Consumer hold times evaporate as LivePerson sees massive shift from phones to messaging in the COVID era

Faced with social distancing requirements and extreme hold times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, brands worldwide have quickly shifted resources and accelerated plans to connect with their customers through messaging, and consumers are responding. LivePerson, a global leader in conversational solutions, is powering these experiences for financial services, retail, telco, travel, and other businesses as well as state and local governments.

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Messaging channels — including SMS, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more — allow consumers to begin conversations when and where it’s convenient for them, pausing when needed and seamlessly picking up where they left off, just as they would when texting friends or family. By layering in automation and AI, brands and government agencies can instantly respond to messages, swiftly answer questions and resolve customer intentions, and route more complex issues to agents. These benefits of automation and AI-powered messaging became increasingly important as in-person and phone call capacity decreased due to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated consumer interest in messaging, with conversation volume on LivePerson’s industry-leading Conversational Cloud platform increasing by approximately 40% since shelter-in-place and social distancing requirements were enacted. More specific stats for verticals include: telco volume rose 30%, consumer/retail volume climbed 50%, and financial services volume jumped 60%.

To meet demand, protect their customers and workforces, and provide more seamless service, more and more brands and government agencies are making conversational experiences a vital part of their operations:

HSBC USA, a division of one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, swiftly launched its Apple Business Chat channel, providing customers a secure, seamless way to message directly with HSBC.

  • HSBC customers now have the flexibility and security to perform day-to-day banking transactions through Apple’s Messages app, including moving money, managing checking and savings accounts, handling credit card transactions and receiving other digital banking assistance.
  • HSBC’s deployment incorporates Apple’s new Chat Suggest feature, which offers the option to start a messaging conversation when a customer taps to call HSBC.

GM Financial, the financial services arm of General Motors, trained 700 employees on LivePerson’s platform in the first week of remote working in order to maintain operations during the pandemic.

David’s Bridal, the leading bridal authority in the United States, used AI to support retail staff as they pivoted to messaging from remote locations.

  • As brick and mortar stores were forced to temporarily close, David’s Bridal ramped up their LivePerson-powered concierge bot Zoey to help couples faced with replanning one of the most important days of their lives.
  • In just two weeks, they also trained 300 sales store managers on LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud to message with customers from their iPads and laptops.
  • Together, these innovations led to higher conversion rates and about 8x higher volume in messaging.

A U.S. state in New England deployed a messaging experience to quickly resolve unemployment benefits questions and provide a seamless way for constituents to sign up for benefits.

Zurich Switzerland, a division of one of the world’s largest insurers, fielded a digital assistant to immediately answer coronavirus-related questions.

  • Their new assistant was created with LivePerson’s Conversation Builder in less than 24 hours.
  • It is multilingual, supporting customers in German, English, French, and Italian.

“The tremendous variety of use cases for AI-powered messaging we’re seeing — deployed across all industries at an incredible rate — proves that the COVID-19 pandemic completely transformed how brands and consumers do business,” said Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson. “Like the new normal of Zoom for corporate work, a new normal of AI-powered messaging is emerging for brand-consumer interactions, built and managed by remote agents. We’re proud to work with these innovative organizations to make doing business easier and more efficient even in these difficult times.”

LivePerson’s conversational solutions garnered several recognitions in the first half of 2020, including:

  • Fast Company named LivePerson to its prestigious Most Innovative Companies list, listing the company as number three in the world’s most innovative AI companies category.
  • Forrester, a leading global research and advisory firm, has named LivePerson a leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Digital-First Customer Service Solutions, Q2 2020.
  • The CODiE Awards, the tech industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program, named LivePerson’s bot-building platform the Best Customer Service Solution of 2020.
  • The Stevie Awards, the world’s top customer service awards program, awarded LivePerson’s bot-building platform the 2020 Gold Stevie® Award for best New Contact Center Solution.

About LivePerson, Inc.

LivePerson makes life easier for people and brands everywhere through trusted conversational AI. Our 18,000 customers, including leading brands like HSBC, Orange, GM Financial, and The Home Depot, use our conversational solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship — a conversational relationship — with their millions of consumers.

For more information about LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN), please visit www.liveperson.com.