As we move into 2021 with the COVID-19 pandemic, customer service organizations are still facing unprecedented operational challenges. U.S. consumers remain uncomfortable with allowing service technicians into their homes, and no change is in sight despite the ongoing vaccination rollout. One thing is clear: consumers expect service companies to meet their safety concerns during this time and beyond, and these concerns are becoming critical to company loyalty in this new environment.
This survey was a follow up to identical surveys conducted back in May and October. The initial survey on customer expectations of service delivery was conducted in early May, showing a high demand for technical support alongside widespread safety concerns at the pandemic’s onset. A follow-up survey was conducted in October to identify evolving trends in customer expectations and whether remote assistance solutions remain to be extensively adopted by field service organizations. This recent survey was conducted to asses how the vaccine rollout is expected to shape consumer expectations regarding technician visits.
Demand for technical support is currently very high
- 65% of U.S. consumers have required technician assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a substantial increase from the survey conducted in May, when 37% of consumers required technician assistance.
Consumers are still uncomfortable with allowing technicians into their homes
- Consumers are still cautious about technician visits. 65% of consumers agree that they would rather avoid technician visits due to safety concerns unless absolutely necessary, a number that is only slightly lower than the 75% who agreed with the statement back in May. One in eight (12%) of consumers said that they would avoid the visit at any cost.
Remote Assistance is emerging as a key approach for tech support during the COVID-19 crisis
- As lockdowns were lifted, many organizations were still committed to providing remote support. 61% of those needing assistance said that the support was provided remotely in some manner – either over the phone (29%), video chat (17%) or with the technician dropping off equipment at their home and guiding them from a distance (15%). This is also a considerable increase from the facts on the ground just a few months ago, when only 20% of support was provided remotely.
The vaccine rollout is expected to shape consumer expectations regarding technician visits and affect their brand loyalty
- When it comes to providing customers with on-site support in the future, 45% of respondents say they would prefer to know the technician was vaccinated, and 34% said they would allow the visit only if the technician was vaccinated. Almost half (49%) said they would give preference to a brand that encourages their technicians to be vaccinated, but it seems the vaccine may not be enough: 42% of consumers indicated that they would prefer to get remote support and avoid technician visits even after the pandemic.
For full access to the January Edition survey that explores how the upcoming vaccine will have an impact on consumer sentiment around service delivery, download the comprehensive report now