Truly Effective Video CX, Served by Verizon (and John McEnroe)

Sep 29, 2016

Video has long been touted as the next greatest Customer Experience (CX) technology. But it has never taken off, contrary to the hopes (and the hype) of its champions. 

There are several excellent reasons why:

  • Only with the relatively recent ubiquity of camera-equipped smartphones and broadband has video become a popular and practical interaction tool. Consumers only now have sufficient experience with the technology to make and stream quality video content.
  • Video is action. Sitting in front of a laptop or desktop computer screen and staring into a tiny lens is anything but. You can be active when using video to communicate with family and friends. You can move the screen, smile and laugh, have the cat or dog walk in front of the lens, and show objects. But you are much more formal and restricted in your activity when engaging with businesses, including contact centers.
  • Stationary engagements with agents may not pose sufficient value-add to outweigh the technology costs and complexity (eg lighting, background noise). There may be HR and legal issues from adding the dimension of customer-facing appearance into hiring, supervision, and promotion.

But video offers a significant and unique value-add to the CX by taking full advantage of new smartphone and app technologies. Agents can direct customers so that they can see what they are inquiring about, ie the proverbial “pictures tell a thousand words”. They can then provide answers or solve problems in real-time.  For example, customers can show to agents the apparel or décor they want to match their proposed purchases.  Customers can also demonstrate to agents the issues they are having with their products or services.

Verizon has cleverly (and literally) served up a solution for that last use case. It has connected the Verizon FiOS mobile app with its SmartCam tech support. Its support agents can then see customers’ problems over their smartphones and engage with them.

Verizon chose, appropriately enough, notoriously impatient tennis star John McEnroe for a recent ad that demonstrate how its video technology works in tandem with its agents. It used the example of Mr. McEnroe having difficulties connecting his FiOS router, which customers can relate to. The ad is part of campaign by Verizon to promote the benefits of FiOS, though the information on Verizon’s site says Wi-Fi connectivity is “recommended”. The ad also humorously shows the pratfalls of agents becoming being too familiar with the customers.

Let’s have Verizon’s YouTube video tell its own thousand words:

By imaginatively enabling smartphone-driven video interactions, customers could receive faster and more satisfying outcomes as compared with solely audio or text interactions.  Companies, in turn, may witness shorten total interaction times and higher first contact resolution rates. They also could see CSAT and NPS improvements that may translate into stronger customer loyalty and social referrals, and hopefully sales.  As a result, video may finally have found a role that enhances the CX and companies’ bottom lines.


Brendan Read

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Brendan Read is Senior Industry Analyst with over 25 years’ experience covering business, communications, staffing, and technology. He has worked in, prepared reports, and blogged on a wide range of topics including customer contact, CX, CRM, IoT, social media, supply chain, and BC/DR. He also has backgrounds in construction, manufacturing, materials, resource extraction, site selection, and transportation. He examines the broad economic, environmental, innovation, political, and social mega trends, and their impacts on businesses, markets, and society.


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