Video communication is spreading mainly among the younger generation. In recent years, SNS has become image- and video-based, and the number of character-centered service users has been steadily decreasing.
In the past, character-centered SNS such as blogs and Facebook were popular, but nowadays, SNS such as Instagram, Twitter, You Tube, etc., which have a small number of characters and visuals, are being replaced by the main SNS.
Visual-centric services are the trend, but is there any impact on customer service in call centers? Is there any change in customer needs? In this article, we will focus on the keyword “visual” and consider changes in the market.
Communication Business Avenue, which has for the past 16 years been helping some of the world’s largest companies to integrate call center systems and digital communication tools will explain.
Table of Contents
What is video communication?
Video communication is the use of telephone and internet technology to communicate by voice and image . Unlike voice-only phone calls and text-only chats, it is characterized by being able to communicate with calls and images.
Changes due to Covid - From voice to video communication
Human communication methods, which have changed with the times, continue to evolve from face-to-face conversations to telephones, emails, and text messaging (which has become widespread with the advent of smartphones).
The spread of the new coronavirus began in early 2020 has revolutionized people’s communication. Repeated lockdowns and restrictions significantly reduced opportunities for face-to-face communication, and the introduction of remote work and telework has had a major impact on working styles.
As opportunities for face-to-face chats and consultations have decreased, non-face-to-face communication has become increasingly more relevant, and at the same time, dialogue has become more important than ever.
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: According to the communication usage trend survey of Reiwa 3 years, the number of fixed-line telephone contracts is decreasing year by year. On the other hand, the smartphone ownership rate is rising (88.6%). The smartphone ownership rate has already surpassed the PC ownership rate.
Smartphone ownership in the U.S. 2015-2021, by age group
Penetrating Video Communication
Due to changes in communication methods, companies that focus on online customer service and companies that operate call centers are also required to change. It is necessary to cater to customer service through channels other than telephone and to support new communication tools.
With the spread of remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic, online conferencing systems have become popular and it could be said that video communication has definitely become an indispensable tool for communication both in and outside of work. .
Video calling systems that were most commonly used between individuals or within businesses only, are starting to be used for business to consumer communication, and it appears that 2022 may be the ‘year of video communication’.
In the February issue of Call Center Japan, the situation of each BPO company was explained as follows regarding “expanding needs for video communication”.
Transcosmos “Because face-to-face customer service is not possible, there is a need for customer service through video communication.”
TMJ “The number of new projects is increasing, and some of them are requested to serve customers using video communication, so we can expect future expansion.”
Avoiding Audio Channels
In customer service and customer support, it is observed that customers are gradually moving away from the voice channel (telephone). The reasons why voice channels such as telephones are disliked are as follows.
● Customers have to explain the same thing over and over again.
● Without visual support, it can be difficult to explain the issue in words.
● Difficult because you can't easily show what is wrong with the product.
In call centers that have been premised on voice-only communication, both customers and operators need to communicate situations and solutions in words alone. For seniors, this kind of interaction can be very stressful. As uch, the need for face-to-face communication where the other person can be seen is expanding.
The “natural” flow of video communication
Since 2020, video conferencing systems such as zoom and Teams have been spreading all at once and have become a normal part of people’s lives. This trend has also had a major impact on call center customer service.
Within the technical support business, which has traditionally been face-to-face, a new form of support called visual support is beginning to take off. For example, an engineer who visits a client company to repair OA equipment can remotely share what he sees through a smartphone or smart glass with a support engineer.
Also, in call center operations, browser-based tools have begun to be introduced, enabling customers to explain operations and provide support while viewing the same screen through screen sharing.
Video communication tools that can be deployed with the SDK in Avaya and Cisco call center systems are attracting attention as it is a video communication tool that most customers can use without difficulty. .
By utilizing video communication, the range of customer issues that a call center can successfully handle is greatly increased. Since there are cases where it is not necessary to dispatch an engineer, the feature of video communication is that it has great merits in improving the efficiency of customer service.
Benefits of Video Communication
The benefits of using video communication and video chat for customer relations include:
● Increased efficiency of communication.
● Not bound by travel time.
● Not tied to a location.
Let’s look at each merit.
Increased Efficiency of Communication
We are all familiar with the famous adage ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, and the same principle is true of video communication. The fact that both the customer and the agent can maintain a visual connection through video communication means that things like explaining device operation methods or form input methods are much easier and less time-consuming, than they would be if voice channels were the only option.
Additionally, emotional information that cannot be transmitted by voice alone can be conveyed immediately by video, and because video makes it easier to understand the situation of the other party, you can more readily understand the needs of the customer.
Not Bound by Travel Time
Another advantage is that you are not bound by travel time. In a matter of moments, you can achieve the same efficiency of communication as you would do speaking with the customer face-to-face, without having to travel to the customers office or home. You can allocate the cost of travel to other important tasks.
Not Tied To a Place
Another major feature is that you are not tied to a place. As long as you are connected to the Internet, you can start communication such as online customer service, customer support, and business negotiations.
Transform into a Visual Contact Center
Introducing video communication to call centers enables operators to interact with real-time customers on a one-to-one basis, as if they were serving customers face-to-face at a store. Call centers that implement video communication can be transformed into visual contact centers to provide new customer experiences.
But the important thing is to identify the needs of the customer.
As an example, if the customer is from a highly security-conscious industry, such as finance or telemedicine, it is necessary to introduce a highly secure tool by invitation. In the field of e-commerce, it will be necessary to provide tools that do not require prior application installation, such as web chat that pops up on the site.
In customer service and customer relations, the age old principle of “a picture paints a thousand words” makes it possible to achieve efficiency that would otherwise have been difficult with conventional communication methods.
Now is the time to transform into a next-generation call center, a “Visual Contact Center” based on video communication and provide more efficient and effective communication between companies and customers.