How to Implement Video Chats in Your Website
Video chats have become such an important part of our day to day lives that it is almost impossible to have a conversation without seeing or hearing at least one video chat per day. As more and more people are relying on video chats for their daily communication, businesses are realizing the importance of having video chats in their website.
Anyone who has ever tried to have a video chat with a customer will know how difficult it can be to have a meaningful conversation while using a screen share to display a webpage. The customer and the business owner are both struggling to have a face-to-face conversation over an Internet connection while avoiding the glitches that usually occur when trying to do so. For this reason, businesses want to avoid video chats whenever possible and use them only when there is no other alternative. Unfortunately, this often means that important business information is not being passed on from one generation to the next. It also means that crucial deals can be missed because of a faulty connection or a bad sound quality that makes it hard for either party to understand what the other is saying.
Fortunately, there are ways for businesses to have video chats on their websites without having to suffer the pitfalls that come with using video chat tools. Here are some of the best tricks.
Use A Screen Share
One of the simplest and most reliable methods for businesses to have video chats on their websites is to use a screen share. A screen share enables two (or more) participants to view and interact with a shared screen. Even if you are the only person in your company that uses your website to conduct business, you can use a screen share to have video chats with customers as often as you like without suffering from any technical glitches. You can also use the screen share to share documents with your visitors as often as you like, which makes it a very handy tool for e-commerce businesses that sell a lot of digital products.
Live Chat In Real Time
Many businesses are realizing how important it is to be able to have a real time chat with their visitors. That is, the ability to instantly engage with a customer who chooses to contact your business via a website or app rather than using a phone or email to discuss the matter. This is where live chat comes in. A live chat allows you to have a real time conversation with a visitor who is currently online and therefore accessible via a web browser. This is in contrast to a regular text-based chat, which is usually saved and monitored via a separate app.
There are many different live chat platforms that can be used to have online live chats with your customers. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Azure™ Chat Service
- Guru™ Chat Service
- Pricing: Basic plans start at just $5 per month and go all the way up to $50 per month. Additional features are not required for the basic plans but are available upon request. Most chat service providers offer free trials, so you can test out their services without risking any money.
- RingCentral® Office™ Chat
- Hootsuite® Live Video
- Intercom® (Phone)
Record And Playback Of Video Chats
Even though using a screen share is the simplest and most reliable way to have video chats on your website, it does have its drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that taking a screen share makes it difficult to play videos in real time during the chat, as the video must be stopped and then restarted at the appropriate time. This is not convenient for visitors who are participating in real time.
Luckily, there is a way around this problem. Instead of taking a screen shot and posting it in a corner of your website as a still image, you can choose to have your video chat recorded. After the video chat is over, you can play the video back and forth between the two parties involved in the chat. Doing this is a lot easier than having to post a still image every time you want to show a video during a chat. The other party will not be able to tell that the video has been replayed, as there is no frame or mark at the beginning or end of the video to indicate that it has been tampered with.
Use A Screen Capture App
If taking a screen share is not an option for you (or if you want to have more control over when the video is stopped and started), you can always use a screen capture app. A screen capture app records everything that is displayed on your screen at the moment you decide to start the recording. This includes video, animations, and webpages that are being viewed. The only thing that is not recorded are sound effects and the voices of people speaking out loud unless they are being recorded themselves.
It is a very handy tool to have around when you are doing product demos or teaching employees about your company’s products and services. It also comes in very useful for reviewing transactions that are taking place online. For example, if you are using an e-commerce website to sell your products, you can use screen captures to prove to customers that their payment was received by the business that they initially contacted.
Video chats can be quite fun to have if everything is going well. However, it can also be quite difficult if the camera operator is not used to working in front of a computer screen and cannot focus properly or if they suddenly develop tunnel vision and cannot stop looking at the screen the entire time.
If you want to have a video chat with your customers and you are not sure about how to set one up, the simplest thing to do is to use webcam chats. A webcam chat works similarly to a screen share in that it displays everything that is visible on the computer screen. However, instead of having to resort to creating an image of what is on your screen and posting it on a website, you can have real time video chatting with your visitors via your webcam.
For the best video chat experience, ensure that the lighting is okay and there are no obstacles in the way. This will help the video quality, and with good quality videos, it is almost impossible to have any type of communication problems. Also, make sure that your webcam is displaying what you want it to display and that the other party can see you clearly.
Use An Online Translator
While online translators can be quite handy in case you want to translate something from English to Spanish (or vice versa) during a chat, they can also be used for more complicated tasks. For example, if you want to have a video chat with a visitor who does not speak English as a first language, you can use an online translator to have a conversation in the native tongue of the other party.
The only drawback to using an online translator is that it can be difficult to use a tool like that during a live chat. For that reason, I would only recommend using an online translator for situations where there is no other alternative.
Use Online Conferencing
If you want to have a video chat with a lot of people, you can always use an online conferencing platform. An online conferencing platform is an application that connects you with other participants via a live video feed. You can share screens and documents as often as you like while having a conversation about whatever you are reviewing or demonstrating.
An online conferencing host will usually charge you based on how many people are participating in the chat. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Zoom™ (Phone)
- Cisco WebEx®
- WebEx On Demand®
- Microsoft Office Live™
- Skype® (Phone)
Use An App That Does All Of This
If none of the options discussed above seem adequate to you, you can always resort to creating your own tool specifically designed for video chats. You can use any programming language to create such a tool, and it will be much easier for you to use than trying to set up a video chat through a traditional web browser and having to deal with all the quirks that come with it. The only drawback to creating your own video chat tool is that it will not be easy for others to use, as it requires familiarity with your specific program.