Small businesses in the UK are turning away from email and relying increasingly on the phone to do business, according to research released today.
The survey by internet phone company Vonage found that 41 per cent of small businesses now contact their customers most frequently by phone, compared with 37 per cent which mainly use email.
The companies questioned cited ease of use, speed, cost-effectiveness and enhanced customer experience as the reasons behind the move back to traditional technology.
"It is far more difficult to build a rapport over email than it is over the phone, which is why we are seeing a growing number of small businesses turning back to the phone as the primary means of customer communications," said Kerry Ritz, managing director of Vonage.
The study found that email was still favoured in instances where a paper trail is necessary.
Internet telephony is also slowly being introduced by SMEs, with one in five small businesses using the technology.
However, 47 per cent of those questioned indicated that their companies had never considered changing their landline supplier.
The report found that 61 per cent of small businesses currently spend up to £300 per month on landline costs, and over half pay up to £400 per month on mobile phone bills.
The survey questioned 500 British small businesses and was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Vonage.
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