The COVID-19 crisis forced enterprises worldwide to speed up the digitization of their customer service. And there is no going back. On the contrary, companies will only increase their investment in digital channels, live chat in particular, says the Twilio State of Customer Engagement Report 2021. At Deepdesk, we are wondering how companies will manage this transition.
The pandemic came fast, and it came furious. Lockdowns worldwide cut companies off from physical contact with their customers: no more store visits or trade fairs, low results on-street advertising, and other forms of promotion. Low engagement with customers can lead to losing customers and revenue.
So, how did companies worldwide respond to this challenge?
Twilio - the cloud communications platform for customer engagement - did a survey among 2,500 enterprise decision-makers across the United States, Europe, and Asia to understand their views on digital engagement. The results were published in the Twilio State of Customer Engagement Report 2021.
Digital engagement grew fast.
The first conclusion is that digital engagement with customers grew rapidly and significantly during the pandemic. For example, 54% report their digital interactions increased 50% or more. Twilio shared their own data, showing that the growth in digital engagement doubled during the pandemic in industries like financial services and health care. Overall, companies’ digital customer engagement increased 37% since the pandemic:
Companies responded rapidly
It didn’t take most companies long to respond. Most of them were well prepared. They invested heavily in digitization over the last couple of years. Almost everyone (96%) says that, in hindsight, their company would have suffered had they not invested in digitization. Within a month after the pandemic hit, most companies had already sped up their digital strategies. Companies worldwide were 28 days faster in opening new channels for engagement with customers. That is almost twice as fast as before the pandemic.
No going back
No one expects the situation to go back to normal. Of course, the physical element will return, but digital will become even more critical. Companies are well aware of that. In highly regulated industries - like healthcare and financial services - 87% report digital customer engagement will be critically or very important to their success in the future, and 95% expect to increase or maintain their organization’s investment in customer engagement after the pandemic:
The future: live chat
Live chat is the channel of the future. One-third of respondents (34%) in EMEA expect to implement live chat in the next 12 months, beating in-app chats and video. Companies expect to add an average of 3.4 new channels:
To do so, 55% trust in out of the box SaaS solutions, like web applications or pre-configured apps. 30% will use programmable solutions, like APIs.
Implementing live chat
Implementing new channels is a complicated undertaking. It usually makes customer service as a whole more complex. This may cause unhappy employees and unsatisfied customers. At Deepdesk, we are wondering how companies will manage the transition.
Deepdesk offers agent assist AI that can help employees to work faster and more efficiently. In addition, Deepdesk works with any customer engagement platform. So feel free to reach out to us.