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A Retailer’s Guide to Using Video Chat for Customer Service

Anyone who works in customer service can inform you that their job isn’t straightforward. They repeatedly cope with confused — typically irate — individuals who need assistance fixing issues or discovering the correct product.

And while help platforms have come a great distance, and retailers right now can provide customer service over quite a lot of channels (i.e., telephone, reside chat, e-mail, information base), these choices don’t all the time do the trick, notably in relation to complicated or actually specific buyer issues.

That is the place video chat is available in. When carried out appropriately, video can enable you to streamline your customer help practices and finally increase shopper satisfaction and loyalty.

In this publish, we’ll speak concerning the ins and out of utilizing video chat for customer service. Particularly, you’ll:

  • Study the benefits of utilizing video chat for customer support
  • Uncover examples and case studies of different retailers utilizing video in their customer service efforts
  • Clever up on ideas and how-tos in terms of offering video chat for customer help
  • Get the lowdown on the platforms you need to use on your video chat initiatives

Let’s dive in.

Can video give your customer support reps a aggressive advantage? Absolutely. Think about the following advantages:

You’ll be able to capitalize on video’s rising reputation

“In relation to real-time interactions, clients need experiences which might be as IRL (in real life) as potential,” says Chris Guillot, Founder at Service provider Technique.

“In the retail business, the demand of video-centric customer support isn’t as prevalent as it’s for online providers but I predict a notable shift over the subsequent yr or two. As clients and merchants continue to use IG Story options in a call-and-response style, the demand of video-centric customer support will develop.”

Guillot has some extent. Research exhibits that video continues to realize steam. As GetVoIP points out, in 2018, regular usage of reside video chat has elevated by 171% and 1 in 3 individuals are using it at the least once every week. What’s more, 2 in 5 shoppers said that they video chatted more in 2018 than they did in the previous yr.

That improve in video chat adoption may also be seen in companies. Transparency Market Research is predicting the worldwide video conferencing market to have a compounded annual progress fee of 7.9% from 2018 to 2026. This progress is essentially pushed by “an growing development amongst organizations to ensure the supply of video conferencing providers with out the need to employ and keep a permanent in-house technical workforce for the purpose.”

These numbers tell us that that video is on pace for large enlargement in the coming years. More individuals and organizations will undoubtedly adopt video know-how in the close to future. In the event you get in now, you’ll be in an awesome position to capitalize on that progress.

Video may help you remedy issues quicker

The needs of your clients aren’t all the time clear-cut, and there’s only a lot you are able to do whenever you’re chatting with them over the telephone or typing words in an e-mail or chat box

As Sebastian Go, Director of Advertising & Gross sales at the window remedy company Chicology, says, clients can have detailed and specific questions which are onerous to elucidate utilizing simply words.

“For example, one buyer requested the best way to shorten a beaded chain on a roller shade. Another buyer needed to point out me his window body, and the way it was unusually deep, and how he can still use our brackets to mount the shades inside.”

During such conditions, it’s rather more environment friendly to hop on a video name, says Go. “If you see one thing on video, it may often clear up a state of affairs very simply” as an alternative of going by way of a number of back-and-forths.

Rickard Månsson, Customer Expertise Enterprise Developer at IKEA Sweden echoes this and says that sure processes are time-consuming for his or her clients. “Clients have to ship pictures, emails, and so forth,” he explains.

“With video, it takes us seconds to research the state of affairs.”

Should you can relate to Chicology or IKEA in that you simply and your clients spend a substantial amount of time describing points and options, video could possibly be simply the factor that can take your customer help efforts to the subsequent degree.

You’ll be able to join better together with your clients

Customer support platforms corresponding to telephone help and reside chat are efficient, but they will by no means match the level of service that in-person interactions can supply.

Enter video chat, which paves the best way for face-to-face buyer help. With the ability to see your clients helps you connect higher with them as a result of you possibly can learn their facial expressions and gauge their reactions. This helps you modify your strategy and provide a more personalised experience.

“Video chat is significant for serving to create great customer service because of its functionality to unravel issues and to create deeper shopper relationships,” says Steve Forcum, Supervisor of Cloud Solutions Engineering at Avaya.

“Video provides a non-verbal dimension to communication that clarifies and amplifies which means, expresses emotion, and, quite frankly, tells what somebody is admittedly considering—good or dangerous—and their degree of engagement. All of us get a deeper understanding of each other by way of visible cues and physique language.”

You’ll be able to stand out out of your rivals and win extra sales

Video chat — at the very least on the earth of retail customer help — continues to be comparatively untapped, so getting in early might aid you stand out out of your rivals.

This is notably true in case you spend plenty of time describing your merchandise to consumers or helping them choose the perfect product for their wants. Through the use of video to answer their specific questions and then literally displaying them your greatest alternatives, you stand a better probability of profitable the sale.

It could assist your customer service coaching

Videos that includes your clients and CSRs in action might be invaluable coaching content material in your group. It’s one factor to read about widespread buyer questions and considerations, however seeing and listening to a video name in action can provide insights into the client’s state and state of affairs.

It also lets your help staff see the fitting and fallacious ways to cope with clients, which in flip helps them enhance how they interact with patrons.

It could actually assist with advertising and buyer schooling

In case you have permission from your clients, you’ll be able to probably repurpose your video recordings for advertising and customer schooling. In accordance with Go, they’re planning to document their video periods and publish an edited model for future Chicology clients.

Now that you simply’ve discovered the highest benefits of utilizing video chat for customer support, let’s put the highlight on the manufacturers which might be presently incorporating video into their interactions with buyers.

IKEA Sweden

IKEA Sweden is testing video as part of their buyer help, gross sales, and shopper consulting providers. In response to Rickard Månsson, Customer Experience Business Developer at IKEA Sweden, they determined to check video to:

Handle geographical points – “Our shops cowl giant geographic areas, where our co-workers typically have to journey to clients to examine installations, product errors, and so forth.,” he shares.

In response to him, since these practices are time-consuming and aren’t eco-friendly, they determined to experiment with video to assist the process.

Streamline buyer help – As mentioned within the earlier chapter, the IKEA Sweden staff found that resolving certain buyer considerations can typically require numerous effort, notably when individuals have to ship pictures or emails.

Video lets them resolve points rather more shortly.

Fix language obstacles – In response to Månsson, video has helped them serve consumers who don’t converse the same language as the employees in-store. “We will meet this customer from another store or contact middle by way of video as an interpreter,” he shares.

How IKEA Sweden is experimenting with video

Månsson says that whereas their video chat providers haven’t officially launched (they’re planning to do it through the summer time), he and his staff tested the platform and have seen nice outcomes.

“From the beginning we used a white-label app, just to maintain it simple and secure,” he explains.

“Generally, once we get a call from a buyer, the co-worker would ask them to be part of the check and if they believed that video would help them in that state of affairs. [If the customer agreed,] we requested them to obtain the app and the assembly might take place.”

In line with Månsson, the experiment has up to now been a hit. “It has been like a dream. Our clients adore it and our co-workers like it as properly,” he provides, saying that he and his group recognize having a more personal connection with their clients.  

“What has been nice as nicely is that the co-workers have been very lively within the improvement; me and my staff have been very open to all individuals. We take heed to them, we help them when things go mistaken, and we hail them in all communications. We created ambassadors.”


Poopsie’s, a present and toy retailer in Galena, IL gives Poopsie’s Stay, a service through which a retailer associate (generally known as a “Poopette”) would hop on a name with a customer to assist them select the appropriate products for their gifting needs.

Poopsie’s Stay has an fascinating story behind it. In accordance with the shop’s co-owner, Alana Turner, they determined to implement the service after profitable a contest on serving to entrepreneurs provide you with new concepts.

“We got here up with the idea, gained the contest and figured we better implement it then,” she recollects.

How Poopsie’s Stay works

The process for getting on a Poopsie’s Stay call is straightforward. Clients can name to make an appointment or fill out a web-based type with the following particulars:

  • Identify
  • Telephone
  • E-mail
  • Most popular day and time for the call
  • Information concerning the present recipient (i.e., identify, age, gender, pursuits)
  • The event for the present
  • Approximate finances

A Poopette (i.e., private shopper) will then put together some present concepts based mostly on the offered info, and then connect with the client by way of Facetime or Skype. As soon as the consumer has selected what to buy, they will either decide up their purchases in-store or have their gadgets shipped to their doorstep.


In March 2019, Cadillac Canada launched Cadillac Stay, a “digital showroom” that permits patrons to video chat with an agent in real-time. The service lets consumers ask questions stay and look at Cadillac fashions based mostly on their wants — all from the comfort of their very own residence or office.

How Cadillac Stay works

Cadillac has a devoted website for Cadillac Stay, on which clients can schedule a call, preview a session, and get a 360–degree virtual tour of the showroom.

Identical to with Poopsie’s, reserving a session begins with the client filling out an internet type with their primary contact info and most popular day and time for the decision. If the consumer already needs to take a look at a selected car, they will specify that on the form.

On the call itself, consumers will see a Cadillac Stay Agent and get access to on-screen instruments corresponding to a menu button that brings up choices for car models, colours, trim, wheels, and so on. There’s additionally a tab which lets consumers preview the capabilities of whichever car they’re taking a look at through the session. Then there’s a chat box that clients can use if they like to sort of their messages.

If the call is disconnected, Cadillac will e mail the client with a hyperlink to either reconnect or re-book a brand new session.

After the decision, the client can select to guide a check drive at the native dealership and proceed with the acquisition.

Those not sure of what to expect may also preview a Cadillac Reside session on their website. This session is pre-recorded and will give consumers a glimpse of the expertise.  


The window remedy company Chicology is one other nice instance of a model placing video chat to good use. In response to the corporate’s Director of Advertising & Sales, Sebastian Go, the decision to supply customer support by way of video chat grew from a have to serve their consumers better.

“Once I began at Chicology, I wore many hats — from e-commerce administration to customer help, even orders choosing and delivery typically. While doing customer help, certain points have been challenging to unravel just by e-mail or telephone. There could possibly be many points that reside video helped.”

Such points embrace:

  • Product installation
  • Questions or considerations around adjusting or fixing their products
  • Extremely particular, tough, or unusual conditions

How Chicology uses video in their customer service

“We took the initiative to only Facetime clients on our own telephones to assist them troubleshoot,” shares Go.

“Clients typically wrestle with choosing the right measurement, design consultation, selecting the best material privateness/shade, and putting in the blinds. We create videos and written content material to help with all of this, but a VIP video chat may also help the client like no other,” he adds.

The solution labored so properly that Go stated they decided to incorporate the service together with the launch of Chicology’s new web site.

Based on him, they intend to use Skype with an iPad. “That’s the only but greatest setup we got here up with. We’re utilizing a easy type submission device to let clients ebook 30 minute blocks.”

Whereas the video chat service isn’t formally stay yet (it is going to be as soon as their new website launches), Go says that they’ve given it a attempt a couple of occasions and have acquired constructive feedback. “They [the customers] are blown away and very appreciative that someone would take the time to offer genuine help like that.”

The suitable video strategy is determined by your buyer help practices in addition to the needs of your buyers. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform or technique, so it’s necessary to take the next steps to make sure the success of your initiatives.

Get clear in your goals

Firstly, recognize that video isn’t right for everyone. When you do determine to include it into your customer support strategy, it’s essential to iron out the suitable occasions to use video. As an example, whereas video calls are nice for addressing unique and sophisticated customer situations, they’re not probably the most environment friendly medium for answering primary and common questions — that’s what FAQs are for.

Part of figuring all that out includes getting clear on the purpose of video in your customer support strategy. Can video showcase your collection higher? Do you continually end up having to “present” clients the best way to do one thing? Particularly, how will video assist your CSRs and consumers?

Apart from helping you achieve clarity into why you want video chat, answering the questions above may even aid you decide the features and capabilities you want in a platform.

And this brings us to our next level…

Know your viewers

“I feel there’s alternative for every type of shops to make use of video in service to their clients but they need to know their clients with a purpose to perceive which kinds of movies can be most meaningful,” says Guillot.

“Does your buyer favor to self-navigate or do they prefer a high degree of steerage? The previous will like pre-recorded information videos while the latter may like real-time video chat. Typically a blend works greatest and it’ll take some experimenting to seek out an efficient combine.”

Viewers demographic may also be an element.  In accordance with Statista, 61% of cellular phone house owners within the US aged 18-29 have used video chat or video call providers, while solely 9% of those 65 years and older have used them.

When you cater to younger shoppers, then video chat could be a big hit. Nevertheless, the same thing can’t be stated if you’re dealing with clients of their 50s or 60s.

Choose the proper video answer

The video platform on which you conduct your calls is an important consideration. You want a reliable answer that’ll allow you and your clients to easily converse. At this stage, you’ll need to provide you with an inventory of necessities you need in a solution.

As an example, do you simply need to speak to your clients using their digital camera or is display sharing required? Do you want further bells and whistles like on-screen chat or a gallery that includes your merchandise? Do you want your personal branded video answer?

These questions will level you in the best path and assist you figure out the most effective answer in your wants. Relying in your requirements, a number of of these solutions may be a very good fit:


Should you don’t want something beyond primary video chat, then kicking things off by way of Facetime is an effective approach to go. It’s straightforward to implement and you don’t have to develop your personal software to rise up and operating.

There’s also the fact that many individuals already have an iPhone, so that you gained’t need to ask your clients to download one other app.


Not everyone has an iPhone, though, so you’ll be able to’t depend on Facetime alone to energy your video chat providers. You’ll need one other widely-used video platform for many who aren’t Facetime customers.

Our suggestion? Use Skype. With greater than 300 million month-to-month lively users, you’ll be able to guess that most individuals will both have the app put in or at the least be accustomed to the software program.

Whitelabeled or customized answer

When you have wants beyond primary video conferencing or in the event you favor to ship buyer help by way of a branded platform, then you definitely’ll want a more refined answer. We will see this in motion in Cadillac Reside, which has added features like an on-screen gallery, stay chat, car showcase, and extra.

Should you’re trying to supply comparable or further features, get in contact builders who can build a solution for you. An alternative choice is to seek out present video answer providers that provide whitelabeled products.

Have a fast and dependable internet connection

Having a spotty net connection can diminish the client expertise, so see to it that you’ve a fast and reliable web service. Take a leaf out of Poopsie’s playbook and improve your Web Service Provider and/or gear if vital.

“Our largest hang-up was our web velocity. Our store is in a 150+ yr previous brick constructing and subsequently the internet reception isn’t all the time what we’d hope it to be,” says Turner. “So we have now switched up our router, how we now have broadcasting, and we switched to fiber web as an alternative of mobile.”

Think about the proper surroundings

“It’s essential to know the place your employee is situated whether that be remote or in the office,” says Steve Forcum at Avaya. “These elements will have an effect on backgrounds, branding and lighting which may have an effect on a customer’s score of assist. Using remote brokers with video creates further obstacles to help capability. Elements many occasions outdoors of the retailer’s management including quality bandwidth, noisy backgrounds, and poor lighting can ship substandard results.”

Forcum stresses the importance of having the correct appearance. “Video is able to show far more concerning the company compared to chatting over the telephone. The business needs to guage if it’s extra of knowledgeable or laid-back setting and how that may affect the demeanor of the video. In other phrases, does your agent’s look and their surrounding setting mirror your enterprise values?”

Promote the service and educate consumers

One of many largest errors you can also make is having a “construct it and they’ll come” angle in the direction of your video chat efforts. Keep in mind that video continues to be a relatively new factor on the earth of retail buyer help, so you’ll have to continuously promote the service to get individuals to use it.

As Turner places it, “The opposite part that hasn’t been straightforward is getting clients to keep in mind that we now have the Poopsie’s Stay service so they’ll utilize it recurrently. Humans are creatures of behavior and it just isn’t a second nature sort service to clients but. However I actually consider it’s coming our means fast. So until then, we’ll maintain telling individuals and we’ll use it each probability we get.”

So, how are you going to get the word out about your video chat customer support? Like Poopsie’s, you must make it some extent to continually remind buyers concerning the service. Poopsie’s even created a couple of movies encouraging individuals to attempt it out.

In some instances, it might make sense to do an explosive launch of the service. When Cadillac unveiled Cadillac Reside, for instance, they invited visitors to a mansion to preview the expertise.

Now, you in all probability don’t need a mansion when unveiling the service, however attempt to make a splash, nonetheless. Publish a press release or reach out to related retailers in your niche to make the announcement.

And don’t overlook to tell your present buyer base. Ship out an e-mail to your subscribers and dedicate a piece in your web site where individuals can study extra concerning the service.

Backside line

We’re working in an more and more video-centric world. The adoption of video chat continues to increase, and we will anticipate this development to proceed within the coming years.

Should you’re trying to capitalize on video’s reputation, think about incorporating it into your customer support technique. When carried out appropriately, your clients and CSRs will thank you for it.

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