Travel Contact Centers & Video CX

During the pandemic, video became a must-have communications tool, and it has transformed the way we work. In the workplace, video conferencing is now the standard for distributed teams and, for many, video calling has supplanted telephony for one-to-one calls.

A recent survey from Owl Labs found that 64% of remote employees preferred hybrid video conference calls and, according to Global Market Insights, the global video conferencing market is expected to surpass $95 billion by the end of this year.

With today’s technology advances, video has overcome the traditional obstacles to adoption – too complex, poor quality and expensive. End users are also more comfortable with being on camera. Despite all of these developments, video has not been widely adopted in the contact center.

With video becoming increasingly commonplace, and as contact centers adopt newer technologies, contact center leaders are uncovering more use cases where video can truly enhance the customer experience (CX) and be a worthy investment. Unlike telephony or messaging – which are universally used for customer service – the video experience works best in specific situations. Today, we’re highlighting how video can transform CX in travel contact centers, specifically with airlines.

With post-pandemic travel booming, airlines are struggling to support demand, and travelers expect a higher level of service than in the past. Video-based customer service for air travelers is coming to market now and travel contact centers that support these types of customers should be giving video closer consideration. To better understand this use case opportunity, here are three strong reasons airlines should adopt video in their contact centers.

Video Provides a Better CX in Travel Contact Centers

When travelers need customer service, the situation is often pressing and time sensitive. When plans change unexpectedly, travelers are typically on the road and entirely dependent on their smartphone for getting help. Sometimes, updated plans are handled automatically by the airline but, in most cases, the traveler is on their own to make changes on-the-fly, and with only moments to spare. These are often anxiety-inducing situations where the traveler needs the right information immediately.

With conventional travel contact centers, this often means calling in, waiting for an agent, and then explaining the situation from the start. Unless the agent has the answers at their fingertips, the traveler feels stressed, helpless and alone. This rarely leads to a good CX, but when done via video, the outcome can be very different. With the right technologies, airlines can prioritize video calls to ensure they are answered right away, which shows you understand the urgency of their situation.

Once on the call, the immersive nature of video allows agents to quickly establish trust and show empathy to put the caller at ease. Even if the resolution takes just as long as being on a voice call, this form of interaction is more assuring as the traveler feels like the agent is with them every step of the way. In these situations, the traveler isn’t really concerned with how they or the agent looks on camera; what matters is connecting quickly with someone who is both willing and able to help – the essence of providing a great CX.

Video Offers Richer Capabilities than Voice Calls

Aside from video being immersive, it’s also a digital channel, which is foundational for travel contact centers wanting to adopt artificial intelligence (AI). Telephony-based customer service can be effective in many situations, but voice has different characteristics from video, especially when not using AI.

One example is intelligent routing, which AI can drive for any channel, not just video. However, when dealing with an airline that prioritizes video calls, customers will be routed to an agent with the right skills for the type of customer and their particular situation. When the call comes in, AI can instantly draw from the customer’s profile, travel history and the particulars for their current itinerary. If there happens to be a language barrier, AI can address this as well with real-time translation.

With video being a digital channel, the contact center can capture a much richer data set than with a voice-only call. Aside from the conversation being recorded, AI also tracks the metadata associated with the video call, which can be used to support agent KPIs as well as operational and network performance for the contact center.

With video-based metadata, which tracks things like whether the agent is making eye contact, their body language, and visual markers that reflect sentiment, mood and empathy, these forms of data go well-beyond what can be tracked on a voice call, bringing new value in terms of agent training and developing best practices from high-performing agents.

Video Enhances What it Means to be Omnichannel

Whether contact centers fully migrate to cloud, or just add the specific pieces they need to evolve from telephony-centric CX, with the right technology partners, they can still support digital forms of customer service with their existing infrastructure. Given the broad adoption of digital channels by customers, this is a key consideration for travel contact center leaders.

This is core to the omnichannel value proposition, which provides the essential capabilities for today’s CX expectations. Omnichannel provides the integrations needed for agents to shift seamlessly across channels and provide continuous service on whatever channel the customer uses to make contact.

Omnichannel also enables the agent to provide the same level of CX across all channels and means that whatever channel the customer prefers is the channel the agent will engage with.

By adding video, contact centers can take omnichannel to a new level, along with making their capabilities more digital-centric. This isn’t to say that all interactions should be video-based, but with well-considered use cases, video is poised to become an integral part the contact center for airlines.

Learn how Upstream Works enhances travel contact centers and travel CX with enhanced omnichannel and video capabilities here.