A report published by RingCentral shows the seven business communication trends the company expects to see in 2023.
The theme of the report suggests that the telephone is still the primary communication tool used by businesses.
RingCentral worked with Ipsos to survey IT decision makers whose responses helped develop the report.
Andy Cheng, Content Marketing Manager, RingCentralcommented: “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 everything. From discussing a project with a teammate to closing a sale with a large client, the call 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. Telephones are the main tool for business communication
The RingCentral survey found that more than 90 percent of respondents said that phones are considered a primary communication tool.
The survey found that this was the case for businesses that did not consider phones to be their primary communication channel, with 40 percent saying it was one of their primary tools.
The findings supported data from RingCentral’s recent NTT Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, which found that businesses consider telephone or in-person communication to be the preferred method for vital business processes.
The report found the following:
- 71.4 percent prefer telephone or in-person communication when dealing with retention, escalation and dispute resolution.
- 63.6% prefer telephone or in-person communication for outbound sales and 54.8% for inbound sales.
- 43.6 percent say they prefer to solve general customer service issues over the phone or in person.
2. Size doesn’t matter
The report suggests that it doesn’t matter how big or small a business is, phone calls remain a popular method of communication regardless of size.
RingCentral’s survey found that small companies (with zero to 99 employees) are more likely to say the phone is their primary communication tool.
Large businesses (1,000 to 9,999) are the next highest group to say that phones are their primary method of communication.
Overall, 52.1 percent of all businesses surveyed said telephones were their primary method of communication.
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 survey responses, business leaders prefer to have conversations on the phone when speaking with individuals instead of groups.
The following statistics are a breakdown from the RingCentral report:
- Internal calls: 73.8 percent.
- Internal meetings: 58.6 percent.
- Calls from an external customer: 82 percent.
- Meetings with external clients: 60.8 percent.
- External provider calls: 69.6 percent.
- Meetings with external suppliers: 49 percent.
- Outgoing customer calls: 63.4 percent.
- Inbound Customer Service: 52.1 percent.
The report also highlights that more than half prefer to use phones when speaking to groups of team members or clients in meetings.
4. Difference in reception between telephone systems
The report highlights that there is still a gap between traditional and cloud-based phone systems in organizations.
According to the survey, traditional solutions are still more popular than cloud-based systems, with 64.8 percent of employees using a work mobile phone number and 50.1 percent using a personal mobile phone number for business communication.
More than half of those surveyed (53.2 percent) said their companies use old local phones for business communication.
This compares to only 30.7% of companies using cloud-based phone systems for the same purpose.
RingCentral says they expect adoption to increase over time, especially as hybrid and remote work increases.
5. Business phone use is expected to increase
RingCentral’s survey also shows that a significant percentage of companies expect business phone use to increase in the coming years.
Only five percent of those surveyed expect phone use to decrease.
Twenty-nine percent said it would “increase a lot,” 34.1 percent said it would “increase a little,” and 31 percent said it would “stay the same.”
6. Businesses want flexible solutions
RingCentral has found that businesses want flexibility from their phone services, especially for features accessible via multiple devices.
The report suggests that most businesses want features that allow employees to make and receive business calls (33.8%) and individual business SMS messages (30.1%) from a PC.
Some of the other popular feature requests include the following:
- 27.6 percent want the ability to record conversations on demand and store those recordings in the cloud.
- 25.9 percent want high-volume SMS for mass marketing and customer service.
- 25.1 percent want to easily port existing phone numbers to a new provider.
- 23.4 percent want the ability to automatically log calls in various business-critical applications.
- 22.5 percent want visual voicemail and voicemail subscriptions.
- 22.5 percent want common local, international and toll-free on-demand phone numbers for customer service teams to use.
- 16.3 percent want to send and receive electronic faxes.
7. The business plans to use SMS
According to RingCentral’s survey, over 95 percent of businesses use SMS to some extent.
Just under a quarter of companies (23.9 percent) consider SMS to be their number one communication tool.
Another 42.5 percent say that SMS is not their main communication tool, but it is still one of their main ones.
RingCentral says its research also shows that larger companies are more likely to view SMS as a primary communication tool than smaller ones.