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Tuning into Video

Tuning into Video

/ Strategy, Customer Experience, Technology, Omnichannel
Tuning into Video

The reasons why video in the contact center is going mainstream.

Customer experience (CX) is now a make-or-break proposition for businesses. In fact, 73% of customers point to experience as a primary factor in their purchasing decisions, just behind price and product quality.

A positive, consistent CX across all channels is something for which customers are willing to pay more.

When a customer takes the time to contact a company to express a problem or question, it should be a moment for that company to rise to the occasion, demonstrating its commitment to excellent service and time-sensitive problem-solving.

However, customer calls aren’t always so straightforward. Sometimes, even the best customer service agents struggle to assess a problem properly and provide the right solution.

This is where video for the customer contact center can be a significant asset that improves CX and builds loyalty.

Video provides better ways for businesses to connect and interact with each other and customers. Video empowers contact center agents to literally see what the customer sees and make more informed service decisions. And video communication in the customer contact center is becoming more mainstream as video technology and quality improves.

Technology Evolution

A relatively new feature in customer service, video chat can bridge the gap between an organization and its customers by providing a personalized CX. Video chat allows contact center agents to connect with clients and see what they see to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

A decade ago, video communication between agents and customers was a much more complex endeavor. Agents and consumers required cumbersome video conferencing equipment, monolithic network architectures, and dedicated connections. Depending on the equipment and connection, a video interaction was often unreliable and the picture quality was poor.

However, advances in telecommunications and the cloud have changed all of that. Today’s global consumer is much more likely to have access to smartphones with high-quality video cameras, making it easier than ever to turn service calls into video interactions.

In a video-enabled contact center, agents can see what callers are seeing in real-time while leveraging the multichannel interaction histories of the callers for context.

Agents can also share graphics and diagrams with the callers. The magic is that any caller with a smartphone can click to join a video chat (no app downloads required) to shorten the time required to fix a problem.

Why Video?

With consumers more open to video as a communication channel, the time is right to prepare your cloud contact center for this valuable asset. Solid training in the use of video will empower your agents, giving them confidence with the right tools and information to drive productivity and deliver a great CX.

But that’s not all. The top five benefits of video-enabled call centers include:

  • 1. Enhanced real-time support. Lack of visual contact has always been a major challenge for call center interactions. Industries that involve hardware installation or maintenance, such as internet service or utility providers, can find it particularly difficult to deliver superior customer support.
  • Diagnosing an issue is largely dependent on the customer’s ability to relay equipment status and information accurately, and voice calls or chats alone come with many limitations. Examples include walking a customer through product assembly such as furniture, troubleshooting an issue with an appliance or electronics, or even helping a customer activate their new account.
  • Enabling video calls as a support option gives agents the ability to observe equipment behavior and issues in real-time directly. Video dramatically improves the efficiency of your customer support, contributing to boosted agent utilization and efficiency across your contact center.
  • 2. High-touch and personalized CXs. Video chat support inherently delivers a high-touch and personalized experience.
  • Contact center directors and managers can use video to route customers to particular agents based on their communication preferences and the agent’s skill set.
  • For example, luxury fashion brands have adopted video as a communication channel during the pandemic to ensure that customers can still receive a high-touch experience with sales associates when browsing remotely such as for designer clothing, jewelry, and wine. Palmaz Vineyards of Napa Valley leveraged video to create remote, guided wine tasting events for their wine club members.
  • 3. Reduced costs. Operational efficiencies and reduced contact center costs are often realized by introducing video calls to your omnichannel support flow.
  • Because video calls can be an effective substitute for in-person visits and the associated truck rolls, your cost to serve the customer is reduced while improving your first contact resolution (FCR) metrics. This added channel gives call center supervisors and managers new variables for tuning escalation paths and managing volume across support tiers.
  • 4. Increased FCR. Customers often get frustrated trying to explain problems they’re facing, while agents lose valuable time trying to understand the issues.
  • With video, customers can use their camera, screen share, or co-browsing to show their issue to the agent, increasing the likelihood of FCR and cutting down average handle time (AHT) while leading to higher customer satisfaction. This also dramatically frees up agents to focus on other customers, reduces the caller queue, and helps prevent customer abandonment or churn.
  • 5. Increased revenue. Implementing video in your contact center can also directly impact sales by allowing your call center agents to identify new upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • During a typical inbound phone interaction, it’s not easy to move beyond the customer’s initial issue. But video empowers your agents to establish a firm dimension of rapport, observe context clues, and demonstrate new products as a natural part of the conversation.

Enabling video calls across all customer support channels managed by your call center is an innovation that has been building strong momentum. It not only empowers agents to directly observe equipment behavior and issues in real time, but it also dramatically improves the efficiency of customer support, contributing to boosted agent utilization and greater profitability across your contact center.

Video and Unified Communications

In the past, organizations with call centers had to deal with one vendor for a PBX, another for video conferencing capabilities, another for instant messaging, and so on.

But today, unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS) has simplified the delivery of multichannel customer service. UCaaS omnichannel offerings that are delivered via the cloud usually include audio and web conferencing, email, text messaging, and basic contact center capabilities.

Contact centers that employ an integrated cloud platform are increasingly integrating video into their existing CX toolsets. Cloud contact centers have already expanded what’s possible in customer service by adding multiple channels to the mix such as chat and social media. Bringing video into the cloud contact center is a natural extension of this evolution.

On the consumer side of the equation, the global pandemic made everyone more comfortable with video virtual visits.

The adoption of video has skyrocketed, making it a standard component of omnichannel business communications.

Trent  Waterhouse

Trent Waterhouse

Trent Waterhouse is the CEO of Lifesize, the original inventor of high-definition videoconferencing, and the creator of the world's first cloud-based omnichannel contact center.

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