By Hope Horner
The meteoric rise in the use of self-service options goes beyond a hatred of mind-numbing hold music. In fact, 75 percent of customers find the convenience of self-service attractive.
While today’s tech-savvy consumers are more empowered when it comes to finding answers to solve their own problems, they’re also more impatient with customer service than ever before. When customers run into support issues, they’re more likely to try to resolve those problems online and on their own terms than to reach out to a company over a call or email.
This makes good sense: Most customer service call centers have limited hours, while a company’s website is available at any time. What’s more, although people often complain that interacting with traditional phone-based customer service takes too long, the opposite side of that coin is viewed as an advantage of online self-service: They have as much time as they like to find the answers they need.
Convenient self-service doesn’t appeal only to customers; it’s also attractive to companies. That’s why many are turning to video to help address customer concerns. If you give customers tools to solve their own problems, you’re the expert they’ll trust when they need help in the future.
A Video Is Worth a Million Words
Not only do videos have the power to address hundreds of customers at once, but they can also do it in a way that grants you unparalleled control over their experience throughout the entire engagement. This kind of precision just isn’t possible with a traditional call center or online customer service chat portal, where different customers reach different employees in different moods who have different experience levels…you get the picture.
When Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones started exploding all over the place, for example, the subsequent recall wreaked havoc on its customer service capabilities. So the company decided to address customers directly by posting a video message on its website at the same time that the announcement was made about the government outlawing the sale of the Note 7.
It was an unusual step, but when upset customers saw Samsung America President and COO Tim Baxter apologize to them and address charges of having provided conflicting information on the situation, it went a long way toward easing tensions and keeping the company’s messaging intact.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you’re in a DEFCON 1 scenario to harness the power of video to address your customers’ concerns. Whether they’re interested in product features or warranty or refund policies — or even just curious about your credentials — video is a more personal and authentic way to tackle customer pain points collectively and continuously.
Here are three tips for maximizing your video production investment and ensuring that customers get the most out of it:
1. Define the concerns you’re addressing. What are the most common questions you receive from your customers? What are their concerns? What does your customer service team spend the most time on? Before you get started on your video, decide exactly what it’s going to be about and which questions it’s going to answer. Be specific — don’t try to cram too much into one video.
Avoid making a lengthy video version of your FAQ page, focusing instead on very specific questions. You can use one or two big ones as a starting point, and then go back and make different videos to address other customer concerns.
2. Be vulnerable, honest, and authentic. Transparency builds trust, and trust builds loyalty. Particularly if you’re addressing a large-scale problem, being honest with your audience generally evokes a more understanding, emotional response.
In addition, putting a relatable person on camera helps humanize your brand and makes a corporate video feel not as, well, “corporate.” Try to avoid reading a script or teleprompter, which makes you sound generic and less genuine. Your customers are people, not robots — make sure you infuse a little personality into your video.
3. Explore short customer service videos. For less serious concerns, experiment with creating inexpensive (or free) videos on your phone or tablet of your service team members addressing customers. If customers ask questions via social media, respond with videos. This will create a connection between the brand and the customer that an email or a phone conversation never could.
If customers tweet praise, complaints, or questions at your brand, for example, you could reply in 140 characters or less. Or you could use Twitter’s Vine app to record a 30-second video message for them. In January, for example, Red Vines responded to a tweet from one of its followers by sending a short and sweet six-second video. Talk about personalized messaging!
Video is an integral part of communicating with your customer base in a consistent, calculated way. Unlike call centers, which can quickly become overloaded, video has unlimited capacity. Ultimately, investing in a short corporate video — just two minutes long — can ultimately help grow your business by saving it not only money, but also time and energy. Plus, it can satisfy concerned clients and customers like no other medium.
While video might take more resources to produce than an email, your communication will be much more personal and meaningful for the customer. Delivering maximum value to your customers every time you engage with them is a winning formula, and video is key to that equation.