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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.
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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
    • Regierung
    • Healthcare and Health Insurance
    • Insurance
    • Retail, including online retail

Key Findings

1. The pandemic has created digital urgency for businesses

80% have increased digital customer service usage since COVID-19 began

  • 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.

Increase in use of digital customer service far higher among younger generations during COVID-19
Increase in use of digital customer service far higher among younger generations during the pandemic

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.
State of digital customer service improved during the pandemic
69% felt that digital customer service has improved
  • 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%)

Younger consumers are more positive on digital customer service

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.

Chatbots ranked at the bottom among all channels in customer satisfaction

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

Majority reported they got different answers for the same question in different touchpoints

  • 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.
Younger generations report inconsistency in customer service answers more than other groups
70% millennials and 57% of the Gen Z respondents said they got different answers to the same question when they asked different contact center agents or asked an agent and then used self-service through a chatbot.

Digital Customer Service Performance by Sector

1. Government ranked as the worst; Banks and retail are ranked as the best for digital customer service

Government ranked the worst; Banks and Retail ranked 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.

Customer sat with Government sector dropped the most since COVID onset

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

Sectors that provided preferred digital channels for customer service

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.

More healthcare /insurance companies give different answers via different channels
Healthcare / Insurance companies most likely to give different answers via different channels

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