How Are Customer Communication Habits Changing? Or Not Changing?

Category: Communication, Relationships With Your Customers, Strategic Planning, Technology
Posted by: Frank Camp on October 23, 2012
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Depositphotos_5653703_sThe communication preferences of consumers continue to shift in America. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Americans are digitally connected now more than ever.

“As of September 2012, 85% of American adults have a cell phone, and 45% have a smartphone. As of early 2012, 58% have a desktop computer, 61% have a laptop, 18% own an e-book reader, and 18% have a tablet computer.”

Since 2006, many technologies have steadily increased in popularity with American consumers.

  • Cell phone use has increased over 15%.
  • Laptop computer usage has grown from 30% to 57% since 2006.
  • Tablet computers were first introduced in 2010, when only 3% of the population used them. Now, two years later, almost 20% of the population has adopted this technology.
  • In just one year, smartphone usage has increased over 10% among American consumers, from 35% to 45%.

One means of communication many Americans aren‘t using these days is the desktop computer. Since 2006, the usage of desktop computers has dropped dramatically from 68% to 55%.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Texting continues to grow…[/quote] The project also states that gadget ownership and adoption is usually correlated with a person’s age, education and household income. The use of those gadgets also varies widely amongst American consumers. While some Americans still have landline phones in their households, many Americans are adopting to use just a wireless phone provider to send and receive calls.

  • 53% of Americans prefer to receive calls instead of texting.
  • 31% prefer to receive a text message over a voice call.
  • 14% of Americans feel it depends on the situation.

The communication behaviors of many Americans also correlate with age.



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Texting is continuing to grow in popularity. Young adults are the most avid texters in America by a rather large margin, specifically in the 18-29 years old range. Most American adults over the age of 50 still prefer voice calls and those consumers over the age of 65 seldom use texting (4.7%). They make and/or receive about 5 voice calls per day. Women text slightly more than men. It’s also surprising to note that those consumers with an annual household income of less than $30,000 text more than any other demographic (which is probably indicative of the younger audience). The project found that the texting and calling trends have leveled off- for now.

According to the project, voice calls and texting are also highly correlated. Cell phone owners who text often also make and receive a lot of voice calls.




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The Pew Internet and American Life Project states:

  • Cell owners who send or receive 0-10 texts on a normal day, make or receive an average of 8.2 voice calls
  • Cell owners who send or receive 11-20 texts on a normal day, make or receive an average of 13.6 voice calls
  • Cell owners who send or receive 21-50 texts on a normal day, make or receive an average of 18.6 voice calls
  • Cell owners who send or receive more than 50 texts on a normal day, make or receive an average of 30.2 voice calls

The high correlation could be due to the specific behaviors of the demographic. If a consumer sends a higher number of texts, it is more likely that they also make and take a higher number of calls.

The communication trends of American consumers are interesting to study and learn. It gives great insight into how customers prefer to be contacted and also, the best ways to make sure each contact is successful and mutually beneficial.
At GCS, we talk a lot about the benefits of a blended environment and multi-channel communication. Given today’s diverse technological landscape, it’s imperative for any company’s marketing plan to invest the time and effort to learn the trends of its consumers. There are still the corners of society that prefer traditional means of outreach and communication but a company cannot afford to ignore the diverse and changing trends of its customer base.

If you are interested in expanding your program to target more consumers through multiple channels, give us a call and let us help you craft a program to reach out to every customer in their preferred channel.





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Posted Under: Communication, Relationships With Your Customers, Strategic Planning, Technology