Partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 47% of consumers worldwide have increased their use of digital channels to engage with businesses over the past 12-18 months.
And 87% expect to maintain this level of interaction over the next 6-12 months, according to Vonage’s 10th Global Customer Engagement Report.
But a definition is in order: To Vonage, the term “digital channels” means video, chatbots and non-SMS messaging apps. Email -- one of the traditional channels -- has simply held steady, the study reports.
"Our research shows that digital channels have rapidly emerged alongside traditional methods of communication, with sharp and sustained growth in video, chatbots, app-based messaging and calling, while email and traditional voice calls remain relatively status quo,” says Joy Corso, chief marketing officer for Vonage.
In North America, 34% call friends and family every day via messaging apps — up from 29% in August 2020.
In addition, 60% of consumers are video chatting with businesses more than they did 18 months ago. And 75% use video to communicate with friends and family. For 20%, video chatting with friends or family is a daily occurrence.
But 46% are likely to stop buying from a firm that fails to answer their calls, with no other channels available for help, the report states.
The research “underscores the need to connect with and engage with customers in multiple ways, in their preferred modality,” Corso adds.
Vonage, a cloud communications firm, surveyed 5,000 consumers from 14 countries.