Phone Calls Prove Crucial for Small Business Customer Acquisition


New data from Ruby’s 2023 call trends report unveils that phone calls play a pivotal role in attracting new customers to small businesses. The report underscores the importance of superior customer service in leveraging the phone as a potent tool for growth.

Ruby’s five-year analysis, encompassing approximately 62 million calls answered for thousands of U.S. businesses from 2018 to 2023, offers valuable insights into changing lead generation opportunities, the frequency of robocalls, caller sentiment, and busy periods for various industries. These findings can equip small businesses to enhance operational efficiency, customer acquisition strategies, and customer service standards.

The report notes a near 10% surge in lead opportunities over the phone in the past five years. Moreover, a rising number of calls to businesses originate from first-time callers, with an average of 56% across industries in 2022.

As modern customers have an array of communication channels at their disposal, Ruby’s president and chief operating officer, Stephanie Copeland Weber, asserts the transformation of the phone into a vital growth tool. “People are no longer just calling businesses for general information,” said Copeland Weber. “Instead, they’re reaching out when they’re ready to connect—to check if a business is legitimate and take the next step in the buyer journey.”

However, Copeland Weber emphasizes the need for businesses to be primed to exceed customer expectations with knowledgeable, prompt, personalized, and empathetic service to win the next client.

Regrettably, the upward trend isn’t confined to lead opportunities. Following a supposed decline in 2021, the frequency of robocalls to businesses saw a sharp uptick in 2022. This isn’t just an annoyance. The FCC estimates that robocalls cost small businesses upwards of $3 billion per year.

Additional trends highlighted in Ruby’s report include an increasing number of frustrated callers and busier Fridays. Notably, it also indicates apparent shifts in seasonal business for organizations in sectors like insurance and financial services.

Ruby’s comprehensive report serves as a reminder to small businesses that in the age of digital communication, the traditional phone call remains a potent tool in customer acquisition. By ensuring superior customer service on every call, businesses can capitalize on these potential leads and foster growth. However, small businesses must also be prepared to tackle the rising menace of robocalls, given the significant financial implications they bring.

Ensuring a responsive, personalized, and empathetic phone service can make a crucial difference for small businesses in securing a competitive edge and attracting new customers in today’s dynamic market.

Image: Depositphotos

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.