Live Chats on the Increase during Pandemic
As we have seen in many different forms of life, the pandemic and the government-imposed lockdown has changed the way that we all live our lives in a dramatic fashion. When it comes to customer service and the standards of call centres services there has been a necessity to change the way things work. Many companies have continued to offer a call centre service to its clients but with agents working from home. This has been one interesting change, with customers more likely to accept background noise etc. Another change that we have witnessed during this time is with an increase in the use of live chats when dealing with customer service issues.
During lockdown there has been a shift in attitudes and approach to customer service generally. For many companies there was an important decision to be made from day one of lockdown as to how the makeup of the company would change moving forward. For some companies there was no way they could remain open and viable, with office and workspaces closing down from one day to the next and employees furloughed. In other cases, there was a shift to home working or flexible working conditions for employees. In other cases, there was a need to customer service agents and call centre operatives to continue working in the same way but from home. This poses obvious problems and although it meant that customer service processes could continue at a time when a vast majority of the population was at home and had more time to deal with issues that required dialogue with customer service agents, it could be why we have seen an increase in live chat use during coronavirus.
There are some clear reasons as to why live chat use has increased so much during lockdown. The first is that there has been a real struggle for companies to deal with the impact of a massive increase in calls to customer service lines during lockdown. With so many people at home and with the time to make calls, some services could not cope with the demand. Those with access to good contact centre services could rely on overflow services and out of hours support, but with the right type of live chat support it meant that companies could rely on multiple channels for customers to make contact, improving communication and maintaining high standards of customer service and customer satisfaction.
It will be interesting to see whether the increase in the use of live chat bots and live chat agents on business websites will continue as we see an easing of lockdown restrictions and a return to ‘normal’ working patterns and locations for businesses across myriad sectors. We have all changed the way that we look at business and our interactions with customer service agents. For some of us, it might have felt uncomfortable to deal with customer service agents who are working at home, or to deal with long waiting times. In other cases, it is just easier, more efficient and quicker to speak to a live chat agent on a website that to go down another route.