Email Falls Behind WhatsApp As Customer Request Channel: Study

Email ranks a distant third in growth among the channels used by small business customers to deal with issues as the number of customer tickets keeps going up, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use of WhatsApp has grown by 76%, while text by 56% and email have risen by 10% as SMBs try to scale their efforts, according to Adapting to Rapid Change, a study by Zendesk.

North America saw a 19% increase in tickets in June compared with 13% in Europe and 7% in Asia-Pacific, while the number of tickets actually fell by 2% in Latin America.  

Email is second in the Americas, with 16% growth moving through May and into June. Text rules, with a 55% increase. 

The EMEA area saw a 27% hike in What’sApp use, 11% in email and 9% in Facebook/Twitter messages.  

In Latin America, despite the falloff in tickets, there has been a 157% increase in What’sApp use, 26% in chat and 32% in email.

But email grew by only 4% in APAC, compared with 118% for What’sApp and 29% for text. Still, it was third. 

The study notes: “Teams are also taking longer to respond over email and webform, the main drivers of support traffic for SMBs, but they’re doing so more efficiently than before.”

Wait times for an agent response rose by only 4% despite a 14% increase in total tickets. 

Zendesk urges firms to develop email templates based on their FAQs, so resolving those requests will be easy for the support team.

This study is based on analysis of data in Zendesk Benchmark, a data index of companies powered by Zendesk. The company examined the support operations of more than 13,000 SMBs worldwide. 

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