As a business, your customers rely on you for more than just the product or service you offer. They expect to get a great customer experience at the same time, as well. And your support team’s response to their questions, which will undoubtedly arise along the way, could make or break the way they view your company––and more than that, it could dictate factors like spend and customer retention in the long run.
With multiple companies vying for customers’ attention (and their business), many brands are looking for ways to go beyond fast response times. Now, more and more businesses are realizing that going the extra mile to delight their customers can result in upgrades and referrals.
That’s what makes video such an effective tool for reducing support times. Not only are you able to keep your customers happier with content that directly matches their support needs, but what’s more, you’re doing it in a more personalized, engaging way. On top of that, you’re leaving them with a feeling that your company genuinely cares about their experience with your product.
Here's what we’ll cover
Complicated processes and products can be difficult to describe in words. Text and still images often fall short, and insufficient explanations can lead to more tickets and longer resolution times. This is where video comes to the rescue. According to a study published in Psychology Today, the human brain can process videos 60,000 times faster than text. That’s a huge win for showing customers how to solve their support problems, as opposed to sending them multiple paragraphs of instructional text that’s far less likely to hold their attention.
With video, you can create crystal clear responses that wow your customers. Video allows you to tell and show your customers how to resolve their issues, enabling you to move on to the next support question faster. And the human connection that’s forged in video interactions can’t be underestimated. In support situations, customers crave interpersonal guidance, not to mention the immeasurable things a real person can bring to the table: increased trust, clearer understanding, or a deeper connection to a brand.
These seemingly small support interactions often add up to big changes in opinion, preference, and loyalty. And these impulses can lead to repeat business and referrals. Thanks to video, you can make your customers happier, faster––all by reducing the time it takes for them to get answers to their questions.
Take it from Stephen Boelcskevy, who works as a Customer Success Manager at ThriveHive. By using video for support (specifically with the Wistia-Zendesk app), ThriveHive was able to see tangible results almost immediately. "Almost every client I send a support video to thanks me for how clearly their problem was solved right before their eyes,” Stephen said. “Often they will see something they missed, which prevents them from having to contact us with another trouble ticket.”
Throughout this guide, we’ll be showing you the benefits of replacing repetitive and costly phone and email exchanges with concise, friendly videos. Plus, we’ll see how other businesses like ThriveHive are pairing Wistia and Zendesk to see more satisfied customers.
Ready to see what a little video magic can do for your support? Let’s get started.
They may not be the most exciting part of your business, but support tickets present a huge opportunity — especially when you start to incorporate video. Each interaction your brand has with a user is a chance to build a relationship with that person, while at the same time humanizing your business. And more importantly, these exchanges can help make a lifelong advocate out of that customer.
So why is video so powerful in support interactions? First, showing is a richer experience than telling. Many of us are visual learners who prefer to see issues resolved in action rather than reading through copious amounts of text as our eyes glaze over, just hoping we’ll stumble upon a section that hints at our problem. Written replies often make life harder on both your support agent and the customer they’re working hard to satisfy. Because of the depth of the visual medium, you can express the full range of human emotions, explain things in great clarity, and generally appeal to the viewer’s humanity.
Think about it: when your customer writes in with a question, using video in your response allows them to see the problem corrected so that they can replicate the correct action. At Wistia, using a personalized video response in support ticket replies yielded a 98% customer happiness rating. In addition to a higher customer happiness rating, customer champs at Wistia saw an overall decrease in support resolution times by using video in their interactions with customers. Over the course of three months, 73 out of 181 support tickets that included a video were one-touch tickets, meaning they only necessitated one reply back from the agent to the customer. In short, 40% of support tickets that were answered with video ended up being one-touch responses, effectively decreasing the amount of time customer champs spent on their support interactions.
“I like to use video to answer support tickets when I know it’ll take at least two or three replies to explain something to a customer. Sending them a screencast is way more effective and helps to visually show them how to solve a problem. And it doesn’t always have to be an explanation of a technical process. Sometimes sending a video just to say ‘thank you’ can make a big impact.”OLIVIER CREURER, SUPPORT ENGINEERING LEAD, WISTIA
Another great benefit of using video? People can rewatch your video again and again until they have the concept or tip down to a tee. In this product screencast from Stephen at ThriveHive, he’s able to dive deep into a complicated process in under 3 minutes, something that would’ve been impossible to do over the phone or in writing.
Finally, using video in support tickets adds a human touch to every support exchange, meaning your customers will get personalized answers that build engagement and trust with your brand. Notice how Stephen used the customer’s first name repeatedly in that video? He’s establishing rapport even when his face isn’t on-screen.
Ultimately, your support team is on the frontlines of proving to your customers that they’ve made a first-rate investment. They’re the essential ingredient for building a positive reputation. And as ever-evolving technology allows for even greater choice and competition, it’s more important than ever to prioritize video support.
How SeatGeek builds loyalty with support videos
Running a 60-person support team across two continents is no small task. So for SeatGeek, a New York-based online ticketing site that’s seen exponential growth since its founding in 2009, the demand to keep up with support tickets has been a massive challenge. But thanks to the the power of video, SeatGeek’s support team has consistently been seeing more delighted customers.
“Video is great because it helps us give our customers a better frame of reference as they work through our app,” said Andrew Sapienza, Customer Experience Lead at SeatGeek. “One of the reasons [pairing video with support] has been so helpful is because it’s not abstract: you can show your customers exactly where things are.”
One of the problems SeatGeek had to confront early on was how to guide customers through the ins and outs of their site, a process that can be slow and tedious without a visual reference. “It’s kind of like trying to describe things to your parents over the phone,” Andrew joked.
Thankfully, including video responses in support tickets has not only reduced the number of follow-up questions SeatGeek’s customers have once a support agent responds to their initial request, but it’s also upped the level of trust and understanding in the company itself. In fact, SeatGeek’s satisfaction rating has increased 5% since they started using the Wistia-Zendesk integration.
So what does the adoption of video mean for Andrew and his team going forward? “I think it’s going to continue to infuse and affirm the visual representation of SeatGeek and ultimately help to build customer loyalty that way,” he said. “People aren’t interested in reading a book of text to learn how to do things, and that’s why video has been the go-to for us.”
Remember the last time you were experiencing trouble with a product and needed an immediate solution? Your first instinct was probably to find the answer on your own, which is why documentation is such a key component of the support process. Without documenting the ins and outs of your product in the form of user guides, tutorials, or frequently asked questions, you’re putting more responsibility on your support agents, when the answer could just as easily be solved without their assistance.
It’s not hard to see why documentation can be easy to ignore. Writing in-depth copy to explain every detail of your product is a daunting task. Thankfully, pairing video with that text reduces the amount of copy your customers have to sift through before getting an answer, while also making your help docs look visually alluring.
Including video in your support and documentation pages effectively lets your customers choose their own adventure: if they’re in a pinch or just prefer visual learning, video gives them the option to see the solution in action.
By adding live-action bumpers to your video, you can take personalization a step further and give customers a chance to put a face to your brand, like in this example from Unbounce.
When you’re ready to introduce videos to your help center, knowing how and where to embed them is key. After all, where you place your videos on your page could impact how many people see and watch them. While there’s no silver bullet for improving your video’s play rate, you can make it easier for users to engage with some simple adjustments.
For instance, ensuring your play button is above the fold and choosing the right size for your embed are great starting points. By following some best practices for embedding and placement, you’re giving your videos the best chance to succeed and your customers the best chance to quickly find the help they need.
The color and size of your player might not seem like a big deal, but both go a long way in adding to the overall user experience on your help center. Did you know that, in general, video player colors with the lowest play rates tend to be darker than those with the highest play rates? Turns out customizing your video player color is super important. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your unique brand design and color.
So far, we’ve seen that video is just about the most efficient tool your support team can take advantage of. By utilizing its potential to place valuable knowledge in your customers' hands, you can spend less time repeating explanations and more time delving into deeper issues.
But how you actually go about creating these support videos can determine the degree of satisfaction your customers end up walking away with. While the thought of producing videos (and possibly being in front of the camera) might seem terrifying, the video creation process is far less complex than you might think.
With just a few basic (and inexpensive!) tools, you can script and produce help videos that look sharp and leave your customers impressed and delighted.
Making a video without a script is like cooking beef bourguignon without a recipe: you might be able to wing it up to a certain point, but the end result is probably going to show some glaring errors and omissions. Julia Child might’ve been able to cook beef bourguignon off the top of her head, just as Meryl Streep might be able to improvise her dialogue, but chances are your support agents aren’t A-list Hollywood stars who can come up with their lines off the cuff.
That’s why every support video you make should have a clear purpose and overarching direction, as well as a script that supports and guides that direction.
Not sure where to start? Thankfully, your customers' problems will dictate the types of videos you make, and thus the scripts. Need to send a detailed step-by-step troubleshooting guide? A screencast is probably the way to go. Want to send a friendly thank you video to a customer? A quick 1-to-1 video will do the trick.
Here’s an easy rule of thumb to follow when you’re trying to decide what type of video to make: align with what the customer you’re helping should expect. Once you’ve determined that, feel free to give them a bit more than they’re anticipating––there’s no such thing as “too much delight.”
Try your best to keep the focus of your video narrow. Questions like, “Who is the audience for the video?” and “Where will it end up living?” (within a support ticket reply or on a documentation page, for instance) will also help determine the entire approach to your video.
Keep in mind that covering too much in one video can be overwhelming for both the customer and your video team (if you have one). You can always make a supplementary video later on to add more information. If you’re going the screencast route, the concepting stage is also a good time to begin thinking about the actions you’ll be showing in your screencast as certain sections of the script are read in voiceover.
Of course, there will be times when you won’t need to script out every line or thought you want to convey to your customer. But adhering to even the most basic of outlines will keep the content of your video on track and concise.
Think of the script as the blueprint for your video: whatever you put on the page will lay the foundation for the entire interaction with your customer. Even if it isn’t overly spelled out and in-depth, a script will keep your production process organized and your message clear and concise.
When you’re feeling solid about your script, read it out loud, or do a table read. This lets you listen for phrases that might sound awkward or confusing and helps you revise the language until it has a natural flow.
Your script doesn’t need to set the world on fire with its profundity or creativity. More than anything, it should be clear, conversational, and engaging. Remember, your end goal is to solve your customer’s problem in the most straightforward, friendly way. Don’t get bogged down trying to craft a literary masterpiece. Stick to the basics, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your video’s blueprint is providing a solid framework for everything else surrounding it.
When it comes to answering a customer’s support question, you can make professional-looking support videos in minutes using nothing but a laptop with a built-in camera or webcam. Record your friendly face, share your screen, and combine the two to create a unique and personable experience that delights your customers. Don’t feel like you need to agonize over the process. After all, your whole goal is to make it easier for you and the customer. Sometimes the easiest option (like shooting on your phone when you’re in a rush) is the best one.
Recording directly from your laptop is perfect for when you want to send a thank you video to a customer or relay information to them in the most human way possible. Take a look at how Holly, a customer champ from Wistia, recorded this short video to thank a customer for her business.
Creating and uploading this video probably took Holly all of 5 minutes. She came up with a quick outline for what she wanted to say, and after recording the video, she sent it in an email. The response from the customer? It couldn’t have been better.
If you opt to do a screencast, start by recording your voiceover. Before beginning to record, split your script into manageable chunks. This way, you can move through the recording process one section at a time and keep track of your progress along the way.
Listen to your voiceover a few times before recording your screencast and practice the actions you’re going to make on-screen. When you start to feel familiar with the timing of the actions, go ahead and begin recording your screencast while listening to your voiceover. You probably won’t record a perfectly smooth screencast on your first try, and that’s okay! It takes practice to learn the timing of all the steps.
Again, live-action video bumpers are ideal for solidifying a personal connection with your audience. As great as a polished screencast is, a few seconds of a smiling face in the beginning and end of your videos will keep your viewers that much more interested and engaged.
For videos that will take a more prominent and permanent place on your support and documentation pages, a simple screencast or 1-to-1 video probably isn’t going to cut it. In fact, you might even think about investing in a higher quality camera if you really want to go all out.
Of course, videos that live within your help center should be scripted out in as much detail as possible. If you’re having trouble deciding what videos might work best in the context of your support pages, start by explaining a helpful tip or answering a frequently asked question. You can also use videos to bolster the text that’s already on your pages. Regardless of what route you decide to go, experiment with your videos to find a balance that works best for your support content.
At 4 minutes long, this example from Squarespace isn’t exactly short and to the point. But it works well in the context of the company’s help center, because users who press play are far more likely to stick around for the entire video to see how it can help solve their issue.
Not only do videos hosted on your support pages help to make normally dry content pop, but they also increase the likelihood that readers will stay on the page even longer. This raises the odds that your customers will stick around long enough to find an answer to their question, and in turn give your support team more time to tackle other questions.
Now that you’re basically a video superstar who’s armed with a comprehensive understanding of how video works in tandem with support to make your customers more satisfied, what are the next steps? We’ve got you covered with some additional resources to help you capitalize on your newfound knowledge.
The Wistia-Zendesk integration is the easiest, most effective way to pair your customer support solution with video. The app makes it super easy to add videos to your Zendesk tickets, ultimately making your support process more human. When you add a video thumbnail link to a ticket in Zendesk, the primary recipient’s email address will automatically be tracked in your Wistia stats. No extra setup required!
After a person clicks to watch your video, you can see their viewing activity right in Wistia. That way, you can better understand how each individual viewer interacts with your content and learn how to make even better, more helpful videos in the future.
Need some inspiration for making your first video? Get all the tips you need for setting up your laptop, recording footage, editing it together, and sharing it in this guide.