Research: What is more convenient, ordering products and services online or via phone?

Contact Service recently conducted a survey among our customers in the Consumer Electronic industry. With the purpose being to answer; “are people more willing to buy over the phone rather than ordering online directly via website?”.

Ordering products and services online or via phone

We performed this research for our client; one of Serbia’s largest consumer electronics distributor, surveying over 1000 consumers.

We asked the participants to answer a few questions, with the aim of understanding why they chose to call our customer service support line instead of ordering online through the web shop, when the result is the same – they got their product delivered to their chosen address.

Our initial question was which method of ordering did our participants prefer and which method did they have access to? Of those that had access to internet and the opportunity to order online, 79% still said they preferred to order over the phone.

When participants were asked why they chose the phone over online, 40.1% said because it was easier, while 34.3% said it was because they required additional information.

It is interesting to note that 65.6% of customers live in a location where they can also go in store and buy their chosen product, but they still chose to order over the phone.

The concluding result that we came to is that customer support is important and sometimes key factor in the purchasing process.

We also drew the conclusion that in situations where consumers want more information on the products, they want to ask questions to a person, rather than just reading the information in an online description, they also want to do this from the comfort of their own environment and that is why they didn’t go in store for such pre-purchase inquires and comparisons.

Based on the services we provide to a range of industries we also noted that this trend wasn’t limited to electronics distribution/purchasing.

We found that this is also the case with another of our clients; a global resort chain, offering all-inclusive packages to exclusive destinations. Our agents receive a large amount of calls daily, from clients with various questions that cannot be answered with a website or a frequently asked questions page. The information that they ask is sometime related to small details of their stay and these can often be the deciding factor in their booking choice. These include anything from when does the sun set and rise to what type of coffee machine will they have and where are certain room types located and which is best. Therefore they often complete their booking and purchase with a call representative, rather than going online.

We noticed similar behavior with our clients within the ground transportation industry. Customers find it easier to call an operator and have them book their shuttle/ transfer service over the phone, especially when there are multiple stops and multiple details that need to be entered (flight numbers for example).

We also found that consumers of this need found it easier to call and have someone else take care of the details so that they didn’t need to be in front of a computer. They could be out and about and call customer support or as most prefer to do in a multi-tasking world – while driving via hands-free.

Looking at the collated data we can see that many people chose to buy or order over the phone rather than online. They do so because they receive a personal touch, have their individual needs met and being able do it from their home, office or car and can even multitask in the process.

We can summarize that many people chose to order products and services over the phone because this is often the easiest way.


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