Feb. 7, 2014
By Dr. Melody King
VP of Marketing, Treepodia
When bad customer service stories hit the headlines, everyone with an online company says to themselves, "Glad it wasn't my business." No doubt you're already doing as much as you can to smooth over product or service issues when they occur, so that you don't become the center of some viral "customer service nightmare."
Adding video to your customer service capabilities can give your business an extra edge, bringing a personal touch to what would normally be matter-of-fact communications. Video can also help you reduce costs and time spent on customer service — for example, how-to videos can allow customers to skip the phone calls or emails to your support team. Video is also more likely to get your customers engaged with service-related content — it's more appealing than text or static images, so people will seek it out. Here's how to weave in video with customer service content.
1. Bring a friendly face to FAQs: Frequently asked questions and answers provide valuable guidance for your customers, but they're a lot to wade through, which may deter customers from seeking information. However, you can make some or all of your FAQs watchable instead of readable. And if you have a light touch with humor, you can inject some amusing dialogue into your FAQ videos, making them even more engaging. For a model, take a look at the new safety videos that Virgin America is showing to passengers before takeoff: The airline has received a ton of media coverage for its wacky-yet-informative approach to what is normally a boring topic.
2. Teach with video: If your products or content require help in assembling, or they are used as components of DIY or craft projects, videos can be far more helpful than text instructions. How-to videos can increase customer satisfaction with your brand, which is probably why DIY giant Home Depot posts several how-to videos for projects using popular products.
Here's an even better idea: Ask your customers to send you their own assembly or craft-project videos, so that you can share them with others. These videos have a lot of credibility, since they come from fellow shoppers, and help your customers understand how people have tackled similar problems. Give customers some sort of bonus for sharing their homemade videos, like a special discount.
3. Chat with video: Imagine the impact when a customer can discuss a problem with a real person they can see, instead of simply typing chat messages. Video chat creates friendlier customer service, and adds the human element that can often be missing. Amazon is doing this with the video chat tool built into its Kindle Fire HDX tablets. When the "Mayday" button on the tablet screen is pressed, a live video chat window opens.
4. Broadcast service messages using video: If you need to go beyond one-to-one communications regarding customer service, video is an effective delivery method. Perhaps you need to tell customers about a problem with deliveries, or you want to spread the word about a new product line — either way, videos can convey this information more effectively than a press release or email blast.
5. Use video to get social: As social networks like Twitter and Instagram make it easier to create and share videos, members are more inclined to view and share videos they like. Take part in social conversations by posting videos — for instance, if you receive a compliment on Facebook, respond with a video that tells people more about your products. Likewise, if you get a negative comment, video raises the chance social media users will pay attention to your response.
Every step you take to build a better customer service organization helps ensure that your business is known for fast, helpful responses — not foot-dragging or impersonal communications. Video can go a long way towards improving the perception of your service, which then reflects well on your overall brand.
Read more about multichannel retailing.