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Consumer Service on the Cutting Edge: Virtual Customer Assistance

Consumer Service on the Cutting Edge: Virtual Customer Assistance

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In 2014, Amazon introduced Mayday, a video chat feature aimed at supporting users of the company’s Fire Phone and Kindle Fire devices.  Customer support via video is not widespread yet, but many analysts believe Mayday could be a game-changing sign of things to come.

Video Chat:  Today, customers expect help to be just a click away.  Recognizing this trend, companies like Best Buy have encouraged their employees to answer tech questions using social media channels such as Twitter.  Similarly, texting live with customer service agents is becoming routine these days.  Video takes this kind of instantaneous customer service to a whole new level.

Product support is becoming multichannel; customers want tech-help through whatever platform or device is handy to them.  Younger consumers, in particular, want their problems solved in real-time.  Video chat offers the possibility of a simpler, but also richer form of customer service experience.  However, getting face-to-face help is just the beginning of a more extensive interactive support service.  For example, Mayday includes a screen sharing feature, which allows customer service representatives to see the customer’s display.  Furthermore, both parties can use point and draw tools to highlight helpful information or instructions.

Digital Signage and Wayfinding:  Digital signage represents a quantum evolution of the traditional sign.  Today, corporate buildings, hospitals, government agencies, campuses, museums and many other organizations are utilizing digital wayfinding maps and interactive kiosks to help guide users through their facilities.  Using touchscreen technology, these displays have interactive maps, video tour guides and special announcement features, which help users to navigate their way.  Additionally, these digital signage systems often incorporate QR tags and SMS options so that directions and other pertinent information can be sent to visitors’ smartphones.

Video Kiosk Check-in:  Digital kiosks are interactive computer platforms that allow users to serve themselves.  Popular at malls, airports, and car rental agencies, video kiosks are now being used to supplement healthcare staff in many medical facilities.  For example, kiosks are now used in hospitals ambulatory environments and emergency rooms.  They can be used to smooth the check-in process, screen patients, collect payments and much more.  In fact, today’s medical kiosks can do far more than just collect patient information from insurance and ID cards; they often include video linkage to care, providers, monitoring equipment, wayfinding information for patients and data analytic capabilities for providers.

Undoubtedly, kiosks offer cost-saving benefits.  However, their primary purpose is to improve customer service and satisfaction.  Medical organizations, for instance, have found that kiosks reduce patient wait time while improving convenience and medical privacy.

Video communications are taking customer service to an entirely new level.  Today, consumers expect organizations and brands to address product and service inquiries expeditiously and through whatever channels the digital user finds convenient.  Increasingly, this means connecting to consumers via their mobile devices, digital signage and IM chats.

Video, digital wayfinding, and computer kiosks are just a few of the high-tech methods organizations are utilizing to streamline and improve the customer’s experience with their companies.  In particular, providing face-to-face customer service via video means companies can combine cutting-edge technology and the human touch.  As it happens, using these forms of video assistance is a great way of enhancing the consumer’s experience with your company and building brand loyalty.





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