We regularly interact with family, friends, and business colleagues using video. But companies have fallen behind at promoting video when it comes to communicating with their customers — whether for sales, support, or customer service.
Zoom’s Video Engagement Center (VEC), announced Monday
at Zoomtopia, will address requests from customers and agents. It also will provide the framework that allows companies to deliver a better customer experience. The cloud-based solution will be available in early 2022, and it will allow companies to implement video-optimized workflows using templates provided by Zoom. Videos can start from digital channels or physical locations and integrate with other interaction channels, while leveraging AI applications along the customer journey.
I could easily see a workflow where customers start in a self-service knowledge base and are escalated with an icon click to live agent webchat. During the webchat, they realize the question can be answered quicker with visual engagement. So, the customer clicks on a video icon directly from the webchat interface, and an integrated video/screen-sharing screen pops up to resolve the issue. AI-enabled transcription would record the entire interaction.
Or, perhaps an interaction starts with a video icon directly on the website. The agent who takes the call doesn’t have the expertise to resolve the customer’s issue. Since the company has integrated UC and contact center, the agent can locate a non-contact-center agent expert to join the video conference and resolve the issue.
Video Benefits CX
Already, 48% of organizations offer video as an interaction channel (up from 41% in 2019). That figure will reach 57% by the end of this year, according to Metrigy’s CX and Workforce Optimization 2021-22 global research study of 524 companies.
The top driver for using video is that it speeds up interactions so agents can solve issues faster. It’s much easier to show someone the problem you’re having than to try to explain it in just verbal or text communications. Video also improves customer relationships by delivering more personal interactions (think investment advice, real-estate transactions, or telehealth visits). Interestingly, customers and agents are asking to use video — and the pandemic made everyone used to video, so that has extended to the contact center, as well.
Though many companies have added video as a customer interaction channel, 64.9% rely upon their existing employee video platform to communicate with customers. In those cases, agents send customers a video link that launches a separate video call. The problem is that video isn’t integrated into their contact center platform. So, the video interaction happens in isolation from analytics, transcriptions, translations, and other AI-enabled apps already available in the contact center platform. Only 33% of those who have implemented video have integrated it into their contact center.
Zoom’s VEC would address that shortcoming by integrating the visual engagement capabilities into its own AI apps, and presumably, Five9’s platform once its acquisition
is complete. What’s more, we see a growing number of companies wanting to buy their UC and contact center applications from the same provider to bring together both the technology platforms and all the employees within and outside of the contact center. Zoom’s existing UC platform coupled with its upcoming VEC and acquisition of Five9 will give customers a potentially promising solution — if the platform integration is done swiftly and done well.
Zoom’s video and screen-sharing application is familiar to many and easy to use. Though video clearly adds value to any customer interactions, sometimes screen sharing or co-browsing will do the trick. Either way, VEC will provide the platform for any of those visual apps.
VEC’s reach will be broad, given the rapid growth of Zoom. But Zoom isn’t first to market with these visual engagement capabilities if your requirements dictate evaluation and purchase sooner than 2022 (or beyond, depending on how long the Five9 integration takes). Companies such as eGain, Glance, Glia, LogMeIn, and Surfly already offer video, co-browsing, and/or screen-sharing capabilities; other contact center platforms, such as 8x8, Enghouse Interactive, Lifesize, and others, have integrated visual engagement capabilities into their cloud platforms.
We see compelling benefits by adding video to CX transformation initiatives, including a 59.1% increase in revenue, a 41.7% improvement in customer ratings, and a 32.1% boost in agent productivity.