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New research reveals phone pet peeves costing business

Moneypenny’s new global report has revealed the UK’s top phone peeves when contacting businesses. 

35% of people hate calls not being answered, 34% are put off by annoying hold music, and 28% are irritated by being told to check the website for more information.  More than half (54%) won’t leave a voicemail if they can’t get through. 

The Customer Communications Trend Report* also highlights that a bad call experience can significantly impact ongoing business success; almost 2 in 5 (38%) people say they would go elsewhere following a poor call, and the same would make a complaint. Nearly a quarter (24%) would write a negative review. 

Telephone and email are the most preferred ways for UK customers to contact businesses. More than a quarter (26%) pick up the phone to speak to a company, with email being used by more than a third (34%). 11% of people will use WhatsApp, 9% will use live chat and 8% will use social media.  

The phone is the top choice when callers’ needs are “urgent” (42%), “complicated” (34%) or “sensitive” (25%).  The research also found that 64% of people spend longer on the phone to businesses than three years ago – a marked increase on 2022’s figure of 45%.  

Louise Walpole heads the finance sector at Moneypenny, which provides telephone answering and live chat support to hundreds of financial services and accountancy businesses in the UK.  She said: “People want to talk to people, but poor phone etiquette is a major turn-off, and it’s costing firms business”.   

“Call durations have increased significantly over the last year as people have had more urgent or complex requirements that need to be explained in detail.  Accountancy practices and financial service businesses must factor this into their call-handling approach and ensure callers receive an empathetic, patient and supportive ear. Most of all, they must be accessible and responsive. 

“Just one bad call can result in lost revenue and a damaged reputation.  Professional telephone answering support can mitigate those risks, solve the phone pet peeves and give financial clients what they’re looking for – consistently high-quality and empathetic customer care, every time.” 

The report also revealed that 42% of people are happy to have their queries solved online, and 57% are happy to use live chat – a tool which allows web visitors to ask questions and get help from real people in real-time.    

Louise concluded: “If accountancy firms and financial service businesses invest in their phone-led customer service to meet callers’ changing needs and complement it with digital channels, such as live chat and social media, they will deliver a much more well-rounded, seamless and positive experience for clients.” 

To read Moneypenny’s 2023 Customer Communications Trend Report in full, visit  

Moneypenny provides telephone answering and live chat services to hundreds of financial services businesses and is trusted by the UK’s top accounting firms, including half of the Top 100. 

Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard, and customer contact solutions. Thousands of businesses globally benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology.   


* Moneypenny commissioned a report conducted by insight-driven research specialists, Censuswide, who surveyed 2,000 UK and US consumers between 1st June and 6th June 2023.  

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