To kick off the new year, Gartner recently released "Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement", a report that outlined the evolution of customer engagement going into 2015. The study examined the growing importance of mobile and video-based chat for businesses that want to connect with customers in a smart way. Consider the following statistics.
- By 2018, 5% of customer service cases will be initiated by Internet-connected devices, up from 0.02% in 2014.
- Over 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018 for customer-facing interactions.
- By 2017, one-third of all customer service interactions will still require the support of a human intermediary.
- By 2018, 75% of social-only customer service agents will be blended into the customer service agent pool.
- By 2018, 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.
The report predicts a trend, corroborated by Kelcor's recent WebRTC Ecosystem study, that businesses will turn to video capable communications channels and customized CRM for customer interactions. These predictions come on the heels of a year that saw more widespread adoption of face-to-face video interactions with customers by major companies such as Amazon and Google (as documented by the LA Times and Forbes).
"I especially like this report’s recommendation to start piloting video chat capabilities for a specific use case, focusing on high value and frequent interactions," said OnSIP VP of marketing and product management Nicole Hayward. "When we launched InstaCall for our customers, we had to choose where to pilot video support for our own CRM. We started with an InstaCall button inside of our admin portal, accessible to all OnSIP customers who login and manage their OnSIP account. Not only does the button enable a video call to an OnSIP Customer Success Team member, it also delivers information about the customer before the call is even connected."
Forrester's "Top Trends For Customer Service In 2015" also underscores some of the same points in the Gartner study. According to Forrester, web self-service was the most widely used communication channel for customer service in 2014, surpassing usage of the voice channel for the first time. In 2015, Forrester predicts that customers will continue to demand effortless interactions over web and mobile self-service channels, including video chat and screen sharing capabilities.
With the opening of the new year, these recent reports point to a customer service climate that has become more adaptive to recent gains in video chat enhancements and customized CRM. Solutions such as InstaCall, built from the ground up to offer a seamless avenues of contextualized communication, are pointing the way forward in a realm of business that is increasingly becoming anything but impersonal.
What will 2015 bring? Read our blog to follow the latest developments in video-based customer support!