You can't have helped but notice the recent advert for the Amazon Kindle. Built within the device is a support button which takes you directly to an agent in the call centre. However, you are engaging in a 2-way video support call with the agent. Providing support within the device is nothing new within the electronics industry and video support has been around for a while although not widely used. However, the fact that Amazon (a leader in the world of customer support) has chosen to spend so much time advertising the video support service must mean that Amazon believe it's a selling point but what are the commonly held beliefs about this "new" way of communicating:
(1) Video support is a bit of a gimmick for the majority of calls where the customer experience is not enhanced by the additional experience. Some people may even be put off.
(2) The rise of video support is likely to be limited to technology based companies especially within those who produce electronic devices. It's unlikely that you will have video support from your water provider any time soon.
(3) There are concerns that recruitment teams will only recruit "attractive" people for customer support roles where video support is a component.
(4) Video support does add a degree of cost to the support process at a time when companies are increasingly looking to control support costs. The costs themselves of providing this additional support are relatively low.
(5) There are some examples of where video support greatly enhances the customer experience. It allows the sharing of documents, videos and in some cases can make it easier to resolve an issue.
(6) Some believe that the use of video support has a positive impact on the call centre agent and can therefore positively impact the customer experience.
(7) With the technology only recently adopted, there is no clear view on whether it provides an ROI. Expect to see data on this over the next 12-24 months. Decisions on the roll out into industries outside of consumer electronics will be made when the impact of video support is available.