How to Use Video to Deliver Remarkable Customer Support

 Photo:  Beaulawrence  License:  Creative Commons

There’s something special about going to a five-star restaurant.

The atmosphere.

The anticipation.

The way every bite of food lights up your taste buds.

But the experience isn’t worth much without stellar customer support. A restaurant could have the best food in town, but it won’t stay in business long if its wait staff is inattentive to customers’ needs.

Many businesses are unwittingly delivering a similar letdown to customers online. Their products and services are great, but they don’t have the customer support to match.

In this series of posts, I’ve already touched on why businesses should use video and its incredible potential to sell products and services.

But can it help you provide better customer support?

Absolutely.

Video has made it possible to support customers in an engaging, cost-effective way. Keep reading to see how different companies are using video to do this (and how you can do the same).

Why Businesses Struggle to Provide Solid Customer Support

Oracle found that 81% of customers are willing to pay higher prices for a great experience. Stellar customer support is a key part of delivering that experience.

Remarkable customer support reflects highly of your brand. It earns valuable trust in an online space full of cynicism and fly by night operations. And because customers are willing to pay premiums for a better experience, delivering it is a profitable way to do business.

Most businesses understand the importance of solid customer support. But many struggle to deliver it to their customers consistently. It’s tough to juggle the demands of acquiring new customers and running a business with providing support to current customers.

When there’s a tradeoff or compromise involved – this happens all the time for small businesses – customer support is usually an area that takes a hit.

Keeping Pace with Technology and High Customer Expectations

Meeting the demand for quality customer support is harder than ever.

Customers demand to be able to reach out and receive a response right away. Gone are the days when customers had to settle for mailing a letter or navigating a maze of options in a 1-800 number.

Today, those are just two options among many. Technology has made numerous avenues available for customers to get in touch with you. They can reach out over email or social media. And innovations like live chat software continue to emerge, opening up even more communication channels.

Trying to interact with customers through all of these channels – and do it well – increases the risk of businesses spreading themselves too thin. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of jumping from channel to channel and reacting without ever making the support process more efficient.

Using Video to Deliver Remarkable Customer Support

Technology is like a double-edged sword.

It creates multiple communication channels for your customer support team to contend with. But it also creates an engaging, efficient way to handle the increased demand: video.

Using video to handle customer support creates a host of advantages. It’s time and cost-efficient because it cuts down on support via telephone and email. And it adds a personal touch in a world of bland support content. Last but not least, the way video is packaged and delivered makes it easier for customers to consume it and engage with it.

Here are 4 ways you can use video to deliver an unforgettable customer support experience:

1. FAQ videos

Frequently asked questions, or “FAQ” sections, have been a mainstay on business websites for years.

Many business owners made the correct assumption that common customer questions would continue to repeat themselves. So it made sense to provide the answers online, where someone could access them all in a single location.

The trouble with this: it puts the burden on the customer to wade through dense (and often difficult to navigate) FAQ content. It’s much easier to post their question in an email or on social media, and that’s exactly what many of them will do.

Turning your FAQ section into a video library will save you time and trouble, along with increasing customer satisfaction. After the initial time investment of creating the videos, it’s simple to then send customers a link containing the answer to a specific question in video format. This makes it easy for customers to find the information they need. And they’re much more likely to watch a video than read an article.

One company that’s fielding FAQ’s in a video format is Virgin America. Take a look at this quirky safety video they show passengers before takeoff:

2. How-to videos

Another way to provide great customer support is to show customers all the different ways they can use the product they’ve purchased from you.

Teaching customers about your product’s features and potential applications helps them tap into its full potential. It’s also one of the fundamental principles of effective content marketing. Brands have been doing this for decades with “low-tech” methods. A company selling cake mix, for example, teaches customers how to use it by including a cake recipe on the packaging.

Because you’re selling online, it’s impossible to show customers how to use your products in person. Try it over the phone, and a lot of what you say will get lost in translation. This makes video the most effective medium to show people how to use your products. It’s visual and it scales.

Viewers can pause, rewind, and re-watch videos to learn at their own pace. And as I mentioned in the post about demo videos, there isn’t a better way to show a product “in action” than by putting it on camera.

The coffee company Keurig is executing this strategy extremely well. Take a look at this how-to video, which shows viewers how to brew coffee at high altitudes:

3. Live video chat

Live chat software has given customers unprecedented convenience and access to customer support in real-time. With the click of a button, users can initiate phone or text conversations with company support representatives.

This has been beneficial for both parties involved. Users get the convenience and information they need. And businesses save money and make their customer support more efficient.

Live video chat is taking this to another level.

Amazon is one of the most well known adopters. They launched the Kindle Fire HDX in 2013, including a feature called the “Mayday” button. Users simply have to click the button to start a video chat with a support rep. The rep can then see their screen and help troubleshoot issues. This real-time support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Live video chat eliminates a lot of the miscommunications that crop up over telephone and text conversations. Companies like Phillips, Canon, and medical device manufacturers have noticed the potential and are jumping into the fray.

Live video chat technology requires a sizable customer service staff and can be expensive; for smaller companies, it isn’t as feasible as the other video customer support applications at this time. However, live video chat should become more cost-effective as the technology evolves.

4. Social media

Social media is a popular place for customers to voice complaints and ask support questions online.

Brands are doing their best to keep up and engage in real-time conversations, but it can be challenging. It gets particularly tough with a large customer base, or if the brand sells complicated products or services.

Answering the most basic customer question can take multiple tweets or paragraphs on a business’ Facebook page. For companies on a tight budget, it’s almost impossible to keep up without someone devoting their attention to social media full time.

Delivering videos through social media creates better options. Brands save time, answer questions effectively, and deliver a personal touch in the process.

Some businesses have already embraced this strategy. British bank NatWest prepared a series of short videos on Vine, a free video creation platform, to respond to customer questions on social media.

This article from the Twitter blog features a NatWest video showing a customer how to change his account alert preferences. And here’s one showing customers how to order a paper statement:

This has saved NatWest time and trouble, and it keeps things interesting. Writing out lengthy responses about online banking would’ve taken much longer (and bored social media users) than using a video format.

Giving Customers the Experience They Deserve

Customers are looking for the whole package. They know they have a lot of options online, so they can afford to be picky.

Handling customer support through video is a great way to give them the attention they want and deserve.

And this doesn’t just give them what they want.

Using video frees up resources to focus on running and growing your business. It builds meaningful connections and keeps your customers happy. And it keeps your business healthy and profitable.

Have you used video for customer support? What results have you seen so far? Leave a comment below and let us know.