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Survey: COVID-19 has Changed Consumer Expectations of Service Delivery

COVID-19 customer service survey

Sam and Adele Turner, a retired couple, have noticed that their refrigerator is not working as it should. Yesterday, the butter was softer than normal and today the milk was spoiled. The Turners are worried. Their concern is not so much about having to pay for an appliance repair; rather, they are downright nervous about having a technician come into their home during the current pandemic. And according to data from a new COVID-19 customer service survey, the Turners are not alone.

Consumers are uncomfortable with allowing technicians into their homes

While most still expect their providers to resolve service and equipment issues as quickly and effectively as before the pandemic, the vast majority (75%) do not want technicians in or around their homes unless strictly necessary. Almost half (47%) indicated that they would allow an outdoor visit only, and one in five (20%) would not permit a technician under any circumstances.

If a visit is unavoidable, customers demand specific safety precautions

Sometimes there is no choice but to schedule an in-person service call. When necessary, 68% expect the company to make sure the technician visit is as short as possible, and 63% would allow one visit only. They also want companies to apply safety protocols such as personal protective equipment (80%), six-foot social distancing (75%), and sanitization of tools (59%), even if the visit costs them a bit more.

Consumers are more willing to do things themselves via remote visual assistance

More than three-fifths (61%) are willing to complete more tasks with remote guidance to avoid technician visits and over half (51%) claim they tend to resolve more issues by themselves during the pandemic.

Remote Visual Assistance is a key technology for tech support during the COVID-19 crisis

In the age of COVID-19, 61% of consumers are more willing to play an active role in the resolution process, especially when it comes to avoiding an in-person technician visit. Remote visual assistance is emerging as a key technology to help guide consumers efficiently with a combination of video and on-screen AR instructions.

With 60% of respondents indicating that they would terminate a relationship with a company if it failed to take proper safety precautions and a fifth no longer finding in-person technician dispatches acceptable, field service organizations must adapt to current conditions and offer innovative remote support alternatives. The time to act is now. Demand for technical support is currently very high with almost two-fifths (37%) of U.S. consumers reporting that they have required technical assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More data about changing customer expectations of service delivery due to the pandemic can be found in the full COVID-19 customer service survey report here.

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