Here is a scenario I’m sure most can relate to and unfortunately is not all too uncommon.
You are in need of customer service, you dial into the support number and are greeted with an automated message that provides seven different options for you to choose from. By the time you get to option four, you just want to speak to a human so you hit zero. This impulsive act brings you back to the beginning of the phone tree, leaving you frustrated and wondering why you did not just go to YouTube to see if you could find a video that would show you how to fix your problem.
Undaunted, you play along and finally select the right number, which brings you to a whole new underworld of options. After running this gauntlet, you have now spent more than three precious minutes of your life to get to a human being. As you speak to this human, they sound like they are in a tunnel, you can hear their colleagues in the background and they are speaking so fast you are having trouble keeping up. You open up Google and begin searching for competitive options.
If only we still lived in the days of house calls and could get the support we needed, when we needed it, from a person. That would surely change the game.
It is scenarios like this and other call centre nightmares that underscore how vital the call centre is in the delivery of customer experience and why more customer support teams need to be giving serious consideration to using video as a way to elevate that experience.
Before we go any further, I believe that it is important to first define what we mean when we say customer experience, as there are many definitions that have been floated over the years. Of all of the ones I have read, I believe the one that is most accurate is by Adam Richardson in Harvard Business Review who defines customer experience as follows:
“The sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”
When you think about the “entire arc of being a customer” you can quickly see how the contact centre plays such an important role in delivering an exceptional experience. While my typical articles on the RingCentral blog list 3-4 tips on what you can do, I am going to deviate from that pattern and speak to the one reason why using video in the call centre will improve your customer experience.
Here is the reason why:
It Makes Your Brand More Human
Early on in my career, long before anyone thought of the power of video, I worked as an account manager in a call centre. I remember one of our reps, Ed, stood out above the rest. It did not matter what call he received, he handled it with seeming ease and could take the most irate customer and speak to them in a way to get them off the proverbial ledge. I asked him once what made him so good and loved his reply when he said, “I just always remember that I am speaking to a human, and at the end of the day they just want to be heard.” Brilliant!
Ed had realised that the people he was engaging with were not frustrated customers, they were human beings who wanted to be recognised, who wanted help and wanted to be able to not worry about their issue. He showed empathy.
Now, think about the ability to do this via video. Seeing and responding to body language, being able to smile and interact at a more human level. You cannot get this through the phone, but you can over video.
Why is this so important?
According to research conducted by PwC, 59 percent of global consumers surveyed felt companies had lost touch with the human element of customer experience, and 75 percent of the customers surveyed preferred to interact with a human versus an automated machine.
Human connection is at the core of experience. Short of establishing an on-call support centre that shows up at your customer’s doorstep, video deepens that human interaction.
Delivering on the promise of customer experience is not just expected by your customers; it is a competitive advantage and a growth engine for your business – the aforementioned PwC study shows that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Using video to make it happen is imperative.
Originally published Sep 17, 2020, updated Sep 23, 2020