Feb 16, 2015

5 Reasons to Teach Customers to Dial the Video Phone


"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876 
Photo Courtesy: http://thisanalogearth.com/tag/video-phones/


Just as Western Union failed to embrace the power of the telephone, I wonder if business has yet to fully embrace the power of the video phone.


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Brand Without Video Calling
Can you SEE me now? Sadly for many customers calling businesses, the answer is no. Right now, your customers have the ability to video call your business. But most businesses don't know how to answer the video phone, so this is what the customer sees: a black screen. Here are 5 reasons why your brand might want to learn to dial and answer the video phone. 
1. One-Click Video Calling is upon us. WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) is making B2C video calls easier. Think telephone communication without a carrier. Callers no longer have to download a plugin or an app to join a video call. WebRTC communications whether it be voice, video or text are now in-browser based and portable between devices.  


This new technology has lowered the barrier to video calling. Simply send someone a link to join the call and that call can be transferred ubiquitously whether it be voice or text. From Appear.In to V-Line to Google Hangouts, free video calling services abound. WebRTC isn't just video calling, however. It includes peer to peer file sharing meaning documents can also be transferred via the call. If you're a bank, imagine the possibilities of face to face video banking like what Barclays is doing in the UK or what Induslnd Bank in India is doing with its virtual branches.
2. In 10 years, Frost & Sullivan predict one-click visual communication will be embedded in almost every device. Notice I said VIDEO, not just voice. Millions of devices/browsers will be WebRTC enabled at the end of this year.
3. Can you see me now? Mobile carriers are starting to WebRTC enable phones. ATT was the first carrier to announce one-click video calling with WebRTC.


4. Customer trust is important to e-commerce sites. The higher the value of your product, the more the customer needs to trust you. Eye contact can increase brand trust by 16% . Eye Contact can also reduce hostilities online. Making eye contact is the most powerful way to communicate between humans. We are biochemically primed to want to communicate with someone face to face.
5. Eye contact increases conversion rates. A study by Forrester found 41% of customers prefer in-person contact for “closing a sale.” To me, a live video call simulates "in-person contact". So why aren't more online marketers using live video? Perhaps our default position is to solve a conversion problem with more ads, not eye contact. Ads are easily measured. The value of eye contact within a video call is not.
Video calling isn't for every brand or for every transaction but the higher the price point of your product, the more you might want to learn how to dial the video phone. Some e-commerce sites with high dollar and high trust transactions will have to become what I call "See-Commerce" if they want to do business with the “face time generation” who is highly accustomed to communicating via video chat. If you're waiting until your customers demand video calling, you're missing out on the advantages that eye contact provides. 
How does your business plan to use the video phone? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments or better yet, hop in and say hello in my video phone booth.
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Photo Courtesy: http://headflat.com/