COVID-19 pandemic mutates customer conduct

Image courtesy of Blake Wisz.

Companies and governments are increasingly seeing significant spikes in requests for support, amid the COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) pandemic, which is being felt across markets around the world.

The Zendesk Benchmark Snapshot, for example, shows the week of March 15-22 with a 20% increase in global tickets compared to the same period last year. 

The report analyses support interaction data of more than 20,000 global companies weekly since the outbreak. The three biggest industries that have seen spikes in support requests over the past three weeks are remote conferencing and learning (216%), airlines (199%), and grocery brands (39%).

Global markets are also seeing vast changes in customer behaviour, with individual countries seeing a strong correlation between the reporting of new coronavirus cases and spikes in support requests.

In Europe, the biggest impacts have not surprisingly been seen in Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, markets across the Asia-Pacific region are starting to see tickets stabilise as the number of cases decline in major markets like Singapore and Japan. 

“Things are changing so fast right now, and in ways that feel increasingly difficult to predict,” said Elisabeth Zornes, Zendesk chief customer officer. “Business simply isn’t business as usual, and we’re prepared for things to continue this way for many months.”

“It’s obvious this has created new challenges for companies and their customer experience teams, making it harder to keep up with what matters most to their business — their customers and employees,” said Zornes. “We are rolling out a number of free software solutions and resources that we hope will take some of that pain and pressure away.”

In response to these widespread service disruptions, Zendesk is launching a number of free resources and products for businesses including the Remote Support Bundle, a set of free software and resources designed to help distributed teams stay connected while providing their customers with the help they need.