Customers of today are invariably looking for safety, delightful experiences and convenience, and businesses are leveraging video capabilities to fulfil these needs. Video, in contrast with other formats, can capture the wide complexity of human expression that is foundational in delivering successful digital customer services. Face-to-face communication plays a crucial role in making an emotional connection—ultimately driving engagement.
The emergence of new technologies catalyses the adoption of live video services in various industries from financial services and retail to e-commerce. Integrating video capabilities offers customers the choice, flexibility and convenience of interacting with a company on their preferred channel.
Key factors driving the adoption of video services:
- Digitalisation — To address the need for a holistic customer experience by making available various interaction channels for customer support.
- Business continuity planning — To effectively substitute many commercial activities digitally in case of any unexpected crisis and prepare for a ‘remote working’ future.
- Provide 24/7 assistance — To offer customers constant accessibility with immediate and uninterrupted customer services and support.
5 video applications and their uses
The usage of video has evolved from the static pre-recorded approach to real-time live video. This supports processes where regulation and compliance require visual confirmation and it enables companies to reach customers in underserved markets.
1. Video onboarding
From being a nice upgrade, video onboarding has emerged as a must-have in business processes, particularly in industries such as financial services and telecommunications. Video onboarding applications such as e-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) support a crucial stage of acquiring a customer where regulation and compliance require visual confirmation.
The availability of video onboarding offers flexibility to customers by removing the barrier of the geographic locations of customers. Consequently, customers can now efficiently purchase products or services without leaving their homes. With customer authentication technologies such as digital-signature verification, facial recognition and biometric analysis, businesses have improved accessibility in underserved areas.
“Most banks expect that at least 70% of their sales by December-end  will happen through a contactless mode, for which video-KYC is an integral part.” – Adhil Shetty, Chief Executive Officer, BankBazaar
2. Video-enabled kiosks
Video-enabled kiosks incorporate a remote connection to a specialised expert in handling a range of enquiries. For traditional stores, video-enabled kiosks connect customers to experts remotely — reducing the need for every store to have a permanent in-house specialist. In the banking industry, interactive teller machines (ITMs) are swiftly replacing ATMs. In ITMs, most banking services are embedded into the machine. Services like applying for and receiving credit cars and loans and performing account transfers are done through ITMs.
As a result, customers are no longer restricted to the operating hours of a physical branch to facilitate these activities. In the areas with limited physical footprints, ITMs function as a “branch in a box”. The video-enabled kiosks allow companies to optimise their workforce management with access to remote experts potentially available to customers 24/7.
Portugal’s Millennium BCP Bank recorded a high Net Promoter Scores of 92% by introducing their ITMs called Millennium Teller Machines.
3. Monitoring and attribution
Innovations such as unmanned stores are reshaping retail experiences. They leverage emerging technologies — computer vision, sensor fusion and 5G — to have store fronts with few to almost no employees.
Amazon Go is the first grocery store to enable the customer to simply walk into a store, grab their desired item(s) and walk out. The concept completely transforms the traditional method of grocery shopping. Additionally, it removes all and any requirements for queuing and checking out.
Another innovation is an unmanned pop-up store. Supporting staff are live bot agents and video-assisted self-serve kiosks. In addition, the pop-up store can migrate easily, as it is fully powered by 5G and requires zero landlines. Live bots in the store identify you from their databases and deliver a personalised service without the need for communication.
Unmanned stores offer customers the ability to self-serve, operate 24/7 and visit at their time of convenience. ‘UNBOXED by Singtel’, a 24/7 Singaporean unmanned pop-up store has attracted more than 50,000 customers since its launch in 2019. It has already delivered a customer experience score of 96%.
4. Live streaming
Live streaming is a means to reach a wider audience to launch new products and organise online live events. Moreover, it offers a sense of inclusion and community to customers and connects companies with stakeholders efficiently and authentically. It enables customers to receive real-time information and participate in events that would otherwise not be possible.
With social media equipping users with ‘live features’, both small and large businesses can leverage live streaming. When Apple switched to using YouTube from their own platform for its recurring event ‘Apple Worldwide Developers Conference’, they saw an increase of 1.9 million views. Stimulating customers enthusiasm and showcasing an exclusive inside look increase customer engagement, ultimately translating into enriched customer experiences.
5. Augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) capabilities are bridging real-world environments with digital augmentation through smart devices. It also provides prospective customers with an always-available, true-to-life digital model of a product to appraise.
AR enables customers to view products on themselves with the camera-based apps on their smart devices utilising product demonstrations. Customers can conveniently visualise how a product might realistically fit into their lifestyle and influence their decision making. That ultimately affects conversion rate.
Houzz, a US-based home décor company saw over one million customers using AR before purchasing products on the app. Customers using the AR tool are 11 times more likely to purchase a product and spend 2.7 times longer on the app.
- Video is an interaction channel that supports the “human-touch” element which is often lost in digital interactions.
- It enables efficient organic interactions allowing for remote, lifelike product observations from both the prospective customers and the agents.
- Technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality will take live video to the next level – curating a completely effortless customer experience.
- By 2030, we can expect industries outside financial institutions and digital commerce to embed live video into their customer service arsenal.