How the pandemic has changed customer support forever

The COVID-19 pandemic has an irreparable impact on how the world does business.

Pandemic has changed everything, last year, companies had to adopt priority ways of working overnight; supply chains and distribution structures around the world have been seriously affected; and in the midst of all this uncertainty, consumers are (understandably) more anxious and frustrated than ever.

In the wake of these unprecedented changes and challenges, the way companies and consumers interact and develop relationships has also pandemic has changed. The channels we use to communicate with us have changed dramatically and customer expectations for fast, personalized support are higher than ever. That is why companies must understand their customers and meet their high standards to remain competitive.

Messaging is fast becoming an important customer support channel

One of the biggest changes we’re seeing is the way customers want to communicate with support teams. According to Forrester’s research, the pre-pandemic messaging system ranks fifth in the use of channels. This is now the second.

In addition, three of the top five slots are message-based: in addition to dedicated messaging platforms (such as WhatsApp and SMS), mobile messaging apps and live web-based chat are the third and fifth, respectively.

Messaging offers a faster and more efficient customer experience

Before the pandemic, Forrester’s research found that telephone support was the primary support channel, followed by email and in person. The decrease in personal support is, of course, considerable; in 2020, everything fell apart personally. With physical stores closed, even companies that were not online had to go digital-first. As a result, we saw a significant increase in the need for digital communication channels, with 55% of respondents reporting an increase in customers’ preference for interacting on digital channels.

Messages allow support teams to be more productive and personal

Research suggests that support for message-based calls makes it easier to maximize limited resources, especially when combined with a strategic framework, such as call support. Using a combination of self-service, proactive and human support, they can prioritize the calls they receive most effectively, gain a deeper context to provide more personalized responses, and build lasting relationships with customers.

Providing exceptional customer service experiences is more difficult and important than ever

As we have seen, leaders and support teams have seen an increase in the number of conversations and the complexity of interaction since the beginning of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 53% of respondents reported an increase in the number of phone calls. Of these, almost three out of ten (28%) showed an increase in volume between 10% and 50%. Meanwhile, 49% of respondents reported an increase in the number of highly complex interactions with the customer.

The customer support landscape has changed forever

What else can we learn from this research? There is no stopping it.

While service leaders report that there have been many notable changes in the short term – changes in channel preferences, increased call volume, and higher customer expectations, to name a few – this will have long-term effects.

In fact, 71% believe that the pandemic will have a greater or greater impact on how their organization supports customers in the long term.

The new normal

Pandemic has changed but… It supports message-based experiences. Effective automation that protects your fans from frequently asked questions. Personalized self-service features that allow your customers to answer their questions in their spare time. This is what the new standard of customer service looks like. Is your team ready to face you?

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