CX Pandemic Survey: U.S. Consumers’s Shift to Digital Here to Stay; Online Banking, Shopping Remained Popular While Health and Wellness Apps Saw Largest Increase

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After a year of lockdowns, new TELUS International survey reveals 78% of Americans find online CX interactions to be better than pre-pandemic, though brands often lack empathy

As the world marks a year under COVID-19 restrictions, a new report reveals that 78% of Americans surveyed said their digital customer experiences since the start of the pandemic exceeded their pre-pandemic experiences. TELUS International, a global customer experience (CX) and digital solutions provider, today revealed the results of its CX priorities in a post-pandemic world survey. Americans that took part in the survey said convenience (34%) and an effort to connect with them personally (20%) were the top reasons why they rated their digital customer service interactions positively. However, many consumers also reported a lack of empathy from their digital interactions with brands.

“While empathy should always be top of mind for brands when interacting with its customers, its importance has been amplified by the effects of this pandemic,” said Jim Radzicki, CTO at TELUS International. “By equipping CX teams with AI-powered tools that offload complex tasks and incorporate personalization and sentiment analysis, agents are empowered to focus on making meaningful, empathetic connections with the customers they are supporting.”

Survey reveals consumer perceptions of online CX and brands offerings are changing

Survey respondents most frequently shopped (86%) and banked (85%) online prior to the pandemic. Conversely, fewer than half of respondents (45%) said they had used an online health or fitness app like Peloton prior to the pandemic. Online gaming was slightly higher, at 53%.

In a post-pandemic world, an overwhelming majority of Americans said they will continue shopping (97%), banking (92%), engaging in health and wellness activities (77%), and gaming (71%) online because of their positive digital experiences in 2020.

Online health and wellness apps can expect to see a 32% increase in usage compared to pre-pandemic usage (45%), the largest difference of any activity surveyed. Convenience ranked highest for continued digital behavior, especially for online bankers (67%) and shoppers (66%).

While the majority of Americans are online shopping, banking and gaming during the pandemic, those that aren’t stated personal privacy and security concerns while online (85%) as their top reasons. To encourage this group to adopt digital behavior in a post-pandemic world, brands should consider deploying security technologies like facial authentication and biometrics solutions.

Other survey findings include:

  • While a third (34%) of health and wellness app users reported an empathetic experience, just 14% of gaming app users reported the same
  • Once the world reopens, gaming fans still expect to continue enjoying online gaming. Just over three-quarters (77%) of people said they would continue gaming after the pandemic; 90% of Gen Z (18-24 year olds) gamers are most likely to continue
  • Online shoppers purchased groceries (30%) the most of any product followed by clothing (24%). Furniture, appliances and other home goods (16%) were the least purchased products

“While the pandemic continues to limit in-person activities, it hasn’t stopped us from banking, shopping, gaming and exercising virtually, thanks in great part to the advanced digital customer experiences brands are able to deliver. Their ability to quickly adapt by developing mobile ordering options, introducing 24/7 chatbots and offering AI-powered self-serve features have enabled them to stay relevant, competitive and most importantly, offer a better customer experience,” said Radzicki. “Given that consumers’ digital behaviors will for the most part continue post-pandemic, companies that haven’t already should start prioritizing ways they can deliver effortless, personalized and anticipatory customer experiences. Either brands decide to lean into digital CX in 2021, or they risk getting left behind.”

The full report can be downloaded here. The report includes TELUS International’s top recommendations and next steps for improving digital customer experiences in 2021 and beyond.

The findings are based on a Pollfish survey that was conducted in Q1 2021 and included responses from 1,500 employed Americans.

About TELUS International

TELUS International (NYSE and TSX: TIXT) designs, builds and delivers next-generation digital solutions to enhance the customer experience (CX) for global and disruptive brands. The company’s services support the full lifecycle of its clients’ digital transformation journeys and enable them to more quickly embrace next-generation digital technologies to deliver better business outcomes. TELUS International’s integrated solutions and capabilities span digital strategy, innovation, consulting and design, digital transformation and IT lifecycle solutions, data annotation and intelligent automation, and omnichannel CX solutions that include content moderation, trust and safety solutions and other managed solutions. Fueling all stages of company growth, TELUS International partners with brands across high growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media, eCommerce and fintech, healthcare, and travel and hospitality. Learn more at: telusinternational.com.

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