‘Tis the Season to Be Talking – The Phone Call is Valued When Consumers Are Shopping This Christmas

New research has revealed that consumers in the UK are twice as likely to make a phone call when making a purchase, as opposed to purely transacting online. 44% of consumers said they would like to speak with a company when buying a product, versus 26% saying they prefer not to. The findings of the research, carried out by ResponseTap, the call-based marketing automation company, reveal that despite efforts to serve consumers online only, the phone call still plays a critical role at the point of sale with voice helping to increase sales across the board.

In the run up to Christmas, brands are already in the midst of their busiest sales period of the year. The focus is on omnichannel retailing, offering a seamless approach across all customer channels; these findings underline the importance of the phone call as part of the customer journey.

The research revealed that men (45%) and women (43%) value speaking to a company when buying a product in equal measure, and that there is also very little deviation between age groups. 55-64 year olds are most likely to want to speak to a company when making a purchase (49%) followed by 35-44 year olds (44%). Interestingly, the 16-24 age group is only two percentage points behind (42%), showing that they value the phone call as much as their elders.

UK regions showed interesting skews to the findings, with the East of England being most likely to desire a phone call (55%) over web-only purchasing (20%), and Wales being the region to show the greatest indifference, with a 46% likelihood to desire a phone call or to purchase purely online.

“There is a misconception in the market that younger consumers avoid phone calls over dealing purely online, and that with older consumers vice versa. Equally there is the myth that women use the phone more than men, but our research debunks these marketing myths,” explains Bhavesh Vaghela, Chief Marketing Officer for ResponseTap.

“Millennials are often considered as the most digital savvy group, but this does not mean that they don’t value or need the human voice.  For many, the phone call brings reassurance before making a purchasing decision and brands need to be aware of this. In fact, a successful phone call in the customer experience will increase the likelihood of a sale.  This research show voice is key to building a real relationship with the consumer and therefore helps improve brand advocacy.”

The ResponseTap whitepaper ‘Voice as the relationship milestone’ is available to download at: http://bit.ly/1voc12e

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