The way we communicate with customers and clients is changing. As more and more contact channels emerge, one in particular is growing in popularity - live video chat!
Video in general is becoming an increasingly used digital channel. Social media feeds are full of videos, video regularly appears in search engine results, and YouTube is now the second most visited site after Google.
Not to miss out on the trend, contact centres have also started to use video to talk to customers. While the industry is a bit behind the curve with only 1–2% of contact centres currently operating video, we have noticed a rise in recent demand, especially since Covid-19 has forced many businesses and organisations online.
Live video chat can bring many benefits and can greatly improve your customer’s experience, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its faults.
Before jumping on the video chat trend, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of this new contact channel and decide if it is the best option for your contact centre.
Luckily, we have done the hard work for you. This handy pros and cons of live video chat guide includes all the benefits and drawbacks for you to consider.
Video is a great way to build a personal connection with customers, express complex issues, and can tie perfectly into providing a seamless omnichannel customer experience. Let’s go through each of its benefits one by one.
Live video chat is pretty much as close as you can currently get to a face to face interaction between people over the internet.
Video is so much more personal than a standard voice call, and this personal touch is something that businesses can really use to enhance their customer experience.
It’s important to remember that people do business with people, so build a rapport with your customers and they will keep coming back.
Video displays professionalism. If you are a fantastic contact centre, show it. Show how good your staff are, and show how professional your organisation is.
For potential and current customers, professionalism is important. They want to know that they are dealing with a contact centre that knows what they are doing, and take pride in the service that they offer. Live video chat allows you to showcase your professionalism like no other medium to date.
Unfortunately, as we all know, contact centres aren’t always the happiest of places in terms of customer communication. There are situations where tensions rise. Live video chat can be used as a way of helping diffuse that tension.
How? When customers are faced with an unknown voice, it’s easy to feel disconnected, and therefore it’s easier for tension to rise.
By introducing video, some of this tension can be negated as the customer can see the agent, understand that they are talking with a real person, and see that the agent is paying attention to their concerns and problems. This helps reduce the likelihood of negative escalations.
For video to work in this way, your agents need to be able to use it effectively. Check out our ultimate guide to video chat to see best practices.
When agents are on a video chat with a customer, they have to be fully focused on the customer and resolving their issues or answering their questions. This gives reassurance to customers that the agents are fully focused on helping them.
Also, from a business’s perspective, you can be confident that your agents are intent on delivering exceptional customer service.
Lack of distractions is a massive benefit for both customers and the business alike.
For many contact centres, compliance is of utmost importance. Live video call is compliant as it is able to record and monitor conversations that occur through video conversations.
Being able to record, monitor and train agents using real world examples of calls is imperative, and with video this is made even easier.
The idea of integrating live video chat into your contact centre can seem daunting and sound expensive. This doesn’t have to be the case though.
Video calling can be set-up really quickly, with the purchase of a webcam. A decent quality webcam, and a headset are pretty much the only extra physical assets you require. Yes, you can go the whole hog and kit all your agents out with high spec kit, but that isn’t essential.
To save costs, you can also purchase a video chat solution in a package with web chat and web calling. Buying a multi-channel package, like the solution offered by Talkative, means one installation and ensures your video chat is perfectly connected to your other contact channels.
Face-to-face is an important way to communicate with customers - there is a reason why so many businesses still have at least one brick and mortar store.
However, these physical locations can also be a huge expense, and, if the Covid-19 outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that businesses can’t rely on in-store customer interactions.
Live video chat is the perfect way to mitigate both these downfalls. It allows face-to-face customer service without the cost of having a physical store. Moreover, it ensures face-to-face interactions can continue when customers cannot visit you in person.
The coronavirus pandemic has likely changed the future of stores and customer service for the long term. In this sense, video is a vital investment to stay on top of these changes.
Despite all the great benefits we have mentioned, video chat is not for everyone, and, like all contact channels, it has it’s not so positive aspects. Below are the main cons video calling presents for organisations.
If your contact centre is a bit run-down and doesn’t give a professional image, you may want to consider holding off using live video chat until this has been sorted.
This isn’t a big issue, the important thing is the service that you offer, but it is good to consider the visual image and perception you want your customers to see.
Adding video calling into the contact centre will mean agents require more training. Just like you need to train agents on phone calls, live chat etc, you need to train them to use video chat effectively.
Having another contact channel to train on can be time intensive for business, and will cost a bit more. However, as with all training, this is later compensated by having a more efficient and higher qualified workforce.
Some of the training that may be required for staff could include body language training, visual cues training, even sign language (if you work with many deaf/hard of hearing customers).
In general, future contact centres will demand a more highly skilled and trained agent, so starting to train agents on video now can help you get ahead of the game.
Being on a video stream with a customer means agents can’t multitask like they can with most other channels. For example, they could handle two or three web chats at the same time, whereas a live video chat requires undivided attention.
This can be viewed in two ways. As we mentioned in our pros list, not being distracted by other interactions can help agents provide better customer service. On the other hand, it could reduce the efficiency of your agents if they can’t deal with multiple interactions at once.
It comes down to quality vs quantity, and the type of interactions you have in your contact centre. If you require all of your agents to be multi-tasking then video may not be right.
A solution could be to have just a small section dedicated to video, but this will only work if you have a low demand for video interactions.
We sound like we are contradicting ourselves, but live video chat could be cheaper than you expect or more expensive.
This depends on a number of factors, such as whether your existing systems need a wholesale upgrade to accommodate video, the types of camera you wish to use, the number of agents you want to use the software, and any potential upgrades of the surroundings to make them more ‘video friendly’.
In this case, you will need to weigh up the cost against the benefits for your business. It’s also a good idea to shop around for quotes to see where you can get the best deal.
Ultimately, live video chat is becoming more popular and there are no signs of that changing any time soon. While it is important to weigh up the pros and cons for your individual business right now, we think most customers will eventually expect contact centres to offer video chat.
The choice for businesses and contact centre managers is therefore, do you embrace that change now, get ahead of the game and start reaping the rewards, or do you wait it out a bit longer? Let us know what you think!
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