McKinsey describes the hyper-personalisation of customer service as the ‘care of one’. It’s the evolution of the contact centre into an experience centre, one that uses multiple tools and technologies to create impact where it’s needed.

It’s the organisation’s ability to connect with the individual across multiple touchpoints, and in ways that shape engagement and loyalty through richly layered customer experiences. This has seen the contact centre evolve considerably over the past year as it looks to solutions that allow for improved productivity alongside transformative customer engagement.

As Wynand Smit, CEO of INOVO, puts it: putting the human back into digital with video at the centre of service so that customers get fast and efficient support and an engaging experience.

“Video offers a fresh perspective to the contact centre,” he adds. “It’s immediate face-to-face engagement. It’s connecting with people on a more personalised level, and it can fundamentally improve the customer service experience.

“Customers can connect with a person, someone they can see, and this connection improves interactions and resolutions. This has become particularly relevant in the current climate when people feel isolated and frustrated by traditional customer service channels.”

Video is still in its early adoption days, but it has immense potential, particularly for organisations in the insurance, healthcare, and financial services industries. The insurance industry, for example, is already seeing legislation mandating how brokers interact with customers.

Video offers them the ability to not just connect with customers in a more personal setting, but can play a significant role in managing liability and recording requirements.

The same applies to healthcare – many countries have adopted remote GP appointments during the pandemic and these can be enhanced by access to video consultations that will allow for even more rigorous patient care.

“The applications for video are almost endless,” says Smit. “It may be a new technology within specific environments, and some sectors may be inhibited due to the bandwidth requirements at the moment, but it’s definitely one that’s seeing inventive uptake in different spaces.

“It can be used to meet compliance requirements, or it can be used to help a customer manage their financial portfolio online. Video is an accessible and powerful way of helping customers, particularly in situations where visibility into a problem may be absolutely key.”

There are numerous solutions that have been built around video. It can be integrated with web-based platforms, and it can be designed to use well-known video conferencing solutions such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom so there’s a lower customer barrier to entry. It is also very much a tool that can provide organisations in competitive sectors with a very clear differentiator.

“The primary reasons why any company would invest into a video contact centre solution would be customer service, high engagement, improved sales, and richer experiences,” says Smit. “Every one of these is a differentiator in the modern marketplace. Customers are frustrated by poor customer experiences, and handing them a personalised video call in the midst of all of this could offer massive relief in the right setting.”

Video call does require that specific, trained individuals have access to the system to ensure they have the right expertise, dress code and company trust. It can’t be managed in the remote contact centre environment, so would need to be designed to ensure contact centre agent safety, and it would benefit from additional solutions that would allow for screen sharing and optimised digital signing capabilities – of course, this would be industry dependent.

“High value interactions, customised interactions, and industry-specific interactions would benefit from video,” concludes Smit. “It can provide better, more personalised customer service and lead to higher conversion and upsell rates. The benefits are measurable and the returns on customer engagement even more so. Right now, video could become the next big value-add for the modern contact centre.”