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Can Live Video Chat Replace the In-Person Experience?

The current coronavirus pandemic has rocked the business world. Small and large businesses alike have suddenly been forced to adapt to this new reality and implement new practices. Although the pandemic won't last forever, it will lead to lasting changes in society and business. The widespread adoption of live video chat may be one of them.

One area in which businesses have to adapt is customer support. Without the ability to provide in-person technical support, now is the time to take a look at how your business can implement video chat in your customer support strategy.

Why Live Video Customer Support Is the Way of the Future

One of the largest shifts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is the shift towards live chat service. This is evident in all sectors of society, from education to medicine. Schools across all grade levels are conducting classes online. Doctors are performing telemedicine consultations so that non-infected patients don't have to potentially come in contact with coronavirus-infected patients.

People who have never used video chat before are now using it every day. Google Meet is adding a whopping two million users a day, and other apps like Zoom are also seeing unprecedented growth. WhatsApp expanded its video chat feature to allow up to eight people on a chat at once in an effort to keep up. This new growth can be seen across all age groups — children and millennials are using Zoom to attend class and chat with their friends, and even Generation X and Baby Boomers are using video chat for business meetings and staying in touch with family members.

Video chat is the way of the foreseeable future; even when lockdowns ease, the consensus will likely be to practice telecommuting whenever possible until a vaccine is readily available.

Video chat is here to stay and will become ingrained as a way of life in society. As a business, you need to adapt to that. This means offering video chat support so that customers can continue to use the type of channel they are used to using in their daily lives when communicating with you. Back in the day, the focus was on offering email support in addition to phone support; when social networks became popular, there was a move towards offering support on apps such as Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. In the foreseeable future, the focus will shift towards offering video support.

Many Companies Are Already Offering Video Chat Support

As we mentioned, the medical industry has seen a rise in one-on-one consultations via video chat. However, live video chat support is not limited to doctors. It is also being seen in the TV, internet, and communications industry; Cox Cable is already offering video chat support via augmented reality so technicians can help customers with issues such as in-home setups.

Research shows that 80 percent of banking institutions plan to offer video chat and/or mobile video chat support in the near future; this will allow customers to enjoy the benefits of in-branch visits from wherever they are.

Other companies such as American Express, Hertz, and Target have already been rolling out support for video chat before the coronavirus pandemic. Many more will follow, just as Cox Cable did. Expect to see business, legal, diet, and health consultants start shifting towards online consultations when possible as well.

When & How to Offer Video Chat Support

Video chat doesn't have to be used for everything. For example, you can use a chatbot or standard email and text chat support to help customers find answers to frequently asked questions or other mundane questions. Doing this will free up your video chat support reps so they can focus on more complex problems.

It is for those complex problems that you will want to use video chat support, and there are many ways to do so. Cox Cable is using augmented reality, but that may not be appropriate or necessary for your business.
Screen sharing, on the other hand, is a quick and easy way to provide hands-on customer support. It allows a customer to share their screens with a support rep so problems can easily be identified and the customer can be walked step-by-step towards fixing the problem. This will likely become an industry standard for technical support for software and hardware products. You can allow customers to share their screens on both their desktop and mobile devices. Screen Meet allows for both view-only and remote control modes and will give your customer support reps crucial tools and system information to help them provide better support.

Live video chat can be used to enhance the online shopping experience as well. As customers move towards ordering products online, either in an effort to avoid stores or because stores are closed, there will be a need to replicate the assistance that can be received from a sales rep in the retail experience. This may not be necessary for small purchases, but it becomes more important when higher-end products, such as jewelry, are involved. A live video chat sales rep can help online customers choose the perfect ring for their significant other based on their needs and budget, for example. Video chat can also be used to talk with customers who are requesting quotes for various services, such as digital marketing campaign management.

However, video chat isn't limited to customers; it will be used in the interviewing and training of new employees as well.

The Benefits of Providing Video Chat Support

Offering video chat support has a number of benefits. It allows customers to get instant solutions to their problems — this ability to get instant results is the reason why live chat, in general, has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings at 83.1 percent. Video chat is likely to lead to an even higher satisfaction rate due to the level of personalization it allows for.

The ability to see the customer rep they are talking to will lead to increased rates of trust in customers. Using screen share technology allows customer support reps to quickly identify issues and provide accurate solutions, further increasing customer satisfaction. Finally, offering video chat support will make you stand out above your competitors and show your customers how much you want to help them.

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