Video Chat for Ecommerce Customer Service Explained: Be There to Help Without Actually Being There

by Jenna Bunnell June 16th, 2022

Video chat has become a staple in the modern workplace as businesses embrace:

  • Remote working 
  • Online interviews video 
  • Conferencing

But internal communications isn’t the only use for video chat. It can also be used to provide ecommerce customer service. 

Customers want genuine human interaction. Video customer service solutions provide customers with a next-gen support channel that’s more engaging than phone, email, live chat, etc. It’s the perfect platform for: 

  • Explaining complex ideas 
  • Escalating issues 
  • Providing personalized customer service.
Khoros Statistic

Data from Khoros

This article is going to cover:

  • The benefits of video chat for customer service
  • Top tips for implementing video chat support
  • When you should - and shouldn’t - use video chat for customer service

Let’s dive in.

Advantages of Video Chat for Customer Service

Implementing video chat into your customer service strategy might feel like a huge task, especially if you’re a large business. However, just like any enterprise digital transformation endeavor, the benefits are fruitful. 

Gives Customer Service a Human Touch

Customers love automated and self-service options. But there’s still an inclination to turn to more traditional methods of customer service when encountering more complicated issues. This is primarily because traditional services, like telephone calls or face-to-face meetings, possess something that online and automated services lack - a human touch. 

If customers have a human connection with your brand, they’re much more likely to become loyal customers. Video chat is the next best thing to face-to-face interaction. It helps to build customer trust through authentic, hyper-personalized communication.

Meets Customer Needs

Customers are engaging with video now more than ever. As businesses continue to successfully utilize video marketing, the demand for high-quality video experiences is rising. According to Statista, 83% of US internet users routinely access digital video content. 

Percentage of internet users in the US who accessed digital video content each year between 2013 and 2021.

Percentage of internet users in the US who accessed digital video content each year between 2013 and 2021.

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The exact type of video support you deliver is going to vary depending on the unique needs of your customers. Survey your existing customers. And do some market research to tap into customer pain points and identify the best video support options for you.

If you’re an affiliate marketer, why not visit an affiliate marketing forum for the most up-to-date advice? It’s a good way to get the inside scoop on affiliate marketing video trends and how customer service video chat is affecting the sector.

Reduces Business Costs

With the rise of VoIP and digital communications, even startups no longer need to invest in local phone services or brick-and-mortar support locations. 

Whether you take advantage of free video platforms, like Skype or Zoom, or you choose an affordable unified communications solution with in-built video capabilities, you’re going to enjoy some serious cost savings.

Quicker Time-to-Resolution 

Your customers want fast and efficient customer service. They hate repeating their problem to multiple agents and interacting with systems that make it difficult for them to reach a human agent. Most of all, they hate long wait times.

Zendask - graph of most frsutrating aspects of a bad customer service experience

Image source

Offering video chat for customer service eliminates these frustrations. For instance, when building a website from scratch and using CMS software, it is best to choose one that provides various means of communication for customer service such as a video chat support.

Explaining complex issues is much easier via video chat than it is via live chat or over the phone. Agents can service customers quickly and more effectively. This results in shorter wait times across channels.

Video customer support is also a solid customer retention strategy. This is because of its potential to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Can Help to Diffuse Conflict

The lack of human connection on channels like live chat and email can quickly lead to a disconnect. It’s also harder to articulate information via these channels, and it’s easy to see how frustrations and tensions can quickly rise.

Video chat offers agents an opportunity to diffuse potential conflict. Face-to-face communication is inherently more intimate. Therefore, it can foster positive human connections as part of an escalation management strategy.

To make the most out of using video chat for conflict diffusion, you need a tool that identifies and alerts you to rising tensions as they’re happening. Sentiment analysis tools do just that. They identify negative sentiments across agents’ real-time customer communications. Armed with this visibility, supervisors can quickly diffuse rising tensions by offering the frustrated customer a video chat. 

Boosts Online Sales

The more informed customers are, the more likely they are to make a purchase. And what better way to inform customers than to offer product demos? 

Product demos are invaluable onboarding tools. They give your customers the opportunity to see your product in action. And they can also receive immediate responses to any questions they have. 

A recent Wyzowl survey discovered that 69% of people felt that videos would improve the customer onboarding process. And a huge 97% felt that videos were integral to welcoming and educating new customers.

Wyzowl Customer Onboarding Statistic 2020

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Also, video chat for ecommerce customer service is still relatively unexplored. The very fact that your brand has a video chat option may lure new customers in.

4 Best Practices for Using Video Chat Customer Support

Introducing a new channel into the mix is always daunting, especially one as untapped as video chat. 

As well as investing in inventory management for multichannel ecommerce (which will enable you to keep track of your inventory levels across multiple sales channels), here are some other top tips for using video chat in your customer support strategy.

Provide Your Team With Customer Service Training 

Your employees are probably already skilled in how to master every customer interaction over the phone or in a live chat. But what about through video?

Man talking with women on computer

Image source 

Communicating with customers through a camera comes with unique nuances. Training new and seasoned employees in the art of video communication will empower them to deliver exceptional customer service every single time.

Teach employees to look directly into the camera lens (rather than at the customer), as it gives the impression of eye contact. Stress the importance of using positive body language to build trust and increase engagement, like: 

  • Sitting up straight 
  • Using hand gestures
  • Displaying active listening skills

Ensuring that your employees use flattering camera angles and have uncluttered, neutral backgrounds is also important. By projecting a clean, professional image, your video communications will feel more authentic, and customers will have an easier time engaging without distractions. 

women on computer

Image source 

Don’t Forget to Provide Technical Training, Too 

An employee who doesn’t know how to navigate their video conferencing platform is at risk of causing time-consuming delays or issues that result in poor customer experiences. The same goes for employees who are ill-equipped to handle a  common audio, camera, and network connectivity issues. All of these can disengage and frustrate customers. 

With that being said, 77% of people will forgive a bad experience if they consider the customer service team to be “very good.”

This means that technical issues don’t have to result in lost customers. As long as your team knows how to manage common technical problems, customers are generally forgiving. Equip your team with the knowledge they need to prevent and rectify simple technical problems. And navigate your chosen platform with ease.

Invest in the Right Audio and Video Equipment 

Investing in high-quality software and equipment can prevent common issues like background noise, video freezing, and choppy audio from creating poor customer experiences.

There’s no need to break the bank to invest in high-quality equipment. All your employees need to deliver good customer service is:

  • A reputable video calling software
  • A decent headset with a built-in microphone
  • A high-resolution webcam
Computer, iPad, and headphones on table

Image source 

Something you do need to pay attention to is your broadband connection. Inadequate bandwidths and slow internet speeds can result in the issues we mentioned above and more. Ensure that your internet connection meets your video software requirements. And perform regular speed tests to prevent network-related issues from ruining customer experiences.

Also, don’t forget about your remote employees! A common mistake to avoid when hiring remote employees is failing to provide them with the right equipment. Ill-equipped employees are less productive, engaged, and able to deliver good customer experiences.

Quantum workplace statistic

Data from Quantum Workplace 

If your business isn’t in a position to supply every remote employee with a headset and webcam, make sure to communicate the specs they’ll need along with internet speed requirements. You can always hop on a video call with them to test it out.

Choose the Right Vendor 

There are lots of video solutions to choose from, but which one is right for your business?

The solution you choose needs to align with your business needs and customer preferences. For example, do you need screen sharing or file sharing functionalities? Recording or transcription features? Maybe you’d really like an in-built meeting timer or on-screen product gallery? 

Do your research and pick the solution that meets your requirements. Along with the above, here are some other things to consider:

  • Ease-of-use: agent experience goes hand-in-hand with customer experience. If the software is too difficult for agents to use, they’re not going to be able to provide efficient customer service. The software you choose needs to have a small learning curve for speedy onboarding and an intuitive interface that provides a smooth user experience. 
  • Integrations: does the video chat software integrate with your CRM, sales engagement, or contract management tools? Integrations optimize agent workflows and are critical to providing customers with streamlined, omnichannel experiences. Look for a video solution that offers native integrations with your favorite tools. Also, look for an open application programming interface (API). 
  • Reliability: how does the software hold up over fluctuating bandwidths? Keep in mind that video software requires a lot of bandwidth. So you need a solution that remains stable across all of your devices, even at slower internet speeds. If you think you’ve found the perfect video tool, but it’s not performing as it should, consider changing your internet provider.
Website speedcheck

Image source 

When to Use Video Chat Support (and When to Avoid It)

It’s best to avoid using video chat to handle uncomplicated customer service issues, like FAQs and first-time inquiries. It can quickly lead to agent overwhelm and longer customer wait times. 

Instead, let your other channels (like live chat and IVR) handle simple queries. And reserve video communications for more complex matters. Here are some customer service situations that video support is perfect for.

Product Demos

Customers are always calling to seek help with setting up or navigating products. Instead of talking them through it step-by-step on the phone, why not use the power of video and reduce telephone support calls as you do it?

Marketer who've reduced support calls with videos

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Videos are an effective learning tool. Wyzowl surveys show that 91% of people admit to watching videos to help them use physical products. And 75% admit to watching videos to help them understand how to use an app or website.

If a customer is struggling, you could direct them to a pre-made instructional video. Or, if they require more support, schedule a one-on-one video support session. 

Complicated Issues

Video communication can make articulating and demonstrating complex information easier for both agents and customers. 

If a customer contacts you with a problem that requires an intricate fix - especially if they contact you repeatedly - consider offering them a scheduled interview as part of your escalation management strategy. 

Screen Sharing

Using screen share for customer support comes in handy if a user is having a technical problem. Even if you perform agile testing on your SaaS product or app (and there are lots of benefits of agile over waterfall testing), bugs, glitches, and other issues may still occur. Being able to view and control your customer’s screen means that you can solve problems quickly with less stress on your customer. 

Final Thoughts

Video humanizes the digital experience. With present-day customer service so reliant on automation and self-service, video chat is a breath of fresh air. It gives your brand a face - something that ecommerce businesses can often lack. It also facilitates the kind of authentic, personalized customer service that just isn’t possible over the phone or via a chatbot.

Although businesses are integrating video into SEO marketing strategies and social media advertising, video chat for ecommerce customer service is still a fairly new concept. By capitalizing on it early, you can stand out from your competitors. And you can also become a leading force in the delivery of exceptional customer service via video.



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