Technological advances, falling hardware and software prices, and scalability of customer service applications for businesses of all sizes have made video conferencing more accessible for organizations. Many companies have implemented video conferencing in order to provide an alternative to in-person meetings for the purpose of interoffice communication, but that’s far from the only application for video conferencing.
Video conferencing can also be used to improve customer service outcomes. Here are nine ways in which this increasingly affordable technology can improve relationships between your company, organization, or business and its clients or customers.
1. Mobility and Flexibility
Video conferencing was, once upon a time, considered to be the purview of enterprises with conference rooms equipped with multi-thousand (or multi-ten-thousand) dollar equipment. No longer. Video conferencing no longer requires such extensive preparations or equipment—in fact, nothing more than a tablet is required, which means that customer service agents on the road can offer this superior service.
Customer service agents can have a tendency to attempt to multitask during customer service calls. This isn’t due to maliciousness, but an ill-thought out desire to improve productivity. Video conferencing calls ensure that customer service agents remain completely focused on the customer’s issues, which in turn can actually improve productivity. By focusing on one issue at a time, agents can solve customer issues faster and more efficiently.
On the other side of this coin, customers remain more engaged during video calls versus text chats, IM’s, email exchanges, or phone calls. Just like agents, clients are likely to lose focus during text chats and calls, or lose interest in email exchanges. Video calls add an immediacy to the exchange that results in more engaged customers.
4. Clarity in Communication
Human communication is so much more than the simple transmission of words. Voice communication helps to add some nuances, but nothing is as complete and as comprehensive as the combination of verbal, aural, and visual communication. Video calls allow customers to see the professional body language of your customer service agents, and give your customer service associates additional visual cues that will facilitate them in keeping calls positive and productive.
5. Quality Perception
Offering customer service that responds quickly is seen as a value added option. Live customer service via chat and/or phone is perceived as higher quality yet. By offering the option of video conferencing with your clients and customers, your organization is offering a top of the line, value-added feature.
6. Competitive Advantage
While video conferencing for interoffice colleagues, and even between collaborating peers, has become more and more common, the adoption of video conferencing as a customer service element has been slower. This means a considerable competitive advantage for companies that choose to adopt it now.
7. Humanizing the Customer Service Experience
Customers have become more and more wary of what they perceive as a disconnect between call centers and the companies with which they are trying to communicate. The customer service experience should be one which is personalized, but overcoming this obstacle in perception is not simple. Video communication with customers, however, is one step towards further humanizing and personalizing the customer service experience and reducing this perceived disconnect.
8. File and Screen Sharing
Video conferencing apps can do much more than simply offer customers a moving picture to relate to. They can also include features that considerably enhance the customer service experience and facilitate better communication between agents and clients. For example, screen sharing, file sharing, and other multi-media features can be better implemented via video conferencing vs. other communication channels.
Of course, making video conferencing a valuable part of your customer service experience requires finding the right tools—and there are so many options available. Simply browsing the sites of various companies can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s why it’s helpful to make use of an unbiased guide that compares and contrasts feature sets, cost structures, platforms, and more. TopAdvisor’s guide to video conferencing is an exceptional resource, both for narrowing down one’s choices and making an ultimate decision regarding which choice on your short list is best for your organization.
Not every video conferencing app will be ideal for customer service purposes, just as some apps may not be as ideal for inter office communication; some may be better for small or medium sized operations, while others are more suited for enterprises.