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Solar Eclipse Impact on Telecom Was Big

August 24, 2017 By Steve Senne in

The recent solar eclipse impact on telecom was big, according to data from DialogTech, a company that provides marketing analytics for phone calls. The sun was not the only thing that disappeared during the August 21 solar eclipse, DialogTech noted. Consumers did as well.

Inbound calls to U.S. businesses dropped by an average of 9% as people took a break to watch the event – and the dropoff was as high as 42 percent in the 70-mile wide path of totality.

Solar Eclipse Impact on Telecom

“There is a misconception that because the eclipse happened during lunch hour, the financial impact was minimal,” said Alain Stephan, the Senior Vice President of Analytics Services at DialogTech in a press release. “But this is simply not true. The data DialogTech captures for businesses shows that, for many industries, mid-day is when inbound call volumes are at their highest, with consumers calling during lunch breaks to make doctor’s appointments, schedule test drives at their local dealership and make vacation plans.”

The company used DialogTech’s voice management platform to measure call volumes during the eclipse. Those numbers were compared to those of a normal Monday afternoon. The top ten impacted states were Wyoming (42 percent reduction in inbound calls), Louisiana (27 percent reduction), Tennessee (26 percent reduction), Missouri (25 percent reduction), Alaska (23 percent reduction), South Carolina (22 percent reduction), South Dakota (21 percent reduction), Nebraska (20 percent reduction), Kansas (19 percent reduction) and Oregon (18 percent reduction).

The cost of the eclipse was significant in lost productivity as well. Employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimated before the eclipse that employers would lose $694 million. Lost time included gathering viewing equipment and finding a place to watch the eclipse as well as the event itself.

It is generally thought that the biggest annual resource drain caused by an outside event is the first few days of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. In addition to lost productivity, employees use corporate computers to stream the games and check scores.