Pulse Check: How did dialling habits change as lockdown lifted over Summer 2021?

26 Oct 2021 in Tech


Despite having to contend with national lockdowns and frequent changes to government guidance, our call tracking data still showed strong numbers of phone calls for many of our clients over the past 18-months.

A successful vaccine rollout and a move away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives during Summer 2021 has impacted consumer behaviour and the call volumes we’re seeing.

The total number of calls we saw over Q3 was up a shade over 16% compared to when the third lockdown gripped the nation in Q1. While the biggest jump was seen between Q1 and Q2, with calls across industries lifting by 13.4%, the upward trend continued over the summer months.

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Call volumes have continued to rise as restrictions lifted through the first three quarters of 2021.

July, August and September all saw improved volumes compared to last year. The biggest increase was seen in September, where our data shows an 11.5% YoY uplift.

Consumer confidence is clearly on the up.

Which industries are driving this growth?

We all know that every industry has been affected differently by the Covid-19 pandemic, and this is reflected in how call volumes have varied across industries.

At the start of the year, we spotted green shoots of recovery in some of the sectors hit hardest in 2020. Some of those shoots have continued to grow over the past six months and have been a key driving force behind this rise in calls.

Travel: an industry that is now going places

It’ll come as no surprise that the travel industry is one sector that has been massively impacted by the pandemic. As lockdown disrupted travel plans in March of 2020 would-be holidaymakers picked up the telephone to either cancel, postpone or request refunds for their planned vacations.

Our data showed a spike in call volumes occurred after 4th March 2020, directly after government officials announced the biggest one-day increase in Covid-19 cases.

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Soon after this spike in telephone enquiries, however, travel brands faced a dramatic plunge in calls, as we all resigned to hunkering down in our homes, waiting for the next government announcements.

Many travel brands received a renewed sense of optimism when the Green List was introduced in May this year and industry call volumes rocketed.

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This surge in call volumes has continued through the second and third quarters of the year. Compared to Q1, there were 17.3% more calls to travel business in Q2, and 35.2% more calls in Q3 than in Q2.

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Calls to travel brands flew up by 58.6% from Q1 to Q3 2021.

Our data shows that the situation is much more promising than it was this time last year. We’re seeing year-on-year growth in call volumes of 55.6% in September.

The trends that we’ve seen suggest that this increase in calls will continue with the major relaxation of travel rules that came into play at the start of October.

After what has been a turbulent period, things are starting to look skyward for the travel industry. There’s still a way to go on the road to recovery, and it’s important for travel brands to tap into opportunities for growth.

If you’re looking for some inspiration download a copy of our latest travel eBook and take a look at the tips industry journalist, Laura Gelder, shared to help travel brands thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Automotive: a good turn for the car industry

The automotive industry had to hit the brakes when lockdowns and remote working became our new normal for many. As our cars sat idle in our drives, it was clear from the outset that the pandemic would deeply disrupt the sector. In 2020, lockdowns put a huge dent in showroom visits and according to SMMT, UK car manufacturing output fell by -29.3%. But after adapting, and strengthening digital channels, automotive dealers saw the numbers of calls they received pick up through summer last year.

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Call volumes indicate that the industry is on a smooth road to recovery as a clear upward trend is emerging. We’ve seen the number calls to our automotive clients improve by 25.8% since the start of 2021. By Q2, calls we’re up by nearly 17%. And there was a further 7.8% increase by the end of Q3.

Our data shows that year-on-year, call volumes have experienced a 16.8% increase between September 2020 to September 2021.

If you work in the automotive industry, it’s definitely a good time to focus efforts on generating valuable leads from your customer calls. Our eBook has some actionable ideas on how automotive dealerships can use call data to strengthen their digital channels; download it here.

Property: a 40% increase in house hunter calls

2021 was set to be the busiest year for the housing market since 2007. House sales were expected to be up by 45% compared with 2020 and we're seeing this reflected in our call data. Call volumes are up 39.4% from January to September when compared to last year.

A heightened appetite amongst new buyers, coupled with the extension in stamp duty, echoes our predictions on why the industry is in a strong position at this point of the year.

If you work in the property sector, it’s time to capitalise on this increased demand and consider how you can use tech to improve the quality of leads generated by your marketing, optimise conversion rates and improve your customers’ journeys. Our eBook on top tech trends for marketing new homes, will tell you what you need to know.

Do you know what’s making your phone ring?

As restrictions ease and confidence continues to grow, we can see that consumers are making more phone calls. These positive dialling habits present businesses with an opportunity to gather insights that can be used to create efficiencies across sales and marketing.

If you want to unlock the insights trapped in your phone calls with customers, let’s start a conversation.

Product Marketing Manager

Andy Vale
Product Marketing Manager

Andy has spent years obsessively analysing how businesses can unlock value from engagements with their audience. Outside his family, his main loves are Woking FC, his Xbox, and his National Trust membership.

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