A report published by RingCentral shows the seven business communication trends that the company expects to see during 2023.
The report’s theme suggests that the phone is still the primary communication tool used by businesses.
RingCentral has worked with Ipsos to survey IT decision-makers whose answers have helped to develop the report.
Andy Cheng, Content Marketing Manager, RingCentral, commented: “If the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that how we communicate is critical to business success.
“Our phones are at the center of it all. From discussing a project with a teammate to closing a sale with a large client, calling 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 communication in their workflows and what their plans are for the future.”
1. Phones are the Primary Business Communication Tool
RingCentral’s research found that over 90 percent of respondents said that phones are considered a main communication tool.
The survey found that this was the case with businesses that don’t consider phones their primary communication channel, with 40 percent saying it is one of their main tools.
The findings backed up data from RingCentral’s recent NTT Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, which found that businesses consider phone or in-person communication to be the preferred method for vital business processes.
The report found the following:
- 71.4 percent prefer phone or in-person communication when handling retention, escalation, and dispute resolution issues.
- 63.6 percent prefer phone or in-person communication for outbound sales and 54.8 percent for inbound sales.
- 43.6 percent say they prefer to handle general customer service issues over the phone or in-person.
2. Size Doesn’t Matter
The report suggests it doesn’t matter how big or small a business is, phone calls remain a popular communication method regardless of the size.
RingCentral’s study found that small companies (with zero to 99 employees) were likelier to say that a phone is their primary communication tool.
Large businesses (1,000 to 9,999) were the next highest group to say that phones were their primary communication method.
Overall, 52.1 percent of all businesses surveyed said that phones are their primary communication method.
3. Professionals Prefer Phone Calls for External Communication
RingCentral’s research shows that the majority of employees prefer to use the phone for both internal and external business communication.
According to the survey responses, business leaders prefer to have conversations over the phone when speaking with individuals instead of groups.
The following statistics are the breakdown from the RingCentral report:
- Internal calls: 73.8 percent.
- Internal meetings: 58.6 percent.
- External client calls: 82 percent.
- External client meetings: 60.8 percent.
- External vendor calls: 69.6 percent.
- External vendor meetings: 49 percent.
- Outbound customer calls: 63.4 percent.
- Inbound customer service: 52.1 percent.
The report also highlighted that more than half prefer to use phones when speaking to groups of team members or customers in meetings.
4. Adoption Gap Between Phone Systems
The report has highlighted that there is still an adoption gap between traditional and cloud phone systems within organisations.
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 legacy on-premise phones for business communication.
That is compared to only 30.7 percent of companies that use cloud-based phone systems for the same purpose.
RingCentral state that they expect the adoption to increase over time, especially with the rise of hybrid and remote work.
5. Business Phone Use Expected to Increase
RingCentral’s research also shows a significant percentage of companies are expecting phone use for business purposes to increase in the coming years.
Only five percent of those who participated in the study expect phone use to decrease.
Twenty-nine percent say that it will “increase a lot”, 34.1 percent say it will “increase a little”, and 31 percent state that it will “stay the same”.
6. Businesses Want Flexible Solutions
RingCentral found that businesses want flexibility from their phone services, especially for features accessible through multiple devices.
The report suggests that most businesses want features that allow employees to place and receive business calls (33.8 percent) and individual business SMS messages (30.1 percent) from a personal computer.
Some of the other popular feature requests include the following:
- 27.6 percent want the ability to record calls on demand and store those recordings in the cloud.
- 25.9 percent want high-volume SMS for mass marketing and customer care.
- 25.1 percent want to port existing phone numbers to a new provider with ease.
- 23.4 percent want the ability to log calls automatically in various business-critical apps.
- 22.5 percent want visual voicemail and voicemail subscriptions.
- 22.5 percent want general local, international, and toll-free phone numbers on demand for customer-facing teams to use.
- 16.3 percent want to send and receive eFaxes.
7. Businesses Plan to Use SMS
According to the RingCentral study, over 95 percent of businesses are using SMS in some capacity.
Just under a quarter of companies (23.9 percent) consider SMS their number one communication tool.
Another 42.5 percent said SMS is not their primary communication tool, but it is still one of their main ones.
RingCentral says its research also shows that larger companies are more likely to consider SMS as a primary communication tool than smaller ones.