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Get back on speaking terms

Installing a webcam system can help etailers build closer customer service relationships with shoppers.

C ustomer service reaches a new level with the launch of technology company Vee24’s live video chat service.

Called Veedesk, it allows retailers to communicate live with customers through an internet video link. Retailers wishing to use it will need equipment including a touch-screen PC, a media tower with camera, a small broadcast monitor and illumination both for the operator and for ‘on-air’ lighting. Vee24 supplies the equipment and integrates the necessary software.

The live video feed allows a customer service adviser to talk over the internet directly to the shopper in real time. It is compatible with all computer types and browsers. To start the live chat, customers click on a ‘Get live help’ link on the host site’s web page.

One site where it is in use is that of US retailer Lands’ End. Customers visiting www.landsend.com are given the option to chat online if they have a query. While Lands’ End offers this option on every page of the site, the link is positioned right at the bottom of the page and it would be better placed nearer the product, so that shoppers could quickly register questions as they arise.

When customers click on the ‘Chat online’ option, they are given a number of choices of how to chat to an adviser. The first is keyboard to video, which means customers without webcams are still able to take advantage of the service by simply typing in their query. The second option is voice chat, where users talk directly to the adviser via their PC’s microphone and speakers. The third option is full, two-way webcam video chat between customer and sales assistant.

Video customer service has the potential to really enhance the relationship with online customers and give them a more positive shopping experience. Queries can be dealt with quickly in a personal manner, building confidence and increasing sales.

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