iStock_000018674347XSmallAs the average human attention span and level of patience grows shorter, video has become an attractive alternative to wading through the written word. Spend a day or two reading 100+ pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s luxurious writing in The Great Gatsby? Most people today would say no way. Watch the whole story in a little over two hours? A $51 million opening weekend doesn’t lie….
In long or short form, video presents a viable alternative to reading, writing and searching through manuals, instructions and lengthy online content. There’s a magic to the medium that makes even the most mundane subjects bearable – and sometimes, even interesting, helpful and entertaining.
Video is not a stand-alone customer service channel by any means, but it can be successfully used in conjunction with other online mediums or delivery vehicles including:
- Social Media: When Warby Parker launched in 2010 with a policy that it would respond to every customer question and comment no matter what channel it came from, they made it work, even with Twitter’s limited word count.For answers that just won’t fit within the 140 character limit, Warby Parker’s customer service team records a video response, uploads it to YouTube and tweets the link to the customer. And the reviews for this response have been stellar. Not only is the customer who posed the question impressed, but so are the other customers who have (or Google) the same question and are taken to the CSR response on YouTube. (Read more on InternetRetailer.com.)
- Mobile/Text: The URLs from video clips or YouTube can easily be shared with smartphone customers via a text message, a cost effective method delivered in short form.
- Knowledgebase: Including video customer service and support content in a corporate knowledgebase, whether it’s the same messaging and information being provided in written form, or supplemental tips and content, is always a good idea. Video provides variety to break up lengthy content and make hard-to-understand topics or instructions more digestible, and written content serves as an SEO tool to bring customers who prefer video on site.
So What’s Holding Brands Back from Video Customer Service?
Many brands believe video for customer service needs to be at the same production level as video produced for marketing and advertising, but that’s just not the case. Sometimes, the more authentic and human a customer service video is, the better connection it makes.
A face-to-face connection is often a differentiator in video customer service, and whether or not it’s beautifully produced, if it’s entertaining in addition to being informative, it typically hits a customer service home run. (Watch Virgin Mobile of Australia’s customer service video).
5 Best Practices for Video Customer Service
For brands considering or experimenting with the use of video for customer service, here are 5 common best practices:
1. Watch Your Time: Videos should only be a few minutes long. Wistia found that the completion rate for a 30-second video is close to 90 percent, but it drops to just a little over 50 percent if a video is two minutes long.
2. Put Your Best Information Forward: For customer service especially, put the solution as close to the start of the video as possible. Break up large videos into smaller segments with written descriptions of the content provided for each to make the desired information or answers easier to find.
3. Keep It Simple: If your CSRs are producing video content, ensure they have a dedicated production area, or if they are producing video segments from their workspaces, make sure the background is not distracting with personal items, that there is no foot traffic behind the CSRs and that background noise is minimized.
4. Encourage Sharing: Share video customer service solutions for frequently-asked-questions on social media, through your corporate knowledgebase, via online communities, on YouTube and as a CSR-facing resource. Experiment with allowing power-users, brand advocates and long-time customers to provide their own customer service/solution videos.
5. Know What Works: Monitor progress to see what is being watched, when, where and what parts of video work. Use analytics to see if and when the video is abandoned or what CSRs are most successful in providing video customer service. Allow customers to vote or provide feedback on the quality and effectiveness of the video solution provided.
In many forms and fashions including web chat, online knowledgebases, customer service kiosks and more, video will play a continued and greater role in customer service and enhancing the customer experience. Especially for providing solutions or instructions that are hard to explain, or to increase first contact resolution via customer service channels such as social and mobile, written content may not always be the best answer, but a video is worth a thousand words.
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