The free enterprise productivity software will ease the massive surges in user requests for support across every area of business operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant spikes in requests for support among private and public enterprises. For example, the week of 15 to 22 March saw a 20% increase in global tickets compared to the same period last year.

According to CRM firm Zendesk’s Benchmark Snapshot, which has been analyzing the support interaction data of more than 20,000 global companies weekly since the outbreak, the three biggest industries that have seen spikes in support requests over the past three weeks are remote conferencing and learning (216%), airlines (199%), and grocery brands (39%).

Global markets are also seeing vast changes in customer behavior, with individual countries seeing a strong correlation between the reporting of new coronavirus cases and spikes in support requests.

In Europe, the biggest impacts have not surprisingly been seen in Italy, Germany, and the UK; while markets across the Asia Pacific region are starting to see tickets stabilize as the number of cases decline in major markets like Singapore and Japan.

Latin America has seen a surge in tickets in the past two weeks as it also responds to the global impact of the virus’s spread.

Said Zendesk’s chief customer officer, Elisabeth Zornes: “Things are changing so fast right now, and in ways that feel increasingly difficult to predict. Business simply isn’t business as usual, and we’re prepared for things to continue this way for many months. It’s obvious this has created new challenges for companies and their customer experience teams, making it harder to keep up with what matters most to their business—their customers and employees. We are rolling out a number of free software solutions and resources that we hope will take some of that pain and pressure away.”

Free software to help remote working

In response to these widespread service disruptions, Zendesk is launching a number of free resources and products for businesses including the Remote Support Bundle, a set of software and resources designed to help distributed teams stay connected while providing their customers with the help they need.

The Remote Software Bundle will be free for six months to both new and existing customers with no ongoing commitment. It provides businesses with the right tools to make fast, informed and empowered decisions as they establish new, remote-centric ways of working.

Said Ali Rayl, VP of Customer Experience at Slack: “We are focused on helping people around the world adapt to remote work with free resources—and we’re also directly supporting organizations working on coronavirus research, response, or mitigation with free upgrades. It’s important that we continue working with partners like Zendesk on integrations that can help keep operations running smoothly.”

Zendesk is also working with business process outsourcers (BPO) to bolster businesses that need to quickly deploy additional resources to manage the latest spikes in support requests by providing access to Zendesk Enterprise Suite for BPOs at no charge for up to 90 days with no commitment or terms contract. The company is offering this solution to give BPOs the ability to deploy Rapid Response teams using its enterprise-grade cloud customer and employee service solution.

This solution is designed to help BPO’s meet the fast rising demands of companies who are transitioning their employees to remote work models, and quickly ensure continuity of service to customers during this potentially disruptive time.

Boosting support for communities and startups

In an effort to help non-profits and community organizations impacted by the pandemic, Zendesk’s Tech For Good program is donating free software and support to help manage volunteering, relief efforts, home assistance, and more.

In the past five days, more than 60 organizations from 18 countries have applied, and Zendesk has donated hundreds of agent licenses to 20 organizations in collaboration with more than 40 implementation partners.

Zendesk is also continuing its commitment to startups by offering any qualified company, anywhere in the world, six months of free Zendesk tools through Zendesk for Startups. In addition, for startups specifically addressing COVID-19 response, Zendesk will provide startup experts ready to provide those companies with hands-on support with onboarding and implementation to get them up and running as fast as possible.

Two startups that are already using Zendesk tools to directly respond to the crisis include PWNHealth, a national clinician network that provides safe and easy access to diagnostic testing; and, a collaborative platform that predicts the risk of COVID-19 exposure for individuals by applying AI to the geolocation history of users and officially reported cases.

“We hope that these new offers—along with a host of free resources, such as virtual events that can be streamed on demand, and new guidance and insight on our blog—will give companies a boost to get through these difficult weeks and months ahead, while keeping teams productive and collaborative in order to give customers the help they need,” said Zornes.