A massive 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent. You know this, as you’re already operating a contact center, planning to operate one, or are considering a move to live chat. The new generation of digital customers prefer personalized, real interactions to get their issues resolved quickly, and to ensure they are making the right buying decision.
Deloitte reveals the growing trend: “voice (only) interactions are expected to drop from 64% to 47%, 31% of businesses think that approximately 8% of customer interactions will be conducted via video chat.”
Business giants like Amazon have grown tremendously by focusing on personalization; now a key tenet of modern customer experiences. This study from McKinsey reveals that customers’ desire for personalization in their shopping experience is becoming a point of differentiation and an essential component of business success. Personalization promotes loyalty, helps to retain customers, and encourages brand advocacy, with 73% of customers point to experience as a primary factor in their purchasing decisions.
Whilst an increasing number of digital channels are gaining popularity in the market, there is one which bridges the gap between business and customer like no other: the video call. Live video calls are the next-generation of live engagement for contact centers and call centers. Whilst still relatively new, adoption of this technology is growing exponentially after the recent pandemic accelerated the trend towards remote working and digital.
Yet it’s not just in customer experience that a video call center excels; businesses with the highest ROI for their contact center investments have increased revenue, improved customer ratings and reduced operational costs through the use of advanced customer experience technologies, such as video for customer engagement (Nemertes' "Intelligent Customer Engagement: 2019-20 Research Study).
Introducing a video call center is definitely the next step in leveling up your customer service and business. Read on and find out how.
Lacking any visual element, phone-centric call centers can lead to difficulties with customer interactions in a variety of cases. Customers, who often lack technical knowledge, struggle to explain what their issues or needs are, whilst also attempting to keep up with agents’ vocal explanations.
Upgrading to a video-centric call center brings the benefits associated with real face-to-face interactions, such as building greater levels of trust and loyalty which improves CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) rates. Customers can see expressions and gestures, making it easier to interpret what the agent is really trying to say.
Another major advantage of video call centers is the ability for customer service agents to enhance the conversation with visual guidance alongside real-time support. Screen sharing, co-browsing and HD presentation features allow agents to guide customers step-by-step, and even gain control of their screen when necessary. It’s this real-time communication that really helps customers and agents better understand each other.
Brand is extremely difficult to convey in a phone call. Automated phone menus, poor quality audio and generic hold music all combine to underserve your business. Not so with a video-enabled call center, which provides new opportunities to market your business and extend your brand voice through human-centric interactions.
On a live video call, customers can see agents face-to-face, connecting with your business on new emotional and non-verbal levels, where they are more likely to relate to your agents and your brand. Well-lit backgrounds, clean environments and professionally dressed agents are light-years ahead of the audio of a phone call. Combined with swift issue resolution, customers are more likely to recommend your brand, products and services to their friends and families.
The best video-enabled call center products go even further, providing brands with an array of tools to completely customize the visual experience presented to the customer before, during, and after the call, such as adding logos, colors, taglines, imagery, and even virtual backgrounds – features all available within Crikle.
One of the most important call center metrics is the ‘first call resolution’ rate, which reveals whether or not a customer’s needs are properly addressed for the first time by the customer service team. Phone calls and live chats come with many limitations that negatively impact this metric, as the ability for an agent to quickly identify an issue largely depends upon the customer’s ability to accurately relay issues by phone, email, or chat.
A video call facilitates instant and clear understanding of customer challenges and queries via show-and-guide methodologies, allowing agents to observe equipment behavior and product issues in real-time – significantly improving the chance of solving issues in the first call whilst dramatically improving the efficiency of your customer support agents.
In text-based chats, the natural flow of the interaction creates pauses, where the agent and customer have to wait for each other's answers. These waiting times are often filled by switching to another customer and coming back to the conversation later. Yet typing is slower than speaking. About three times as slow, according to Stanford research. That’s why at some point, chats with lots of text just take too long. And once that’s the case, concurrent chats take longer as well.
The speed and natural flow of speech is one reason your call center exists; it’s simply an effective means of communication. But even speech alone has its limits. As the complexity of the issue increases, the ability to use visual cues grows. Here, speaking over a video call is the better choice, allowing agents to share more information in a shorter time, contributing to a lower resolution time, beating the resolution time of two or three simultaneous chats, and increasing the efficiency of speech alone.
For profit-focused businesses with contact centers and call centers, growth is dependent on agents’ ability to identify revenue opportunities during a call, then translate these insights into a sale.
In a typical inbound phone conversation, it’s not easy to move beyond the customer’s initial issue without sounding over-zealous or salesy. By contrast, agents using a video contact center are able to utilize the time-honed benefits of a face-to-face conversation, which allows them to observe the contextual clues that are crucial in identifying when an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell is possible.
Video calls enable deeper conversations about the customer query, which in turn fosters an environment of trust and credibility, putting agents in a better position to suggest add-on services and products without jeopardizing the business-customer relationship. A case in point: Barclays, a United Kingdom bank, reported that the NPS of its video channel is 44% higher than that of telephony.
Businesses that provide a video-enabled call center for their customer engagement can expect demonstrable improvements in business outcomes – as well as establish new revenue-generating processes.
Leveling-up your customer engagement with live video calls represents a fundamental business transformation, but one that reduces costs and improves operational efficiencies – all whilst enhancing the experience for your customers.
As video calls are an effective substitute for in-person meetings, the need for employees to go into the field is significantly reduced, saving on travel time and travel costs. The insurance claim process provides a great example. Instead of sending a loss adjuster on-site, an insurer can offer to claimants the option to show the adjuster the damage remotely, using the camera on their smartphone or tablet.
Retail operations can also be optimized with a video call center, as scarce human resources - your staff - can be centralized and made available to everyone, anywhere. In Canada, Best Buy offers in-store customers access to experts via video-enabled kiosks, reducing the need to locate such staff in every store.
Most importantly, video calls enable faster, better mutual understanding, shortening call handling time which increases the volume of calls a customer service agent can accept, and allow sales agents to spend more time selling. At Barclays, the average handling time with video is 23% shorter than with telephony.
The foundation of customer service and sales has always relied on personal, face-to-face relationships built on trust. Yet today’s world is becoming ever more digitized and impersonal. Interactions are often faceless; and consumers are becoming frustrated with this.
To meet this consumer need, “sales role competencies must evolve to meet the buyer preferences for digital interactions we are observing. Sellers need…nuanced thinking with greater grasp of buyers’ context Source: Gartner. To win more sales and establish long lasting customer relationships, a personalized touch is imperative.
Video-enabled call centers are inherently personalized because customers can see your call center agents face-to-face, who can deploy their natural skills of good communication, analyze facial expressions and see hand gestures, to get a true picture of customer sentiment whilst fostering genuine human connection, familiarity and loyalty.
Adept managers can even use a video call center to route customers to particular agents based on the customer’s personal communication preference, or the agent’s personal skill set, for ultra-tailored customer experiences.
Live customer experiences utilizing video calls are a relatively new adaptation in the customer engagement ecosystem, but will become increasingly mainstream in the coming years. Most businesses are still unaware of the benefits and use-cases across industries such as Healthcare, EdTech, SaaS, IT, BFSI, Consumer Electronics, Automotive, and Recruitment.
To stand out from the competition and to provide the experience consumers are demanding, upgrade your call center operation with video. The speed of joining personalized, one-on-one video conversations improves customer engagement and increases their likelihood of conversion, often building loyalty and trust in the process. If you haven’t already, now is the time to leverage video within your customer experience.
Crikle was created to solve a universal challenge facing marketers and customer experience professionals: how to improve subpar levels of engagement and satisfaction across digital platforms.
Utilizing the full range of Crikle’s call center features, businesses can supercharge their engagement rates by fostering personal connections with their customers through live video calling, streamlining contact center interactions, reducing costs, and ultimately improving customer retention and brand loyalty in the process.
Overall, the business impact of adding video to a contact center is huge and will often deliver a high and fast ROI. So don’t let your competitors be first. Consider investing in video to take your customer service operation to the next level by contacting us today.