Top 5 reasons To Add Video Support To Your 2017 Toolkit

By Tricina Elliker

Video support is the newest option for organizations that want to provide top tier customer service that impresses both tech novices and digital natives equally. Unfortunately, very few companies know that it’s an option, and even fewer are aware of the many benefits this technology can provide their customer experience and their bottom line. Here, to get your ready for the new year are the top five reasons why video support can lead your new customer success strategy.

1. Reduce the number of returns

Returns are the bane in any seller’s life, but they don’t have to be. Ever since we all began signing up for Prime, or sending shoes back and forth to and from Zappos, businesses have accepted that online products have a 30% expected return rate. But a high return rate isn’t something you just have to put up with. In fact, most returns have nothing to do with defective or problematic products. Actually when asked, 47% of consumers say they returned a product because it didn’t match their expectations. And, it turns out, the return rate changes according to how much the customer spent: expensive items are returned more often.

So, if your products are sold online, are complex or a new innovation (e.g. any kind of hi-tech hardware or IoT product) and cost a premium, customers are probably returning your products for no other reason than the setup and learning curve it takes to figure it out alone. Be aware it’s not enough your product is the latest “thing” on the market, you need to make sure your customers know you are going to be with them through every step as they set-up and learn to use their product.

Now what if your customers knew you were on hand to help them through setup and initial usage? What if they knew they could livestream what they see so your customer service (aka your future product experts) could guide them through the process?

2. Shorten call times and increase your first call resolutions

Average Handling Time, often shortened to AHT, is one of the most misunderstood issues in customer service. On the one hand, it’s clear that customers do not like to wait to receive assistance from your representatives — One study found that 15% of callers will hang up after 40 seconds on hold.

But waiting is only a fraction of the AHT, the rest is made up of the time you spend actively working with the customer. The most common customer service approach insists that getting off the phone as soon as possible is the best strategy for keeping customer service costs low and profits high, but that ignores the importance of how customers feel. If they feel rushed through the process, if they don’t get a chance to ask all their questions and address their concerns, their issue hasn’t actually been resolved, it’s just been skipped over in favor of a few extra minutes. So the issue isn’t speed, it’s efficiency. If your representatives can’t provide comprehensive customer service in the time, then maybe it’s time you looked into the tools you’re using to interact with customers.

Video allows customers and representatives to receive and relay information more efficiently than calling, emailing, or chatting ever could. Representatives can actually see what the customer sees. If a product arrived with a small, but vital part missing from the package or a customer has the part but does not know where it goes, it won’t take twenty minutes of back and forth before the representative realizes the mistake, it is evident the second the customer turns the camera on the product what went wrong.

Customers certainly don’t want customer service calls to go on forever — they’re busy people with their own lives to get back to, but that doesn’t mean that you have to rush your interactions. Get a more comprehensive way of addressing customer service needs, so you can save time while you provide a better customer experience.

3. Make complex troubleshooting easier

Technical support calls can be the most challenging. If a customer is calling because a product arrived damaged or in the wrong color, for instance, the solution is simple. But when your customer is calling you to try troubleshooting with an expert, chances are they’re already frustrated. And forcing them to try to explain the problem when they likely don’t know (or care about) the official terminology or understand how the product works, is a strange way to approach the problem.

According to a report published by Aspect Software last year, a third of customers would rather “clean a toilet” than call customer service. Why? Because our approach is all wrong — we’ve been using the wrong tools for the job, making the entire process more frustrating than it needs to be. Attempting to explain a problem, rather than demonstrate it, is probably the worst way to troubleshoot. Seeing the problem in action cuts through common communication issues and gets right to the heart of the problem. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what live video streaming can do.

4. Show your customers you have product experts not just support agents

In order to show your customers that yours is the best brand to buy from, you have to demonstrate how well you and your team know the products you sell. If your team can’t quickly and efficiently help customers, if your customer service interactions feel chaotic, hostile, or lacking in professionalism, even your most enthusiastic customers will quickly lose faith in the brand. In fact, 67% of customers surveyed blame their customer service experience for their decision to not buy from that brand again.

Using video doesn’t just show your customers that you’re on the cutting edge of technology and customer service, it gives your team a chance to show off their expertise. You won’t communicate with each individual customer often, so you don’t have many opportunities to prove the quality of your team (and, as a result, the quality of your brand). Make the most of every interaction by making sure the tools your customer service team is using makes the interactions better, not worse.

5. Build better relationships with customers

Successful brands know that loyal customers are the key to long-term profitability. Every year U.S. businesses lose $62 billion in revenue due to poor customer service. There’s also the cost of acquiring new customers once you’ve lost the old ones to poor customer service experiences: customer acquisition costs which can range from single to triple digits (depending on the product and brand) can kill even the most promising startup.

That’s why long-term, loyal customers are your brand’s best friend. In the U.S. the average brand’s customer base is almost all new customers — only 8% are return customers, yet those return customers account for 41% of online revenue. And that doesn’t even address the value that loyal customers provide in word-of-mouth advertising.

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