Big firms don’t really want you to contact them

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Some of Britain’s most famous and successful companies make it hard for customers to get in touch, according to a new studySome of Britain’s most famous and successful companies make it hard for customers to get in touch, according to a new study of FTSE 250 companies, by Moneypenny, with 89 percent of the companies having no phone contact number on their website home page. While some of the FTSE 250 companies did feature a phone number elsewhere on their website, 33 percent of them make it extremely difficult to find a contact number on their website and have no phone number on their respective home pages. It took the Moneypenny researchers six or seven clicks to find one elsewhere on their websites.

The study also showed that a further 16 percent of the companies had no number on the home page, or anywhere else on their website, making phone contact impossible. This is despite the fact that 76 percent of customers still prefer phone calls for customer support, according to a Claes Fornell International Group study from 2020.

While many companies offer a range of alternative communication methods, such as chatbots, webforms and live chat, this is no help to the estimated six million UK households living in “digital poverty”, (1.7 million households with no mobile or broadband internet at home, up to a million people have cut back or cancelled internet packages in the past year owing to cost of living challenges, and around 2.4 million people unable to complete a single basic task to get online).

Mark Finlay, Chief Commercial Officer for Moneypenny comments: “As the world becomes more digital, businesses must remember the value of human connection. Chatbots and AI can enhance the customer experience, but many people prefer the warmth, understanding, and problem-solving capacity of a friendly human being on the end of a phone, particularly when their call is urgent or sensitive. Companies should therefore ensure they design their digital platforms to provide essential information like contact details readily.”