The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for video chat. Whereas previously acknowledged as a useful way to engage customers, video has suddenly become imperative to the very survival of businesses.
Companies that relied on face-to-face interactions with customers are using video (along with other digitization efforts) to make up for closed shops and decreased in-store visits from customers. And other companies, too, need to ensure their recently fully remote workforce can still collaborate and be productive from a distance.
The value of video chat extends beyond just conferencing – it’s helping businesses generate much needed revenue during this time. Let’s take a look at video trends and cover some of the most creative uses of video chat for business today.
Despite our need for in-person interactions, video is a powerful medium. Fifty-eight percent of businesses already use video conferencing for their everyday operations, even if their business isn’t built around it. By certain projections, the video conferencing market will reach $13.82 billion in 2023, and go beyond $20 billion in 2024.
So, we can see a definite trend for businesses relying on video chat. Many companies already understand the positives of using video, especially for customer service. Some of these include adding a human touch to online business interactions and sales and customer satisfaction.
Fun fact: Google searches related to the term “video chat” spiked worldwide in mid-March 2020. The most obvious explanation is our recent troubles with COVID-19. People were looking for a way to stay connected while trapped indoors, and have some fun, too – probably why the query “games to play over video chat” saw a +700% increase, according to Google Trends.
How does this trend relate to business video chat? It seems video conferencing became even more popular, and fast, because of the suddenly remote workforce and the need to move sales predominantly online. Zoom, Slack, and other robust communication platforms are working to meet the increased demand and offer discounts or resources to help.
And this digital acceleration is expected to stay even after the pandemic. For example, according to Gartner, nearly three out of four CFOs intend to move at least five percent of on-site employees to remote working on a permanent basis post-COVID. Also, digital transformation was already underway for retailers, dealerships and other businesses, and video is a fundamental part of that.
So how can you use video during the pandemic and beyond? Can video chat really replace the experience of working together on-site or walking around a showroom?
Not entirely, but it can come pretty close.
The most common use case is the ability for remote teams to collaborate better. Granted, they can communicate through messaging apps and emails, but face-to-face connection is invaluable: according to a survey, 63 percent of video users miss seeing their colleagues’ faces when they can’t join calls and 87% of employees say video makes them feel more engaged with their colleagues.
So how can you use video to maintain morale and productivity in your newly remote team?
So, when choosing video conferencing tools, pay extra attention to how quickly and easily you can begin and schedule a video call.
Have you ever wished you could buy home appliances from the comfort of your home without having to go and see them up close? Or call, say, a car dealership to ask about a vehicle and then not have to find time to book an appointment for a test drive?
Live walkthroughs address these needs – especially at times when people actually can’t go to the physical location. Similar methods of selling have been around a while: according to a 2018 Think with Google report, 64 percent of automotive shoppers say that methods like 360-degree video would convince them to buy without a test drive. Live walkthrough takes this one step further, so employees can showcase products over their smartphone or tablet whilst on a video call with customers.
An important aspect of product walkthroughs is being able to answer questions in real-time about what the customer sees via the video (just like it’d work on site).
If you want to use video chat this way, you can:
Want to see how to use video chat with customers to sustain your business? Request a demo now.
Video chatting while providing support helps agents connect with customers better – it adds a human touch to an interaction that will inevitably happen online. Also, customers can actually show your agents what’s going wrong with a product they’ve purchased. Imagine trying to explain that your new kitchen counter has some weird spots in places. Actually being able to show it might help the agent understand what’s going wrong and how it can be fixed.
How can you provide excellent support with video?
Having to suddenly recreate physical interactions through video isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But, think of the bright side: you’ll get to test your methods of using video at a time of increased demand. This leaves more room for experimentation later on since you’ll already have some insight on what is most helpful to customers. And what may have taken your business years might actually happen sooner: offering a complete and positive digital experience to customers in the long-run.
Nikoletta is a Content Specialist at Acquire. She's a writer and editor with an avid interest in data, tech, communication, and the customer journey.