Zoom talks up a video-centric workplace

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, and the necessary uptake in video collaboration, Zoom has become the go-to video answer for a lot of companies. At this week’s Zoomtopia event, the company spelled out how it plans build on its recent success, unveiling a slew of new products, capabilities, and updates designed to further solidify its customer base.

Video in the contact center?

The 10-year-old company highlighted what it sees as its biggest push: the launch of a cloud-based video contact center in 2022 that “will connect organizations with their customers in new ways,” according to Heidi Elmore, head of UCaaS at Zoom.

Elmore, in a briefing before Zoomtopia began, argued that contact center innovations typically focus on improving agent productivity — answering more calls in less time — meaning agents have just enough information to answer questions. Adding video to a contact center, allows agents to “connect with empathy” and build rapport and trust with customers. (As part of this push, Zoom bought cloud contact center Five9 in July for $14.7 billion.)

The company plans to automate the workflow of call delivery, she said. “We’re going to help automate how video interactions are scheduled, [offer] a waiting room experience, and, of course, [continue] to make that easy medium joint experience in a Zoom way. Then, after the call, we will help automate follow up with items like surveys or follow up tasks,” Elmore said.

Zoom plans to offer a set of templates for call centers that will be industry specific, such as for healthcare, and include analytics and management capabilities to help organizations boost productivity.

Mike Fasciani, senior research director at Gartner, said Zoom will need to re-imagine video-based customer experiences if it is to succeed in contact centers. “Simply adding a video calling option to a typical customer service engagement through a contact center application will not generate much interest from companies that use traditional contact centers.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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