woman on phone
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Despite the risks associated with robocalls and spam calls, new research shows that organizations still prefer voice-to-voice communication over any other form of communication. As a part of Hiya’s annual State of the Call report, it was found that in a survey conducted of 1,800 businesses and 12,000 consumers, 41% of those who responded preferred voice calling. Email finished second in the polling with just 30% of the respondents choosing that method, and no other form of outreach earned more than 8% of the vote.

“I think people are often surprised that voice remains so dominant [as the primary form of communication],” said Kush Parikh, president of Hiya. “But to us, it makes a lot of sense because voice is the largest network in the world with more than five billion mobile users globally, so more people are able to communicate via voice than other channels. Voice is real-time, so people can get their questions answered and connect immediately instead of having to wait for people to respond to texts and emails, and voice is convenient; it’s not as big of a commitment as video calls and is often the fastest, easiest way for people to connect.”

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The primary reasons for preferring voice-to-voice communication were ranked by respondents as:

  • resolving customers’ issues (41% of those surveyed)
  • scheduling appointments or follow ups (35%)
  • closing sales (29%)

The industries in which people preferred voice contact were the areas of:

  • insurance (41%)
  • retail services (35%)
  • healthcare (33%)
  • financial services (31%)

These numbers signify that even with other alternatives such as video calls, apps and even a burgeoning metaverse, organizations and their employees still prefer contacting others via phone call due to convenience and responsiveness to their issues.

While video calling has become standard due to the pandemic, one potential reason for this not being the preferred method of communication is simply fatigue. With the number of meetings employees are attending via video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, voice calls allow those who wish to communicate immediately with someone not to have to worry about their etiquette or being ready to appear on camera.

Call fraud still remains an issue

Despite voice conferencing being the preferred method of communication, call fraud still remains an issue, and is spreading in Europe. According to Hiya’s findings, an average person received 14 spam and fraud calls each month, with some resulting in serious financial losses. In the U.S. alone, those who were plagued by spam and fraud calls lost an average of $567.41 in 2021 due to being scammed, second only to Canada with an average of $804.69.

“One of the biggest surprises is that the spam and fraud problem is growing so rapidly in Europe,” Parikh said. “For the first time, we saw two European countries in France and Spain surpass the US in spam calls per user. In the US, wireless carriers, the government, and tech companies like Hiya have worked hard over the past several years to stop spam and fraud calls. These bad actors are probably having a harder time in the US, so they are shifting to new markets where they have a higher success rate.”

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Outside of volume spammers, sophisticated scamming attempts also remain a huge issue. The report states that 62% of respondents said they had received a call in 2021 with a believed scammer trying to impersonate a business. Of those who responded to the survey, the most impersonated industries were government, financial services, utilities and insurance. Impersonation of government and its officials were especially egregious in Canada, where 68% of those polled said they received a scam call from someone claiming to be with the Canadian government – three times the average of any other country in the survey.

To help combat this spam risk, it is recommended that both individuals and organizations invest in power services such as AT&T’s Call Protect and Samsung’s Smart Call to help better filter through potential scams. With the number of voice calls being made each day due to being the preferred method of communication, it is paramount that secure and engaging connections are made to help stop the number and severity of unwanted calls and the potential loss of revenue from these attempts.