How is the pandemic accelerating technology adoption in enterprises?

It is accelerating remote work, improving customer service and digital communication

The onset of the pandemic, and its consequent confinement, broke several business schemes and has forced companies to implement different technological tools in order to continue operating.

According to a study conducted by Gedeth Network, 78% of respondents considered that the digitalization of companies is the main lesson learned from the COVID-19 crisis.

"Although the pandemic posed great challenges, not all its effects are negative, since this crisis is prompting digitalization, as companies are increasingly using more tools and platforms to continue their operations and undergo transformation," explains Gustavo Parés, CEO of NDS Cognitive Labs, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Nevertheless, companies are not the only ones benefiting from technology, as consumers are also discovering new ways of acquiring products and services online. In fact, online shopping has reached unprecedented levels, causing an expected growth of 60% at the close of 2020, according to data provided by IDC.

But how is the pandemic accelerating technology adoption? According to NDS Cognitive Labs, the main causes include:

Working remotely

The benefits of remote work in companies have been discussed for some years now; however, as a result of the pandemic, different companies were forced to send their workforce home and implement remote work. In fact, according to data from the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana, Coparmex), in Mexico City alone, working remotely has increased productivity by 28%.

In this regard, businesses have had to adopt new technologies, such as cloud services, video calling or business management platforms so that their employees can continue to operate from home.

Chatbots as a means of satisfying call demand

The lockdowns have caused online shopping to increase, thus the number of inquiries, support calls and complaint resolution have also increased. In Mexico alone, customer service requests have increased by 57% from February to June 2020, according to data released by Zendesk.

As a result, customer service companies and contact centers are using chatbots to meet and manage the high volume of demand. This is largely due to the fact that these virtual assistants have the ability to solve hundreds of frequently asked questions from consumers, solve product-related problems, or even promote sales.

In addition, according to Newvoicemedia, the average waiting time when calling a customer service center is more than 11 minutes, almost twice as long as 75% of online customers are willing to wait; whereas the waiting time to access a chat session with an intelligent chatbot is approximately 45 seconds.

Digital communication channels

As lockdowns and confinement measures continue, customers today want their online shopping experience to be as satisfying as it was going to a physical store. Likewise, they expect omnichannel customer service: via cell phone, email, social networks, among others.

In fact, according to a Zendesk study, 67% of online shoppers have made purchases in the last six months involving multiple channels. As a result, companies have taken advantage of the pandemic to leap into digitalization and showcase their products and services on different channels by relying on various applications and platforms. By doing so, consumers have been able to get in touch with the company through common messaging services such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

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