Research reveals that Brits prefer to speak to businesses on Zoom rather than with their parents - despite lockdown usage boom

1st December 2020

by Maintel

  • Just 2% of Brits want to be contacted by their parents on Zoom, a survey by Maintel reveals
  • This is despite an increase in people using the platform during the COVID-19 crisis to keep in contact with work colleagues, or for group conversations with family and friends
  • More formal channels, such as mobile and landline, remain key favourites for Brits when speaking to businesses. However, the landline continues its steady decline for personal calls

London, UK, 1st December 2020: – Zoom may be seen as an increasingly popular platform, but Brits would still rather keep personal interactions with family and friends to their mobile phone and WhatsApp applications, according to research from Maintel, a specialist in communications technology.

Contacting parents for a catch-up call, or a lockdown family quiz, via Zoom will be a short-term trend influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the research suggests. Brits overwhelmingly said they would prefer not to use the platform for personal one-to-one calls. Just 2% of Brits want to be contacted by either their mum or dad on Zoom, the research reveals – this is despite the fact that Zoom use skyrocketed 20-fold during UK lockdown, according to figures from Ofcom.

In comparison, younger generation Brits are more open to using the channel for business interactions.  Nearly one-in-ten (9%) 18-24-year olds want to be contacted by a business on Zoom. This may be because they are more open to new channels that use technology that is more convenient to their lifestyle, Maintel suggests.

The survey of 2,000 Brits reveals the ways people want to stay in touch are changing. It revealed differences between the way people want to interact with businesses and their family, and how communication methods are evolving among different generations.

Mum’s on mobile

While Brits may be reluctant to speak to their parents on Zoom, the use of mobile and WhatsApp has continued to boom. On the flipside, the landline has continued its steady decline.

Only a minority of Brits still use a landline to contact their family and friends, preferring to use their mobile instead. Maintel’s survey found, eight-in-ten (79%) people had used their mobile phone to make a personal call within the last week. By contrast, the traditional landline had only been used by 37% of people, and 36% claim to never use it at all.

When speaking to family specifically, just 11% of people want their mum to call on the landline, and that figure drops to just 9% for dads.  

Brits would far rather use mobile or WhatsApp when it comes to catching up with a parent on a call, with 44% preferring to be contacted by their mum on Mobile and 15% on WhatsApp.

By contrast, there is very little appetite for children to engage with their parents on social media – only 7% want to speak to their mum on Facebook and 6% to their dads.

How do people want their parents to call?













Facebook Messenger













When broken down by age, the change in communication methods is even more pronounced. For example, nearly three-quarters (72%) of 18-24-year-olds want to be contacted by their mum via mobile but only 5% will use a landline. Landline remains a favourite with 45-54-year-olds – with 20% percent still choosing this as a preferred method to be contact by their mum – but mobile is the most popular with this age bracket too, but with only 46% citing it as the preferred channel.

Brits expect more formal contact from business

In addition to exploring people’s communication preferences for personal interactions, the research also looked at consumer expectations when interacting with a business. It reveals who they want to speak to, how they do it, and what channels they prefer.

While there is a growing use of mobile and social tools like WhatsApp for personal conversations, some Brits are still clinging on to the use of the landline for calls with businesses. The research revealed that nearly a fifth of Brits still expect business enquiries to be handled on the landline. This may suggest that for certain customer enquiries, consumers prefer a more formal approach, with social media or mobile communication reserved for personal interactions.

How people want businesses to call?

  • Mobile – 48%
  • Landline – 18%
  • WhatsApp – 5%
  • Zoom – 5%
  • Facebook Messenger – 3%
  • Snapchat – 2%
  • Facetime – 2%
  • Instagram – 1%

The research suggests that, for now at least, people are satisfied with resolving most business issues and queries over the phone. However, in the same way that our personal communication habits have evolved in recent years, we can also expect this to change over time with social and digital channels increasing in use.

Rufus Grig, CSO at Maintel, said: “It is clear that the way people communicate with family, friends, and businesses is changing. British consumers currently prefer more traditional channels when it comes to businesses interactions, rather than the informal social channels they reserve for siblings and friends.

“However, this is likely to change dramatically over the course of the next decade and businesses must be prepared for conversations to shift towards newer digital and social channels. The fact that one-in-ten younger generation Brits aged between 18-24 are now keen to be contacted by a business via Zoom is a reflection of that.

“One thing that’s clear is that a one size fits all approach won’t work. Businesses must spend time building their understanding of British customers to deliver engagement when people want, on the channels they want.”

Maintel’s research report ‘Communications Re-imagined: It’s time for business to get the message that technology is changing the way we communicate’ can be downloaded here

Research Methodology:

Independent research carried out by 3Gem Research and Insights with an online survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted in September 2020.


About Maintel   

Maintel is a cloud and managed services company with a focus on communications. Its people are experienced, trusted technology advisors, who improve their clients’ organisations through digital transformation.   

Founded in 1991, Maintel has a proven track record of delivering communications solutions and services to both the private and public sector. In that time, the company has gained the expertise to solve the challenges associated with digital initiatives, and its managed services approach ensures clients realise the full value of their technology.  

This is achieved by specialising in three key pillars of digital transformation: making organisations more effective, efficient, and collaborative with digital workplace solutions; allowing organisations to acquire, develop, and retain more business by using technology to create more meaningful customer experiences through outstanding service; ensuring organisations’ employees, customers, and partners always have seamless access to their data and applications through reliable, secure connectivity.  

Ongoing growth of Maintel’s cloud and managed services offerings continues to allow the company to keep supporting the increasing demands of the market.   

Please visit for more information.   

For more information please contact:   

Danny Mitchell   
LEWIS Communications   
Tel: (+44) 020 7802 2626   

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