather than the internet.

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