For Smartphone users, “click-to-call” functionality is becoming an evermore-important aspect of mobile communication, according to a recent Google survey. This is especially important within the travel sector, says Ian Carrington, Director of Performance Solutions & Innovation at Google. In the United Kingdom, 1,500 people were surveyed about their mobile search habits. When asked how important mobile search was in calling a business, 94% of those surveyed said they needed to call businesses that they were searching for on their Smartphone on a regular basis.
Half of those surveyed said they use click-to-call to contact businesses via mobile search and 32% of the 1,500 respondents reported regular use of click-to-call when researching products and services on their Smartphone. The primary reason for wanting to actually call a business was to talk to a real person, followed by getting questions answered quickly and requesting additional information that was not provided on a Website. For Smartphone users, the ability to seamlessly call a business is of utmost importance. 48% of the 1,500 respondents said it is “extremely important” to be able to call a business when completing a transaction, while 36% used the click-to-call in the research stage.
While none of the figures show a clear majority, businesses that do not offer click-to-call risk losing customers. 36% of the 1,500 respondents said when click-to-call is unavailable they were more likely to “explore other brands.” 32% “feel frustrated or annoyed” when the service is unavailable and 30% feel “disappointed in the brand.” In the travel sector, click-to-call was the most important function during the purchase phase and over 50% of the 1,500 respondents said they use the service to make business travel changes such as booking and reservations. These figures are supported by the IAB Travel Audit (2013). The audit concluded that mobile search results were delivered by 42% of the top 50 United Kingdom travel companies and 45% of the top 50 used click-to-call.
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