If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a video? With the advanced telecommunications capabilities available to businesses today, that’s the question on the minds of many C-level executives. The answer, as it turns out, is about $7.85 billion. According to a recent study from Transparency Market Research, that’s the expected annual global revenue expected for the video conferencing market just five years from now.
From retail industry customer service applications to the enablement of remote treatments in the healthcare sector, savvy business leaders are already recognizing the potential value that teleconferencing can bring to a customer support strategy. With a chance to cut ties with high-maintenance legacy infrastructure and foster more agile communications capabilities, how might your organization flourish and customer service be improved?
While the benefits of integrating teleconferencing capabilities into your systems can be exciting, you should have a mindful approach as you begin to plan your own project. The research, development and design processes must work in harmony as you create a communications tool that operates intuitively and seamlessly, built on a foundation of sound UX principles.
With that said, here are three things you must consider before investing in video conferencing solutions.
1. How can I ensure that our video conferencing project is completed on-time and on-budget?
Time-to-market is a big mental block for many businesses that are wary about investing in a new tool. It can be difficult to invest capital in a project that won’t bear fruit until it’s complete. But there are plenty of ways to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. Break down the silos between your developers and designers, for starters. If one doesn’t know what the other is working on, it could result in iterations that don’t, or won’t, work. You’ll know you have a functional product if the two work together from the onset.
If you’re burdened by budgetary constraints, you can also make sure you move quickly and cost-effectively by rolling out your product in phases. Start with a low-cost, simple beta-test. As an added benefit, you can deploy it for a select group of individuals and use them for actionable user-testing purposes. This way, you can work out any issues on a small scale before the final project is launched. You can scale your additional iterations to the unique specifications required by your own budget.
2. What are the key elements for getting buy-in on video conferencing?
Integrating a major feature like video conferencing will demand robust support. Without strong adoption rates, the service may fail to show a significant return on the investment, as well as become a bigger impediment to smooth communications.
When it comes to persuading your own peers or employees to use the video conferencing service, you have to design it in a way that will make their jobs easier while contributing to the bottom line. You can incorporate business intelligence, for instance, that can automate back-end administrative functions associated with a user’s involvement with the tool. Speak to your personnel and find out what processes slow them down, what they find to be extraneous effort, and dedicate yourself to making appropriate alterations with your new service.
Consumer-facing technology is not much different. Ultimately, consumers are looking for communications tools that contribute to a richer experience along every point in the customer journey. As such, your video conferencing feature should integrate into the platforms your customers are already using, without disrupting their actions. This can be done by embedding video directly into the site or application. That said, these customers are opting for this service because they want to avoid the complications associated with phone calls—bad messaging services, call transfers and a lack of context without which a company representative cannot know the customer’s whole history. These nuances should be addressed in the development stage if you have the capability.
3. Should we build the video conferencing solution ourselves or outsource?
Building a proprietary video conferencing service demands a high degree of skill, experience and dedication—one without the others is simply not enough.
Many organizations today might have employees with the skill and experience to get such a project completed. But with other full-time responsibilities, their inability to dedicate the necessary energy to the project could result in missteps that result in greater costs or a delayed launch. Poorly skilled or inexperienced developers, designers or researchers, meanwhile, might get your product done on time, but the service itself could work to its own detriment.
When answering this question, you’ll need to conduct an honest self-evaluation. If you cannot spare the expense of mistakes, and you don’t have resources to reallocate solely to the project, you need to isolate the pain points in your process and bring in support.
If you want to learn more about how a dedicated, skilled and experienced UX team can help your company with its next big project, review our UX Strategy Process.