New research reveals phone pet peeves costing firms business

Bernadette Bennett Moneypenny

Bernadette Bennett, Moneypenny

A new report from global outsourced communications provider Moneypenny has revealed the UK’s top phone peeves when contacting businesses.

35% of people hate calls not being answered, 34% are put off by annoying hold music, and 28% are irritated by being told to check the website for more information.  More than half (54%) won’t leave a voicemail if they can’t get through.

Moneypenny’s Customer Communications Trend Report also highlights that a bad call experience can significantly impact ongoing business success; almost 2 in 5 (38%) people say they would go elsewhere following a poor call, and the same would make a complaint. Nearly a quarter (24%) would write a negative review.

Telephone and email are the most preferred ways for UK customers to contact businesses. More than a quarter (26%) pick up the phone to speak to a company, with email being used by more than a third (34%). 11% of people will use WhatsApp, 9% will use live chat and 8% will use social media.

The phone is the top choice when callers’ needs are “urgent” (42%), “complicated” (34%) or “sensitive” (25%).  The research also found that 64% of people spend longer on the phone to businesses than three years ago – a marked increase on 2022’s figure of 45%.

Bernadette Bennett heads the legal sector at Moneypenny, which provides telephone answering and live chat support to more than 1,000 law firms across the UK. She said: “People want to talk to people, but poor phone etiquette is a major turn-off, and it’s costing firms business.

“Calls durations have increased significantly over the last year as people have had more urgent or complex requirements that need to be explained in detail.  Legal firms must factor this into their call-handling approach and ensure callers receive an empathetic, patient and supportive ear. Most of all, they must be accessible and responsive.

“Just one bad call can result in lost revenue and a damaged reputation.  Professional telephone answering support can mitigate those risks, solve the phone pet peeves and give legal clients what they’re looking for – consistently high-quality and empathetic customer care, every time.”

The report also revealed that 42% of people are happy to have their queries solved online, and 57% are happy to use live chat – a tool which allows web visitors to ask questions and get help from real people in real-time.   Bernadette concluded: “If legal firms invest in their phone-led customer service to meet callers’ changing needs and complement it with digital channels, such as live chat and social media, they will deliver a much more well-rounded, seamless and positive experience for clients.”

To read Moneypenny’s Customer Communications Trend Report in full, visit here.

Moneypenny handles more than 2 million calls and chats each year for more than 1,000 law firms in the UK, including 75 of the Top 200, thanks to its dedicated team of legal receptionists.

Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard, and customer contact solutions. More than 21,000 businesses globally benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology.


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