Online customer service can be tricky. Even though we have an online presence doesn’t always mean we are “there” for our clients.
Some companies opt to hire virtual assistants or call services to receive questions and take names and numbers after hours. That is helpful.
Then you have the standard contact form and FAQ to serve as a sort of priimitive outreach for receiving and answering questions. Not bad. You probably need those too.
Contact forms, FAQs and virtual assistants are all good things to have, but there are two major problems with these methods.
- Everyone has them so you are not unique.
- It’s impersonal and unengaging.
- Customers have to wait longer to get a response.
You could be losing business.
In this post I will show you 5 ways VIDEO can be your secret online customer service weapon. Video, if done right, can make you positively unique, more responsive to your customers needs, and all around more helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.
1. Create A Video FAQ
Your FAQ is crying out to be converted into powerful video content. Why keep it in text only? By creating short answer videos you are establishing that you:
- Care enough to take the time to create a video.
- You are knowledgable and helpful because your video will go into more depth than the typical sentence or two of text.
- You are automatically making your site more sticky because people will watch the video all the way through to get their answers.
- Place the videos on YouTube keyword them like crazy and embed them back into your site.
- Install a question capture submission plugin into your site to get instant feedback.
Let’s ponder this. You’ve collected a series of questions straight from the mouths of your customers. If they are asking these questions, you can bet others are searching Google with the same questions. Title your videos with the exact phrase provided by the customer. This is an SEO gold mine! Organic optimization!
Here’s an example of a software company MathLab who compiled a series of how to video tutorials into a FAQ.
2. Google Hangouts
For those who aren’t on Google+ yet, or new to the platform, here is a good explainer video about Google Hangouts.
Hangouts make for great group question and answer sessions. Schedule and send out a tweet or post on Facebook offering a chance to hangout and answer and questions your clients might have.
Another nice feature with Hangouts is that they can be recorded live and shared on YouTube. These live recordings can serve as FAQ or video blog content as well.
A hangout is limited to ten people so make sure you let your audience know there is limited space.
Everyone needs to be on Google+ to participate. you may want to let your customers know you are on Google+ and that you conduct weekly question and answer sessions. Maybe have one every month?
3. Create Product Demo Videos
When I go to a clothing store, I like to try things on to see if they fit. It’s “try before you buy.”
Most physical goods can not be sampled online. The next best thing is to create a video demonstrating the experience of using that product.
Video demos make for great customer service because the provide a ton of valuable information quickly. Customers can make better purchase decisions, resulting in higher satisfaction overall.
Here are some benefits for making product demos for your products:
- It relieves buyer stress and eliminate confusion once they see the product working in action
- Visuals and audio make for better engagment- more memorable.
- Video provides the closest thing to “try before you buy” online experience.
The biggest plus? Clients will bug you less if their questions get answered quickly.
Structure your demo video content around answering the most common questions while highlighting the key features and benefits.
4. Available On Skype
How annoying is it when you are at a store and you can not find anyone to help you? The feeling turns to frustration pretty quickly.
In the online space, sometimes people just want to speak with someone directly.
Video chat on Skype is a great way to connect one on one with your clients.
Apple coined their video chat technology “FaceTime” appropriately. Giving some face time with your client shows tremendous care and attention to their needs.
Make your Skype number available on your contact page or mention that Skype calls are available. You may want to have a dedicated person on call to accept Skype requests and take calls through out the working day.
You can add a Skype button to your website using Skype’s custom code.
If you use WordPress here’s a fancy dancy customizable plugin that will add a Skype button to posts and pages.
5. Social Video
Customer service is about being there for your clients when they need help. In the social media space, different networks attract like minded customers. So, it’s a good idea to be available in those spaces and help out when we can.
Social video is about driving conversations and engagment with your brand via the sharing of video content.
I discovered a fun and smart way to leverage YouTube and other social media networks to collect customer questions and create a video blog on YouTube answering them. My facebook friend, Jon Loomer turned me on to this idea. This is something he does on a weekly basis with his fan base.
He asks his facebook fans to ask him any question and he will try and answer them in his next YouTube video.
He video tapes his response, posts it to YouTube, and shares it back on facebook.
When I first saw this tactic, I knew it was geniuse for several reasons:
- It shows he is avaialble and ready to help- building trust
- It demonstrates his kindness and willingness to share his knowledge- building more trust
- It communicates vulnerability in that he could possibly be stumped or need to do research to get the answers. (being real)
- It brings together two differenct social media audiences to build brand awareness
- It leverages the the power of linking facebook, YouTube, and his blog around specific keyword terms and questions. (SEO gold)
- By making this a weekly show, he is creating consistent and relevant content with minimal effort.
What Are Your Thoughts?
I don’t see a lot of businesses using these tactics online. Is it because it’s too complicated and time consuming to implement? Or could it be that the technology is so new businesses haven’t had time to assess and implement them? What do you think? Is video an effective tool for online customer service?