The global coronavirus pandemic has disrupted pretty much everything in our daily lives. One somewhat unexpected disruption has been the increase in voice calls via landlines, mobile phones and Wi-Fi.
Both Verizon and AT&T have reported a marked increase in voice calls on their networks, reversing the trend of a continual decline in voice call volume over the past several years. In late March, Verizon’s call volume exceeding the number of voice calls seen on Mother’s Day – typically its highest call volume Sunday of the year. AT&T calls voice calls “the new killer app,” as its resurgence has surprised everyone.
This increase in call volume is a consideration for businesses. Even though digital access to businesses has increased via web, mobile devices, etc., phone calls remain an important contact method. One study found that 60% of customers in the US prefer to call a business on the phone after finding them in an online search. Only 16% prefer email and 15% prefer an in-person visit. Phone calls are valuable for their ability to reach a real person and obtain fast, detailed answers to questions.
Another study from Forrester Consulting found that marketers consider consumers who make calls to businesses have these characteristics:
- A 28% higher retention rate
- A 30% faster conversion rate
- Spend 28% more.
The Forrester study also found that digital marketers are placing more emphasis on voice calls as a marketing channel. If they’re not already using voice calls for marketing, they’re either piloting or planning their use in their marketing strategies.