Last week we released our fifth iteration of the Conversocial State of CX Trends report. Each year we analyze the data from our platform to find insights to understand the CX landscape. In a strangely connected way, the data we have seen from our partners at Conversocial in 2020 has mirrored what’s been happening to our lives across the world. Consumer/brand conversations have changed from public gatherings that everyone can access to largely private interactions.
The patterns we’ve seen show that a global population forced to stay indoors and rely on digital solutions for almost every aspect of their lives also favor private messaging conversations to communicate with their favorite brands.
What was 2020's digital reckoning?
Both public and private conversations grew for Conversocial’s partners, but private messaging volume saw the largest growth - 87% compared to 2019, and now accounts for almost 3/4 of customer conversations.
It’s part of the digital reckoning that’s been accelerated by government-imposed restrictions. Covid-19 enforced a rethink of the way the world works, socializes and shops, with some estimating 7 year’s worth of progress has taken place in less than a year. We found an overwhelming move to private conversations across a number of industries - up by 50% for eCommerce, 100% increase in retail, and a huge 120% in financial services conversational volume.
How Can Automation Help Counter the Rise in Conversational Volume?
An issue that arose in the early days of the pandemic was that many businesses were not equipped to handle the exponential growth in customer conversations. Every sector was affected but the airline industry perhaps saw the biggest deluge as international travel ground to a halt. With the majority of queries revolving around cancellations, refunds and flight status inquiries, building automation to handle the volume at scale for these intents helped stretched contact centers to cope.
Growth in messaging volume for one Conversocial airline partner at the beginning of the pandemic
What this shows is a pattern of consumers moving to messaging, initially out of necessity, but it’s a switch in behavior that looks unlikely to return to pre-pandemic norms. This year’s State of CX Trends found that 69% of people have used private messaging channels to interact with a brand. These interactions are no longer just for customer service-related issues. In our 2020 consumer survey, 36% had bought a product, 24% paid a bill, while 23% booked an appointment and even when the world returns to some sense of ‘normal’ use of these channels and digital solutions are here to stay.
Customers' Lives Have Moved (Even More) Online
From analyzing our own data, gathered for this report and over the past year, the impacts are clear - consumer behavior has changed and the surge in conversation volume seen by Conversocial partners shows no signs of slowing. It’s a digital reckoning the effects of which we will see long beyond the pandemic.
To understand further how the world is shifting and the way consumers see conversational customer experiences, you can read our full State of CX Trends Report 2021 by following the link below.