by Larry Mead, Kate Kompelien and Kurt Schroeder
For years, video conferencing has played a vital role in employee collaboration and personal relationships. As video conferencing technology becomes more secure, powerful and affordable, the inclusion of virtual face-to-face support in the financial services industry is a foregone conclusion.
Where customers were once forced to settle for chat or phone conversations, future financial dealings will be accomplished via video kiosks and mobile video connections. Video support will allow banks, lenders and insurance providers to create deeper connections with their customers, regardless of the length and nature of the interaction.
Let's look at 2 different examples of how video can be used:
James and Michelle want to open an education savings account for their young twins. After doing a good deal of research on available options, the couple is still not sure which product or strategy is right for them. Frustrated, they call their financial advisor for help. Rather than simply take their call, their advisor schedules a virtual house call to address their questions and concerns. The house call consists of in-home video conferencing with extensive interactive functions, allowing the financial advisor to walk James and Michelle through their options and show models of how each product and strategy may impact their unique situation and savings goals.
By enabling the face-to-face discussion, the financial advisor creates a deeper level of engagement and is available to address all of James and Michelle’s concerns. The visual cues available via the video conference are invaluable in helping the advisor put James and Michelle at ease.
Mark is involved in a minor fender bender on his way to work. After calling the police, he contacts his insurance company to begin the process of filing a claim. To his surprise, the insurance company dispatches a drone to document the scene of the crash and take witness statements via the drone’s integrated video conferencing interface.
The adjuster handling Mark’s claim downloads the data from the drone and begins completing and filing the necessary documents to resolve the claim. Throughout the process, the adjuster is available to video chat with Mark whenever necessary, making it easy for Mark to ask questions and provide any additional information needed to complete the claims process.
The use of video collaboration offers many potential benefits to financial services organizations and their customers, including:
- Improved relationships: Face-to-face conversations help to create a foundation for a lasting relationship. Visual identification between a customer and representative helps to be trust between the two parties, and is especially impactful in cases where the customer is assigned a dedicated support staff member, such as a financial advisor or account manager.
- Increased likelihood of issue resolution: Visual cues presented via video conferencing offer enhanced understanding of the interaction to both parties. For instance, a representative who picks up signs of frustration or confusion in the customer’s body language can take steps to rectify their concerns.
Face-to-face communication, whether in person or virtual, will always be the preferred method of interaction for most humans. Financial services providers who understand this preference, and take steps to provide video interaction opportunities, are likely to attract and retain satisfied customers.