Blog · 13 Apr 2018

The digital customer: Video making waves

In the fourth blog of our series on the digital customer, Thomas Duecke looks deeper into customer behaviour, and discovers that video is at the heart of what consumers want.

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President, Global Customer Service

A slow build

We’ve been conducting research into consumer behaviour for seven years now. In 2010, customers were getting to grips with the idea of using video to contact a business. Only 20 per cent of smartphone users in 2010 wanted to contact organisations via video. And this number has grown, year on year. In 2017, 47 per cent of consumers want to be able to use video to contact an organisation in order to resolve an issue.

In the past, I’d have said that video was on the rise. Now, it’s transforming the digital customer experience. And now that we know that video plays a large part in how people want to interact with organisations, let’s delve into our research, and find out why.

Problem solving

One of the key ideas that our research unearthed about the growth of video is that people are using it to help them solve problems. After all, seeing a physical problem being solved is often easier to understand than having the solution explained verbally.

That’s why, in 2017, 47 per cent of consumers we asked said they watch videos to solve problems. This has increased by five per cent in two years. And of all the reasons people said they wanted video, the most popular was to have a product demonstrated — with 70 per cent of our participants saying so.

In fact, 42 per cent of people now choose YouTube over Google when they’re researching a product, highlighting the popularity of this visual medium.

As a result, video chat is also becoming more popular. Seventy per cent of consumers would now choose to discuss a product or service through video chat, whereas just 58 per cent said the same in 2015.

Video also fits in with people’s demand for an omni-channel service. 63 per cent said they should be able to switch seamlessly from chat to video while speaking to the same agent.

Other applications

Video is having a big impact on the customer experience, and I’ve only touched on the most obvious applications. Other use cases, for example, include being able to report faults on products that can’t be easily returned — such as sofas, beds or white goods. The possibilities really are endless — and I’m sure we’ll see video playing an ever-larger role in the digital customer experience for years to come.

In the next blog of the series, we’ll look at a technology that’s pushing the boundaries of innovation in the digital customer experience — the chatbot.

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