In the past fifteen years, technology has transformed the way in which we communicate. In both our personal and professional lives, we have more channels available to us than ever: text messaging, instant messaging via social networks, and live video chat. The latter is a cutting-edge way for individuals to speak with others across the globe, and continues to become more valuable, with the video platform as a service (PaaS) market expected to generate $1.7 billion in 2020.
Live video chat may be ideal for friends and family to communicate in an intimate way, but it also holds great potential for businesses. For smaller enterprises especially, video chat can help you to increase engagement and gain an edge over your competition.
Live Video Chat is More Convenient for Consumers
Live chat is a common form of customer service today. E-commerce sites of all sizes offer this feature, allowing buyers and prospects to speak with real agents.
However, live chat tends to be text-based, with both parties forced to articulate themselves through the written word. This can be frustrating if your concern is of a technical nature, or requires a long, complex explanation.
On top of this, customers are forced to wait for agents to read their messages and compose a response. Today’s buyers want the most convenient solution – and this is not it.
While 90 percent of buyers questioned found live chat to be a helpful customer-service feature, live video chat offers a better quality of care. Its convenience allows consumers to speak face-to-face with a company representative from their home or workplace. Articulating your problems verbally, using gestures or visual aids, can be far easier than struggling with spelling and grammar over text.
Agents can provide solutions in less time, and use visual materials to walk customers through complex issues. 36 percent of buyers would be happy to see video chat offered as a support option, so every business should make it a priority for the future.
Video Chat Boosts Your Sales
Sounds too good to be true?
Live video chat really can increase your sales over time. Video chat enables companies to offer helpful service as and when needed, without frustrating consumers with a constant presence. Anyone who shops in brick-and-mortar stores regularly knows how irritating over-zealous sales reps can be.
When asked about traditional text-based live chat, 63 percent of consumers stated they would be more likely to go back to a site providing this feature. As video is the next step in live chat, it is a must-have for any business, big or small.
Live video chat gives support agents the freedom to read body language and customers’ tone without infringing upon their personal space. Screen-sharing platforms also allow agents to see what potential buyers are looking at, which makes closing a sale easier.
Live Video Chat Reduces Expenses
Enterprises of all sizes are concerned with their expenses. Even the biggest budget can be risked by unrestricted spending, so finding new ways to minimize outgoings is key.
Integrating live video chat helps companies to cut costs in two key areas.
First, as video allows agents to speak with consumers faster than text-based alternatives and use visual aids unavailable in voice calls, they can work through more queries. As a result, you will need only a smaller team of reps on hand.
Secondly, live video enables you to speak with colleagues and clients face-to-face, without having to pay for travel. For example, if you regularly fly a couple of employees across the country to speak with a client, you can save time and money by switching to video calls instead. The only thing missing is a handshake.
Improve your Training and Collaboration
Just as live video chat makes external meetings far easier and cost-effective, it works the same magic on internal meetings. Pulling people away from their desks for brief idea-sharing sessions and feedback can take valuable time out of the day, and getting employees together may be difficult when they are required to be elsewhere.
With live video, employees can ask colleagues quick questions or make suggestions without having to leave their desks. This makes collaborating on documents, presentations, or pitches far easier and causes less disruption to schedules.
Training new employees is also streamlined. Rather than having to shadow others during their first few days, newcomers can ask questions without leaving their desk or pulling others away from theirs.
Live Video Chat Gives you an Edge
While live video chat will go on to become a common customer-service feature, it is still something of a novelty for many consumers. By integrating it into your services as soon as possible, you can gain an edge over your competitors and provide a more intimate, higher quality of care.
However, before you invest time and energy into setting this up, it is vital to find the right service first. While it may be financially appealing to go with a cheaper solution, you may end up causing yourself more problems along the way.
Tony Zhao, CEO of video chat company Agora.io, discusses the importance of a quality channel: “Never cut corners with your customer service. Live video chat depending on poor connections, in regions without an efficient infrastructure, can cause lags, dips in sound, and sub-par video quality.
“Understandably, such interruptions risk chasing consumers away. Instead, you should prioritize paying for a quality solution which guarantees smooth, efficient service. For example, our Agora.io infrastructure has 80 data centers around the world, which pick up dropped data packets to ensure uninterrupted video chat connections. Giving your customers the clear and stable treatment they deserve.”
Live video chat stands to revolutionize the way in which we communicate with businesses, forging more personal, stronger connections between buyers and sellers. With the best service, your business stands to generate more revenue, offer more convenient care, and stand out from your competitors.
Have you thought about introducing live video chat to your company’s everyday operations?