CONSUMERS in Yorkshire looking for basic information about companies are almost as likely to use the phone as go online, new research has revealed.

The study of 1,000 consumers, conducted by global research consultancy TNS on behalf of PH Media Group, discovered that 41 per cent of people in the region would still rather have enquiries like opening times answered quickly over the phone than look online.

“Although companies in Yorkshire are putting more and more effort into the way their websites look, these stats show they are missing a trick if they don’t do the same with their phone line,” said Mark Williamson, sales and marketing director, PH Media Group.

“The phone remains a key method of communication and a core component of brand image.”

Interestingly, 27 per cent of people in Yorkshire even prefer on-hold messages to actually speaking to a customer service adviser.

This trend is particularly strong among the young, with 39 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds and 41 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds in the UK preferring on-hold messaging to a customer service adviser (in contrast to only 15 per cent of 54 to 64-year-olds.) Mark added: “Given younger people are more inclined to get information from an on-hold message than a customer service adviser, businesses should be looking carefully at how information is communicated on the phone.

“The research also shows that there may be many touchpoints with potential customers without them even speaking to an adviser.

“Each call represents a significant opportunity to keep customers engaged, informed and entertained when placed on hold.”

Londoners (52 per cent) were the most likely to pick up the phone when it comes to gathering information, followed by Scots (50 per cent).