Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

BT Launches New Personalized Video Message Service

January 15, 2015

When it comes to contact center out-reach there are two trends that everyone needs to literally and figuratively keep an eye on in 2015. They are “personalization” and “video.”  And, while the first may seem obvious since the goal of marketers is to make customers and prospects feel appreciated with tailored messages uniquely for them, the use of video on the outbound side of things is after many years becoming something more than a novelty. 

In recognition of both these trends, BT has announced it is incorporating personalized video capabilities into its Cloud Contact portfolio of services, using technology from Irving, TX-based video solutions provider Idomoo. The objective is to enable businesses to create, personalize and then send short, high-quality videos to millions of customers.

In making the announcement, it was noted that the Cloud Contact personalized video service has already been piloted by two leading U.K. retail banks. The success is why BT is making the capability widely available. 

It’s personal and high quality visual

What the new services will do is allow businesses to create a video message template and then easily integrate data relevant to an individual customer to generate a unique and personalized message. This includes not just personalized data but also customized voice narration that is designed to make customers feel special.

BT is promoting that the service is not just good for outbound campaigns but can be used at every stage of customer engagement, from initial marketing, through on-boarding, to statements and other regular customer communications.  

Another way customers should feel good about the interactions is that most languages are available for both text and voice, and these can be selected by the customer as they watch the video. Plus, for those with disabilities the personalization and visualization capabilities will enable them to receive information that is more easily consumable.

Andrew Small, vice-president, Unified Communications and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), BT Global Services, said: "Our new service helps businesses connect with their customers in a much more creative and engaging way. It helps them create deeper, more personalized interactions, thus improving customer service and increasing sales. This ultimately leads to greater confidence in brand and increased customer loyalty, resulting in great business outcomes. Whether it is sending account updates, loyalty-point notifications, new offers or any other kind of customer communications, personalized videos provide a new way to reach customers."

Yaron Kalish, co-founder and CEO of Idomoo, said: "BT has a great track record in working with innovative companies like ours and we are pleased to be partnering with them. We believe personalized video will continue to have a huge impact on the way companies communicate with their customers whether it's for periodic communications like statements, or specific promotional campaigns. We are looking forward to building on the success we have already seen with BT in the financial services market, to help deliver personalized video solutions around the globe."

Aphrodite Brinsmead, analyst with Ovum, says: "Using Idomoo's personalized video solutions is a novel way to attract customers' attention. Today's customers are bombarded with information and advertising across the Web and mobile devices, and Idomoo's videos offer a new way to portray data in a visually stimulating format. The solution will enable enterprises to automate parts of live customer service conversations, reach a large audience, and intrigue customers. As the video can be watched at a convenient time for the customer it has the advantage of being less intrusive than an outbound call."

The service is also being promoted as fully integrated with an organization's Web presence, which means companies can quickly create personal videos and deliver them to a customer’s communications platform of choice, e.g., a computer, tablet, smartphone or smart TV.

Is personalized video the wave of the future in contact center and other types of customer interactions?  The answer is a qualified yes. Thanks to a host of factors that include a combination of demographics, psychographics and economics, as workforces become more virtual and populated with digitally adept and video engaged Millennials and we all get used to selfies being interactive instead of static, over time video will finally after decades become a preferred if not dominant means of communications. 

However, it will take time and hopefully the industry hype will not get out of hand. In fact, this is the reason why watching how BT does with the service and how it moves the metrics is going to be something we all can learn from. Best practices, for example, as to how, when, where and why to engage a customer with video so as not to create a bad customer experience are going to be key.  Stay tuned.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle