Video Customer Service- Contact Center Best Practices for Implementation
The technology for video customer service is here now. To be honest the tech is now the easy part. The more difficult one is how do we now harness this technology to make it a useful channel for our customers and a profitable channel for our organizations.
The Expivia Blog wants to delve into what we have learned here at Expivia on our journey onto the new and exciting field of video service.
The associate has been and will continue to be the most important cog in your customer’s service experience. Video raises that importance tenfold! With video, the associate is not only the voice of your brand but becomes the face of it as well. Keeping that thought in mind we have developed some best practices that have worked for us as we started.
Demographic of your Associate– This can sometimes wrinkle a few noses so we will try to keep it simple. We all know what associates will do best on a specific program type. The associate needs to match the brand they are doing the video service for. We think everyone can understand that without getting offended. Remember you may have been able to hide certain attributes of your associates when they were just using the phone/chat/email. Make sure you ask: Is the person they are seeing a match for the brand they are representing?
The Look and Feel- One of the main questions that we were first asked was what should our associates look like, what should they be wearing, do they need makeup….The answer was…ya..maybe? Again understand the brand that they are representing. For some companies, casual attire is fine, for others a suit works best. It all depends. Since we represent many different companies being an outsourcer we run the full gamete of attire. To be honest though, most companies choose to just have a branded button down like you would see a store associate wear. We also some customers that we have developed “costumes” where we may have a winter hat for a Colorado resort or a princess dress for a certain client. Understand the brand and use your imagination.
The Stage is Set- This is something that we did not think about at first but we realized was a huge issue and opportunity. If you are in a call center cubicle environment, using video can be daunting. From people walking behind you to other associates being shown in the background, it is not really the perfect environment to handle video. One way to handle the cubicle environment is to have the cameras facing up at the associates’ faces. If you have them facing up them you will minimize anything in the background. It really works well and for people like me, it takes away some of my chins! lol
The best thing to do though is to use your imagination here as well. You can have your associates sitting in backdrops, sitting at kiosks, walking around on a “stage”. There is so much you can do here. If you are a retailer you can give your customer an in-store experience. If you are a financial services company you can have an associate with a suit on in an “office” setting to give then instant credibility (at least from in initial reactions). Again…imagination. This is all new and can be very cool.
Associate Choreography- Ok we have addressed the look and feel of the video customer service session but what about the main attraction, the associate interaction. Video is a totally different animal from being on the phone for one HUGE reason…body language. When training customer service I always tell my guys that the “Tone is the Message” It’s not what you say but how you say it. This goes to a whole different level when it comes to video. It’s not what you say but how you show it. Customers can pick up nuances much more quickly when they can read facial expressions and body language. Associates have to be engaged in the process. They cannot go through the motions. They are on stage, they cannot be in bad moods, they cannot have headaches, and they cannot be looking at the clock. It’s different. There is very little room for error but when done correctly will present a level of brand and customer loyalty that cannot be accomplished without human interactions. Video Humanizes Customer Service.
Associate Needs- Video customer service is different from Phone service. They need extra breaks. To be honest they need to pay a little more in my opinion as well. Remember they are on stage all day long. It takes a lot out of a person. Video is not for every call center associate either. Great phone associates cannot be arbitrarily pulled for this. This is a different skill set. One that can be trained but different none the less. It is hard work but it’s also a lot of fun.
Once you have associates that are doing a great job when customers call in they will ask for these “superstar” actor associates because of the loyalty they feel for that person. Every time we can add a human sense to the customer experience the opportunity for connection gets raised. Wait until we can have customers touch and feel over the internet!!
Too many companies are fearful or do not see a need right now for video. We believe that is so very narrow-minded. The companies that become early innovators in this space and master it will have such a huge advantage over their competition.
We hope that posts like this get industry professionals to begin to think outside stale customer service channels of today and into something unique, dynamic, and untapped…like video customer service.
Visit us at www.expiviausa.com for more details and download a free corporate overview on video customer service and other service offerings. We are a premier USA contact center outsourcer and would love to learn more about you and your company.
Take a look at our customer service offering at www.expiviausa.com/customer-service/