A report published by RingCentral outlines the seven business communications trends the company expects to see during 2023.
The subject matter of the report indicates that the telephone is still the primary communication tool used by companies.
RingCentral worked with Ipsos to survey IT decision makers whose answers helped develop the report.
Andy Cheng, Director of Content Marketing, RingCentralHe commented, “If the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that the way we communicate is critical to business success.
Our phones are at the center of all of this. From discussing a project with a teammate to closing a deal with a large client, communication is preferred by companies of all sizes. And we have the numbers to prove it.
“With the help of Ipsos, we recently surveyed more than 350 IT decision makers about how they currently use voice communications in their workflows and what their plans are for the future.”
RingCentral’s research found that more than 90 percent of respondents said phones were their primary communication tool.
The survey found this to be the case with companies for which phones are not their primary channel of communication, with 40 percent saying they are one of their main tools.
The findings are supported by data from RingCentral’s NTT Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, which found that companies consider phone or in-person communication the preferred method for critical business operations.
The report found the following:
- 71.4 percent prefer to communicate by phone or in person when dealing with retention, escalation, and conflict resolution issues.
- 63.6 percent prefer telephone or in-person contact for outbound sales and 54.8 percent for inbound sales.
- 43.6 percent said they would prefer to deal with general customer service issues over the phone or in person.
2. Size does matter
The report notes that no matter how big or small a business is, phone calls remain a popular method of communication regardless of size.
The RingCentral study found that small businesses (up to 99 employees) were more likely to say that the phone was their primary communication tool.
Large businesses (1,000 to 9,999) were the second highest group saying phones were their primary means of communication.
Overall, 52.1 percent of all companies surveyed said that phones are their primary means of communication.
RingCentral’s research shows that the majority of employees prefer using the phone for both internal and external business communications.
According to survey responses, business leaders prefer having conversations over the phone when speaking with individuals rather than groups.
The following statistics are a breakdown from the RingCentral report:
- Internal calls: 73.8%.
- Internal meetings: 58.6 percent.
- External customer calls: 82 percent.
- External client meetings: 60.8 percent.
- External resource calls: 69.6 percent.
- External Vendor Meetings: 49 percent.
- Outgoing customer calls: 63.4 percent.
- Inbound customer service: 52.1 percent.
The report also highlighted that more than half prefer using phones when speaking to groups of team members or clients in meetings.
The report highlighted that there is still an adoption gap between traditional phone systems and the cloud within organizations.
According to the study, traditional solutions are still more popular than cloud systems, with 64.8 percent of employees using a business number on a mobile phone and 50.1 percent using a personal number on a mobile phone for business communication.
More than half of the people surveyed (53.2 percent) said their companies use old local phones for business communications.
This compares to only 30.7 percent of companies using cloud-based phone systems for the same purpose.
RingCentral says they expect adoption to increase over time, especially with the advent of hybrid and remote work.
RingCentral’s research also shows that a large percentage of companies expect business phone use to increase in the coming years.
Only five percent of those who participated in the study expect phone use to decrease.
29 percent say it will “increase a lot,” 34.1 percent say it will “increase a bit,” and 31 percent say it will “stay the same.”
6. Companies want flexible solutions
RingCentral has found that companies want flexibility from their phone services, especially for features that can be accessed through multiple devices.
The report indicates that most companies want features that allow employees to make and receive business calls (33.8 percent) and individual business SMS messages (30.1 percent) from a PC.
Some other popular feature requests include:
- 27.6 percent want the ability to record calls on demand and store those recordings in the cloud.
- 25.9 percent want high volume text messages for mass marketing and customer service.
- 25.1 percent want to easily transfer existing phone numbers to a new provider.
- 23.4 percent want the ability to automatically record calls in several business-critical applications.
- 22.5 percent want visual voicemail and voicemail subscriptions.
- 22.5 percent want toll-free, local and international public phone numbers on demand for customer-facing teams.
- 16.3 percent want to send and receive electronic faxes.
According to a RingCentral study, more than 95 percent of businesses use SMS in some capacity.
Just under a quarter of companies (23.9 percent) consider SMS the number one communication tool.
Another 42.5 percent said that SMS is not their primary communication tool, but it is still one of their main tools.
RingCentral says its research also shows that larger companies are more likely to view SMS as an essential communication tool than smaller companies.