New Study Finds Conversation is the No. 1 Reason We Use Our Mobile Devices

November 3, 2015

Invoca’s State of the Mobile Experience Report finds that over a third of millennials make more than five calls a day, and name it as the preferred method for contacting businesses

SANTA BARBARA, Calif — November 3, 2015 — People of all ages, including millennials, value their mobile phones for conversations more than any other function or feature, according to the State of the Mobile Experience Report published today by Invoca, the call intelligence company. Invoca conducted a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults to analyze their relationship with their mobile devices; how, when, and why they are using them; and what this means for businesses.

While smartphone owners use an average of 27 apps per month, the report finds people identified “calling” as the single most valuable phone function, beating out messaging, social media, email and video. This makes sense given people turn to a conversation for their most important personal and business interactions. For example, when respondents were asked if they could choose one mode of communication to relay news about major life events (getting engaged, getting divorced, announcing a pregnancy, winning the lottery, etc.) respondents chose to call every time.

This trend extends beyond personal relationships. When using a mobile phone to contact a business, people make phone calls more often than emailing, filling out a form or using social media. And the business’ ability to answer can make or break a sale: more than a third of people search for a phone number for a minute or less before moving on to another company. Conversely, 80 percent say they are likely to become a repeat customer if they have a good experience on the phone.

Additionally, the two most-used smartphone functions are messaging and calling. This is true for every age group, including millennials, categorized as eighteen to 34-year-olds. While this age group is leading the way with newer mobile technology like peer-to-peer payment apps (20 percent use them a few times a week or more), 37 percent of millennials say they make calls more than five times a day.

“This study shows that while nearly every other mode of communication is now available on our smartphones, we continue to value direct conversation with one another,” said Kyle Christensen, VP Marketing, Invoca. “As marketers, we often prioritize the other things consumers do on mobile such as email, display, search and social. But you can’t be truly “omni-channel” without calls — without conversations.”

“Annual calls to businesses are increasing at a huge clip – they’ll reach 162 billion by 2019,” said Abid Chaudhry, Senior Analyst at BIA Kelsey. “Callers have high intent to purchase. So not understanding who’s calling your business and why is a huge miss for marketers.”

Key Findings from Invoca’s Mobile Experience Report include:

Consumers’ Relationship to Mobile
More than half of people consider themselves addicted to their phones, with the number spiking to more than three quarters when looking at millennials only. Taking a deeper look into how and when people are using their smartphones provides insight into their relationships, priorities and habits.

The Classic Phone Call, Always in Style

  • On an average day, people use the call function more often than sending emails, updating social media, watching videos or using maps
  • 33 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to make calls more than five times a day; the percentage is even higher (37 percent) among millennials

The Phone May Be an Oracle to Our Heart’s Desire

  • Only 8 percent of people check their phone three or more times on a “good” date, while 51 percent of people check their phone three or more times on a “bad” date
  • While 52 percent of millennials said they would never check their phone while out with business associates, only 17 percent of that age group said they would never check their phone while out with family

Businesses: Quick, Pick Up the Phone
When using a mobile phone to contact a business, people use the call function more than any other, most often because they need a quick answer. However, the data shows that people are also often looking to express concern or get expert advice, conversations that can accentuate a positive or poor customer experience. These calls tend to be valuable: 58 percent of people who call a business are doing so regarding a purchase worth $100 or more.

Phones are Becoming Wallets

  • 36 percent of people make purchases using their phone at least a few times a month
  • 33 percent of consumers spend more than $50 a week using their phone

Consumers Want a Direct Line to Businesses

  • 51 percent of smartphone users use a search engine like Google to find a phone number for a business; 25 percent look for the number on that business’s website
  • 34 percent of people will search for a number for one minute or less before moving on to another company

Customers Call with Great Expectations

  • After having a poor experience over the phone, 74 percent of people say they are likely or very likely to choose another business
  • Only 14 percent of respondents have a problem with companies collecting their personal data on the phone, as long as the data is used to improve their experience

A report summarizing the findings of the survey is available online at:

About Invoca
Invoca helps the modern marketer optimize for the most important step in the customer journey: the phone call. With Invoca’s Call Intelligence platform, marketers can get granular campaign attribution to understand why customers are calling, gain real-time intelligence about who’s calling and analyze what’s being said in conversations. Marketers can put this data to work directly in the platform by automating the ideal customer experience before, during and after each call. With an ecosystem of over 30 technology partners, marketers can inject call intelligence into their existing technology stack, giving them the ability to orchestrate a true omnichannel customer journey. Invoca is backed by Accel Partners, Upfront Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, and Salesforce. For more information, please visit


Laura Schierberl

(415) 636-8038