The Surge in Support Tickets with COVID-19, Holiday Season, and Supply Chain Crisis
Reasons for Surge in Support Tickets
Over the last few years, online support tickets have surged and remained high due to the following reasons:
1. The COVID 19 Pandemic
According to Zendesk, support tickets have reached a new baseline which is 20% higher than it was before the pandemic began. While there are many reasons for the pandemic-related surge in support tickets, one of the most obvious correlations is that of increased online shopping.
In the United States alone, experts predict that nearly 230 million consumers will purchase nearly everything they need through e-commerce by the end of 2021. Invariably, as online ordering increases, so do support tickets. Users may struggle with the software, be impatient about their order, or just generally have a question that needs to be answered by a customer service representative.
2. Supply Chain Issues
The supply chain crisis has led to clogged ports, late deliveries, and general frustration across the globe. UPS International President Scott Price has gone as far as to tell the press that some gifts may not arrive on consumers’ doorsteps until well into February or even March.
The federal government, individual businesses, and supply chain professionals are doing everything they can to ease supply chain woes. But the unprecedented demand we are seeing across the board is stretching supply chains to their limits. Thus, support tickets are rapidly increasing as users want to know where their items are and why they haven’t been delivered yet.
3. Holiday Peak
During the winter months, sales and store/online traffic start to peak as compared to the rest of the year. All things considered, the holiday surge will only compound the issues we are currently seeing related to an overwhelming number of support tickets
4. Travel Resuming
For a long time, people weren’t allowed to, or weren’t comfortable with traveling due to the pandemic. Now, borders are opening back up and people are planning vacations. In fact, AAA predicts that roughly 53 million people will be traveling for Thanksgiving this year. But with more travel, comes more support tickets, as users may not be able to rely on all of the resources they would usually have access to at home.
Impact of Support Ticket Surge
In some cases, it is very difficult for customer service representatives to keep up with the demand in support tickets. Customers who call in may be on hold for very long time periods and simply might not be able to reach an agent, depending on the day or time in question.
Support teams are already stretched to their limits as is. These individuals are doing everything they can to accommodate customers and appropriately address support tickets. However, it is simply unrealistic to think that they will be able to handle the massive surge we are witnessing on their own.
How Can Business Cope with this Surge?
There are two important points that businesses need to keep in mind during this stressful time:
Customer empathy must be a priority.
Leveraging automation technology is essential.