A report published by RingCentral reveals the seven business communications trends the company expects to see in 2023.
The subject of the report suggests that the phone is still the primary means of communication 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 last three years have taught us anything, it’s that how we communicate is critical to business success.
“Our phones are the focus. From discussing a project with a teammate to closing a sale with a major account, businesses of all sizes prefer calling. And we have the numbers to prove it.
“With the help of Ipsos, we recently surveyed more than 350 IT decision makers on how they currently use voice in their workflows and what plans they have for the future.”
1. Phones are the primary business communication tool
RingCentral research found that over 90 percent of respondents said phones are viewed as the primary means of communication.
The survey found that was the case for companies that don’t see the phone as their primary communication channel, with 40 percent saying it is one of their primary tools.
The results supported data from RingCentral’s most recent NTT Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, which found that companies view telephone or face-to-face communication as the preferred method for critical business processes.
The report found the following:
- 71.4 percent prefer telephone or face-to-face communication when it comes to retention, escalation and dispute resolution.
- 63.6 percent prefer telephone or face-to-face communication for outbound sales and 54.8 percent for inbound sales.
- 43.6 percent say they prefer to deal with general customer service issues over the phone or in person.
2. Size doesn’t matter
The report suggests that no matter how big or small a business, phone calls remain a popular method of communication, regardless of size.
RingCentral’s study found that small businesses (with zero to 99 employees) are more likely to say that a phone is their primary means of communication.
Large businesses (1,000 to 9,999) were the next highest group to say phones were their primary method of communication.
Overall, 52.1 percent of all companies surveyed said that phones are their primary method of communication.
3. Professionals prefer phone calls for external communication
RingCentral research shows that the majority of employees prefer the phone for both internal and external business communications.
According to survey responses, business leaders prefer to have conversations on the phone when speaking to individuals rather than groups.
The following stats are the breakdown from the RingCentral report:
- Internal calls: 73.8 percent.
- Internal meetings: 58.6 percent.
- External client calls: 82 percent.
- External customer appointments: 60.8 percent.
- Calls from external providers: 69.6 percent.
- Meetings with external providers: 49 percent.
- Outgoing customer calls: 63.4 percent.
- Incoming 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 clients in meetings.
4. Adoption gap between phone systems
The report highlighted that there is still an enterprise adoption gap between traditional and cloud phone systems.
According to the study, traditional solutions are still more popular than cloud systems, with 64.8 percent of employees using a work number on a mobile phone and 50.1 percent using a personal number on a mobile phone for business communications.
More than half of respondents (53.2 percent) said their organizations use legacy on-premises phones for business communications.
This compares to just 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.
5. Business phone usage is expected to increase
RingCentral research also shows that a significant percentage of businesses expect phone use for business purposes to increase in the coming years.
Only five percent of the study participants expect a decline in phone usage.
29 percent say it will “rise a lot”, 34.1 percent say it will “rise a little” and 31 percent say it will “stay the same”.
6. Companies want flexible solutions
RingCentral found that businesses expect flexibility from their phone services, especially for features that can be accessed across multiple devices.
The report suggests that most organizations want features that allow employees to make and receive work calls (33.8 percent) and individual work text messages (30.1 percent) from a PC.
Some of the other popular feature requests include the following:
- 27.6 percent would like to be able to record calls on demand and store these recordings in the cloud.
- 25.9 percent want high-volume SMS for mass marketing and customer care.
- 25.1 percent want to easily port existing phone numbers to a new provider.
- 23.4 percent want the ability to automatically log calls to various business-critical apps.
- 22.5 percent want visual voicemail and voicemail subscriptions.
- 22.5 percent want universal on-demand local, international, and toll-free phone numbers for customer-facing teams.
- 16.3 percent want to send and receive e-faxes.
7. Businesses plan to use SMS
According to the RingCentral study, over 95 percent of businesses use SMS in some form.
Almost a quarter of the companies (23.9 percent) consider SMS to be the number one means of communication.
Another 42.5 percent said texting is not their primary means of communication, but it is still one of their most important.
According to RingCentral, its research also shows that larger companies are more likely to consider SMS as their primary means of communication than smaller ones.