Market musings

25 Surprising Stats on How Voice Communication Is Changing Business

by Sasha Viasasha
January 5, 2018

Voice is back. The rollout of new technologies like VoLTE and HD voice are bringing voice quality back into focus after years of VoIP expansion. Cool accessories, headsets and advanced sound chips are optimizing the voice experience--from noise canceling technology to 3D sound effects that allow listeners to experience sound with a spatial dimension.  

People are talking again -- to machines and to each other. After years of digital disruption, people are realizing that picking up the phone and having a voice conversation is still vital to the relationship building and problem-solving aspect of business.

Phone calls by millennials are on the rise again after a four-year decline. And yet, the internet has changed our expectations and the social taboos around phone calls. A disruptive, unexpected phone call isn’t very effective, and people don’t expect to have a monologue or script delivered to them.

A personalized call that is extremely relevant can win, but a generic script doesn’t play well in the social selling era. People are more guarded, protective of their time, and cautious. Whether it’s a sales call, white-glove concierge treatment, or a cadence call to align and adjust project benchmarks, productive voice conversations don’t happen by accident, but with practice. 

Here are 25 stats about voice communication and the underlying technology, and how voice is changing the business landscape again. 

  1. Researchers discovered that the brain waves of speakers and listeners actually synch up during a voice conversation. (Nature)
  2. On high-performing teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, sometimes referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.” (Google)
  3. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of a voice to more accurately detect the speaker’s emotional state. (APA.org
  4. By 2018, mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses, nearly 2.5X as many calls as 5 years ago.  (BIA/Kelsey)
  5. Consumers will make 200 billion voice searches every month by 2020. (ComScore)
  6. Companies with 100 employees could reclaim up to $420,000 per year in lost productivity by helping workers improve their conversational skills. (SHRM)
  7. Brief exchanges are more persuasive. If you haven’t convinced someone of your point of view by the fourth reply, your chance of persuading them plummets. (Cornell University)
  8. 74% of sellers say they are well prepared for their phone calls. Only 45% of buyers agree. (Hubspot Sales Survey)
  9. People who lowered their voices in presenting their ideas were perceived to be more persuasive. (Scientific American
  10. You have 8-12 seconds to grab attention on a phone call, based on sales stats. (GCTV)
  11. Conversation intelligence,” AI-enabled tech that scans inbound calls for keywords and phrases in search of pattern recognition, can assign sales ROI for call attribution. (Kissmetrics)
  12. 49% of consumers said their choice of smartphone was based on whether they liked the brand, not on any of the features. (Accenture)
  13. The smartphone has earned the title of “The Fastest-Adopted Device in History.” (Pew Research Center)
  14. 86% of millennials are making voice calls on their smartphones every week, which is a surprising 9% increase over 2016, following a four-year decline. (Deloitte)
  15. 70% of mobile users want mobile “Click-to-Call” functionality" on the business websites they visit. (Google/Ipsos)
  16. Mobile workers are a majority, and will soon account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce. (IDC)
  17. 80% of small business owners use their own phones for business reasons once a day or more. (Manta)
  18. Globally, there were around 1 billion mobile VoIP users in 2017. (Juniper Research
  19. Voice quality and cost are the two biggest reasons why small businesses are not satisfied with their phone systems overall. (JD Power)
  20. More business buyers have already chosen to use VoIP than any other type of phone system, beating even PSTN by 36% to 24%. (Software Advice)
  21. VoIP adoption globally is projected to grow at 9.87% through at least 2021. (Technavio)
  22. VoLTE markets are in a state of rapid growth. There will be 540 million VoLTE subscriptions by 2018 and 4.6 billion by the end of 2022. (Ericcson)
  23. 83 percent of US consumers prefer talking with someone on the phone to solve customer services issues. (Accenture
  24. 75 percent of employers are placing more emphasis on spoken communication skills as a hiring prerequisite. (Hart Research)
  25. 57 percent of customers have had to switch from an online text channel to a phone call to resolve a customer service issue. (CEB Study)

The future of voice

The phone call is becoming an important touchstone for customers, employees, and partners to connect, and serves as a vital lifeline to remote workers and freelancers. Businesses should plan to optimize this channel to meet this growing need. Digital disruption has changed every aspect of communication and voice is no exception. VoIP service is allowing users to do more with voice, from searching for key terms to analyzing caller sentiment to faster and more relevant routing and call logs. 

Spoke Phone is a virtual phone system designed to be managed and deployed across your mobile network. To learn more about Spoke, including how our AI is powering the next generation voice UX, sign up for an interactive demo and learn how to transform your mobile phone or business phone line into a smart office phone system.

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