November 21, 2022

Article
3 min

Enhancing the Customer Contact Center with Video

Businesses have already seen the benefits of video for internal collaboration and external meetings. Here’s why they should consider it for their customer service operations as well.

Sulabh Patel

Like many people, I had my groceries delivered to my home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually, the person picking out my items would text me if there was some confusion about what I wanted, but some of these workers went above and beyond; initiating video calls to let me decide, for example, whether the bell peppers or tomatoes on offer were too under-ripe for my liking. 

This experience opened my eyes to the potential of video as a customer service channel. Not many organizations have adopted video in the contact center yet, but those that do so can unlock multiple benefits.

Video Can Make Customer Connections More Personal

Customer service interactions often feel very impersonal, even when they occur over the phone. Especially when customers are already frustrated, they tend to experience the agent as a disembodied voice in a faraway place, who may or may not be invested in solving their problem. But video has a way of creating an instant personal connection. When we can see each other’s facial expressions, we’re better able to pick up on emotional cues and adjust our approach accordingly.

Resolve Issues More Quickly with Video

Often, customers contact a company because there’s something wrong with its product: The furniture kit is missing some screws, for example, or the area rug was damaged during shipping. But it may be difficult for customers to clearly explain the problem. Video allows them to show customer service representatives exactly what the problem is, increasing the chances that their problem will be resolved during the first interaction.

Video Can Play a Role in Brand Marketing

Video puts the “representative” back into “customer service.” Contact center agents are frontline brand ambassadors, but there’s only so much they can do to represent a company over the phone. Video allows organizations to create branded backdrops, outfit contact center agents with smart uniforms or even strategically position their products where customers will notice them.

Screen Sharing Can Improve Customer Interaction

Solving a customer’s problem is sometimes simply a matter of walking him or her through a series of quick clicks on the web. But guiding a customer through these steps over the phone can be time-consuming and cumbersome. (If you’ve ever had to read a lengthy URL to someone, you know how easy it is for this seemingly uncomplicated task to go off the rails.) On a video call, contact center agents can drop links into the chat, or even share their screens to help walk customers through a solution.

Video Calls Add Opportunities for Upselling

Take some of these benefits — the personal connection, the ability to strategically position products and screen sharing — and you have the right conditions to pitch customers newer and better products. This must be done carefully, of course. No one wants to be upsold when they call in about their month-old defective laptop. But say that someone initiates a video call about an older device that is no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty. The call center agent may be able to read the customer’s emotional state and judge whether he or she might be receptive to receiving a discount code for a new machine. The agent can even walk the customer through the purchase during the call.

Better Customer Experiences Lead to Increased Retention Rates

Once, I had a nightmare travel day, full of flight delays. But when I got home, I saw that the airline had proactively emailed me a gift voucher and an apology. My entire outlook on the experience shifted in an instant, and the airline had a customer for life. Similarly, video has the potential to dramatically improve a customer’s experience, providing a compelling reason to stick with a brand over the long run.

Story by Sulabh Patel, who has 20-plus years of experience with various contact center–related technologies and working with vendors, partners and customers across verticals.