The world of customer communications has evolved dramatically over the past decade.
Gone are the days when consumers had to pick up the phone to contact a business. Instead, many brands now offer a variety of channels and digital touchpoints for their customers to choose from.
As a result of this transition, we’ve also witnessed the rise of the video contact center.
The use of video calls as a medium for customer conversations has taken the marketplace by storm. Consequently, more and more businesses are now taking their virtual customer experience to the next level with video support.
But how exactly can brands leverage video chat in a way that replicates their in-store experience?
Which industries have the most to gain from video communication?
And what are the different ways that video chat can be utilized in a customer service context?
In this article, we’ll answer all these questions - and more. We'll cover:
- What is a video contact center?
- The benefits of video support for businesses and customers
- 8 examples illustrating how video experiences can be offered in various industries
- How to get started with video chat for your contact center
What is a video contact center?
The term “video contact center” refers to call centers that have enabled video chat as a customer contact channel.
In this context, video call software is often implemented alongside a range of other channels (e.g. live chat, chatbots, social media messaging) to provide an omnichannel customer experience.
This type of contact center has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, as businesses have evolved to cater to the demands and preferences of the modern consumer.
The rise of the video call center was accelerated in 2020 by the outbreak of Covid-19, when video chat apps became an essential communicative tool for consumers and businesses alike.
In fact, consumer preferences for video support have increased by 89% since the pandemic and show no signs of slowing down.
As the era of digital transformation continues, it’s likely that video communication will become a crucial component of customer service.
In light of this, it’s important that businesses and their contact centers are willing to embrace this emerging technology – or they’ll risk being left behind.
The benefits of a video call center for businesses & customers
The use of video chat as a customer engagement channel provides a multitude of unique advantages.
Let’s explore the key benefits of video chat for businesses and customers in turn.
The benefit of video support for businesses
The addition of video chat can benefit businesses in a number of ways, including:
- Increased conversions - According to customer experience leaders, video chat helps them convert in 40% of their customer interactions. Through a video call, sales agents can gain a greater understanding of the customer’s individual needs. They can then use this information to provide personalized recommendations, product demonstrations, and a tailored sales pitch that’ll get the best results.
- Stronger customer relationships - Video chat enables humanized communication in the virtual realm. This empowers agents to establish genuine rapport and a greater emotional connection with the customer. As a result, agents can leverage video to foster authentic relationships and build customer loyalty.
- Faster resolutions - With video, the face-to-face dynamic makes for faster and more efficient problem-solving. A video call facilitates better communication between participants, helping agents to understand customer issues with greater speed and clarity. It’s why Talkative customers have found that interactions are resolved 60% faster when they take place over video.
- Competitive edge - If your competitors don’t offer video chat to their customers, you can get a step ahead of them by implementing it first. You might even acquire more customers by doing so. In fact, 27% of consumers say they would switch to a different brand if that business offered video chat for remote sales and customer support.
- Reduced need for brick-and-mortar locations - Video calls allow contact centers to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual customer interactions. As a result, the need for in-store service decreases as does the necessity for brick-and-mortar locations. This is extremely beneficial for businesses as renting and maintaining numerous physical locations can be a considerable expense.
It’s clear that video chat can be an invaluable tool for businesses and their contact centers - but what do your customers have to gain from this channel?
The benefit of video support for customers
For customers, the main benefit of video chat is that it replicates the in-store experience more closely than any other means of digital communication.
Thanks to video chat, customer advisors can offer face-to-face consultations, in-depth guidance, and visual demonstrations - just like an in-branch representative would do.
Video also helps agents to build more trust and rapport, allowing them gain a greater understanding of the customer's individual needs. Armed with this information, agents can deliver next-level service and personalization.
Through the power of video chat, customers can enjoy the ultimate digital customer experience that’ll keep them coming back for more.
How to offer video customer service in 2023: 8 industry examples
One of the best things about video chat is its versatility as a customer support channel.
It can be used across a multitude of industries in a variety of different ways.
In this section, we’ll use eight examples to demonstrate how a video contact center can be utilized to elevate and streamline the customer experience.
1. Video chat for retail & ecommerce
The number of consumers who engage in online shopping is vast and ever-rising.
As it stands in 2023, the number of ecommerce buyers is around 2.64 billion which equates to 33.3% of the global population.
In order to cater to this growing market, many retail businesses have implemented video chat, alongside other channels like live chat for ecommerce, to connect with their digital customers.
In this industry, video chat can be used to enhance the online buying journey with consultative service and virtual shopping experiences.
This is a common use case for luxury brands with high-value customers, but it can be adopted by any retail or ecommerce business looking to provide premium digital customer service.
Talkative customers Caseys Furniture and Lululemon are great examples of this strategy in action. These brands take the ecommerce experience to the next level by using video calls to provide personalized consultations with product experts.
By offering these video shopping services, businesses in the retail and ecommerce industry can wow their customers with a bespoke online shopping journey that sets them apart from the competition.
2. Video chat for healthcare
Video conferencing in the healthcare sector (also known as telehealth or telemedicine) has become an increasingly common practice in recent years.
This application of video chat is particularly valuable, as it gives patients immediate access to medical practitioners and healthcare professionals - regardless of their location.
In this industry, video interactions can be used to provide a range of services, such as:
- Virtual appointments with doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, etc.
- Medical advice
- Remote diagnoses
- Virtual therapy and counseling
- Virtual physiotherapy
- Follow-up care
By leveraging video chat, organizations in the healthcare sector can really add value for communities by improving accessibility to medical care.
The availability of this technology could even mean the difference between life and death for certain patients.
3. Video chat for finance & banking
With 61% of consumers using digital banking services at least once per week, the finance industry is another sector where channels like video chat have become a new necessity.
Customers can use video appointments to access various banking and financial services remotely.
This is particularly useful for consumers who cannot physically visit a branch due to distance, mobility issues, or hectic schedules.
With video chat, customers can easily connect with a financial representative who can answer their questions, provide expert advice, and guide them through various financial processes, such as applying for a loan or opening a new account.
Some organizations in the banking industry have even incorporated video chat into their ATMS.
Take Talkative customer AOne ATM as an example.
AOne worked with Talkative to create a revolutionary ATM experience that reconciles the disconnect between customers and the financial institutions they interact with.
Launched and branded as MiniBranch®, these interactive terminals can be used to instantly access video, voice, or live chat support from expert advisors - simply by scanning a QR code on their smartphone.
It means that AOne customers can enjoy the in-branch banking experience from any ATM location.
4. Video chat for the public sector
For the public sector, video chat massively improves accessibility to services and information, allowing public organizations to reach more citizens than ever before.
This is a huge benefit for housebound and vulnerable individuals, as well as those unable to schedule an in-person appointment due to working hours.
With the addition of video chat, Talkative customer Camden Council has been able to handle more customer requests while significantly reducing the demand on their telephony system.
It also enables the council to remotely assess issues within their resident’s homes, preventing expensive and unnecessary call-outs.
By implementing video alongside live chat, social media messaging, and cobrowsing, Camden Council has been able to grant maximum accessibility and convenience to its diverse customer base.
Overall, the addition of channels like video chat can be a huge advantage for public sector organizations, empowering them to be more efficient, streamlined, and accessible.
By granting all citizens an equal level of service through video and digital communication, the public sector can improve its reputation and build trust among its customers.
5. Video chat for car dealerships
Video chat has been adopted by a number of automotive brands looking to revamp the dealership experience and simplify the car-buying journey.
With the addition of video, automotive brands can transform their website into a virtual showroom. This enables remote sales advisors to show customers around different vehicle options and provide in-depth consultations - as if they were in person.
And with the Talkative platform, the virtual showroom experience doesn’t end at video chat - you can also incorporate cobrowsing, web calls, and/or car dealership live chat.
Providing these enhanced virtual experiences is crucial in today’s market, as much of the automotive customer journey now takes place online.
In fact, consumers spend an average of 14 hours conducting internet research throughout the car-buying process.
As such, it’s imperative that car dealerships are willing to move with the times and embrace progressive technology - to ensure that their customers are supported every step of the way.
6. Video chat for travel
For the travel industry, video chat can be an excellent tool for brands looking to generate digital leads and offer a more interactive experience to their online customers.
With video, consumers can enjoy face-to-face interactions with travel agents, tour operators, or hotel staff, from any location.
A great example of this use case in action is Internova Travel Group, an industry-leading Talkative customer that uses our video chat to take the travel agency experience online.
There are a number of ways that video chat can be utilized in the travel sector, including:
- Expert consultations: Customers can use video chat to receive expert advice on destinations, holiday packages, activities, and accommodations. Travel agents or tour operators can offer personalized recommendations and answer any questions the traveler may have.
- Remote bookings: Through video travel bookings, agencies can increase online sales by helping customers to plan and book their next getaway from the comfort of their own homes.
- Virtual tours: Hotels, resorts, and tourist attractions can offer virtual tours via video chat, allowing consumers to see and explore locations before making a booking.
- Customer service: Travelers can use video chat to obtain support and assistance with issues such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, or changes to travel plans.
By offering these video services, businesses in the travel industry can boost sales by helping customers feel more confident in their holiday plans and traveling ventures.
7. Video chat for contractor call-outs
When it comes to housing repairs and maintenance, video chat can be a fantastic communicative tool for contractors and their clients.
In this industry, video calls can be used to:
- Undertake initial assessments: Contractors can use video chat to assess the issue/damage and identify the root cause of the problem.
- Provide guidance: In some cases, contractors can use a video call to provide step-by-step guidance on how to fix the fault or make a temporary repair until a more permanent solution can be implemented.
- Arrange site visits: If an in-person repair visit is required, video chat can be used to discuss availability and schedule the appointment.
- Verify work: After completing a repair, contractors can use video chat to follow up with the customer, answer any questions they may have, and ensure that they are satisfied with the service provided.
With a video call, customers can actually show and demonstrate the problem they’re experiencing, allowing contractors to remotely evaluate and diagnose the issue before they’ve even visited the location.
This helps contractors to deal with call-outs more efficiently and can drastically reduce the occurrence of multiple site visits.
8. Video chat for self-service kiosks
Across multiple industries, video chat for kiosks can be used to create an enhanced and interactive self-service experience.
Self-service kiosks are an extremely useful technology, but their lack of personal touch and human connection can alienate customers when issues arise.
Video chat solves this problem by giving kiosk users the option to access immediate, face-to-face customer support when needed.
There are a variety of industries and businesses that can benefit from video chat kiosks, including:
- Banks: As we covered earlier, banks like AOne ATM have used video to transform their ATMs into interactive kiosks. This service enables users to access banking and financial services remotely from any ATM location.
- Air travel: In this industry, leading brands like Istanbul Airport have implemented video chat to take the self-check-in experience to the next level. With these kiosks, passengers can connect with a remote advisor who can provide real-time assistance, travel information, and airport guidance.
- Healthcare: Video chat kiosks are another way that telehealth has been provided in the healthcare sector. UMPC’s AnywhereCare kiosks are a great example of this use case, a service that grants consumers access to advice and treatment from clinicians, regardless of their health insurance status.
- Automotive: For the automotive industry, car rental providers like Hertz have installed video chat kiosks in a multitude of locations, including airports, tourist centers, and parking lots. Customers can use these kiosks to contact an agent and arrange a vehicle rental.
By adding video chat to a kiosk, brands can reinvent the self-service experience and ensure that they’re always there for the customers who need them.
The takeaway: Getting started with video chat for call centers
There’s no doubt that video contact centers are paving the way for the future of digital customer service.
With the addition of video calls, brands can offer a more personal and interactive experience while providing next-level customer support.
But in order to achieve this, you need the right video chat solution for your contact center.
One that’ll delight your customers and is specifically tailored to your unique business needs.
That’s where Talkative comes in.
Our Consultative Service Platform provides a complete suite of channels and capabilities that’ll empower your agents to connect instantly, and effortlessly, with all your digital customers.
As a primary feature of our platform, Talkative’s innovative video chat solution comes with a myriad of features to help you engage and convert more customers - from multi-party video calls to advanced analytics, countless integrations, on-demand and scheduled video chat, and much more.
It means you’ll be fully equipped to wow your high-value customers with a consultative video experience they won’t find elsewhere.
Want to learn more? Book a demo with us today and discover how you can power premium video support with Talkative.