“Video is increasing in popularity and organisations must now consider it as part of the bigger picture of web customer service.”
Speaking at the Gartner Customer Strategies and Technologies Summit in London, analyst Johan Jacobs explained that video can be used in a variety of ways in the service environment, including how-to videos, video check-in and virtual receptionist, to reduce contact centre costs, convert prospects into buyers and engage existing customers.
The analyst explains that when he first began researching video customer service a year ago, very few vendors existed in the field but since then, more have arisen. Vendors such as xtranormal, SundaySky, nimblefish and Whisbi have all emerged onto the scene to offer video chat solutions, software to make how-to videos an video receptionist and conference virtual assistant technology.
Jacobs pointed to the example of Virgin Mobile TV in Australia, which is using video tutorials of 2-3 minutes to take customers through the entire set-up process step-by-step, reducing support calls by 4%. Samsung are also leveraging video for customer tutorials but more intelligently always filming the process rather than actors’ faces so that the voice-over can be changed to suit the market language.
He explains that with knowledge management now the biggest and fastest channel as we see web customer service being deployed, organisations can leverage video to operate multiple web chats at once and save costs.
“The secret behind web chat is knowledge management,” he explains. “Before the question gets to the agent, web chat sends the question to the knowledge base which then sends a standard response to the agent to post to the customer. With video, agents can, for instance, include how-to-guide video URLs to the customer within these responses, speeding up the web chat interaction and enabling agents to operating a minimum of two web chats simultaneously.”
So how can businesses take a similar approach to Virgin Media and Samsung and include video within their customer service toolkit? Jacobs outlines the steps as being:
Componentisation: Don’t produce long videos. Videos should have a maximum length of 360 seconds because customers very seldom watch beyond that mark and focused on a singular topic. Contact Centres all about abandonment rates, and in web customer service, it’s exactly the same.
Findability and Relevancy: In the web world, we need a new metric, he says. When delivery video content via the knowledge base don’t treat it like a Google search because it’s not - you're not providing pages and pages of returns to customers. At maximum, organisations should only be delivering three items of content to the customer if they’re not to bamboozle them, and these three pieces are measured by a new metric: relevance of response.
With the same principle in mind as first-contact resolution in the contact centre, organisations should only deliver content that is 85% or more relevant to the question that customers have asked.
Analysability: How many people are watching the content or abandoning the content? And at what point? How can you solve this problem? Organisations need to adopt a new form of analytics to measure video engagement.
Contextuality: Videos are particularly effective at capturing and recording deep and broad applications of various processes
Language: Provide information within context of the question and remember language. If you’re planning to use how-to videos, think upfront about the creation of that content. If people's speaking activities are not captured then it becomes very easy to overlay different languages soundtrack onto the same customer service video.
But one of the main problems with video is that it grows old quickly, he explained. Additionally, video is not searchable, and so organisations are struggling to monitor video feedback across social channels
Of course, with any new technology or emerging strategy, there are teething problems and considerations to bear in mind. Jacobs delicately explains that there might be some agents from the call centre that you don’t want to appear on camera. Agent aesthetic is important and their appearance must represent the external corporate image.
"Additionally, think about distracting environments," he says. "Organisations should remember that agents’ cubicles are highly personalised with pictures, which could distract the customer and agents should remember not to switch their focus between the camera and the screen if they want to deliver an engaging experience."
Parting with some words of advice, Jacobs said: “In the short-term, businesses should evaluate the benefit of a more strategic approach to video customer service, making it part of a bigger strategy. And by the end of the next 12 months, businesses should explore the potential of video either in chat environment or how-to form.
“Video is hot, consider it.”