You've probably noticed it for yourself.
More and more businesses are adopting video chat for their customer service strategy.
It's an incredibly popular contact channel with customers too.
In fact, some of Talkative's clients have seen their interactions sky-rocket by 400% since deploying video customer support.
But how can you offer this next-gen channel for your customers? How do you get the best out of a video customer service solution?
How do you even get started?
In this article, we’ll show you how. We'll cover:
- The benefits of video for you and your customers
- How you can deploy video chat for customer service
- How to use video to it's best ability
- Industry use cases for video customer support
Let's get started.
Why use video chat technology for customer service?
Since March 2020, the use of video chat for customer service has surged by an astounding 70%.
It means that video is fast becoming a common customer contact channel - and a very popular one at that.
So, why is this the case?
Video chat for the customer experience benefits
The reason why customers love video is simple: businesses who offer it are bringing their in-store, real-life experience online.
They're humanizing the digital customer experience.
Unlike other channels, live video chat provides a much needed personal touch for online customers. The face-to-face contact helps to build rapport and brand trust.
It also makes it far easier to achieve meaningful communication and understanding - wherever your customers are based.
That said, the perks of video don't stop with the customers.
Video calling for business benefits
Businesses that have deployed video chat have seen just as many benefits for themselves as their customers. These include:
- Boosts in online sales,
- Reduced costs through less reliance on physical locations,
- Improved contact centre performance, and much more.
For instance, since offering video for customer service, UK retailer Bravissimo has seen their chat abandonment drop to just 6%.
This is because customer conversations via video often have lower average handling times than other contact channels.
Whereas live web chat sessions usually last for about ten minutes, video sessions are resolved at around a six minute average.
What's more, video chat has a higher customer satisfaction rate than live chat.
In fact, Talkative's platform data shows that an incredible 94% of customers rate video support as a positive experience.
Once again, this is thanks to that all important face-to-face contact.
These video chat KPIs are just a few reasons why more and more businesses are choosing to offer video for customer service.
Next, let's take a look at how you can set up video chat as a customer communication software, whatever your business needs.
How to implement live video support for customer service
Implementing video for your customer service needs is far easier than you might think.
Depending on your contact centre solution, there are a range of ways you can integrate video into your current systems.
Standalone deployment for video customer support
Standalone deployment is a convenient type of video integration that can be implemented straight into your website’s code.
It'll allow you to conduct video interactions without the use of additional systems.
This type of deployment is incredibly quick too - its code can be embedded into your website in just three lines.
So, with this option, you could be providing video chat customer service within days.
The only other equipment you need is a headset and a webcam.
Video chat customer service integration
Standalone deployment is a fantastic option to get up and running fast.
That said, if you already have an existing contact centre environment, integrating video with your current systems could prove the best bet.
It means you can deploy on-brand and personalized video interfaces, all in-keeping with your website's design.
Contact centre agents also benefit from this kind of deep integration.
Instead of switching between different software packages, agents will be able to maintain a single view of your customer across all channels.
It'll allow them to effortlessly assist customers while still using their native contact centre application.
From there, your staff can assist your customers in a more personable and interactive manner.
This means you can offer seamless customer experiences for your customers, and an easier life for your contact centre agents.
You'll also be avoiding some of the worst digital customer service mistakes too, like bouncing customers around between channels.
Boosting video chat for customer service: 6 key tips
To ensure you successfully implement video chat for your customer service goals, take a look at the following six tips.
If you already offer video support, these tips can help you take your customer experience to the next level.
If you're new to video, take a look and see how you might incorporate it into your customer engagement solution.
1. Understand when to use video support
Imagine you are a retailer that specialises in musical instruments, and you want to offer a video shopping experience when answering customer support queries.
In this scenario, two types of customer request a video call.
Customer one has just received a drum kit she bought online, and she doesn’t understand the instructions for setting it up.
Customer two wants to know if you’ve got his favourite guitar strings in stock.
Which customer do you think would benefit most from speaking to you via video?
As the above example shows, it’s best not to offer a video session for every customer straightaway.
Instead, utilizing other contact channels like live web chat can help customer advisors deal with simple enquiries quickly and efficiently.
When more complex queries arise, advisors can then escalate to video for a more direct discussion.
This method allows your customer service team to manage workloads more effectively. In turn, this also lowers waiting times for other customers.
You can also offer pre-scheduled video appointments too, rather than on-demand video chat.
This is a fantastic option for sectors like healthcare, where some patients are unable to attend in person.
In this instance, customers would fill out an initial form that states why they’re getting in touch, allowing the organization to schedule consultations for a convenient time.
2. Train your staff in technical issues, as well as customer service
When it comes to providing successful video interactions, your customer support practices and skills are only as effective as your technical capabilities.
So, your customer advisors must be experts in your video chat software.
Even if your staff are able to offer the best information and advice on your product or service, you don’t want any technical issues to disrupt your customers’ experience.
By taking the time to train customer support teams, you’re ensuring that video users get the best service possible.
You might consider creating an e-learning course or using training videos such as recordings of previous successful video calls with customers.
After all, if your advisors are confident in their work, they can quickly resolve queries and create a customer experience that your competitors will envy.
3. Incorporate positive body language during a video chat
Another key tip for improving your video chat for customer support is teaching your support teams the best way to present themselves on screen.
We all know how important body language is when communicating, but with studies also highlighting the importance of hand gestures and facial expressions, it makes sense for customer advisors to learn how to appear approachable and affable on screen.
Firstly, eye contact during video chats is paramount.
To achieve this, advisors should look into their camera, not at the customer on screen.
While this may feel a little unnatural at first, it’ll help ease the customer into the interaction by recreating the experience of in-person conversations.
Sitting up straight is another important consideration.
Not only will this allow advisors to speak clearly and remain in full view of the customer, it will also indicate their attentiveness.
After all, no customers want to see a representative slouched back in their chair.
4. Personal appearance during customer service calls
An engaging approach and an awareness of social cues like eye contact may sound obvious, but first impressions mean a lot.
It’s why you should also consider your agents' appearance too.
By taking into account their clothing and their grooming, as well as their body language, your video support teams will be able to represent your company in a respectable manner.
This is especially important if your employees are working from home. If they look like they’ve just rolled out of bed, your customers will notice.
Another useful tool for both office and home workers is a backdrop screen.
Not only will this provide a clean and professional look, it will also keep their workspace concealed.
Offices and homes are busy places, and even a leftover mug can prove an eyesore during video interactions.
Make sure advisors also keep their personal possessions well out of sight, for your customers' sake, as well as their own.
This will maintain employee privacy and present a more professional image.
Video chat agents who know that their privacy is protected will feel more focussed on giving the customer the best experience possible.
5. Audio/visual appearance
Audio/visual presentation can make or break a video chat.
Even if your advisors are trained to expert standards and are well-presented, muffled sound quality and a shadowy appearance can seem incredibly unprofessional.
To solve these issues, develop a list of equipment you will need and test them for clarity and reliability.
Audio considerations for video chats
A successful video chat needs a good headset with a built-in microphone for clear communication.
When possible, they should stick to this setup over speakers too. A headset’s built-in earphones will allow them to hear the customer much more easily, whereas external speakers could lead to audio feedback.
Another useful tip is maintaining the same setup from one video call to the next.
Using a headphone microphone during one session and a standalone microphone on another will mean that your audio levels will vary greatly.
A mistake like this could prove embarrassing, especially if you forget to adjust your audio levels for your next call.
You don’t want your customers to think you are mumbling, let alone yelling.
Visual considerations for video chats
In terms of webcams, you don’t need any state-of-the-art technologies to provide excellent customer service via video.
Most standard webcams will easily do the job, and it’s actually often internet speed that lets the side down when it comes to maintaining a good image.
You should always make sure your agents are facing a good source of lighting too.
By ensuring video chats are well-lit and easily visible, customers will feel far more at ease during the interaction.
The worst mistake you can make here is placing a light source behind your advisors. It’s very hard to build trust with customers if your agent is draped in shadow.
6. Use video chat to diffuse customer tension
With other contact channels, if a customer is unhappy and feels disconnected from their advisor as a person, tension is more likely to rise.
Offering video customer service solves this problem by giving staff an opportunity to foster a human connection.
By helping your employees and customers to build empathy towards one another, video customer support helps maintain a personal connection in all customer support queries.
This in turn leads to quicker resolutions.
In fact, you might even want to escalate any negative queries to video chat as soon as possible.
This will not only show off your company’s attitude to efficient problem-solving, but it’ll also provide your customer-facing teams with a fast way to gain respect and understanding.
Customer support video chat: industry examples
Now that we’ve developed an understanding of how to get the most out of video chat as a customer service channel, let’s take a look at its specific uses in a variety of sectors and settings.
What sector best describes your organisation, and where could you benefit from using video?
For Public Sector Organisations, using video for customer service allows increased accessibility for those unable to leave their homes.
This is a huge benefit for housebound customers, as well as customers unable to schedule an appointment due to working hours.
By offering all of their customers an equal level of dedication and convenience, public sector organisations can build their brand’s reputation and trust, as well as improve their customer satisfaction.
Much like public sector organisations, housing associations also benefit from using video by mitigating the need for in-person appointments.
House calls are an extremely common practice within this sector, and unnecessary call-outs can prove very expensive in the long run.
By offering video chat to their customers, housing associations can help tenants diagnose any problems before sending a professional to the site.
This means that, if a call out is needed, professionals arrive already prepared. They can then solve the customer’s problem quickly, once again reducing costs.
Healthcare organisations have also benefited from adopting video chat for customer service.
The ability to offer face-to-face appointments for the remotest of locations means a decrease in costs and increased efficiency.
Customers are able to request clinical consultations around their availability, and healthcare professionals can then provide advice and care to patients at home.
This also limits the strain on physical locations, reducing waiting times and customer tension.
For some housebound customers, video could prove the most convenient and common form of consulting with their healthcare professional - a huge boon for both the customer and the organisation alike.
Financial services & banks
With an increasing number of customers now banking online, financial services offering security-compliant video are enabling their customers to receive all the guidance they need without leaving their home.
For full-time workers, arranging an appointment with their bank can prove tough to schedule.
Video customer support software mitigates this issue, offering the customer convenience, flexibility, and most importantly security, building further confidence with their chosen digital banking service.
Using video chat for customer support allows retail businesses to bring the in-store experience online through virtual shopping.
Rather than leaving their customers to explore their website alone, video customer support enables advisors to provide face-to-face demonstrations with ease.
In turn, this helps to build a professional brand image, and improves customer relations and loyalty.
As we’ve seen from retailers like Bravissimo, providing your site’s visitors with video also diminishes live chat queues, customer drop-off rate, and increases remote sales.
Bravissimo have even made an inventive use of video by implementing an expert fitting service, which has maximised their customer service success.
What could you offer your customers that your online competitors don’t?
Real estate & car dealerships
The benefits retailers can see from using video for customer service also transfer over to real estate agencies and automotive companies.
By offering remote viewings for their customers, both of these sectors can provide excellent service by limiting the amount of travel a customer might undertake.
When searching for a new home or considering a new vehicle, customers often travel long distances to view several options before making any decisions.
With video customer support, car dealerships can provide virtual vehicle demonstrations and real estate agencies can offer virtual property tours.
Perks like these help to build customer confidence and portray a brand’s professionalism, while also boosting sales.
The rewards of using video chat for customer service
While the pandemic boosted the popularity of using video chat for customer service, this channel's impact will be long lasting.
Technology always changes consumer habits, and with video now proving a viable communication method, a highly valuable human element has been added to the customers’ online journey.
Video interactions allow your customers to connect instantly and meaningfully with your business, but the rewards don’t stop there.
From improved accessibility and resolution rates, to increased remote sales and contact centre efficiency, video chat marks a profound step to building more real customer relationships.
The takeaway: Getting started with customer service video chat
It’s clear that the use of video chat for customer service comes with many benefits for both your business and your customers.
From optimizing customer service to providing virtual in-store experiences, there is much to be gained from making video calls a part of your brand experience.
Not only that, but video chat seems to be the future for digital customer service - its popularity has surged since 2020 and is set to continue on this trajectory.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that businesses don’t underestimate the value of video customer service - or they may get left behind.
Luckily, Talkative can help you get started.
Our video chat is one of the most flexible solutions on the market, from our no-code chat widget builder to a sterling customer success support.
This means we can work with you to create the best experiences possible for your customers.
With our help, you can reinvent your customer communication and provide premium customer service at every digital touchpoint.
Want to learn more? Book your demo with Talkative today.