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Prepare your company for a post COVID world

Customers are increasingly turning to WhatsApp, support tickets received increased by over 100%

The study made by Zendesk to more than 23,000 companies around the world, evaluates the impact that the pandemic has had, comparing data with the previous year, the conclusions can help prepare companies for a new scenario, a post-COVID-19 world.

Customer support requests are increasing

Companies of all types are experiencing an increase in the volume of support requests as the virus impacts business operations worldwide. Customer service requests are currently at the highest levels we have seen since the crisis began, with a 24% increase over last year.

Customers are increasingly turning to WhatsApp, chat and online support during the crisis

With telephone lines flooded and waiting times increasing, customers are flocking to alternative support channels. Since the end of February, support tickets received by WhatsApp have increased by over 100%, while chat has increased by 34% and text messages by 30%. For large companies in particular, WhatsApp has become a popular choice; they have seen demand increase by 166% in that channel alone as of early May.

The main objective is to avoid waiting times

More and more customers are looking for answers on the company’s own website. Visits to self-service resources such as online help centers or FAQ pages have increased by almost 65% since the end of February, with the biggest growths in companies for work and remote learning (376%), games (110%) and fitness (101%). In many cases, the increase in visits to a company’s online help center actually outpaced the growth in support requests, which means these resources are helping to route requests and reduce stress on support teams.

Agile companies are succeeding

More than a third of the companies in this study have moved existing agents into messaging channels such as WhatsApp, text and social media. Many are also referring requests before they occur, opting for solutions such as Chatbot and online help centers. In this group, 58% of companies using bot have seen an increase of 10% or more in request resolution, while almost 60% have added or updated content on their Web sites.

The Chatbot is being widely deployed

Chatbots are another integral part of e-commerce. Companies are deploying bots in the areas of marketing, sales and support, and they are doing so with a distinctly human touch. In fact, nearly half of financial and insurance businesses have adopted bots for everything from lead generation to customer support, and while chatbots, voice assistants, messaging applications and chat are still not as common as phone and email, that is going to change. It is estimated that by 2022, 70% of all customer interactions will involve emerging tools such as chatbots, machine learning and mobile messaging, compared to 15% in 2018, according to Gartner.

WhatsApp is not a marketing tool

However, this is not a channel for automated or bulk messaging: in December last year, WhatsApp banned newsletters in an effort to encourage companies to focus on individual communications, rather than mass marketing communications as we sometimes see in e-mail. This effort to focus on one-to-one communications is very compelling. Messaging applications have the highest customer satisfaction rate, at 98%.

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