Unless you’re filming a motion picture, turning on your video endpoint does not have to be a major production! For years, organizations have seen their video adoption rates struggle but have done very little to drive usage and encourage collaboration via video collaboration tools. The lack of tool adoption has a much more widespread impact than lackluster employee participation, failed face-to-face teamwork, limited connections with colleagues, and low software/ licensing utilization. Perhaps more significantly, it sets the tone for your organization’s willingness to adapt to technologies at the forefront of customer experience innovation. Video usage has both excited and perplexed business leaders for several decades now even though the benefits are widely known and circulated.

Back in 2005—over a decade ago—Wainhouse Research published a study linking an organization’s internal communications quality to both their posture for sound decision making and their ability to execute on those decisions. The same study found that the use of video conferencing and visual collaboration can yield significant improvements in corporate efficiency while reducing expenses. And yet, here we are 15 years later, still struggling to acquire employee buy-in for video conferencing and virtual collaboration tools. Video collaboration and usage makes sense both for the employee experience and customer experience, so let's dive into the benefits and explore ways to resolve adoption woes.

Internal Video Usage

As a component of a robust employee experience strategy, not to mention moving the needle on employee acquisition, video should be one of those tools right up there on the must-have list. With the increasing demand for flexible work situations, providing employees with the ability to work remotely while maintaining connectedness is all-important. In the United States, about half of the workforce is now in a role that offers at least partial work from home (WFH) abilities or the ability to work remotely at some frequency. What’s more, a large majority of the workforce (multiple sources estimate 9 out of 10 workers) say that the option of remote work would make a role more appealing.

Many leaders are lagging in adopting WFH policies because they have dated or inaccurate perceptions of what it looks like to manage a remote workforce. Among the highest ranking in the catalog of reasons not to adopt to a remote workforceor telecommuting is usually productivity and collaboration. Productivity apprehension usually revolves around leaders wondering how much their employees are really getting done when they’re not sitting in an office. Unease around collaboration typically centers around whether employees can participate in efficient and effective teamwork when they are not all sitting in the same geographic location.

There is an abundance of resources debunking the myths of lost productivity and ineffectiveness at the hands of remote work. The benefits of telecommuting and offering WFH programs is all but new information. Clear benefits were found, researched and published more than half a decade ago. Take, for instance, Stanford University research published in 2015 that found telecommuters were about 15% more productive than their office-dwelling colleagues. This same research also discovered that WFM individuals took fewer sick days while also displaying higher job performance and productivity.

As recently as the last 24 months, other studies continue to link video collaboration to improved team performance.

Here are some of the best ways to drive video adoption in your organization:

  1. Executive buy-in and usage: If the top layers of the organization are actively leveraging video, it will help create a trickle-down effect.
  2. Embed it into your culture: Policies become tiring; instead of creating a policy around video usage, work to embed the video collaboration into your organization’s culture.
  3. Identify video champions: Power users and early adopters of video can help drive wide adoption throughout the organization. It often only takes one individual having their video on consistently to have others follow suit.
  4. Drive awareness: Be diligent and proactive about showing employees the benefits of video collaboration and the tools they have available to them!
  5. Use video daily: A large barrier to adoption is many individual’s hesitation with turning on their video unit. The average worker spends nearly one-fifth of their day in meetings. By encouraging that time to be spent with the video on, you are embedding video into the existing daily routine.

Video + CX

Given how beneficial video can be for an organization to use with their employees, it only makes sense that customers could find it beneficial as well! One of my favorite examples of how video usage in the contact center can completely transform the customer experience is with an organization that makes children’s car seats. As most can imagine, being a new parent with a little one on the way can be quite daunting. Most likely, they are facing a laundry list of to-dos and a discouraging number of baby items that require assembly. The soon-to-be parents get around to ensuring that their car seat is ready, one of the key items to protect their new baby’s safety. The manual is robust, but they get through it and are still confused if they secured the car seat correctly. What to do?

Imagine being able to video into the contact center and have an expert virtually walk you through setting up that car seat. Now, these customers get a much-needed gut check that leaves them feeling secure about their car seat purchase and their child's safety.

In situations like with the infant car seat setup, the contact center can not only see customer satisfaction improvements for providing that extra human touch, but the improvements in handle time for similar call types because the customer no longer has to spend substantial time “setting the scene” (i.e trying to verbalize and explain what they are seeing) and the agent is no longer having to explain things to such incredible detail.

The use cases, and business benefits, go far beyond car seats. How could your organization leverage video support to better serve your customers? Tweet us at @8x8 to continue the conversation!