Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Why Video Can Differentiate Your Customer Experience

April 22, 2019

Customer experience has never been as important as it is today.  With new technologies enabling new means of customer engagement and new generations that have grown up on these technologies gaining purchasing power, businesses have to constantly reimagining how they interact with customers.  Not all channels are best for every engagement, or for every customer.  But, in a mobile- and digital-first world, differentiating through customer experience means enabling every engagement channel possible. 

That includes video.  Why?  Very simply, customers are using video.  
  • Skype has more than 300 million active monthly users,
  • One billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube and more than 300 hours of content are uploaded every hour,
  • Microsoft hosts more than 59 million Xbox Live users, and Sony is closing in on 100 million PS4 consoles sold,
  • Facebook Messenger was used for more than 17 billion video chats in 2017, and
  • Apple users make 15-20 million FaceTime calls per day,
These stats alone show that video has become a key part of digital lifestyles and underscore why video has a role in the customer experience in several ways because of its ability to reduce resolution times, increase personalization, and provide access to information.
Live Video Chat
Video chat can be used as an initial engagement channel, or it can be used as an escalation channel from other forms of digital engagement.  The benefits of video are similar to in-person interactions – video demands attention, allows for better understanding of emotion and sentiment, and allows for visual explanations (including screen-sharing in appropriate situations) for a higher level of support when voice or text-based interactions aren’t enough.
Real-time personal communication – Customers often start in self service mode, but run into questions to which they can’t find answers on their own.  A simple click-to-video button on a website can immediately engage a knowledgeable agent who can continue the engagement with full context of the customer’s activity thus far.  With video, customer service reps and customers are both fully engaged in the experience, which instantly adds a human element to the interaction and creates a personal connection and increased level of understanding.  
Increased FCR ¬– Many customers contact customer service with questions or problems with products.  Video can simplify explanations of the issue by enabling customers to actually show what they are experiencing, allowing service reps to more easily understand how to solve the problem.  Field service reps can benefit similarly by being able to use video to show experts at headquarters or other locations what they are experiencing on-location for better, more specific advice.  
Furthermore, given the rise of e-commerce, incidents of customers facing difficulties with any number of online elements also increases.  Screen sharing and co-browsing capabilities are part of the video-enabled experience that allow agents to see in real time what customers are doing and seeing, and allows them to either guide them to the right answer while talking them through the process.
The impact of video capabilities allowing resolution experts to more easily understand the situation leads to higher resolution rates and, consequently, greater customer satisfaction.  Customers understand that things can go wrong – but they want those things to be fixed quickly and on the first attempt.  
Access to experts – In many industries, video can provide access to experts who may not be in specific locations.  Video kiosks or even desktop video set up for these purposes, can allow staff on-location to connect customers with experts in other sites who can more effectively respond to their needs.  For instance, a local branch of a bank may not have a loan specialist on hand, but can set up a video call with an expert at another branch to answer a customer’s questions without requiring the customer to travel.  The same applies to contact center staff, who can leverage video to conference in experts to help answer specific or technical questions without requiring a separate interaction, streamlining the process for the customer.
Customer preference – Given the dominant position video has taken in customer lifestyles, a growing number of them will simply prefer to engage using video in appropriate environments.  Making video available to them let’s them choose – whether it’s because they perceive a better potential outcome, or because they simply prefer video.  Either way, businesses should want to allow customers to communicate using the customers’ preferred mediums because it should inherently lead to a positive outcome by letting customers choose rather than following what the business deems best.
Recorded Video
While video chat can enhance live customer interactions, recorded video can have a significant positive impact on self service capabilities and even for sales and marketing efforts.  
Self Service – The massive amount of online resources today, combined with a growing customer base that prefers to solve problems on their own if possible, creates a massive opportunity for using video.  Just take a look at the number of “How To” videos available on YouTube – for just about any relatively common problem, there are countless videos demonstrating how to solve them.  Product-related videos offer a way to supplement documentation and can be included in FAQs and other self service portals.  As businesses identify recurring questions from their customers, they can add new videos that detail how to resolve them, eliminating calls to contact centers and minimizing customer frustration.  In fact, allowing customers to solve their own problems has a positive impact because it not only solves their problems, but does it quickly and without having to go through multiple channels or jump through hoops with representatives who may not understand the situation exactly.
Similarly, customers who submit a trouble ticket, or those who contact customer support via text or chat, can be sent links to videos that clearly explain how to solve their problems.  Even calls to contact centers can be escalated to video chats where agents can share informational videos while on the call to speed resolution and still be able to answer additional question or provide clarification.
Sales & Marketing – Knowing the preference toward video many of today’s customer display, using informational product or service videos rather than lengthy text-based advertising can drive engagement.  It’s already known that images are a highly attractive marketing tactic.  Adding a video component increases the engagement level and allows businesses to provide exponentially more information in a short period of time.  Using all the customer data available to them, videos can be personalized based on customers’ preferences, purchase histories, or browsing habits to deliver them information they find useful, creating a stronger bond and increasing loyalty and recurring revenue.  New or upgraded products can be introduced to customers with short videos explaining the benefits of new design elements or features, increasing adoption because customers see a need immediately, rather than having to seek the information on their own later (in many cases, they simply forget and a revenue opportunity has been lost).
Whether live or recorded, video offers a more efficient way to connect with customers, share information and educate them, and solve their problems.  The ability to more efficiently resolve their problems and answer their questions – along with allowing them another choice of preferred channels – creates a more efficient customer service operation and drive customer satisfaction and revenue.  
Video isn’t the solution for all customer needs, but there are a growing number of situations where video can help, and an increasing number of customers who would choose video-based solutions if given the choice.  Companies looking to differentiate their customer service – live or self service – should heed the statistics and understand that video is a key communications channel today that has potential to add value to their engagement capabilities.  If you really want to know how your customers will react to being able to use video to engage with you, ask them.

Edited by Erik Linask