Zipwhip, the leading provider of Texting for Business, today released Why Your Customers Don’t Answer the Phone Anymore, an e-book exploring consumer communication preferences in the modern age. Based on new survey data from U.S. consumers, the e-book highlights the overwhelmingly undesirable view of phone calls, with 97% of respondents rejecting or ignoring phone calls from a business or unknown number. Conversely, texting remains a high-priority form of communication, with 74% of consumers responding to a text message from a business within an hour.
Key insights and trends from the e-book include:
- The rise in robocalls, telemarketers, solicitors and spam callers are leading to more consumers rejecting or ignoring phone calls. Of those surveyed, 97% said they reject or ignore phone calls from businesses or unknown numbers. When asked one word to describe phone calls, respondents answered with words like “annoying,” “intrusive” and “spam.” Conversely, when asked how to describe texting, respondents used words like “quick,” “easy” and “convenient.”
- Consumers are just too busy – and are simply uninterested – in talking on the phone. Consumers ranked being busy throughout the day as the top reason for ignoring calls from businesses or unknown phone numbers (40%), followed by their preference to communicate in other ways (31%) and generally not liking to talk on the phone (31%). Overall, 96% of respondents found phone calls to be disruptive
- Consumers have an increasing fear of talking on the phone. Consumers don’t just dislike phone calls, they find an incoming phone call from an unknown number anxiety-inducing. Zipwhip found that 77% of consumers experience some degree of anxiety when talking on the phone, with 41% feeling anxious often to very often.
Dr. Bo Bennett, a social scientist and business consultant, says a lot of that phone call anxiety is due to lack of control and ability to prepare. “There’s no do-overs with a phone call,” he said. “With text you could start typing something and then you could back it up. You can kind of proof your work and then send it. There’s that little safety net there. With the telephone, once you kind of say it, the damage is pretty much done.”
Despite rising distaste for phone calls, most consumers still look to their mobile devices as their chief communication tool, preferring now to communicate by text message. Texting is convenient, immediate and concise, and allows consumers to respond on their own terms. And unlike email inboxes, “inbox zero” still exists in texting, with 74% of consumers reporting zero unread text messages at a given time. As consumers continue to demand texting in lieu of phone calls, businesses looking to build strong customer relationships must evaluate how to best incorporate Texting for Business into their communication plans.
“Over the last decade, consumers’ relationships with their mobile phones have evolved significantly. While phone calls were once seen as direct and personal, robocalls and spammers have driven most consumers to reject calls from unrecognizable numbers,” said Scott Heimes, CMO, Zipwhip. “As today’s businesses struggle with how to reach new and current customers effectively, text messaging has established itself as the overwhelmingly preferred method of communication and will only continue to grow in adoption from businesses and consumers alike.”
Zipwhip has text enabled over 4 million phone numbers to date and provides more than 35,000 businesses with cloud-texting software using their existing landline, VoIP or toll-free number. A suite of leading software integrations further help Zipwhip customers communicate more efficiently, securely and reliably. Zipwhip recently announced the launch of its desktop app – the first desktop solution in the industry – and the completion of its SOC 2 Type 1 examination, offering a strengthened user experience and heightened security across its texting-for-business platform.
For more information on how to effectively reach consumers through a strategic combination of phone calls and text messages, download the full Why Your Customers Don’t Answer the Phone Anymore e-book here.
Zipwhip’s Why Your Customers Don’t Answer the Phone Anymore e-book surveyed a total of 520 people in June 2019 from nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over.
Zipwhip empowers companies to communicate with their customers in the most effective and preferred way possible – text messaging. As the pioneer of Texting for Business, Zipwhip first enabled text messaging to and from existing landline, VoIP and toll-free phone numbers in 2014. Zipwhip’s direct network connectivity, intuitive cloud-based software and an enterprise-grade API mean businesses can use any computer or mobile device to securely and reliably reach their customers, every time. Your customers are only a text away: https://www.zipwhip.com.