Good customer service is powerful. In addition to building trust, a positive customer experience (CX) drives loyalty and retention. Existing customers are more likely to try new products and their purchases have a higher average order value than new customers. And nearly 95% of customers who give a company a “very good” customer experience rating are likely to recommend that company.
The consequences of a negative CX are costly. Zendesk found 50% of customers will take their business elsewhere because of one bad customer service experience, and 80% will leave after more than one disappointing interaction.
One solution to elevate the customer CX? Video messaging. This tool enhances your customer service team’s ability to meet customers’ ever-growing expectations with a personal and scalable approach that translates to greater customer loyalty.
How Does Video Messaging Differ From Other Video Applications?
People watch more videos than ever. Perhaps you think of video as highly polished, perfectly edited advertisements and marketing content requiring hundreds of hours and production teams. Those videos have long shelf lives and broad audiences, as do videos brands produce for social media channels.
With the rise of remote and hybrid work environments, many organizations have also incorporated live video conferencing into their internal and external communications.
Video messaging differs from these other kinds of video because video messages offer:
- Asynchronous communication, allowing each participant to interact on their schedule.
- Email, CRM, text delivery or direct message on social media.
- A personalized approach for connecting to a single person or small group.
- Increased efficiency with one person able to record, edit, and send messages quickly.
- Repeated, on-demand viewing 24/7.
Why Video Messaging?
Showing is better than telling, from DIY projects and IT hiccups to customer service needs. Video helps people explain ideas more quickly, clearly and effectively than any other medium.
For customer service teams, video messaging provides all the tools your team needs to solve problems and satisfy customers while building personal connections and giving customers hands-on, tailored support.
Responding to a support inquiry with a short video helps alleviate confusion and speed up resolution. Incorporating video messaging into your customer service strategies allows teams to improve their communication’s effectiveness.
Covideo data shows that adding personalized videos to email increases:
- Open rates by 19% when using “video” in subject lines.
- Click-through rates by 65% with a video thumbnail.
- Response rates by 200%.
Here’s an example of how video messaging can improve customer service interactions.
A customer service center receives an email asking how to add more users to a customer’s account. With a plain text email, the representative would have to write out every step of the process. On a phone call, the representative would have to verbally describe what a customer should see on the screen.
Responding to a support inquiry with a short video helps alleviate confusion and speed up resolution.
However, a short, casual video with built-in screen recording lets the representative show how to add users and provides a personal touch.
A robust video messaging platform enables teams to:
- Welcome new customers.
- Improve the handoff from Sales to Customer Service.
- Set up initial training, including reminder and post-training videos.
- Answer FAQs.
- Provide educational material.
- Share visual updates on customer status and progress.
- Offer expanded services, secure upsells, and prepare for renewals.
- Request video testimonials using a reply function.
How Utica University increased engagement with video messaging
Utica University, located in Utica, N.Y., and established in 1946, is an esteemed institution offering a diverse range of academic programs and fostering a dynamic learning environment for students seeking excellence in higher education.
Utica’s recruiters wanted to connect with prospective students and families to increase enrollment while offering customization and personalization to stand out from the competition.
To personalize its communications and encourage accepted students to enroll, Utica University added video messaging to its recruiting process. The team needed a powerful digital component to reach students in their preferred channels.
With the technology ready, the university’s president, Laura Casamento sent over 4,000 video messages: one for each student who applied and was accepted. Her messages had an overall 91% engagement rate, including from students who clicked on the video link, followed a CTA or replied to the video.
Utica University now plans to incorporate video messaging at other vital prospect touchpoints to:
- Encourage application submission.
- Send event invitations and reminders.
- Share virtual tours.
- Provide personalized digital follow-up after a visit.
- Introduce admission counselors to incoming students.
- Send FAQ videos and screen recordings.
By incorporating video messaging, Utica University recruiters offered a highly personalized journey and gained actionable video analytics to prioritize the most interested prospective students.
Overcoming Video Messaging Challenges
Customer service teams juggle a variety of systems to satisfy customer needs, so they might balk at adding a new outreach method. Follow these four strategies to overcome common challenges and gain team buy-in for video messaging.
1. Start simple
Choose one way to incorporate video into your customer service approach, like sending a follow-up video after resolving a service ticket or sharing a personalized FAQ video the first time a customer reaches out for assistance.
Provide clear expectations around video messaging use and give your team a fixed amount of time to incorporate video messaging: we recommend 30–90 days. This strategy allows your team to ease into the video messaging process.
2. Encourage personality over perfection
Your team may be slow to adopt video messaging because they’re intimidated by the prospect of recording themselves. They might fear “messing up” or failing to get a perfect video the first time.
To increase their use of video messaging, encourage a mindset shift: from focusing on perfection to creating personal connections and demonstrating the unique qualities that help them solve problems and please customers.
3. Leverage trendsetters
Who stands out in your team as a trendsetter, someone first in line to test-run a new process or tool? Look at your pool of emerging go-getters and top performers—people tenacious enough to solve any customer problem—and invite them to pilot your video messaging efforts. Their repeated use and success with video messaging will inspire peers to get involved and even create some positive fear of missing out (FOMO).
4. Showcase early wins
Prioritize recognizing and celebrating your team’s success with video messaging. Those wins might include hitting a specific adoption rate among your team members, sending your team’s 100th video or receiving positive customer feedback about a video experience. You can also track data-driven indicators like customer video views and shortened ticket resolution timelines.
Highlighting these positive outcomes encourages your team to continue incorporating video messaging into customer interactions.
Video Messaging Best Practices
You don’t need any special equipment to start making video messages, and one video shouldn’t take hours to record. A little planning sets your team up for success and results in friendly, approachable videos that appeal to your customers and improve service experiences.
Before You Record
Dedicate a little time and attention to your recording setup to create an efficient recording process and a compelling message.
Whenever possible, position yourself in natural sunlight, facing a window. Avoid recording with your back to a window, which lends your video a dark, shadowy appearance.
Position your camera (whether it’s on a laptop, desktop computer or phone) to record at eye level. This position creates the impression of direct communication with your recipient.
Avoid recording with a busy background that distracts your message. When possible, seek out a quiet location. It’s fine if someone’s working behind you or business materials appear in the background. But if your environment could overwhelm the audience, try a simple virtual background instead.
Finally, while video messages benefit from a casual tone and personal demeanor, take a few minutes to prepare. Draft a brief outline of your key points but avoid a line-by-line script that could sound rehearsed and impersonal. Even if you make a few mistakes or pause here and there, talking through your points will sound more natural and inviting than a perfect — but impersonal — recording.
What To Include
You’ve got a limited window of time and attention, so maximize the effectiveness of your message. Brevity is crucial. While we recommend aiming for 30–60 seconds, your customer’s needs should dictate your message’s length. Answer their questions clearly and succinctly to drive the most significant engagement.
An effective video message relies on personalization to stand out and show your customer that you’re reaching out to them specifically to resolve their concerns.
Familiarize yourself with the customer’s history with your organization and be sure to introduce yourself and offer context for your message. We like to take personalization one step further, writing the recipient’s name and company on a whiteboard to display at the beginning of the call. This extra touch lets the recipient see from the video thumbnail that we’re speaking directly to them.
End your video with a strong and clear call to action guiding the viewer’s next steps. A robust video messaging platform enables file attachments, added links and a CTA button to encourage the next step.
Nonverbal communication significantly affects how someone receives your message. Keep these cues in mind while recording:
- Tone: Try to sound upbeat and energized.
- Smile: A smile contributes to a positive first impression and an approachable thumbnail.
- Eye contact: Look right at the camera — not at yourself — to create the illusion of eye contact.
Sending Your Video Email
You’ve taken the time to make a personalized video message, so call attention to it. Add the word “video” and your recipient’s name in your email subject line.
It’s good practice to include some text in the body of your email, but don’t repeat your video’s content. Instead, offer a simple salutation, a sentence for context (for instance, the customer service ticket details) and a “cliffhanger” to encourage the reader to click on your video.
Choose your video thumbnail wisely: an appealing thumbnail increases clicks. For the best engagement, use an animated GIF showing the video’s first few frames.
Leveraging video messaging enables customer service teams to streamline their support efforts. By responding quickly, clearly and personally through informational video messages, you’ll nurture customer relationships and transform your customer support team into a powerful retention tool.