One outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that companies have cut back their phone operations in favor of online self-service, according to a study released Monday by ResultsCX.
Of 1,500 firms surveyed in December by ResultsCX, 30.11% expect a 10% to 15% increase in customer service demand this holiday season.
Another 23.66% say demand is jumping from 5% to 10%, and 54% foresee a 5% hike. And 10.75% predict a 15%-25% jump.
Still, 8.60% predict a decrease of 5% to 10%, and 5.38% predict a drop from 10%.
How do they plan to handle the surge? Of those polled, 69% are planning to offer live-chat functionality in the near future. In addition, 58% will provide human-like interactive chatbots.
And they seek to enhance their online customer care capabilities, in these areas:
This is happening while 70% have downsized their call-center operations because of COVID-19. Specifically, 31.18% have done so for 50% of their staff, and 12.66% for 15%. What’ more, 19.35% are allowing 80% to work at home.
What parts of their organizations would benefit most from online customer care going into 2121? They list:
In addition, many have expanded their self-service and AI-powered knowledge base tools since the start of the pandemic:
Email should be part of this program, for it is one of the key customer care channels, from triggered welcome messages to alerts, confirmations and updates. And don’t forget text.
As for self-service, it produces these benefits:
“This year’s holiday shopping season has already proved to be drastically different as a result of the pandemic, with a significantly larger pool of shoppers leveraging online channels,” states Pete Martino, COO of ResultsCX.
Martino adds: “It’s equally important to offer self-service online customer care options for these shoppers, and to equip work-from-home agents with the tools they need to quickly and accurately resolve customer issues.”
The companies surveyed are in these fields: