With the new digital-first mentality, the need for remote support and enhanced customer engagement, brands are recognizing the need for a visual-first strategy for acquiring and keeping their customers. Yes, the Visual Transformation journey is already underway.
In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we explored the key trends driving this transformation and the benefits organizations can expect when they include the visual element in their digital transformation efforts. In this second part of the series, we take a deeper dive into the path to fully advanced visual engagement and the three stages along the Visual Transformation journey.
What is visual engagement?
Visual engagement is way beyond just a tool to help you ‘see what your customer sees’ – it’s a centerpiece of the digital transformation. It’s a journey that enables organizations to add vision to more touchpoints, use cases, and departments over time, while automating repetitive tasks. As organizations advance along the path toward Visual Transformation, their visual offerings become more mature. This maturity improves their level of service, enhances the customer and employee experience, optimizes costs, and generates revenues from upsells.
But where should organizations begin?
The Visual Transformation Journey Stages
It all starts with finding the right visual engagement platform. Having a unified platform allows for better visual collaboration across groups, warm transfers across channels, and the utilization of visual data to deliver AI-powered automation over time. This high level of integration would be difficult to achieve with separate systems. Once the platform is in place, the organization can start on their journey to Visual Transformation.
The three stages of Visual Transformation:
- Remote visual assistance
- Guided visual assistance
- Autonomous assistance
Let’s go into each stage in more detail.
Step 1: Remote visual assistance
The contact center agent or remote expert can see what the customer is seeing in order to provide live assistance and guidance. Think of this stage as remote “eyes” into the situation. For example, an agent can ask to see the customer’s router and explain that a cable is plugged into the wrong port, or see that a refrigerator is not functioning properly because the air flow vent is blocked, or see physical damage on an insured object to support a claim.
It also allows remote experts to see what your field service technician is repairing and provide directions from afar. For example, a technician can point a tablet at a complex issue and request help with a job, or receive visual verification that a job was completed successfully.
Step 2: Guided Visual Assistance
The next step of a Visual Transformation is where guided assistance walks a customer through the process of capturing specific images before speaking to a live representative. In many cases, these are repetitive tasks that customers can achieve in self-service without involving a live rep at all, such as warranty verification, returns, product registration, and installation. If more help is needed, a warm transfer can allow a remote agent to access the visuals and pick up the case immediately.
For example, a customer who wants to register a new coffee machine can be guided to upload images of the product, serial number, and proof of purchase. The system recognizes the model, validates the warranty, and automatically registers the product in seconds. If more assistance is needed, the customer is transferred to a live agent who already has all the information needed to continue helping the customer.
Step 3: Autonomous assistance
This is the most advanced stage of the Visual Transformation, where service organizations can increase call deflection and reduce customer effort with visual, interactive guidance powered by Computer Vision AI. The visual customer assistant can deliver full self-service resolutions without interactions with human agents – think of this as a chatbot that can see. The visual assistant can recognize the product and its parts, identify the issue, and provide the resolution for the customer.
For example, a customer needs help troubleshooting their security system, which is making chirping noises. With autonomous assistance, the customer interacts with a visual tech assistant that can see using the power of Computer Vision AI. The customer is instructed to capture images of the alarm’s control unit. The system recognizes the device and then provides the customer with step-by-step guidance to resolve the issue.
This technology can also be utilized as a visual employee assistant that can offer decision support for agents and technicians by recognizing the problem and supplying the employees with next-best actions to fix the issue. For example, an IT technician completes a server installation job and captures an image of the completed work. With autonomous assistance, a visual tech assistant — powered by Computer Vision AI — recognizes that one of the cables has been placed incorrectly, and supplies the technicians with the steps needed to fix it.
How Customer Service Organizations can benefit from the Visual Transformation
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to implementing visual engagement. There are many touchpoints, and the starting point for one organization can be different from another’s. However, as organizations implement visual assistance across more touchpoints, use cases, and departments, they will not only become more innovative, but they will gain a competitive edge with the ability to resolve more issues remotely — gradually automating repetitive tasks — and continuously increase ROI. This ROI comes from reducing both customer and employee effort, optimizing cost of service, and generating more revenue through improved client engagement and satisfaction.
With the first stage of Remote Assistance, Customer Service organizations benefit from faster resolution times, increased first time fix rates, reduced product returns, and a greater sense of safety for customers and employees. As the Visual Transformation journey continues and Guided Assistance is implemented, organizations experience significant improvements in ROI that comes from greater levels of adoption when users initiate a wide range of actions such as product registration, warranty validation, device installation, or repair procedures. In the advanced stage of Autonomous Assistance, Customer Service organizations benefit from greater call deflection rates to self-service channels, better human resource allocation, and reduced overall operational costs.
Visual Transformation has already Begun
Driven by a digital-first mentality and the need for remote support and enhanced customer engagement, the journey of Visual Transformation is already underway. Forward-thinking organizations have recognized the benefits of a visual-first strategy and are taking steps to get there. Whether at the first stage of remote assistance, second stage of guided assistance, or third stage of autonomous assistance, brands that are moving forward in their visual engagement strategy will reap the rewards.
This article was first published on the TechSee blog.