Video-based support is a new and rising tool that enhances contact center and agent success. While adoption is growing and predicted to sore in the next few years, many companies have yet to take the steps necessary to adopt this model. Those companies will be left in the dust as their competitors use video to improve their customer experience and conversion rates.
The principles that guide the adoption of this model are rooted in the same driving forces that allowed chat to drive strong customer relationships. The technology that powers chat has been around since 1974 when Talkomaniac was developed at the University of Illinois. Chat rooms, online forums, and instant messaging became widespread with the rise of the internet in the 1990’s.
Chat found a business use with investment bankers in the late 1990’s. Traders discovered that conversing with many people at the same time enhanced decision-making and provided a competitive advantage in the fast-paced world of trading.
Early in the next millennium, employees used public Instant Message tools for both internal and external communication. However, in many regulated industries, the use of publicly available chat programs was prohibited. As a result, software providers created enterprise-grade chat solutions for businesses.
Today, chat has not only permeated internal communication but has become a preferred support communication option for customers. According to Harris Research, 53% of customers would prefer to engage in an online chat before calling a company for support.
Fueled in part by the rapid growth of mobile browsing, omnichannel commerce, and increasing customer demands, the introduction of video as a customer service channel and tool has shown great potential. By 2018, Gartner predicts that 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based support for customer interactions.
Gartner, further predicted that by 2018 roughly 5% of all customer service cases will be initiated by an Internet-connected device. This is up from 0.2% in 2014. It is on these devices that customers are able to call or chat a company representative with video capabilities at their fingers.
Customers have demanded real time interaction, and, therefore, speed becomes an important priority for businesses in today’s environment. Video-based service channels are catered to today’s fast-paced, mobile consumers.
How to Make it Work
Video gets a bad reputation as a large and complicated undertaking. Whether it is incorporating video chat into a contact center or creating videos that enhance customer self-service and are deployed directly to customers, new technologies are easing the move to video-based customer support.
Adding video chat to a contact center’s technological environment was once a difficult task. However, new technologies utilizing WebRTC seamlessly support browser-to-browser applications for voice and video chat, cobrowsing, and file sharing without the need for several plug-ins. Enterprise-grade providers of these technologies have secure platforms that can complete these tasks without exposing customers to additional security threats.
Creating videos has always been a large task. While it is clear that customers respond better to visual instruction, the work and expense that is required to create instructional videos have left many companies with a limited or no video content to deliver. However, new service providers are working to simplify the video production process.
With tools like Replay by Recursive Labs, anyone in a business could make a video outlining a specific problem and its solution using nothing more than their computer and voice. This will allow companies to grow their internal knowledge base. Furthermore, these videos can be deployed to customers through email, live chat, or as chatbot content. This provides customers an interactive tool to complete self-service tasks, saves agents time, and creates greater rates of first-time resolution and fewer repeat callers.
Is it worth it to include video-based support in your contact center? The technologies that allow for this are still new. However, the trends clearly point to video being the standard instead of the exception in the near future. Furthermore, today’s customers have laid out their demands, and video helps meet those expectations. Companies that have led the pack by implementing video-based support are already reporting improved sales, conversion, and support. Companies that wait to adopt this new technology may find themselves playing catch-up to competitors who jumped on the trend early on.