Video calling is claiming its place in the enterprise channel landscape. Not only banks and energy providers, other industries are now also offering video calling as a new channel for customer contact - such as insurers, airports, healthcare providers and governments. The Covid-19 outbreak has rapidy accelerated this trend.
There are a lot of different video calling solutions out there: to name a few - Teams, Zoom, Webex, Hangouts. But what features matter when using video specifically for interacting with customers? In this article, we'll explain why video calling with clients asks for a different technology than Zoom or Teams, and we're listing the top 4 technology requirements for video calling with clients.
Why it's best not to use Zoom, Teams or Hangouts for customer contact
Video calling itself is nothing new for organisations, but using video calls for customer contact definitely is. Most 24sessions clients have previously launched video call pilots using Teams, Zoom or Webex. And that’s actually a logical line of reasoning. When you already have those traditional video vendors in-house for internal communication, why not try them for customer contact?
The truth is: what we hear from our clients is that these traditional video vendors never worked for customer contact like they envisioned them to. Why? They were built for a different purpose: internal collaboration.
"In the past we've experimented with Skype, but it didn't work really well. 24sessions is much more user-friendly. Customers don't need to install any software and it works on all devices"
Koen Vaassen - Achmea Pension Services
Customer Engagement: a new use case for meeting solutions
When using video for internal collaboration, you and your team are all on the same devices, same firewalls, same network rules. For customer contact, on the other hand, you have no clue what your customer is going to do. Will they enter on a desktop, laptop, iPad, android phone? Will they be on a corporate network? Will they have access to required network ports? Will they even be able to install anything? How tech savvy are they?
In other words, communicating with customers using video solutions built for internal collaboration is a complete jungle.
There's no 1-size-fits-all: foundational versus domain meeting solutions
According to a research report from Gartner (2018), there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all meeting solution. Each use case requires a different set of features and capabilities regarding collaboration features, host controls, extensions and scalability.
To help IT leaders choose the right solution for each use case, Gartner (2019) distinguishes between foundational solutions and domain solutions:
- Foundational technologies typically are made available across the enterprise. Examples are Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Webex. These technologies have functionalities and a product roadmap focused on internal collaboration.
- Domain meeting solutions are purposed toward more specific types of processes and deployed for specific business lines, such as customer contact.
What functionalities to look for? 4 criteria of video technology for Customer Engagement
The distinction between foundational vs. domain meeting solutions translates into a couple of different functionalities to look for when choosing a video solution.
To make CX video calling a proposition that can be scaled out in an entire organisation, IT leaders from large enterprises like Rabobank use these 4 key requirements when scaling video calling as a new customer contact channel across the business.
Customers are not looking for complicated customer journeys. They’re used to a one-click service everywhere else, and they also demand the same user experience from a video call solution.
Examples of features that enable a best-in-class customer experience are:
- One-click experience, across devices. This means no downloads, and no complicated user interface for scheduling or starting a video call
- Professionally branded experience. Make sure the technology allows you to customise a logo, colours, background images, email communication, closing links, review forms and the list goes on.
- Host video calls on your website. Host video calls directly from your branded website, so customers know instantly they can trust the video call and the agent on the other side.
- Smart Onboarding. Help customers to join a video call successfully with options for testing their settings and for sharing tips and tricks. This prevents them from entering meetings with wrong settings in audio, camera, microphone or internet connection. This is a significant feature - our research has shown that support for customers with a chat bot reduces drop offs by 68%.
2. Agent experience
It’s a criterion often overlooked, but the employee experience is of critical value for a successful implementation of video calling for customer interaction. The employees hosting the video calls with the client should feel comfortable and be competent.
Examples of features to create a top-notch agent experience:
- Content Sharing Options: Ensure agents are equipped with the right tools to visualise the topics they're discussing, such as two-way screen sharing, application and document sharing.
- Smart (re)scheduling Options: Offer agents different ways to schedule their video calls, like personal booking pages or team calendars, and help them to save time on manually scheduling meetings. Also empower agents to easily reschedule a meeting, assign a different agent or invite a (specialist) colleague to the meeting
- Training and coaching: Educate and coach your agents by training them on both technical and soft skills for having successful video calls.
- Smart onboarding: Also for your agents, Smart Onboarding is an extremely valuable feature. It informs them on how to best educate customers to successfully join a video call.
3. Workflows of your organisation
This third functionality is critical to implementing video as a new channel in a scalable way, making sure it fits multiple journeys across business lines and teams.
Examples of features to easily integrate video calling into your business processes and workflows:
- Customer journey integration: Integrate CX video calls into your workflows through appointment-based video calls, click-to-video and text-chat-to-video escalation.
- Configurable meeting types: You have different types of meetings, done via different departments, that all require different settings. Make sure the software you use allows you to configure settings for each meeting type, with features such settings for meeting durations, authorizing agents, configuring email communication flows, sending SMS reminders, asking review questions and configuring settings for recording.
- Analytics & Reviews: Get insights into key data points like meeting success rate, compliance and review scores.
4. Technology & Architecture
Finally, the fourth criterion is related to the architecture of your CX video call solution. The solution’s architecture needs to be secure, scalable and above all flexible and easily embeddable into the various applications and journeys you have running.
Examples of features to easily fit video calling technology into your architecture:
- Security requirements: Secure the highest standards in safeguarding your customer data through encrypted video calls, legislation compliance and limited data storage on servers. Make sure the technology you choose complies with legislations like GDPR and MIFID II, required for investment-related conversations.
- Integrations with CRM & CC software: Embed the CX video call solution into the software your organisation is using for Customer Contact and Customer Relationship Management software in order to fully integrate internal processes.
- User authentication and federation: For large scale client-facing teams and departments, manage federated authentication and authorisation processes through SAML and SCIM integrations.
Key ingredients to sustainable success with video customer interaction
It may seem like a logical choice to use foundational meeting solutions like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Webex for client interaction.
However, in practice these technologies lack specific capabilities to make your project a success. Many enterprises such as Rabobank, Aegon, ING, Vattenfall and Schiphol have experienced this themselves and have now scaled CX video calling successfully with 24sessions.
The key ingredients to sustainable success for your video CX project are a smooth User Experience for your customers and agents, plus the capabilities to embed video as a channel into your organisation's complex workflows and software architecture.