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Business Observer Friday, May 8, 2015 3 years ago

Manners mean a lot

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A new survey highlights a part of running a business that's a key driver of first impressions, yet is often overlooked.

A new survey highlights a part of running a business that's a key driver of first impressions, yet is often overlooked.

That would be how businesses handle and answer phone calls. The survey, from London-based audio-branding firm PH Media Group, found that only one-third of the respondents are pleased with companies' phone manners.

A breakdown in ages and genders uncovers more frustration. Roughly three out of 10 women, the survey finds, are satisfied with the way calls are answered, compared with 34% of men. Young people, ages 18 to 34, posted a 37% satisfaction rate, compared with 28% of people ages 45 to 64.

Companies, the survey's authors argue, should pay more attention to the phone side of sales — even in the age of social media.

“Poor call handling is a common complaint for American consumers, but this research suggests businesses are still not doing enough to improve standards and delight customers,” PH Media Group Sales and Marketing Director Mark Williamson says in a statement. “There is, perhaps, a tendency among companies to focus their attention and budgets on visual marketing and Internet presence but the telephone remains a crucial aspect of branding, marketing and sales.”

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