Voice calls have been on the decline for the past couple of decades, but they have made a huge comeback during the pandemic. How big? There’s been an 184% increase in voice call traffic over 2020—meaning people have been making almost 3x as many phone calls than pre-pandemic days.

According to AT&T, the surge in voice calls has been seen for both business and personal purposes. Think about the most likely times we used to use the phones. Before we started to follow stay-at-home orders, wireless calls typically peaked in the morning and evening rush hours; once people got to their offices and schools, the call volumes fell. Now, voice call volumes are high throughout the day.

So why are voice calls seemingly more relevant in 2021?

  1. The pandemic has driven much of the U.S. workforce to work from home. Employees have had to abandon their office landlines and rely on their personal (or business) mobile phones. Even though usage of video conferencing apps (like Zoom or Google Meets) has been on the rise, they are most popular for meetings with multiple people. Voice calls are still easier for one-on-one conversations, and they don’t buffer and break down like video.
  1. People are starting to crave a human voice. People prefer voice calls when connecting with friends and family, beating out texting, email, and video calls. Verizon said it was now handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week, more than double the number made on Mother’s Day, historically one of the busiest call days of the year.
  1. Voice is the preferred way communications channel among consumers. Customers have more trust in a company when they are able to speak to a human representative, which is why 80% of businesses feel “the voice call has become more important than ever.” And customers agree; 33% of customers in the financial industry want to be contacted via phone, along with 29% in the insurance industry and 34% in the healthcare industry.

In spite of all the different ways we can communicate with one another, voice calls have held onto their title as the #1 preferred communications channel among consumers and businesses in 2021. To meet customers where they are, three-quarters of businesses increased their use of voice communications in 2020. All of this is great news for call centers across every industry. From finance and healthcare to retail and travel, voice calls remain the preferred way for businesses to communicate with customers.

Learn more about how to get the good calls your enterprise makes to your customers answered. Download “The Art of Getting Good Calls Answered” for an in-depth look into why call centers are struggling to reach customers.