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video chat

Paul Downey, Flickr (CC license)

Businesses have embraced a multi-channel environment when it comes to communicating with customers. This is driven both by the introduction of new options such as chat and chatbots, as well as by customer preferences. The old faithful channels of voice and email still remain by far the most popular channels, but video is an additional channel being put to good use within certain contexts. Here are three applications that illustrate its usage:

Live assistance

Customers may not always be able to access an in-store environment; in this case, video chat performs the same role as a sales or customer relations consultant. For complex interactions that may need in-depth explanation and the space for customers to ask many questions, video chat can work well. It personalises the interaction, putting a face to the person on the other end of the line and this can lead to an improved interaction. Customers may get frustrated over the phone, speaking to a faceless consultant or contact centre agent, but video gives a better sense of speaking to an individual. According to research done, this can also create a better foundation for a trust-based interaction.

Besides personalisation, video can provide an opportunity to include visual elements to customer service or sales, such as taking a client through a document, showcasing product features in real-time or assisting with setting up software. This prevents the customer from having to use more than one channel to successfully conclude an interaction, i.e., the customer may call via phone to make a request or express interest in a product or service, and then have to revert to email to find out more about completing application forms, for example. In a completely integrated multi-channel environment, the agent or consultant can switch seamlessly between channels within the same interaction to avoid the customer having to call back.

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