Part 1: The impact of Covid-19 on customer service

Ticket volumes

Over 74% of customer service leaders globally have seen an increase in support volumes across digital channels

Digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% by 2021 

In certain instances, the overall call volume to contact centers jumped over 600% from normal levels, while agent call capacity dropped by 20%

Customer expectations

Over 63% of customer service leaders globally have seen an increase in customer expectations


50% of consumers report that Covid-19 has somewhat or greatly increased their prioritization of customer service as a factor when deciding to do business with a brand

Stella Connect

72% of customers expect representatives to know their issue and order history

Thankful AI

Agent productivity

Over 40% of US customer service leaders have seen a fall in service quality,
first response times and agent productivity


Over 50% of customer service leaders around the world feel that the mental health of their agents has suffered on the back of the crisis


73% of contact center leaders reported agent turnover to be one the most significant problems to their contact center



45% of customer service leaders in the US reported reduced staffing since February 2020


29% of customer service leaders in the US expect staffing levels to recover to pre-crisis levels only by June 2021


Customer service teams were operating with a 33% reduction in staff 


FACT: ‘Operating with reduced staff’ ranked second amongst the biggest challenges faced by customer service teams through the crisis worldwide. - Freshworks


Over 75% of customer service leaders in the US increase their budgets and investments in hardware, analytics, and collaboration tools


53% of customer service leaders in the US have seen increased budgets when compared to 2019


1 in 4 CX-focused companies is spending over half of their yearly budget on CX-related initiatives 


Part 2: Evolution of customer behavior and demands in 2020

The need for speed

In a survey of more than 2,500 consumers, nearly 60% of respondents believe that one minute is too long to be on hold
Plum voice

Over 80% of customers expect a response within 24 hours

64% of customers want a reply within an hour of posting on Twitter, and 85% customers said they expect a company to respond within six hours
Social Stamina 

The rise of messaging

9 out of 10 consumers want to use messaging to communicate with brands


56% of organizations say their mobile messaging apps (SMS/MMS or advanced mobile messaging apps) perform well for improving customer engagement

Harvard Business Review - Google

61% of customers don’t want to install a new app or migrate to a new messaging platform just to communicate with a business

FACT: The top three messaging apps by the number of users are WhatsApp – 2 billion users, Facebook Messenger – 1.3 billion users, and WeChat at 1.12 billion users. - MessengerPeople

Emotional needs

83% of customers want emotional connection, which means helping them stay close to people they are being forced to physically distance from


87 percent of consumers say that a transparent source is important when making a purchase decision

90% of consumers regard resolution as their most important customer service issue 


Digital dependency

Online grocery orders peaked at $7.2 billion in sales in June 2020

The total number of internet users around the world grew by 319 million in the past 12 months – almost 875,000 new users each day.

62% of consumers shop online more now than before the pandemic

Mobile usage

64% of shoppers surveyed want mobile and contactless pickup options, with 79% saying contactless store pickup is very important

Digital Commerce 360

70% of internet users worldwide are using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak


53% of the respondents said they are more likely to buy from a company which provides customer service via chat on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger than one that does not

Facebook IQ

Omnichannel experience

Nine out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods

CX Today

Omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers compared to a 33% customer retention rate for companies with weak omnichannel strategies

69% of American adults online say that they shop more with businesses whose online and offline customer service is consistent

Part 3: Notable changes in customer service strategies across businesses

Hybrid model of working

65% of service leaders predict remote or hybrid work models in the future


90% of consumers prefer home delivery over a store visit, 80% are likely to use digital communications with store associates, and only 28% plan to increase in-store shopping between August 2020 and February 2021

Digital Commerce 360

35% of contact centre leaders now think that their contact centres will become mainly homeworking 


Cloud usage

66% of companies not using cloud today are planning to accelerate their move to the cloud as a result of the pandemic


The pandemic caused a 24x increase in migration to cloud technologies, 27x increase in deployment of new service technologies, and 43x increase in deployment of collaboration technologies


Cloud tech services are expected to be utilized by 90% of global organizations by 2022


Chatbots and self-service

88% of customers expect companies to offer an online self-service portal


Customers’ use of web and app self-service tools in the banking industry has increased by 20%. In fact, since the crisis began, 22% of US consumers have used their bank’s online self-service tools for the first time, and 80% of them have had a positive experience


77% say that offering poor self-service support is worse than not offering any at all since it wastes time

Vanilla Forums

AI and automation

In the US, 78% of leaders are investing more in self-service, allowing customers to help themselves with self-help portals and AI-powered chatbots


Over 80% consider bots and AI robotic automation to be an important function of the contact center


47% of investments in AI remained unchanged since the start of the pandemic, and 30% of organizations even planned to invest more money in AI


Companies report that by implementing AI-driven knowledge base tools, they have improved first-contact resolution by five to seven percentage points, reduced handling time by 20% to 30%, and reduced new-hire training time by 25% to 40%


Dimension Data says that 88% of organizations predict that automated interactions will increase in the next two years and that 65% of organizations predict that interaction volumes across all channels will grow in the next two years


Live chat

81% of customer service leaders are investing 36% more in live chat & messaging


Live chat is used by 67% of B2C businesses solely for customer support


Over 85% of businesses will offer live chat support by 2022

Software Advice

FACT: Experts project the global live chat software market size to reach $839.2 million by 2026. - DataQuest

Part 4: Important shift in customer service technology requirements

94% consider it important to have all their communications and collaboration functions well integrated into a single complete offer from their contact center supplier


Over 90% agree the most important capabilities for a contact center solution are intelligent routing, look/feel of UI, and integrated omni-channel


92% of businesses who own a contact center system agree seamless integration and access to cloud services is highly important


Part 5: The key reasons businesses move to Freshdesk

70.5% businesses move to Freshdesk to gain better visibility with the ability to assign, prioritize and track tickets

50% businesses wanted to scale their support operations with ease

47% businesses wanted to use a helpdesk to analyze data and get granular insights

Part 6: The benefits of using Freshdesk

77% of businesses have seen an improvement in their workflows using Freshdesk

64% of businesses noticed an improvement in key customer service metrics such as first contact resolution, customer satisfaction, NPS, etc.


Reduce ticket volume by 27% with self-service and AI-powered chatbots

51% of businesses have seen an improvement in agent productivity


Save $2.9 million by shifting from phone to digital service channels like chat and messaging

Improve average handle time by 25% with Freshdesk’s intuitive, powerful agent desktop