How to Be a Customer Service Champion with Social Video – Part 1

I lament the fact that most businesses doing “social video” campaigns today are too often fixated on increasing reach and awareness as their end goal, and do not have enough focus on engaging customers directly.  With increasing consumer demands on businesses and brands to engage with social media, it should no longer be considered acceptable to treat video as just content; it needs to be part of your customer service strategy.

In this article, I delve into why customer service is so important in the social media era, and how you can get a leg up on your competitors by integrating online video into the entire customer service experience.

Why customers are demanding better customer service

A good number of business analysts and authors have attributed the increased demand for better customer service due to the rise of the ‘connected consumer.’ Consumers are more connected to resources, peers, and thought leaders – largely in part to social technologies that have improved our ability to retrieve, process, and share content with others quickly.  Consumers also expect and demand that they be engaged directly (person-to-person) and genuinely via social media. It is no longer ok for companies to just post messages on Facebook and Twitter; they must respond and interact to their fans and followers.

With the rise of YouTube and user-generated video, consumers are now media producers as well who can share their experiences and commentary unfiltered, across multiple channels.  Consumers feel empowered when they create this content.  They start to feel that they deserve to be treated as VIP customers. As consumers are rewarded for their evangelism, they become thought leaders giving them even more influence over their peers.

Social video is ideal for the new customer service

Meeting increased customer service expectations means you can’t just rely on phone, email, or other forms of traditional media. It’s not even an issue with how much staff you have available, or how much money or resources you have. The bottom line is your consumers have migrated to social media and they expect you to not only be engaged on social media with content, but also with customer service.

Global marketing information services company JD Powers and Associates recently published a report titled, “Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions — Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results.” Their report was based on customer feedback, opinions and perceptions of more than 800 companies in more than 20 industries. Here are the reasons the JD Powers study gives for why social video is ideal for today’s customer service expectations:

  • Online video makes for a compelling presentation.
  • It lends itself to a fast and easy-to-understand process.
  • It showcases responsive and concerned people, usually associated with the product and the brand that is selling directly to the consumer.
  • It is more cost-effective than supporting phone-only call-center support centers. With modern online video technology, customer specialists can do video, audio, and chat at the same time, and be able to work remotely. (For more on this, check out this blog post from AVAD Technologies, “Why Home Based Call Center Agents Save Money & Increase Sales.”)

Here are some more advantages for using online video in customer care that we have mentioned before here on the Blog:

  • Video provides the closest experience to actual face-to-face communication which customers still consider to be the most persuasive medium of communication
  • Video allows for better understanding and retention. It incorporates visuals, audio, and text – both in on-page descriptions and in-video with closed captions.
  • Video provides more emotional resonance which in itself is often a major factor contributing to increased attention and engagement.
  • Video can be live or recorded. It can be done live via video chat (which has its own kind of energy), or recorded and archived for retrieval and on-demand viewing.
  • Video increases SEO. The highly relevant and valuable content of customer care videos will increase the likelihood of consumers sharing videos with their networks, increasing your search visibility and reach.

It’s time to face social video reality

If you’re not incorporating customer service into your social video campaigns or other video activities, then you’re not really being “social.” You’re also not being as helpful or as influential with your customers as you can be.

Coming up next week… Social Video Tips for Being a Customer Service Champion!

I’ll give you over 20 strategies (yes, you heard that right!) on what you can do today to be a customer service champion with social video.