In today’s commercial environment, no enterprise can afford to miss a beat when it comes to interacting with its customers. And, while it would be easy to assume that the best way to do so is simply to latch on to the communication channels that appear to be most heavily adopted by the mass-market, ignoring those that are up-and-coming or more niche is a sure way to lose end-user loyalty. Video chat is among the newer ways for customers to connect with firms with which they do business, but has yet to reach its potential as a customer experience delivery tool. Even so, contact center executives should not fall behind in championing this channel.
Not long ago, consumers might have considered the concept of speaking with each other using a video interface as something more aligned with Star Trek or The Jetsons. But communications technology has moved rapidly over the past two decades, rendering video calls a regular part of everyday life. That influence is now being felt in customer experience delivery. In fact, the most recent Ryan Strategic Advisory Omnibus Survey indicates that, on average, more than one-in-five enterprises are deploying video chat as a method of interacting with customers. Clearly, outsourcers and enterprises need to be conscious of video’s growing importance as they develop their ongoing channel strategies.
One firm that has taken up the challenge is Austin-based One Touch Video Chat, which provides both enterprise and outsourced contact centers with the expertise and the platform needed to differentiate customer experience using video technology. The firm has had success working across multiple verticals, enabling clients with the video capability that is needed in order to ensure high service level quality that is user-friendly for both agents and consumers. Its approach to the market is pragmatic, in that there is a recognition that video chat is not necessarily the right channel for all circumstances. Rather, the aim is to determine the industries, situations or relationships where video can add value, and take the needed measures to enable solid interactions.
But, among many players in the front-office BPO space, there is clearly work to be done in getting video-ready. To date, just a few providers have actively promoted their video-chat capabilities. This is a tactical mistake given how the medium continues gaining steam among consumers. Outsourcers need to look at how they can drive the market forward for video interactions. With captive CRM budgets squeezed in most sectors, third-party providers should be helping enterprise executives navigate through the maze of video chat as a service channel. Given the experience that specialty firms such as One Touch Video Chat can offer as a partner in this journey, outsourcers have no excuse not to actively pursue such a course of action.
Contact center executives cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to emerging contact channels. Consumer preferences are evolving rapidly, and with video chat coming to the forefront as a customer experience tool, enterprises and outsourcers have to be at the ready. To fall behind the curve will result in the loss of end-users, while making strategic investments now, and forging the right partnerships with video-chat expertise will ensure ongoing market relevance.