How Optimal Use Of Live Video Chat Can Improve Your Business

How Optimal Use Of Live Video Chat Can Improve Your Business

By Dana Hughes | Business Contributor on September 19, 2016
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Today, video chat is just another part of everyday life for many of us. Platforms like Skype have helped to commercialize video chat, especially for younger generations who have grown up with unbridled access to the internet. Teens in particular have embraced the technology, with 59 percent using it to chat with friends regularly.

However, outside of the home, video chat holds great potential for businesses. While it is still some way off from becoming a common tool in the corporate world, the technology is slowly catching on. For example, 60 percent of managers have held job interviews when hiring new candidates, with more than 80 percent satisfied enough to call the technology a cost-effective or time-saving tool.

By investing in the right service, companies can improve their colleague collaboration, maximize productivity, and boost consumer-engagement.

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Live Video is a Convenient Customer Service Tool

Live chat is a common customer service feature on business websites, yet the majority of these are text-based. In order to receive answers to their questions, customers have to endure a somewhat long process.

First, they must click on the ‘live chat’ button, which usually asks them to input a few details and select the nature of their issue. They will then be assigned an agent, and asked to wait for said rep to become available, which can take anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. The customer then has to articulate their question or concern as best they can in words, which can be difficult if the issue is of a technical nature. Depending on the customer’s writing skills, text-based live chat can be frustrating and lead to crossed wires.

Live video chat, on the other hand, grants customers a more personal experience, with a face to face conversation helping to add personality to the brand. Visual aids also help to walk customers through problems quickly and efficiently.

Live Video Increases Sales Over Time

Live video has the power increase a business’s sales over time. Studies have shown that live chat plays a key role in helping customers decide whether or not to complete a transaction. One in particular found that 63 percent of consumers questioned were more likely to return to a website which offers live chat, and 38 percent said they had made their purchase as a direct result of their live chat session itself.

If a customer has a question regarding a product or service they’re interested in, being able to access a rep with a simple click of a button is a far faster, more convenient solution than calling a helpline. Live chat can reduce bounce rates by preventing customers looking elsewhere.

However, video chat speeds the process up by removing the need to type messages back and forth with an agent. Within a matter of seconds, consumers can ask their assigned agent a question, find the answers they need, and make an informed purchase.

Live Video Chat Helps to Make you Stand Out

Live video chat will become more common in the business-to-consumer relationship, but for the time being, companies can still give themselves an edge by offering this service. For businesses selling identical products at similar prices, the experience itself will be the deciding factor for customers.

Giving potential buyers the chance to have questions answered through video calls is a more niche service, and is similar to the experience they would expect in a brick and mortar store or showroom. This has the benefits of said experience without the negatives: the staff are available when needed, but are not hovering around customers throughout the entire browsing process.

In order to maximize the efficiency and advantages of live video chat, however, businesses must invest in the best service available. Traditional WebRTC and video-chat platforms (such as Skype and Google Hangouts) depend on regular internet connections, which can affect customers’ QoE (Quality of Experience) should connectivity issues interfere.

For example, a customer trying to conduct a video chat with a company based in a foreign country known for its poor internet infrastructure may find themselves facing lag, dips in audio and visual quality, or a complete loss of signal altogether. Likewise, if the customer is based in a remote area, the connection may also suffer. This can cause incredible frustration on the client’s part, and potentially put them off continuing to work with the business in the future.

Tony Zhao, CEO of video chat company Agora.io, highlighted the critical importance of the right service: “It’s understandable that businesses will look to invest in the cheapest live video chat service, but the risk sub-par solutions pose to your customers’ QoE is too great to gamble with. Agora has 80 data centers across the globe, ensuring stronger connections by filling gaps between dropped data packets, leading to a greater experience for customers and colleagues alike. The more satisfied they are with their video chat, the more likely they will be to return. The right investment today can lead to better ROI tomorrow.”

Live Video will Reduce Expenses

For businesses hiring call center staff to represent their company in customer service, the costs can be high. Depending on the size of your brand, hundreds or thousands of calls may come in throughout the day. Needless to say, a large roster of reps will be required to speak handle these, to ensure a minimum wait time for callers and reducing the risk of abandoned purchases.

However, paying call center staff to man your helplines eight or more hours a day, five or more days a week, will eat into your budget significantly. By incorporating live video chat on your website, you will reduce costs as agents can typically deal with problems face to face in much less time. Productivity will rise and fewer agents will be needed overall.

Another way live video decreases expenses is by reducing the need for travel. Meetings with potential clients, conferences, or interviews may all be conducted using video chat. This is far more personal and relaxed than a phone call, while visual materials can be used when needed. The only thing missing is a handshake.

Live Video Increases Colleague Collaboration

Collaboration is essential in any successful business. Video chat makes it easier for colleagues to communicate, whether they are based on different floors of an office complex or housed in different countries. Being able to speak face to face ensures a friendly, professional experience, and makes explaining certain concepts or problems easier with the assistance of visual aids.

Integrating video chat into internal communications makes collaborating on specific tasks or projects easier, with two or more colleagues able to chat from their workstations, or from home, at a personal level.

Live video chat can revolutionize the way in which companies engage with customers, employees collaborate, and entire customer-service departments operate. Investing in the technology now can help to put businesses ahead of the curve and stand out from their competitors.

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