National Customer Service Week

October 2021

Whistl, the UK's leading logistics specialists in e-fulfilment, contact centres, mail and parcels, has found that consumers no longer accept covid as an excuse for poor customer service. 

To coincide with National Customer Service week Whistl has reviewed recently published data and pinpointed the key factors driving this change, in consumer behaviour.

Less face-to-face interactions with businesses in the past year (due to lockdowns) led to greater use of contact centres. Hubspot reported that Covid has changed the general public’s approach to those handling the calls:

According to Zendesk, as a result of these behavioural changes, customer service agents need to increase the way they interact, being more empathetic with the caller, rather than sticking to a computer script. This behavioural aspect showed the greatest change in customer expectations with 47% of those surveyed in 2021 saying empathy was important to them, compared to 33% in 2020.

Other changes in expectations over the past year are:

Reinforcing the change in the way customers interact with businesses The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) also found that face to face interactions fell from 42.8% to 36.2% over the year. It found that customers are using alternative methods of interaction such as websites, contact centres, email, apps, web chat, text messaging and social media.

Despite these changes in consumer behaviour, businesses still risk poor customer satisfaction due to communication issues.  35% of customers remain dissatisfied with a business because of an issue with communication according to the UK Satisfaction Index.

The Covid pandemic can no longer be used as an excuse for poor customer service.  The consumer has become more sophisticated in their expectations from a customer service operation. Whilst interactions with an agent are still valued, offering alternative channels are important to create a good customer experience. 


All the channels must work together seamlessly with information flowing from one channel to another and avoid customers having to repeat themselves. Organisations must also seek the right balance between efficiency and human interaction, investing in the right tool for the right communication for a smart and effective service.

Melanie Darvall | Marketing & Communications Director Whistl

Whistl is the UK’s leading provider of personalised contact centre solutions with over 20 years of experience and a support team of over 500 agents. Find out how we can help your business, enquire today for a bespoke quotation. 

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