Contact Center, Customer Service Management

COVID-19 Has Forced Caller Habits to Change Due to Lockdown

The unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic is something enterprises and businesses around the world could never have predicted. With the United States locking down in March, companies had to resort to new ways of working.

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Outsourced communication provider Moneypenny analyzed its internal data to reveal the impact the lockdown has had on the volume of customer service calls. 

Data Reveal Call Fluctuation for Spring 2020

The main findings show that businesses were performing extremely well at the start of the pandemic with regard to the number of calls answered. In the weeks commencing March 2 and March 9, call increase was up by almost 20% compared with calls taken during the same period in 2019.

However, the number of customer calls soon declined once lockdown measures had been implemented. The decrease in calls continued into week 15 (March 6), with an 18% drop in calls compared with the same period in 2019; this decline lasted for around 4 weeks.

Interestingly, Easter marked a turning point, and customer calls were on the rise again, with an increase in calls compared with the year before despite the pandemic.

Call numbers continued to rise steadily but positively, and during the week of Memorial Day, Moneypenny fielded over 1,000 more calls than in 2019. After this point, call numbers had recovered to 95% of the same period in 2019. 

Despite COVID-19, Many Industries Have Flourished

Many industries have, in fact, flourished during the lockdown, and when it comes to the best-performing industries, there is little change, with the same sectors appearing in the top 5 in both 2019 and 2020. 

Businesses in the finance and insurance sectors saw the highest number of customer service calls during the lockdown period after coming second to the construction industry during the same period in 2019. 

Law and legal services calls came second and third, respectively, with health care being the fifth most popular call type during this period.

With no significant change to the five most popular industries, the rise in popularity for other sectors has seen an increase during the pandemic. It is unsurprising that medical businesses have seen a rise in calls. 

With many finding themselves with more time on their hands, the length of time customers are spending on calls has increased and is noticeable across all of the top 10 sectors.

The average length of a call across all industries during the period of weeks 10–24 was 76.6 seconds, which is around 13% longer than the previous year—an increase of just over 9 seconds.

Overall, despite an initial decline in call volume at the start of lockdown, it’s clear that customer calls are now as important as ever, and people want to talk for longer. As call volumes have now bounced back to post-COVID levels, this indicates that both customers and businesses are resilient enough to adapt to new situations quickly. 

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