Kuala Lumpur, Aug 25: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has seen increased adoption of video calls in nearly every area of life.
A survey commissioned by Uniphore, the leader in Conversational Service Automation (CSA), revealed that Malaysian consumer perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for video conversations identified a disconnect between the benefits of video conversations and the unintended challenges it creates.
The results also indicated a strong willingness amongst Malaysian consumers to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive improvements in their experiences.
When considering the rise of video calls throughout the past 18 months plus, local consumers revealed a mix of both frustration and appreciation for what video conversations have had to offer.
Benefits of Video Calls Include More Effective and Meaningful Connections
Respondents noted some clear benefits of having conversations on video including better engagement rates.
When using video, a majority (74 per cent) of respondents indicated they felt the participants ranged from somewhat, very or extremely engaged with them.
Further, 68 per cent of participants said video calls provide them with a more meaningful connection with others.
This is especially important for conversations that require empathy or trust – for example, education, training, sales meetings, or counseling sessions.
The Dark Side of Video Calls: Multitasking and Distractions Are Everywhere
About two-thirds (62 per cent) of Malaysian consumers reported they spent significantly more time on video last year than in prior years.
Participants admitted to doing a wide range of nonprofessional multitasking, personal tasks and other projects during video calls, including web surfing, online shopping and social media scanning.
They also reported the following activities during video calls such as watching YouTube and streaming (54 per cent), read social media or online news (52 per cent), going to the bathroom (40 per cent) and online shopping (31 per cent)
When asked about the factors they dislike about conducting a video call, respondents cited they prefer to be able to multitask during video calls (30 per cent).
Being ‘camera-ready’ was also identified as a key issue with 29 per cent of respondents don’t like seeing themselves on camera and 29 per cent of Malaysians also dislike having to “get ready” for video calls.
Lastly, respondents noted challenges with video calls – more than two-fifths (41 per cent) of respondents claimed they couldn’t tell if others on the call were engaged or not and 29 per cent said they couldn’t get their point across.
“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve witnessed the widespread adoption of video conversations across personal and professional engagements.
“As the survey results revealed, there is still work to do to make virtual interactions as seamless and effective as in-person conversations,” Umesh Sachdev, CEO and co-founder of Uniphore said.
“There is a clear need for additional tools and capabilities to enhance higher degrees of people-to-people understanding.
“Through AI and automation technology, companies and business leaders can create better experiences for customers, pick up on nonverbal cues that they may have missed, and provide insights using data that is decipherable and actionable.”
Consumers Are Ready to Embrace AI to Improve Meeting Experience
While video is being used today for many purposes, it’s clear that technology can make these video conversations more effective and enjoyable. Of note, according to the survey results, an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) of Malaysian respondents said they would be open to using automation or AI tools to improve video conversations.
Respondents noted they would like AI to provide them with tips on how to engage with others (48 per cent), develop deeper connections (40 per cent), and help them multitask more surreptitiously (37 per cent).
Earlier this year, Uniphore acquired two companies — Emotion Research Labs and Jacada — to further leverage video and emotion AI capabilities along with low code automation tools to improve customer experiences.
Through the use of AI and machine learning, companies can enhance communication by adding the ability to better understand engagement levels and emotions of participants, and ultimately drive better business results.
Uniphore is the only vendor capable of providing a complete platform including low code or no code capabilities along with best-of-breed voice and video AI and automation capabilities.
For more details on the Malaysia survey and results from other geographies, visit this page.
A survey of 1,000 U.S. and 2100 consumers across Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, UAE and Vietnam was completed in June 2021 by Researchscape International, a market research consultancy, and through an online survey platform – Zoho. The survey was administered online and included representation across all age groups between 18 to 65 plus.