Picture This, Video in the Contact Center

Ann All

The folks who created the cartoon space family the Jetsons were pretty prescient.


After all, we can now buy much of the technology portrayed in the Jetsons -- including the housecleaning robot and the video phone.


Like most folks of "a certain age" (yes, old), I especially coveted those video phones.


So I expected to be quite receptive to the idea of video communications between customers and service representatives, the topic of a recent destinationCRM.com article. Yet I wasn't, as it turns out.


Why? Because the scenarios laid out by the Frost & Sullivan analyst who authored the piece truly seem to be a case of trying to take a cool technology and apply it to applications that just don't need it, rather than a case of applications that could clearly benefit from the technology.


He suggests, for instance, providing touchscreen kiosks in retail stores that customers could use to select a category like audio equipment or HDTV and connect with a qualified specialist who could answer their questions.


I like the idea of using specialists rather than the usual generalists who try to address questions on a broad spectrum of topics. I just don't see video as a necessary, or even a desired, component in this model -- unless perhaps, agents could actually perform product demonstrations or other tasks that would be improved with visuals.


Consider that hard-to-understand accents are a frequent beef of dissatisfied contact center customers. Do you really want to add agents' appearance to the long list of performance concerns already associated with these centers?

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