New Salesforce Research Reveals Pandemic’s Lasting Impact On Customer Service

As the serial crises of 2020 redefines customer engagement, customer service leaders are transforming their operations, accelerating digital transformation, and overhauling their workforce management strategies. 

That’s according to Salesforce’s fourth State of Service research report, released today, which provides a snapshot of the priorities, challenges, and trajectories of customer service teams around the world and in Canada. This edition is based on Salesforce’s largest and most global survey of customer service agents, decision makers, mobile workers, and dispatchers: over 7,000 respondents across 33 countries – including 300 from Canada.


Teams Navigate New Standards of Engagement – the pandemic has exposed customer service shortcomings, and leaders are taking decisive action

  • 76% of service decision makers say their service organization is accelerating digital initiatives
  • 73% of service decision makers say they’ve invested in new service technology
  • 88% of service professionals say customers have increased their use of digital service channels
  • 87% of service professionals say they’ve changed policies to provide more flexibility to customers during the pandemic

Agent Agility is Key as Demand Surges – digital transformation is accelerating for customers and employees alike

  • 67% of service professionals say balancing customer service speed and quality is difficult
  • 80% of service agents/dispatchers say automating routine tasks allows them to focus on more complex work
  • 70% of service professionals say they’re more reliant on data than before the pandemic

Service Extends to Sales, Marketing, and Beyond – service teams are being challenged by a new era of workforce engagement

  • 75% of service agents say they have a complete and accessible view of a customer’s sales interactions
  • 71% of service professionals say it’s impossible to provide great customer service without full context

Workforce Management Takes a New Shape – the shift to remote work has changed how service works

  • 70% of service professionals don’t know – or aren’t sure if – they’ll work from home in 2021
  • 76% of service agents say they can provide excellent customer experience from home

Career Paths Come Into Focus – training is a focus as requisite skill sets evolve

  • 84% of service agents say they see a direct link between their work and business performance
  • 39% of service agents say they need better training to do their job well

Field Service Evolution Drives Revenue – field service is thriving, even amid a pandemic

  • 74% of service decision makers say field service is a key part of their overall strategy
  • 90% of service mobile workers their they employer has taken the steps necessary to keep them safe in the field during the pandemic
  • 72% of service decision makers say COVID-19 has permanently transformed filed service

If you want to take a deeper dive, an interactive dashboard featuring all data is available here.

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