video chat for business

Research has shown that adding video chat for business can foster many benefits: longer customer visits and positive brand association, reduced drop offs, declining return rates, and even an increased likelihood of customers leaving product reviews. Right now, video chat for companies is largely an untapped resource.

However, experts believe usage of video chat as a sales platform will explode within the next several years as video calling adoption rates among consumers have skyrocketed.  

The Evolution of Video Marketing

Before video marketing, video chat was used to share information through the Internet for both personal reasons, such as talking with relatives and friends, and business purposes, such as conference calls. A myriad of both free and subscription services have now become available to host live video between users, most notably Skype, FaceTime, and Google Chat.

Although video chat for business has been a relatively new and underused sales tool, the use of video in the marketing and sales process is not. Major companies such as Dove, Reebok, Intel, and Amazon now use embedded videos to describe, explain, and showcase products. They also use video platforms such  as Youtube, Instagram Video, and Vine to market their brands. It’s easy to see why – there are approximately 1.5 billion online video users globally. 60% of those users prefer to watch a video message rather than reading content, and 88% of which spend more time on a website with video than without. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, and Adweek dubbed 2015 as the “Year of Video Marketing”. This led to many businesses quickly working to incorporate video into the online customer sales journey.   

Why Use Video Chat For Business?

As video becomes more commonplace as a professional tool, businesses should consider taking the next step in customer service – live video chat. A study by the Pew Research Center found that over 21% of all cell phone users have used video calling or chat services. Skype alone boasts over 300 million active users per month for personal and business meetings. As a result, major companies are taking a cue from these trends and incorporating video into their websites and customer experience. A recent study by Gartner estimated that 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018 for customer-facing interactions. This will primarily be driven by the rapid growth of mobile shopping, as well as a desire to deliver an excellent customer experience that provides an edge over the competition.

Video chat for business can drive conversion, sales, and customer satisfaction through a variety of ways. Besides a face-to-face meeting, it’s the most intimate form of communication, providing customers with a real, personal interaction which builds a closer relationship with the company. Chatting face-to-face with a live representative builds trust between the consumer and brand. In addition, two-way video chat allows representatives to better respond to customers’ nonverbal cues, such as seeing whether they look interested and attentive or lost and confused.

Representatives can use video chat and co-browsing tools to walk customers through the website, help them fill out forms, and answer any questions about products or services the customer may have. As such, customer tend to stay longer on a website when being helped by a representative via video chat, and are also less likely to return the product purchased. Video chat combined with co-browsing can also reduce cart abandonment and drop offs by allowing representatives to personally help customers fill out forms, answer questions, and find certain products on the website. Video chat conversations can also be used to effectively upsell customers uncertain of their need requirements.

Video Chat for Business – Best Practices

Similar to all customer interactions, there are rules and best practices for offering compelling service via video chat. First of all, make sure your company has the proper technology and bandwidth in place to support video chat – nothing says “unprofessional” like a choppy, pixelated video screen with the representative’s audio cutting in and out.

Once you’ve got the right technology in place, don’t show aggression by bombarding customers with several “Can I help?” popups as soon as they navigate to your website. Representatives should use customer tracking tools such as time spent on a webpage, number of attempt to fill out a form, number of items in a shopping cart, and visits to high-value product pages in order to decide whether to reach out and offer help. If the customer decides to engage in one way or two way video chat make sure your representatives portray the company professionally! They should be dressed appropriately, as well as provided with adequate training to successfully interact with the customers.    

Video Chat Early Adopters Getting It Right

There have been several early-adopters of live video-based support, including Amazon, Bank of America, American Express, and Audi. While there are many variations of video chat capabilities, most customers approve of the new services. One report found that U.K. based shoe retailer Schuh had incredibly positive feedback for its video chat for business service, with the company experiencing a 400% greater conversion rate and 10% greater average order value for customer video interactions rather than text-based chat interactions.

Bank of America is incorporating video chat into new ATMs in order to facilitate interactions and answer specific questions, The new ATMs with Teller Assist provide customers the opportunity to chat with a real teller via video during extended hours. Amazon has also incorporated live tech video support through its new Kindle service, Mayday, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos described as being “very similar to having someone standing next to you” and offering tech support. The service allows customers to view the tech support representative in a small window on the Kindle screen while they co-browse with you to find a speedy resolution.

Therefore, if you’ve already implemented a variety of customer service tools, or need to overhaul your existing strategy, consider implementing video chat to enhance online customer-facing interactions. Although still a largely untapped resource, video chat for business has, among other benefits, the potential to increase your business’s conversion rates, get an edge on the competition, and enhance your customer’s online shopping experience. With video chat adoption rates for both business and personal use on the rise, there’s no better time than now to explore this platform as a way to take your business’ customer experience to the next level.    

Think your business could benefit from video chat services? See what Glia’s live engagement platform can do for you!