Maximize customer satisfaction.
Customer service is changing from a cost center to a competitive differentiator,” says Forrester in “Top 15 Trends For Customer Service In 2013.” "Customer service organizations are gradually adopting a balanced scorecard of metrics that include not only cost and compliance, but also customer satisfaction…."
Improving customer satisfaction has to start with an interaction through a channel. Forrester reports that "channel preference is changing rapidly." This is trend #1. "Voice is still the primary communication channel used," says Forrester, "but is quickly followed by self-service channels, and digital channels like chat and email. Channel usage rates are also quickly changing: we’ve seen a 12% rise in web self-service usage, a 24% rise in chat usage, and a 25% increase in community usage for customer service in the past three years."
What’s set to join that list of channels—and what really should already be on that list if such specialized customer types as patients and students were included—is video-enabled customer service. This is on the rapid rise, as you’ll read more about below.
From the initial sale to instructions to warranty claims to repairs to troubleshooting, Polycom voice and video collaboration solutions for customer service can help improve service responsiveness and increase customer satisfaction.
Video-Enabled Customer Service
"A video meeting increases trust and helps build stronger partnerships with our customers and partners," says Torben Nordling, IT Project Manager, FLSmidth, a global engineering company that supplies the cement and minerals industries. "Being able to do business face-to-face develops the human connections."
Video collaboration can play a key role in streamlining many customer-service processes:
- Installers can securely connect over video with their mobile devices to talk to remote service technicians, who can demonstrate a product installation or repair
- Technical support teams can inspect products remotely (without shipping a product or traveling to a customer location) and any repair or installation steps can all be demonstrated visually to on-location service technicians
- Organizations can train technicians or contractors cost-effectively and interactively
- Customers can have live video conversations with a remote expert regarding product information, design consulting, or other services
- Experts who speak multiple languages can also be reached to provide further personalized service
Customer Service Kiosks
A unique use of video conferencing is the video-enabled customer service kiosk. Typically integrated into a call center application, video kiosks bring remote experts or customer-service agents directly into the point of sale or service, avoiding the need for dedicated product specialists in every location. For example, a retail or hotel "video concierge" provides customers with information via interaction with knowledgeable remote personnel. When not in use, video kiosks can display digital signage and advertisements on their screens.
"Before implementing Polycom solutions, we had spent $3,000 for a one-time, international video conference call with a client. Now, we can host such calls whenever we want without incurring any additional cost."
—George Brandon, Partnership Development Leader
Morris, Polich & Purdy LLP, a California-based law firm
Polycom voice solutions help bring services, support, and remote expertise closer to the consumer. Use wireless telephony for communication within and between your locations and employees, for price lookups, inventory control, product details, multilingual support, technical support, answers to commonly asked questions, etc.
When coupled with alarm notification systems and location-based software, Polycom voice solutions give you access to the right resource wherever they may be on the property. The result is faster response and improved customer satisfaction. Companies can also use Polycom voice over IP solutions to make inter- and intra-company calls at a fraction of the cost of making them over toll-based analog lines.
Polycom desktop telephones deliver the industry's best audio quality for lifelike conversations and immediate integration into a wide range of unified communications environments.
With our business media phones, your telephony system can be upgraded to include video telephony when your organization is ready.
And the option to go on-premises, hosted, or with a purely cloud-based subscription service model gives you flexibility in provisioning, cost, and payment terms.
"Today's businesses need connectivity solutions that are as streamlined, full-featured, and hassle-free as possible. Our new hosted voice service allows us to fully leverage the power of the cloud, offering customized application designs that can be quickly and easily adapted to the unique needs of our business customers."
—John Summersett, Chief Operating Officer, COMLINK
Exego Group, recently acquired by Genuine Parts Company, is Australia and New Zealand's largest reseller and supplier of automotive parts and accessories. In 2008, the company began adopting Polycom video collaboration solutions to streamline business processes, enhance collaboration, reduce travel costs, and provide an extra avenue to communicate with customers and suppliers.
From a sales perspective, one of the key benefits has been the ability of sales staff to conduct live product demonstrations with suppliers without having to leave the office. "We can have a staff member in Sydney show products to suppliers in New Zealand, by simply placing it on the table," says Alan Hodgson, Telephony Manager, Exego Group. "With high-definition, the picture is as clear as if you were seeing the product in-person. It is a much more cost-effective way to showcase and sell our products and has really helped to accelerate decision making."
Saving time and money; enabling greater reach and access; improving speed, efficiency, and accuracy—for all these reasons another customer called their Polycom collaboration solution a "force multiplier."
Store-wide Communications – Polycom voice and video collaboration solutions within and among retail branch locations facilitate inventory checks, remote support, remote team meetings, last-minute specials, and new incentive programs. Headquarters benefits through better, faster access to sales reports, employee information, and remote expertise.
Remote Customer Service – Polycom video collaboration solutions help bring retail services, support, and remote product expertise closer to the consumer with the most personalized service of all: face-to-face interaction.
Social Media – Increasingly, customers are leveraging new customer service channels such as social media to ask questions, get their problems resolved, or to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with products and organizations.
Customers on social media networks such as Skype, Google Talk, and Facebook can securely and easily participate in any Polycom-powered video conference through the RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite. It extends industry-leading high-definition quality video collaboration to anyone with a browser and web-camera, enhancing customer service—not just with a friendly face, but also adding the visual element in cases of customer support. Truly universal visual customer service that is a major force multiplier for your service staff.
Video is fast becoming the primary knowledge transfer mechanism of this era. Because it provides context and values through body language and facial expressions, together with environmental content, the information density of video is orders of magnitude higher than the written page or the naked voice. And this tends to lead to greater accuracy of understanding and fewer miscommunications.
NATO, for example, chose Polycom video collaboration solutions to help communication among its multiplicity of countries, cultures, and languages. "Accurate and clear communication is essential when representatives from 28 different countries and cultures are weighing issues central to their collective defense, yet those communications must be trusted and reliable to mitigate the security risks posed by new ways of working," says Gus Mommers, Center Head, Conference Management Services at the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency.
Video collaboration is an especially effective tool because it not only facilitates accuracy of understanding and therefore quality of decision making, but it also makes the process as easy as possible for everyone involved—bringing people together face to face from anywhere to get things done with as much naturalness as if they are in the same room but without the cost, hassle, and wasted time of travel.
Defying distance and fully engaging employees with each other in teams, with partners in supply chain management, and with customers during the sales cycle and customer service process is easier today than it has ever been with the latest collaboration technologies.