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Several So. Florida Companies Turn To Video Customer Service

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - There's nothing like a face-to-face conversation to resolve an issue you're having with a business, or, a call to a company's toll free customer service number to get it straightened out.

Calls, however, may soon become a thing of the past as Several South Florida companies have made the switch to video customer service.

One of them is Opulence International Real Estate in Downtown Miami, where agents are only out showing high-end properties, but sitting in front of computers for meetings with international clients.

James Hoffman, Opulence's President, said he uses a web product called Katana from a Miami-based tech company called Live Ninja.

"It's a great customer service platform as well as a point of sale," Hoffman said.  "People like to see who they're doing business with."

Click here to watch Brian Andrew's report. 

Opulence said that 70-percent of their clients are overseas, so this has revolutionized the way they do business.

"When it comes to establishing trust and relationship with a brand, it's all about the human beings behind that brand," said Will Weinraub, President of Live Ninja.

"When you visit a business website, you're not there to look at cat pictures and check the weather. You're ready to do business."

Francisco Leon believes in video customer service, too. He runs a telemedicine company in Coconut Grove called Femwell.

"Every other industry is probably using some similar technology, so why not medicine," asked Leon. "This is the natural evolution to what I feel will be something extremely powerful."

The Live Ninja technology could also help cut down on the wait to see the Doctor.

Rheumatologist Dr. Geeta Nayyar says a video conference could be your next doctor's appointment.

"With this, I can say to the patient, let's make this a video visit and that person can use their phone's camera to show me a rash, for example.  I can actually determine, as the Doctor if it's pink, if it's raised, all the soft things we can't get in a phone conversation with our patients."

Live Ninja is one of several companies offering the technology to local businesses.

Weinraub said he believes e-commerce experiences will soon be replicating the real life experience.

"You're going to go to a website and you'll be greeted with a human being who can say hi, how are you, how can I help you," he said.

The technology starts at about $1,000 dollars and grows in price based on the number of video agents, or licenses your business needs.

"Since we brought in the new technology, we're closing deals because we're putting buyers in direct contact with our agents on a face-to-face," said Opulence's Hoffman.

Dr. Nayyar said it's the entry of technology into the examining room.

"Let's bring devices like these into the examining room and extend the human touch, not replace it, but extend it."

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