Research from Toshiba’s Business Communications Division (BCD) has found that the office telephone is still the most trusted and effective method of communicating with customers. These findings come despite the increasing popularity and availability of mobile phones, email and web 2.0 communication methods.
Over the last ten years, businesses have embraced new communication methods such as Instant Messenger and web conferencing in an attempt to find the quickest and most reliable method of contacting customers. However, only a small amount of office workers are actually using these methods: 13.8% use instant messenger; 10.7% use web conferencing; and only 9.7% use video conferencing. This is in stark contrast to the 79% of office workers who feel the desk telephone is the most important communication method.
“We were interested in better understanding how people prefer to communicate and why,” comments Tim Webb, General Manager at Toshiba Business Communications Systems. “There are now so many methods, and each has their strengths which are of particular value to the office worker. More importantly, these features are seen as most important in relation to customer communications. Whilst new web based methods are increasingly used, the desk phone remains central to customer communications.”
The research revealed that the office telephone is seen as reliable (43.9%) and quick (37.4%), whilst mobile phones are predominantly used for security (37.6) suggesting they are often used for private and confidential conversations. Investment in fixed-mobile convergence is set to increase over the next three years, bringing the benefits of these two methods of communication together for a combined solution.
Other key findings include:
79% of office workers see the desk telephone as an important communication method; 60.9% see it as the best way to communicate with customers
63.5% office workers see the office phone as staying of the same importance to business
Using presence management to improve business efficiencies is expected to be popular, with
59.4% of office workers stating it will be important to their business in three years
Many communication methods are rarely used in the office environment; 86.2% do not use instant messenger, 89.3 % do not use web conferencing, and 52.8% do not use SMS messaging