As customers increasingly demand online support options, companies are looking at e-mail and text-based chat to provide maximum flexibility to customers. Yet, a desire on the part of many customers for a more human touch has led brands to evaluate whether or not video chat is a viable model for their customer support. Using software, video-based support options allow customer service agents to chat with customers via video chat. Here’s a closer look at what to consider when determining if this is right for your brand.
Investing in technology: At a high level, incorporating video-based chat will require an upfront investment in related technology. This includes servers, networks, and bandwidth that can support a high volume of video traffic—as well as the software and Web cams that will enable your customer support agents to appear on screen. Depending on the size of your operation, this upfront investment may be minimal, or it may be significant to scale at an enterprise level. Many companies have begun to experiment with video-based support by enabling one customer service station and then increasing their investment based on demand.
Understanding your audience: Before taking the leap into video-based chat, companies should assess whether this is a service their audience is likely to leverage and demand. Companies most likely to benefit from this support mode are those with a younger audience or a mobile-savvy audience. In addition, if your customer service calls have a component that might benefit from visuals—such as a customer service agent demonstrating how to use a specific feature on a product, this may be an added argument for incorporating video-based customer support.
Training your service reps: Training your service representatives on how to effectively conduct a video customer support session is a critical component of rolling out this service, which can be overlooked. When a customer service agent is appearing on video, he or she must be cognizant of different elements than when on the phone or conducting text-based chat support. For example, how aware are your customer service representatives of their facial expressions when they are dealing with a difficult or angry customer? What does the background of their office environment or cubicle look like? It is important to think about the optics of your office and the visual presentation of your staff when rolling out video-based customer service support. For example, if you have traditionally had a casual dress code for your contact center, it may be necessary to upgrade requirements to business casual if they are going to be appearing on camera.
Offering video-based support can be a significant value add-on for your business and help you more effectively meet the needs of your customers. However, successfully doing so often requires investing in technology, training, and audience assessments to make sure you provide your customers with a good experience. Video support is definitely one of the key support modalities of the future—and investing in it now can help give your business an important competitive advantage.