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British customers are demanding better online service during lockdown

customers
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Jirsak)

Customers are expecting far more from online support teams, a new report from Freshworks argues. 

The company polled 1,500 customer service leaders all over the world to uncover in what way the pandemic impacted customer experience and services this year, finding that 69 percent of customer experience pros feel user expectations have gone up since the lockdown kicked off.

It seems to be a numbers game – lockdown has made more customers reach out to support teams via digital channels, 77 percent of respondents reported an increase in overall contact volume. And while phone and email still receive the bulk of customer traffic, new methods such as social media and live chat channels, have gotten 90 percent more traffic in the past year.

“It is not surprising that we saw an increase in social media channels as a method of communication. With the ‘always-on’ nature of social media, customer services need to be able to match this capacity as consumers want to reach out any time on their preferred channel of communication,” said Simon Johnson, General Manager, UK&I, Freshworks.

The higher the volume – the higher the expectations. At the same time, customer support professionals were also forced to work from home, many of which don't have the ideal environment they were used to. To tackle the problem, half of UK’s respondents took to collaboration tools, including live chats and cloud-hosted customer service software, with some calling the latter “critical” in helping maintain service levels during the crisis.