In our last blog we talked about the technological changes that are bringing video calling to the contact centre.

We instinctively know that 'showing your face' can be a great way to build trust.  For example, a number of well publicised uses of video calling have shown what it can do:

  • ISP Verizon, who have used video calling to help customers resolve technical issues
  • Footwear retailer Schuh whose agents can show you an example of the shoe you are interested in while you chat with them
  • Barclay's Bank and LloydsTSB, both have started to offer mortgage advice by video call

So, what should organisations that are considering deploying video take into consideration?

  • Agents need to be 'video friendly' - clothes need to be suitable and inoffensive and the overall visual presentation should reflect the kind of company being represented.
  • Clutter on or around the agent's desk may be visible to callers - ensure this is kept to a minimum.
  • Background imagery needs to reflect the organisation - typically a suitable backdrop screen similar to what TV stations use.
  • Lighting is also important - with poor lighting an agent's features may be obscured, which will detract significantly.
  • The agent must be trained to look at the camera. The purpose is to show the friendly face of your agent, not the side of their head!
  • Queueing a video caller gives the opportunity to provide video content or even video-style IVR prior to connecting the call to an agent. This gives the opportunity to show that an organisation is professional and able to provide helpful video content for its clients.

The challenges of video calling are somewhat similar to those faced when organisations started to use social media to respond to their clients.  As with Facebook and Twitter before it, video calling brings a whole new dimension to the contact center's interaction with its clients and in turn this creates demands on those organisations who wish to use it.  Done badly, it can highlight poor presentation skills and a lack of attention to detail.  However, if well-executed it gives a company the means to present itself in a new and more effective way.

 

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