By Rama Sreenivasan
We all know how important customer experience is to call and contact centers. After all, 76 percent of customers say they would stop doing business with a company after a single bad experience. Among the top candidates for bad experiences? Phone calls.
It’s no secret that phone communication can be tough. In many industries, customer service requires that we communicate complex information without the benefit of physically seeing anything. We can’t see the customer, and we can’t see the problem.
At the end of the day, this can lead to miscommunication, increased hold times, and unnecessary escalations that even the best training programs, scripting services, and other workforce management tools can’t solve on their own.
There’s a solution: remote video technology. Let’s take a look at how this technology helps call centers become more agile and responsive to customer needs—and transform the customer experience in the process.
Imagine that a customer calls in with a dishwasher problem. They’re having a tough time describing the problem, and the call center associate can’t quite identify the issue. It’s no one’s fault. There’s simply a communication barrier.
The associate texts a link, the customer clicks it, and both are looking through the phone’s camera together. The customer joined a video call in seconds as they didn’t have to download, register and login to an app like Teams, Zoom, or Webex from the app store.
The associate immediately sees it’s a broken spray arm mount, circling the problem area right on the screen. They offer to ship a new part, the customer agrees, and the call ends, all within a few minutes. The customer is happily surprised by the efficiency, and the associate is already answering the next call.
That is the power of remote video support.
Remote video technology gives associates “eyes in the room,” but it’s more than just a video call. This is an important distinction: remote video technology for call centers includes additional tools to improve customer experience. This includes:
- Augmented Reality: Associates can use on-screen tools to annotate and “point” directly on the customer’s device, showing what they may not be able to communicate verbally.
- Optical Character Capture: This feature captures those inevitable long strings of numbers—such as a serial number, a model number, or a part number—and delivers them to associates, saving time and reducing the risk of error.
- One-on-one and Group Calls: Associates can quickly add team members or supervisors to calls, all without disrupting the interaction with the customer. This helps with both support and training.
- Resolution Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Catalog associate actions, video, and images from sessions for future reference. AI can then prompt associates with resources from prior calls that successfully resolved similar issues.
The most obvious benefit of remote video technology is that it makes troubleshooting faster and easier, which improves the customer experience.
Customers equate long complicated phone calls with poor customer service. Remember the Consumer Reports study that found that nearly 60 percent of respondents had hung up in frustration while talking to a customer service representative without a resolution.
Rudeness and Condescension to Empathy: Seventy-five percent of respondents cited rudeness or condescension as a top complaint. Visual support humanizes customer interactions—for the customer and the associate. It’s called visual empathy, the human connection that forms with face-to-face interactions.
Both sides can see facial expressions and body language, reducing the risk of miscommunication and misread tone. Barriers break down, bonds strengthen, and customers feel cared for. What might be read as rudeness or condescension now becomes empathy, something more than 50 percent of customers want out of their customer care calls.
Transfers without Resolution to Seamless Support: No customer wants to be passed from associate to associate with no resolution. Being transferred to someone who can’t or doesn’t help was a top complaint for 70 percent of respondents.
Sometimes transfers happen because associates are having trouble diagnosing the problem, often due to miscommunication. Video assistance empowers associates to diagnose problems quickly with their own eyes. But when support is needed, a team member or supervisor can join the video call. Therefore, instead of sending customers down a different path, help comes to them, reducing friction. This can be done silently, so troubleshooting with the customer is not disrupted.
Useless Remedies to First Call Resolution: When customers call into a contact center, it’s usually a last resort. They’ve already tried to solve the problem on their own or it’s an issue that needs immediate attention. The last thing they want is to hang up with an ineffective solution, but 65 percent of respondents cited this as a complaint.
Remote video technology creates an environment where both associates and customers can resolve issues on the first try. This is called first call resolution (FCR), and it’s often a better barometer for stellar customer service than other key performance indicators (KPIs), such as average handle times (AHT).
Even when the call takes a little bit longer, FCR prevents follow up calls or support visits and the customer hangs up with their problem solved.
Not all remote video technology is the same. The best remote video technology for call and contact centers integrates seamlessly into the center’s current workflow software and requires no app downloads or installs, extra equipment, or extra steps on the part of the customer.
The technology should also be flexible. Does it have on-screen tools? Can it automatically adjust call bandwidth? Does it work on Wi-Fi?
Remember, the goal is to provide empathetic and seamless resolution for customers. Likewise, the last thing your associates need is another unnecessary technological step, because faulty tech is a top stressor among call center associates.
Rama Sreenivasan is co-founder and CEO of Blitzz, a live, remote video support and inspection platform. Sreenivasan has led the company through its initial inception, launch, and subsequent growth to several million video support minutes per month.