Brits would rather hear from a clingy ex than receive a business cold call


British adults would rather be contacted by an ex-partner than receive a cold call from a business, according to new research from Infobip.

The Me, myself and I phone research series, from global cloud communications company Infobip, polled 2,000 British consumers to examine how important our phones are to us in comparison to other parts of our lives, and how we like to communicate with it.

The research revealed that towards three quarters (70%) of UK adults would be annoyed having to deal with a call from businesses they don’t know compared to less than one in five (18%) that would be annoyed by an unexpected call from a former partner. This demonstrates that many businesses are exploiting mobile communications to bombard customers with irrelevant calls and messages, resulting in frustration.

It’s clear though that once a consumer has identified a brand they want to converse with, they are happy to build on that relationship. While over four-fifths (85%) of British adults would share their home address with a business, only 59% would share their address with someone they’ve just met.

Similar results were found for sharing contact details. Four fifths (81%) of UK adults are willing to share their mobile phone number with a business compared to 72% who are happy sharing their mobile number with someone they don’t know​.

Accessibility and timeliness are critical to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Previous research from Infobip found that the biggest frustrations for consumers when it comes to customer service are:

  • Waiting to speak with customer services (35%)
  • Limited ways and times to contact a company (31%)
  • Repeating details to a customer service agent (20%)


Most customers prefer email contact with brands (52%), but live online chat is becoming an increasingly popular option (31%) too.


Nikhil Shoorji, Managing Director Europe at Infobip, said:

“After a year of relentless uncertainty, what we can be certain of is that customer experience is more important than ever; especially when face-to-face contact with brands has been so severely reduced. The problem is that businesses aren’t delivering on these channels, with cold calls rated more annoying than a former partner reaching out.

“With only one chance to make a good first impression, it is essential that businesses get their communications strategy right. Whether that’s identifying a customer prefers initial engagement via email, followed by a phone call, or that they prefer to use a WhatsApp chatbot for customer service enquiries. There are many exciting channels out there, but being clear on timing, preference and message is imperative to building trust and rapport with a customer, something we know is hard to come by in an always-on culture.

“For today’s businesses, it’s crucial to transform cold calls into warm leads – showing customers you genuinely care will encourage loyalty and boost revenue in the long run.”