Death of the cold calls? Study reveals drop in nuisance calls

Cold calls to businesses have reduced dramatically over the last five years with a 73 per cent decrease in the number of nuisance marketing calls being made to businesses.

The number of cold calls being made to businesses in the UK has reduced dramatically in the last five years, according to recent figures released by telephone answering service alldayPA.

The company finds that between 2011 and 2016 there was a 73 per cent decrease in the number of cold calls being received by its clients. This type of call now accounts for only seven per cent of all communication received – down from 26 per cent five years ago.

AlldayPA – which handles calls for over 24,000 businesses in the UK, ranging from lawyers, and accountants to vets and e-commerce companies – attributes this to a consumer backlash against unwanted marketing calls and government changes to the law in 2015 making it easier for companies making such calls to be fined.

Reuben Singh, CEO at alldayPA, says, ‘We’ve all had the occasional ‘have you been in an accident?’ or PPI call, but not many people can remember the last time they received one – and they’re certainly not as frequent as they once were. Cold calling is dying.

‘Our statistics not only show how businesses are being relieved of this nuisance, but also give a good indication of the state of cold calling to homes across the country. An increased awareness and vigilance among the public, coupled with tighter restrictions on outbound calling companies, has seen this form of marketing take a hit and I don’t think it’s far-fetched to predict that cold calls will soon be a thing of the past.’

While cold calls are on the way out, inbound information enquiries are on the rise, according to the company. AlldayPA reports that there has been a 300 per cent increase in these calls across the same time period, attributing this to the growth of e-commerce and customers seeking to validate the authenticity of a website via confirmation phone calls.

Reuben adds, ‘As consumers, we’ve certainly become more ‘digital’ and are buying products online now more than ever. However, with the removal of a face or voice from a brand comes scepticism, meaning people are now ringing up a company for reassurance that the information they’ve seen on their website is correct, or to simply check they’re genuine.

‘As a result of changing communication methods and the ever-growing prominence of online platforms, call centres must now adapt their approach accordingly. It’ll be interesting to see how the role of the call centre continues to evolve over the next five years and beyond.’

Further reading on cold calls

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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