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Oct 14, 2020

Messaging Saves Telco Customer Services as COVID-19 Hobbles Agents

Vinoth Govind, Senior Manager, Strategic Insights

Messaging Saves Telco Customer Services as COVID-19 Hobbles Agents

When the pandemic hit, telcos, same as companies in virtually every other industry, were forced to suddenly sideline much of their contact center staff at the exact moment their customer web traffic went through the roof.

Yet telco customer services didn’t crumple beneath this dual onslaught. And their customers? More satisfied than ever.

How did telco customer service manage this achievement? Three words: Messaging, web chat, chatbots.

As the pandemic burst onto the global scene, [24]7.ai telco clients lost the services of roughly 45 percent of their contact center staff; web traffic spiked 23 percent; messaging and web chat volume spiked 21 percent; and chatbot interactions spiked 35 percent.

Yet customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores rose, albeit slightly, to above 85 percent. And even with increased messaging/web chat/chatbot volumes, messaging and web chat resolution rates and chatbot containment rates both went up throughout Q2 2020.

Quick review. Forced without warning to furlough much of their contact center staff (or transition them to at-home work) while rapidly scaling up their digital service capacity to meet a deluge of online customers, [24]7.ai telco clients actually improved their customers’ satisfaction levels.

For more details, see the charts below.

Q2 2020 Telco Industry Statistics

We continually compile and analyze brand and customer activity and sentiment. The statistics below compare Q2 2020 metrics to Q2 2019 and Q1 2020 metrics in the following categories:

  • Web Visitors
  • Messaging and Web Chat Interactions
  • Chatbot Interactions
  • Chatbot Containment
  • Messaging and Web Chat Resolution
  • CSAT Scores
 
Web Visitors

After an initial pop, driven largely by customers rushing online to cancel their subscriptions, web traffic tapered off toward the end of Q2 2020—though the quarter’s traffic was still up 8 percent year over year (YoY) and quarter over quarter (QoQ).

Web Visitors Chart
 
Messaging and Web Chat Interactions

Greater web traffic boosted messaging and web chat interactions at the start of Q2 and they stayed high, rising 33 percent YoY and 21 percent QoQ. More customers engaging via messaging and web chat also boosted the interactions-to-visitors ratio: 23 percent YoY and 12 percent QoQ.

Messaging and Web Chat Interactions

 

Chatbot Interactions

Chatbot interactions spiked 35 percent at the start of the pandemic as customers clamored to cancel their subscriptions, followed by a big drop in May and June. Overall, chatbot activity was up 67 percent YoY and down 6 percent QoQ.

Chatbot Interactions

 

Chatbot Containment

We’re proud to note that chatbot containment rates improved throughout the quarter, rising 22 percent QoQ. We’re taking the credit for this one: We had deployed an updated Answers product (FAQ chatbot), finetuned the design flow, and added new intents.

Chatbot Containment

 

Messaging and Web Chat Resolution

Customers were happy with [24]7.ai agents’ quick, concise, and complete assistance, resulting in an increased messaging and web chat resolution rate: Up 13 percent QoQ.

Messaging and Web Chat Resolution

 

CSAT Scores

Despite longer messaging and web chat wait times due to the surge in volume, CSAT scores actually went up slightly because the web chat resolution rate was so good.

CSAT Scores

 

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