The Impact of COVID-19 on Customer Support
Customer Support

The Impact of COVID-19 on Customer Support

Find out the potential impacts of covid-19 on customer support and how to overcome them. Whether you’re in the middle of a sudden ticket spike or struggling with implementing effective strategies, we’ve got you covered.

Sanjoli Jain

22-07-2021

5 Min

2020 brought certain levels of uncertainty and unpredictability to our lives. Businesses across the world will be feeling its impact for the foreseeable future. Changes once considered temporary have become a necessity.

For customer support teams, this might feel a little daunting. As they struggle to meet the challenges and expectations, support teams continue to see record engagement from customers. As online customer support became more important, support teams worldwide have adapted in ways they never thought possible.

Looking forward, we’re seeing trends that continue to shape what customers’ experience currently looks like in the pandemic. Despite challenges, companies continue to compete to provide top-notch customer service, even as each day or week brings new challenges. By framing effective strategies, companies can build more scalable customer support. This is exactly what this blog is about.

Whether you’re in the middle of a sudden ticket spike or struggling with implementing online ticketing system strategies, we’re here to help. Now is the time to implement efficient strategies and overcome the uncertainties that lie ahead.

This blog will discuss the potential impacts of COVID-19 on customer support teams across the world and how to overcome them. Let’s get started!

1. Huge Surge in Tickets

As long as countries continue to see cases rise and fall, companies must expect to see a surge in their customer demands and queries. Support agents currently are managing more tickets than usual (before the pandemic began). On average, the overall support tickets remain at a 20% higher baseline than before the pandemic. Companies in Latin America (+41%) and North America (+36%) are currently seeing some of the highest increases.

Conquer the Surge: Use a Knowledge Base

A knowledge base helps customers seek answers by themselves. A comprehensive knowledge base reduces the support agents’ work and reduces tickets up to 80%. This way, customers can get solutions at lightning speed. It also boosts customer satisfaction.

Use a Knowledge Base

DeskXpand Knowledge Base

The primary objective of the knowledge base is its site-wide visibility and easy accessibility. Visitors can access the knowledge base around the clock from all locations. For making the search even easier, you can group, categorize and sub-categorize your articles.

2. Companies With Single Touchpoint Suffer the Most

As the incoming queries rise, customers find it more difficult to reach the support departments, especially when they’re only provided with one or two (phone, emails, etc.) options to reach the support team. This keeps customers from registering their queries as the phone lines are always busy and their emails go unanswered.

Omnichannel Customer Service

The only solution to overcome this problem is to provide omnichannel support. With omnichannel support, customers get numerous ways to interact with companies. Mind you; an omnichannel approach is different from a multichannel approach. We recommend you to go with the omnichannel approach because it is more effective on the agent/admin side.

All the channels are connected in an omnichannel setting – social media, live chat, email, ticketing, phone, you name it. That way, you can offer a consistent customer experience regardless of the channel or touchpoint. It also ensures that agents can easily share context and notes about the customer’s previous interactions.

The biggest benefit of omnichannel is that it entirely integrates into your customer portal. Hence, you do not have to jump between siloed channels or redirect to various platforms to send emails —it’s all right there.

3. Increasing Response Time

As support teams are busy meeting customer expectations, the customer response time keeps increasing. Studies have shown that 66% of consumers consider valuing their time as the most important thing businesses can do for them. All they want is a quick solution to their problems.

Companies struggle to deliver a timely response to their customers and hence lose business. This can be reduced by using an instant live chat feature and upgrading your ticketing features.

I. Implement a Live Chat Option

Live chat support helps your agents and teams to respond faster to your customer queries. It makes it much easier for customers to get answers on the fly. In case of complex queries, chatbots can help agents keep the customers engaged until they can take over. Chatbots enable companies to provide support around the clock and handle multiple customers at the same time.

Live chats make sure that every inquiry is registered and no query goes unnoticed. You can simply integrate it with your online ticketing system and avoid lengthy email responses. This way even if you miss the chat due to the absence of an agent, the ticket is still registered and can be looked at later on.

II. Upgrade Your Ticketing Features

Modern problems call for modern solutions. You need to upgrade your online ticketing system and implement the latest features. You’ll need automated and collaborative ticketing tools. It is important to enable in-team collaboration. If your agents cannot collaborate effectively, that might lead to chaotic and unnecessary communication.

Some of the ticket management features are automatic ticket importing, automatic ticket assignment, ticket notifications, etc. These tools build team accountability, improve transparency, and ensure effective communication.

4. Increasing Use of Social Media for Support Communication

Lately, customers have found their comfort and turned to popular social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to communicate with businesses. 63% of customers expect companies to offer support via social media. 74% of who contacted a company through their social media in 2020 plan to keep doing so. WhatsApp usage continues to soar (almost 219%).

Social Media for Support Communication

A Spike in the WhatsApp Usage for Business During the Pandemic

Connect Social Media

You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.

Seth Godin

American author

As an active social media presence has become necessary, customer support teams need to excel in this area. It is imperative to give your business a face on popular social media platforms. It serves as an excellent way to connect companies with their customers.

Social media lets your customer contact you almost instantly and enables you to deliver support quickly. You can make the social media channel a part of your omnichannel services. Your customer support agents can intercept, solve the queries and respond to the customers from a single interface.

Also, when you respond and resolve customer queries in public, it helps you improve your brand identity. All this without making any extra efforts. Other people on social media will notice the way you respond and how quickly you respond.

5. When Trends and Roadblock go Unnoticed

As agents, managers, and support team admins are busier than ever, they are more likely to miss the trends and roadblocks that affect their customer support. This is even crucial if a single person is overlooking the entire support without taking the help of any automation or reporting tools.

Providing a consistent customer experience without losing customer context is important. To maintain consistency, you need to analyze your support process regularly.

You constantly need to address questions like: Do you need to optimize your support? Do your workflows need an update? Are the canned messages that you wrote last quarter outdated? These questions will help your current customer service processes and identify the key issues holding you back.

With reporting and analytics tools, you can know everything about your support and improve if necessary.

Analytics For Providing Consistent Support Experience

Reporting and analytics features in the online ticketing system help you understand customer behavior and make data-driven decisions. With large-scale customer data metrics, you can gain actionable insights. This way, you can get a complete 360-degree view of your support performance. Later with the help of this data, you can evaluate your strategy to designing better customer experiences.

Overcome All Hurdles With DeskXpand

DeskXpand is an exceptional ticketing system software that helps businesses simplify their support and deliver a timely response. It has ticket automation, omnichannel and self-service features that cater to all types of businesses (ideally small to large businesses).

DeskXpand is built by functional experts and developers with certifications in their respective fields. We are an ISO27001 certified development company with 14+ years of development experience. We build products that you can customize according to your present and future needs. We can help you gain a competitive advantage in the post-pandemic world. Contact our experts for more.

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