The widespread adoption of consumer video communication services such as Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger or Apple FaceTime has democratized video calling. Together with the development of WebRTC, it created the expectation that video can be easily added as an interaction channel for customer engagement and support.

At Vidyo we learned with our customers that video is not yet another channel. Furthermore, treating it like voice or text chat carries the risk of creating an interaction silo, failing to accommodate essential consumer expectations and enterprise cost-effectiveness targets.

Time raises the bar for video engagement

Time has become the currency for many consumers looking for help or trying to buy something conveniently online. Consumers hate being on hold. They often choose their initial channel to communicate based on convenience and immediacy. Video becomes a channel added either to enable a trusted in-person conversation or for showing something live while on a call. This prevalent use case comes with limited tolerance for having to wait or for not being easily and immediately connected to a competent person.

Video interactions tend to be longer. They use video to make the most of pivotal “moments” in a customer’s journey and focus on high-value customers and/or high-value transactions.

The sourcing of associates handling video interactions is an important consideration. When using resources already helping customers, existing service levels must be preserved. Enterprises are often leveraging the option of scheduling video meetings. For high-value interactions, it is possible to connect to remote expert resources of other departments, beyond customer service.

Video needs to be embedded into, not added to, omnichannel

All these considerations mandate the integration of video into the overall enterprise omnichannel strategy. In particular, it requires:

  1. Offering video communications in the broader context of all existing touchpoints, including in-person,
  2. Making video an option that can be added to customer interactions taking place on other channels, and
  3. Sourcing associates for video conversations in a way that addresses consumer expectations for immediacy and competency while preserving service levels

It becomes paramount to make a video setup as seamless and as repeatable as possible, ideally as simple as a single click of a button. Video has to be woven in customer processes and workflows and let enterprises brand the experience as well.

Communication Platform as a Service

It made us realize that what was needed is not a point solution but a platform. A rich set of APIs enables businesses to customize how video is offered from an engagement standpoint and how it is integrated with existing applications and information systems.

We found we needed to go beyond offering a video communication Platform as a Service (PaaS) and provide integrations to sales and service applications of reference. Together with our partners, we have embarked on a journey to expand our portfolio of such integrations.

In particular, we have announced in recent months several strategic alliances:

  1. With Genesys, an omnichannel customer experience leader to bring to market integrated contact center solutions
  2. With Servicenow, the leading provider of customer service management to build integrated field service solutions
  3. With NCR, a leader in branch-office optimization to create video-enabled branches and ATMs

Video is evolving rapidly from being a nice addition to becoming an essential element of an omnichannel customer engagement strategy. Embedding video into customer communications requires video communication Platform as a Service (PaaS) and integrations with the customer service application ecosystem.