For years, many brands have resisted the temptation to incorporate video into their CX stack.
Some worry that it may lead to longer, more expensive customer interactions. Others don’t want agents engaging with high-value customers via video, having just strolled back from the pub and wearing crisp crumb saddled clothes.
Yet, with well-thought-through processes, access strategy, and targeted applications, video can transform customer service, engagement, and retention.
Our expert panel delves deeper, discusses its cross-vertical potential, and shares use cases where video drives value. This month, our panelists include:
- Martin Taylor, Co-Founder and Deputy CEO at Content Guru
- Jay Patel, VP & GM of CPaaS at Webex
- Mahesh Ram, Head of Digital Customer Experience at Zoom
- Severine Hierso, Director of Product Marketing at RingCentral
- Andrew Lawson, SVP for EMEA at Zendesk
- Suvish Viswanathan, Head of European Marketing at Zoho
They start by articulating critical reasons why brands should consider video as their next channel for direct customer engagement.
Why Should Brands Consider Video as Their Next Customer Communication Channel?
Color AND Context
Taylor: Video adds color and context to any spoken conversation. In natural human communication, you are hearing and seeing. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all!
With video, agents can see what customers are talking about. For example, perhaps a housing association tenant is showing a fault with their boiler, or a customer wants to share details relating to an insurance claim. Video is the enabler for new customer context.
Of course, many have long touted video as “the next big thing” in CX – but it is only since the COVID-19 pandemic that video has really found its niche.
A mixture of ubiquitous camera-equipped devices in the hands of the consumer and CCaaS solutions means that video calls don’t require third-party apps, separate tech stacks, or even scheduling, while agents can stay in the same working environment.
Relevant Use Cases
Patel: There are particular CPaaS use cases where there’s a compelling opportunity to integrate video into applications and processes, such as for initial validation checks and informational tasks.
Unsurprisingly, video is still foundational to telehealth visits and some post-appointment interactions.
Also, informational videos can add value for brands looking to cut labor costs by sharing recorded tutorials as a first step for customers contacting customer support with common queries, like: “How can I set up my device?”
Generally speaking, though, the curve for video has not proven as steep as once predicted, and it seems many CPaaS providers are de-prioritizing video innovation as customer usage drops back to pre-pandemic levels.
Virtual Engagement Matters
Ram: With video tools, organizations can elevate customer experiences through supportive and empathetic conversations that consolidate interactions.
Many brands recognize this, with 65 percent of global organizations already using visual engagement applications to communicate with customers – as per Zoom.
These may include screen-sharing, co-browsing, co-editing, and various other tools.
Evidence shows that customers appreciate the variety of such technologies – and video is at the core of that.
Indeed, 36 percent of companies enjoy increased customer satisfaction by offering the ability to escalate an issue to a video call.
Hierso: Video is one example of how to dynamically engage customers at a time when creating personalized experiences is of utmost importance.
For example, brands can use video functionalities on social media to talk about a trending topic and engage their existing and new audiences.
Alternatively, businesses may use video to create assets that consumers can access, deepening their relationships with brands on their own time.
Businesses may also let the personalities of their people shine, circumventing the troubles of a one-size-fits-all approach to communications.
It Builds Customer Trust
Lawson: Video as a customer service channel can add an extra edge for agents to upsell or to create a layer of personalization to build trust, create loyalty, and improve the overall customer experience.
Examples include live video assistance alongside personalized thank-you videos and testimonials.
Explainer videos can provide customers with instant information and are an excellent way to self-serve, providing quick support while freeing up agents to focus on more complex tasks.
Visually, videos can also step in when text alone will not suffice – transforming faceless conversations into human connections.
For example, it can help agents work through language barriers by providing visual cues, gestures, and demonstrations to overcome linguistic challenges.
Storytelling Opens Doors
Viswanathan: The visual and auditory elements of video enable brands to convey emotions, tone, and non-verbal cues effectively, enhancing communication.
As such, it’s an excellent channel for more effective storytelling. Indeed, brands can showcase their products or services in action, highlighting features and use cases. This helps customers make informed purchasing decisions, increasing their confidence in the brand.
Video also provides real-time interaction, enabling instant feedback, support, and query resolution.
Meanwhile, customers can engage with brands directly, ask questions, and receive immediate responses.
Such a high level of responsiveness and interactivity enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, aiding retention.
By incorporating video into customer communication strategy, brands demonstrate their commitment to adapting to evolving customer preferences.
Name a Sector That Often Benefits from Video Customer Service
Taylor: Telehealth has existed since the 1980s. However, for decades, it never went mainstream anywhere in the world.
Since the COVID pandemic, this has changed in large part due to the ready availability of video technology for remote consultations.
In early 2020, clinicians could not continue with most in-person consultations, especially in primary and urgent care settings. This led to the rapid adoption of video consultation technologies.
When the dust settled, the dominant tech that emerged was a two-way consultation between clinician and patient, with the patient using their mobile device or tablet.
Meanwhile, clinicians used a contact center-style portal-based interface to navigate the call.
Ad-hoc video technologies have become the norm in healthcare in preference to mobile apps due to the combination of immediacy and infrequency when it comes to healthcare consultations.
Patel: Healthcare is a prime example of a sector incorporating secure video calling into its telehealth service model to bring more personalized service to patients.
Patients, in particular, want to feel heard, and video gives them the platform to interact with healthcare professionals in a personal manner without compromising the accessibility and affordability of being able to connect from anywhere.
Many healthcare providers already use CPaaS to leverage video in their patient communications – like telehealth visits and sharing post-operative care guidance with patients.
These use cases will likely gain further momentum due to the accessibility aspects and the critical nature of communicating with patients about essential instructions related to their care.
Ram: During the pandemic, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) deployed video capabilities to its 5,000 staff members in just eight days.
Video allowed doctors to speak to their patients virtually. This is crucial during high patient demand and continues connecting doctors with their patients. It also allows unwell children staying at GOSH to communicate daily with friends, family, and school teachers.
Patients expressed their preference to maintain this communication channel, with two-thirds of patients and parents saying they were extremely likely to recommend a virtual visit.
GOSH is now considering going further, utilizing video to facilitate multi-party visits and new interpreter services.
Hierso: Say a company sells a D.I.Y. bookshelf, customers may have questions about how to set it up.
While some businesses might simply point them in the direction of the manual, others are going above and beyond with multimedia assets.
Creating a video guiding the customer and answering FAQs will resonate with many customers and likely reduce customer callbacks.
Any business looking to deliver a helpful customer service video should also ensure it tells a story, includes text to make it more accessible, and avoids too many special effects.
In this digital age, making any video social media compatible is a crucial final step to making the most of any asset, boosting engagement, and putting content in front of a broader audience.
Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Luxury Retail
Lawson: Manufacturing teams have long used demo and product solution videos, while estate agents have relied on virtual video and neighborhood tours.
But new industries are increasingly embracing it.
One such sector is the luxury retail industry which has notoriously relied on customer trust, brand loyalty, and relationship building.
Indeed, agents in this sector connect with clients from anywhere in the world and provide a personalized experience – in-store or online.
They may also demonstrate what items look like on a person, share styling advice, and provide close-ups of intricate designs or unique craftsmanship.
To create a truly tailored experience, brands like Flannels offer virtual consultations, where stylists can assess customers’ needs, preferences, and body types.
Viswanathan: When customers face challenges with software applications, video support enables representatives to provide visual instructions and demonstrations.
For example, reps can share screens and guide customers through processes in real-time, enhancing their understanding and proficiency.
Video support is also invaluable for troubleshooting software-related issues, as representatives can visually assess problems, identify causes, and demonstrate resolution steps.
This approach saves time and ensures clear communication, improving issue resolution.
Aside from Contact Center Conversations, Which Video In CX Use Cases Drive Significant Value?
Taylor: The police have arrived late to the omnichannel party, with Content Guru remaining the only CCaaS vendor worldwide trusted to operate such services.
However, demands from citizens and policymakers for more effective communications have led to the advent of video in emergency calls – made possible by the rollout of secure CCaaS.
From 2024, residents of Scotland may upgrade 999/112 and 101 telephone calls to a live video stream at the instigation of the police call handler.
Doing so will deliver immediate situational awareness of a live scene, such as an in-progress crime.
The control room may then display the video, dispatch officers en route to the scene, and embed footage into digital evidence management.
As secure video becomes more available, it will seem anachronistic to not offer it to citizens.
Patel: As the banking and financial services sector has transitioned to online models, increasingly financial services firms benefit from using video to interact with their customers in virtual formats.
Indeed, video as part of a financial organization’s all-in-one communications platform is a powerful use case because it tracks with modern customers’ desire for flexibility, personalization, and real-time communications.
Moreover, it allows organizations to provide personalized guidance, address fraud concerns, and deliver engaging customer onboarding.
Such video capabilities – typically integrated within websites or apps – drive value for financial institutions by making interactions convenient and timely without compromising the quality of service or security of their interactions.
Hierso: Increasingly, businesses want to self-serve information, and video is often a valuable tool for brands to further enable this.
For example, British cosmetic brand Lush has created simple step-by-step ‘how-to’ videos for customers and prospects, providing clarity beyond website descriptions.
The use of ‘how-to’ videos in this way directly supports sales conversions, as buyers feel more confident that they understand how to use the products they are purchasing.
Furthermore, brands can direct customers to these assets, accelerating the experience to the point of sale.
Viswanathan: Video demonstrations provide a dynamic and engaging way to showcase a product or service’s features, functionality, and benefits.
Moreover, they offer a more immersive experience than static images or written descriptions, allowing customers to grasp the product’s value proposition effectively.
Brands may also share video demos across multiple channels, widening reach and accessibility.
Another great example is customer onboarding and product training.
Instead of reading hundreds of pages manually or reading through help documents, videos can explain a product in a more easily consumable format.
Miss out on our previous CX Today roundtable? Check it out here: What’s Next for the Voice of the Customer Market?