How We Turned Customer Support Videos into a Month-Long Celebration

April 20, 2017

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Jordan Wellin


Movies have the Oscars. Music has the Grammys. Journalism has the Pulitzers. And Wistia? We have the Febbies.

These special awards, which are reserved for the highest achievements in using video for customer support, are still in their infancy (just 2 years old, in fact). But they’ve already earned their spot amongst the canon of most coveted awards, right up there next to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Okay, maybe not. But if nothing else, the Febbies have given us a platform to beat the drum for two of our favorite Wistia hallmarks: creative videos and delightful customer support.

Let’s start at the beginning

So what’s the story behind the Febbies? Last February (see where we’re going with this?), Sarah-Mei Estrada, who heads up the support side of Wistia’s Customer Champions, came up with the idea to turn the month of February into “Delightuary,” a 28-day support extravaganza devoted entirely to using video to answer customers’ support questions.

Sarah-Mei presenting an award at the Febbies.

The Febbies became a natural offshoot of Delightuary as a way to honor the best and most imaginative contributions to video support. “I realized that making videos for customers can seem like a big challenge, so turning it into a month-long holiday with an awards ceremony really helped get people excited about it,” Sarah-Mei said.

Last year’s Febbies were smaller in scale and limited to submissions from Wistia’s team of customer champs. But this year, Sarah-Mei opened up submissions and voting to the entire Wistia team. “Even if they’re not in a customer-facing role, it’s a fun way to challenge people to make more video,” she said. "One of our values is ’customer first,’ and one of our missions is to make business more human, so this seemed like a fun way to get more people involved in achieving those goals."

“Even if they’re not in a customer-facing role, it’s a fun way to challenge people to make more video.”

Company-wide support

One of the reasons Delightuary wasn’t a huge learning curve for most Wistians is thanks to our company-wide All Hands Support that takes place every Monday. Wistia team members are assigned support tickets to answer in Zendesk, which gives everyone a chance to interact with and feel more connected to our customers. So Delightuary ended up being a natural extension of AHS. The twist came with the added video component.

“I knew people would be excited to take part, but also that some probably wouldn’t feel comfortable being on camera or making a video,” Sarah-Mei said. “So we took it outside of a support context to include videos where people could introduce themselves, welcome a new customer, or just say thank you.” That way, some of the pressure of having to solve an in-depth issue would be taken off the backs of non-champs.

As the responses from customers poured in, it was clear Delightuary had worked its video magic. “People were super happy and appreciated the video touch,” Sarah-Mei said. “We heard from customers on the receiving end [of videos] who felt like they were given a really special, unique experience.”

And the Febby goes to … 

With categories like Best Actor/Actress, Best Costume Design, and Outstanding Stunt Coordination (support videos can get pretty dangerous around these parts), the competition was stiff. Wistians were notified of all the nominees, then sent ballots and links to the nominated videos, and from there it was off to the races.

As for the ceremony itself, things kicked off with a rousing rendition of “We Will Delight,” set to the tune of “I Will Survive” that would make even Gloria Gaynor envious. There was even a red carpet, champagne, and acceptance speeches (including one that referenced that Sally Field moment).

Some members of the house band, The Febbettes, playing “We Will Delight.”

Even though we might not have been able to compete with the glitz and glamor of the Oscars, at least we made sure our envelope game was on point. Here’s a look at a few of this year’s Febby-award winning videos:

Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming

“Thank You,” screenplay by Eric Bristol

Making early connections with new users can be huge for winning over their confidence and trust in your business. Thankfully, your thank you or welcome video doesn’t have to be highly produced. But imagine how excited your new customers will be to see that you took the time to welcome them into the proverbial fold of cherished users of your product. Eric Bristol, our Marketing Operations Manager, created and uploaded this video on his phone while stuck in traffic. Talk about an awards-worthy setup!

“Making early connections with new users can be huge for winning over their confidence and trust in your business.”

Best Supporting Actor/Actress

Henry da Cunha, “Nice to meet you Ralph and Ron!”

One of the themes that stuck out for Sarah-Mei across all the nominees was how much people’s personalities came through on screen, which makes sense when you think about how much video helps to humanize business. In this instance, one of our Customer Success Managers, Margot da Cunha, didn’t shy away from letting some customers see a glimpse of her life outside of the office. She filmed this video inside her family’s house and even roped in her dad to help her out. It isn’t hard to see why his performance as “Zumba Enthusiast” made a huge impression on voters. Did we detect some method acting in there, as well?

Outstanding Voiceover Character Performance

Meredith Eves, “Happy 6 Months with Wistia, Dave & Buster’s!”

The Cute Factor can often work in your favor (okay, more like always). Who wouldn’t be charmed to receive a friendly thank you video accompanied by Franny’s irresistible facial expressions?

Best Lead Actor/Actress

Bryan Imke, “We Thank You”

The Cute Factor also might have solidified Bryan’s awards chances in his Best Actor-winning turn as “Thrilled Wistian.”

With video and support, everyone’s a winner

From Sarah-Mei’s perspective, using video in tandem with support gives your company a double advantage. For customer support agents, it brings something new to the daily grind of answering tickets. “It’s a great way to be creative and push yourself to ask, ’Could I answer this question with a video?’” she said.

“Using video in tandem with support gives your company a double advantage.”

And for customers themselves, video lets them see that there actually are real humans on the other side of the support interaction––it shows them who you are and the helpful faces they’ll be working with.

Coming soon to a computer screen near you … 

Ready to bring some extra delight to your customers with video? With the Wistia app for Zendesk, you can easily add videos to your support tickets, and build stronger, more human relationships with your customers. Your Febby-winning video is already on its way to being made.

April 20, 2017

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Jordan Wellin


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