They say the cobbler’s children have no shoes and, in the systems integration business, it is often not any different. After years of working in the AV space, I couldn’t believe how often I found myself doing phone calls or audio bridges, even though we had gorgeous video rooms already built out. Shouldn’t we be walking the walk and talking the talk, using the technology that we are selling?
Beyond the sales and client meeting use cases, video has many other applications, and one that I’ve thought about for a long time is how effective the use of video for customer service would be. For integrators, this is a two-fold opportunity. First, the incorporation of video allows you to provide better service to your own customers and, secondly, it can also be a new service that you can market and sell to clients so they can improve their delivery of customer experience. What a great way to show the power of video!
Video is changing the face of the customer service industry, yet it appears that only a small percentage of customer help centers are using the technology to improve the quality of their customer service. A Netcall report found that 95% of consumers feel that contact centers fall short of first-call resolution. With its ability to power one-on-one interactions, video offers a considerably better customer experience than voice alone.
Changing customer preferences have rapidly altered the information exchange scenario. Communication between help centers and customers is moving away from speech and text, and moving toward visual communication.
Still not convinced? Let’s further explore why video help centers are a powerful play for system integrators and how they are being used today.
The use of video technology in contact centers can be categorized into two broad types, namely:
- Video-Enabled Callers/Customers: Video-enabled customers can communicate with contact centers in a more advanced manner, as they are able to offer real-time videos showing the problems they are facing. Video technology allows callers to record and upload videos for the agents to see. This proves to be a cost-effective method, because the caller doesn’t have to make multiple phone calls or visit a help center to get things sorted. It results in happier, more quickly satisfied customers and more cost-effective call centers. A win-win.
This type of service isn’t for every situation, but there are some instances where it would be a perfect fit. Video-enabled caller/customer programs work great for:
–customers facing installation-related issues and
–customers who want to make damage claims for insurance purposes.
- Video-Enabled Customer Service Agents: Adopting video technology enables agents to show real-time videos, and/or static images and infographics to customers while communicating with them. In this way, customer service agents are better positioned to resolve issues and customers have an easier time getting to the root of their problem. Some problems are just more easily solved in a face-to-face situation, and video-enabled call centers and customer service agents can help you do just that.
Video-enabled customer service is best suited to situations where:
–customers need help with physical tasks, such as assembling or installing products. A step-by-step video guide is much more effective than a verbal “walkthrough” explanation of the process.
–agents have to show graphs or charts while providing specific information, such as stock market highs and lows, or data analytics.
–customers need assistance to help decide on a particular service or product. The agents will be able to show all the options available and help them choose the options best suited to their needs.
There are challenges to using video in help centers, so let’s take a look at some pros and cons. Video technology has undergone a sea change, and businesses are no longer required to have a roomful of equipment or a dedicated onsite network and infrastructure to leverage virtual meeting platforms. Solutions such as cloud videoconferencing enable help centers to use video for customer service purposes without straining their budgets.
Generally, however, the main challenge is internal resistance to change. Agents may be averse to using a new platform for delivering assistance. Even managers may be stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. This problem can be solved by demonstrating the benefits of video over traditional methods, especially how video can help them deliver faster and better service. People are quick to adopt tools and applications that make their jobs easier, so educating teams about how video can do this is just smart strategy.
However, as with any other technology, video has pros and cons that must be considered before you introduce video-based assistance in your help center.
- Video encourages self service, which means customers are able to solve their problems quickly and effectively.
- Face-to-face interaction enabled by video may increase rates of agents resolving a customer’s problem in the very first call.
- Video also helps reduce overall costs by minimizing the number of calls, call time and onsite visits (travel costs) when providing technical support or assistance for decision making.
- Video can be used as an advertisement medium because it helps in up-selling or cross-selling. Products or services shown as part of a video are more likely to be accepted by customers rather than verbal or written advertisements.
- Browser-based video technology, such as WebRTC, which enables voice calling, video chat and file sharing without the need for additional plugins, can help make video more accessible to customers.
- Depending on your requirements, installing video solutions could drive up costs. For instance, video chat could be expensive due to bandwidth consumption and training required for customer service agents.
- Storage and management of video files can be tedious.
- Help centers looking to add video to their service via WebRTC may face problems because the technology is not supported across all browsers.
With the right strategies and usage policies in place, the benefits of using video can far outweigh its challenges. Investing in video technology can ensure happy and satisfied customers, ultimately helping you win in today’s competitive, customer-centric business environment.