Communication is critical in any business. Whether this is constructive dialogue between team members or representatives assisting customers, conversation plays a vital role in achieving goals, resolving issues, and strengthening bonds. As technology improves the quality of online video streaming, live video chat is gradually starting to play a prominent role in global communication, especially in the business world.
For example, 60 percent of managers questioned in a survey have conducted interviews using video chat platforms, while 36 percent of consumers would welcome the chance to speak with service agents via video.
However, live video chat is still not yet a common tool for professionals, though around 100 of the world’s top 500 companies are expected to use it by 2018. Any businesses which fail to keep up may well fall behind.
Integrating live video chat into your everyday operations can revolutionize your business – but how?
Increasing Your Sales
Live video chat is an entirely different customer-service tool than any other. While it has similarities to text-based live chat and phone calls, it combines the best elements of both.
When consumers are browsing a brick-and-mortar store with an aim to make a purchase, they want to know help is available when needed without being hounded. Over-zealous sales assistants can chase buyers away, costing themselves a transaction. Live video chat provides the face-to-face interaction and personal touch that physical shopping offers, without hovering staff.
Customers will know that face-to-face help is available when needed, yet they will be free to browse at their own leisure. At just the touch of a button, consumers will receive personal answer to any questions or queries they may have about a specific product. This may well ensure they complete their transaction, and leave them satisfied enough to return in the future.
Boost Collaboration Between Employees
Collaboration is key to a strong, productive team. Whether a department is working to achieve a single goal or multiple, working together allows them to share ideas, resolve problems, and make breakthroughs individuals may not have had alone.
However, collaboration is not always possible, or convenient. For example, if one or more members of a team are out of the office, any meetings held between the rest of the group will be incomplete. Their valuable input will be missing and could delay progress.
Live video chat allows colleagues to attend meetings wherever they are. Whether they are on the road, at a conference, or working from home, they will still get to contribute to a project, enjoying the same face-to-face interaction they would if they were present.
Internal live video chat systems also enable employees to talk with others located elsewhere in the same building without having to leave their desk. This ensures they can stay focused on a task while still getting the help they need, all at their computer, eliminating the distraction of visiting another department. Visual aids can also be shown and discussed, which is obviously ruled out of emails or voice calls.
Reducing Travel and Customer-Support Expenses
Live video chat has significant financial benefits.
Crucially, it cuts travel expenses. Employees who would usually catch a train or a flight to visit clients can simply host meetings with live video chat instead. Not only does this save money spent on tickets, it also saves time: days might usually be lost for travel, whereas live video chat reduces this to minutes or hours instead.
With live video chat, these meetings retain their personal touch, and any visual materials can still be used for support.
Video also reduces the costs of customer support. As agents can show callers how to resolve technical issues and work through calls faster than with text-based live chat, their productivity is increased. As a result, companies require fewer customer-service agents, which equates to lower costs.
Ensure Greater Convenience for Your Customers
For any business, keeping customers happy is critical. No matter how good your products, no matter how effective your services, clients simply will not accept being treated poorly. This is especially true today, with 56 percent of consumers across the globe having higher customer-service expectations than they did only twelve months earlier. For people aged between 18 and 34, this figure increased to 68 percent.
The internet has expanded the average consumer’s freedom considerably. Rather than being limited to local businesses, buyers have the power to browse a world of options. Companies must embrace the latest, most effective tools available to maximize their customer service.
While live chat has now become a fairly common feature on commercial websites, this text-based option does have its drawbacks. First and foremost, customers are forced to wait to be connected to an operator, which can take several minutes. Once a conversation starts, the process of typing messages and waiting for responses is more time-consuming.
Articulating questions, concerns, or complaints in-text can be irritating, particularly for customers who struggle with grammar or typing.
However, research shows that live chat does satisfy consumers. 31 percent questioned in a survey claimed they would be more likely to make a purchase after speaking with an operator through live chat, and 79 percent said they preferred it to phone and email support due to its speed.
Gaining An Edge Over Your Competitors
Live video chat will become more and more popular as businesses discover its time-saving, cost-effective benefits. However, until then, you can still stand out from your competitors by integrating it into your processes now.
Fewer expenses directed towards travel and customer service will free up funds for other areas, allowing you to invest in developing more diverse areas of your business. Fast, personal live video chat can also lead to greater customer support, which in turn may boost your reputation.
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective (and cheapest) forms of marketing. Give customers the strongest, fairest, most convenient service, and they are much more likely to recommend you to others.
However, integrating live video chat into your business model is only effective if you have a reliable service. Traditional WebRTC is susceptible to lagging, dips in audio and visual quality, and freezing. Needless to say, this can be incredibly frustrating for customers, colleagues, and potential clients alike – and they are unlikely to keep coming back if you offer poor connections.
Tony Zhao, CEO of video chat company Agora.io highlights the importance of high-quality video:
“Investing in the best service is crucial to ensure ongoing satisfaction. If you take the cheapest package possible, you may save a little money in the short-term, but in the long run, you could well cost your business far more.
“Lagging, loss of signal, and blackouts are frustrating during personal calls – but during sales pitches or chats with disgruntled customers, they can be positively devastating. Invest in the most reliable service you can find. Agora has 80 data centers around the world, which fills gaps between dropped data packets and always identifies the strongest connection.”
Have you considered how live video chat could revolutionize your business?