Digital Customer Service During Pandemic
COVID-19 Triggers Demand for Digital Service
The pandemic has created a surge in demand for customer service. As phone wait times escalated, consumers were flooding digital channels for service. Some industries were/are better prepared than others, reveals a groundbreaking consumer survey, conducted by Dimensional Research® on our behalf.
DOWNLOAD REPORT OF THE FINDINGS
The report includes
- Digital adoption and customer satisfaction data across generational demographics—Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers
- Status of consistency of answers and service across touchpoints
- Digital customer service performance of various industries
- Banks and Credit Unions
- Communications Service Providers
- Healthcare and Health Insurance
- Retail, including online retail
1. The pandemic has created digital urgency for businesses
- 80% of respondents have increased their use of digital customer service since the onset of COVID-19
Younger generations are driving digital uptake
- 92% Gen Z report that their use of digital customer service has increased
- 87% Millennials report that their use of digital customer service has increased
- Even 69% of baby boomers reported an increase in the usage of digital customer service
2. Have you increased your use of digital customer service since the onset of COVID-19?
Yes, significantly, say millennials and Gen Z.
3. State of digital customer service during the pandemic
Respondents were asked, “In your opinion, how has the state of digital customer service changed since the onset of the COVID-19?”
- 69% felt that digital customer service has improved during the pandemic.
- Younger demographics are happier with digital customer service
- Gen Z most likely to report digital customer service has improved (78%)
- Baby Boomers most likely to report digital customer service has gotten worse (39%)
4. Chatbots ranked last among digital touchpoints in customer satisfaction
Chatbots rank lowest in level of satisfaction for digital customer service, trailing channels like email, text chat or video chat, messaging, cobrowsing, and social media.
5. Majority of customers complained about inconsistent answers across bot and human agents
Customers were asked, “In your experience, do you get different answers or information for the same question if you contact a company in different ways?”
- 57% of customers complained about getting different answers from chatbots and live agents when asking the same question
- Younger generations are much more likely to report discrepancies in answers. 70% millennials and 57% of the Gen Z agreed that they got different answers to the same question when they changed channel or touchpoint.
Digital Customer Service Performance by Sector
1. Government ranked as the worst; Banks and retail are ranked as the best for digital customer service
2. Customer sat with Government sector dropped the most during the pandemic
52% of those surveyed felt that digital customer service had worsened for the government sector.
3. Did your sector provide you customer service through the digital channel of your choice?
- Banks: No 3%
- Insurance: No 6%
- Communications: No 9%
- Retail: No 9%
- Healthcare / Insurance: 10%
- Government sector: No 19%
Government least likely to offer preferred digital channel; Banks most likely to offer preferred channel
4. Healthcare / Insurance companies most likely to give different answers via different channels
The question was, “In your experience, do you get different answers or information for the same question if you contact a company in different ways?”
Most sectors did badly. Banks performed the best, where only 44% said yes, they got different answers when they asked more than one contact center agent, or when they asked an agent and then used a chatbot or virtual assistant.