Visual Engagement Tools for Customer Service
A picture, as they say, paints a thousand words.
This is at least partly because images are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means you can convey a meaning for your audience much quicker with an image rather than words.
With this knowledge in mind, businesses around the world are using visual engagement tools for customer service delivery – “any form of technology-enabled customer interaction that helps organisations visually connect with customers” – to deliver better customer experiences and strengthen the customer bond.
Globally, visual engagement is used by companies such as tax software provider Intuit, telehealth platform American Well, and UK Insurer Endsleigh to augment interactions with customers.
And it’s effective.
According to Forrester, visual engagement tools and other live assist channels have much higher satisfaction ratings than what they call “asynchronous electronic channels” such as email and web self-service.
Their research found satisfaction ratings in ascending order were: web self-service (47%), email (54%), chat (69%), phone (74%) and co-browsing, a form of visual engagement (78%).
The reasons for this are numerous but include the fact that humans rely on mental shortcuts to interpret the world around us and make decisions based on what we see – including purchase decisions.
Besides, more people learn visually rather than aurally.
According to the Social Science Research Network, “65 per cent of us are visual learners”, compare to roughly 30% who learn best by hearing.
Visual engagement is especially helpful for customers who need help with troubleshooting software problems, questions about transactions, or any other complex problems that require an experienced professional.
That is the business case.
But visual engagement is not a single tool.
In fact, it can be broken down into several different tools, such as screen sharing, screen annotations, co-browsing, and video chat.
Key types of visual engagement tools for customer service
1. Screen sharing
Screen sharing, as we are no doubt aware, involves sharing access to a given computer screen.
Software for this purpose uses a number of different methods to allow sharing a screen remotely, including the guest being able to see what the host is doing on the screen.
Screen sharing is a straightforward and efficient way for call centre agents to talk customers through different parts of a text, website, or transaction.
However, one potential drawback is that screen sharing tends to show the whole screen, which may potentially contain sensitive information unless agents are adequately trained.
2. Screen annotations
Screen annotation is an extra functionality that can augment screen sharing.
It enables support agents to highlight, circle, and annotate the content of interest on a shared web page, and better communicate complicated instructions.
It can be particularly valuable to call centres and industries in which legal information or complex instructions needs to be explained to customers.
3. Video chat
One of the other powerful visual engagement tools is Video chat that provides an excellent way to bring a personal touch to a remote meeting.
In the call centre setting, seeing the agents face can help humanise the conversation, help establish customer intimacy and trust during high-value purchases, like life insurance policies and mortgages.
Video chat can also give agents the opportunity to show physical items if they are relevant to the call.
However, one area where it is less reliable is when agents need to direct a customer through a website or assist them in filling in forms.
Co-browsing (short for collaborative browsing), enables an agent and customer to use the browser window together so that one person can take control of the mouse and highlight different parts of the screen.
With co-browsing solutions, the agents can use screen annotations to highlight items and address questions or fill in forms.
It also helps professionals to identify and address the problem areas that can lead to bottlenecks and drop-offs in their sales funnel.
Moreover, some co-browsing solutions have video and chat built-in, so that you have all the advantages of video chat alongside your co-browsing session.
5. What’s right for you?
Visual engagement is actually a broad term that covers a lot of different tools.
What is right for you will depend on your business type, subject matter, customer preferences, and so on.
But as the trends towards omnichannel and better customer experience continues to gather pace, visual engagement tools offer an extra way to gain the inside edge on your competition and deliver that extra wow factor to your call centre customer.
Recommended further reading: 3 Myths of Visual IVRs