How to Scale Customer Support with Video

December 9, 2021

Topic tags

Meryl Ayres

Creative

Lisa Marinelli

Creative


Providing exceptional customer support has always been part of our mission at Wistia since Day One. Over the years, we’ve figured out how to scale our systems to reduce strain on our support team and provide superior support for our growing customer base. And one way we helped scale customer support was with video!

Video is an incredible medium for making personal connections and creating support resources. If you’re just starting out with creating videos for your business, support videos are a great place to dip your toes before diving in!

In this post, we’ll teach you what types of videos you can create to help scale your customer support and make better connections with your audience. See some examples from our own support video vault! Plus, Harper from our Customer Happiness team will walk you through his video creation process.

Types of support videos

How do you figure out where to start? Well, you should talk to your support team, your sales team, and other customer-facing folks. Doing so will help you identify frequently asked questions and the trickiest parts of your product that could be explained better with video.

Answer frequently asked questions

When your support team is receiving the same questions over and over again, video can help your team scale responses, save time, and make a better connection with your audience.

At Wistia, we were receiving repeated inquiries about bandwidth. Answering bandwidth-related questions was taking up a significant amount of time, so we wanted to make a video to get back the time our support team was spending answering those questions. Take a look!

This video lives right in Wistia’s help center and directs our customers to answer their own questions while alleviating the efforts of our support team. If you look at the data behind this video, it’s been played nearly 2,400 times and saved our support team 72 hours of having to explain bandwidth. It may not be a viral video or a video with tons of glitz and glamour, but it’s a hard-working video that will continue to be valuable over time.

Find out what types of questions are hot in your support team’s inbox, and see if creating a video would be a helpful asset in the long run!

Explain complex topics

Whether you have a physical product, a service, or a software product, video can help you explain complex topics to your customers instead of relying on text and images.

For example, video SEO can be a pretty tough concept to explain to our own customers and potential prospects, so we made a video for our media SEO page in Wistia’s help center. For folks who are interested in learning how video SEO works, this is a helpful resource that may be easier to digest than a lengthy written post. Check it out!

This video has about 3,500 unique plays totaling 68 hours, which tells us that people are finding this resource educational and valuable.

If you want to start somewhere with support videos, consider the most complex aspects of your product, service, or software and how they could be explained better using video.

Create live-action bumpers

As mentioned, video can help you make deeper connections with your audience — it’s the most emotional medium that we have. Why not use it to show your customers who your company is by getting folks behind your business in front of the camera? One easy way to do this is by including a human face at the beginning of your video and at the end. We call these live-action bumpers.

One thing we’ve learned from making a lot of videos at Wistia is that a little bit of personality goes a long way. That’s why we use live-action bumpers. This video explains everything!

Live-action bumpers are quick on-camera segments that bookend our screencast support videos. They help introduce the topic while creating a personal connection with our audience. Making live-action bumpers doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is your laptop camera.

Make sure the camera is slightly above your eye line and that you’re facing a window. Or you can use your iPhone. Just put it on a tripod to keep things steady. No matter how you do it, make sure your live-action bumper is short, friendly, and doesn’t clutter the message.

For the next support screencast you make, try adding a live-action bumper because people love people!

Want more tips for making better help videos? Head on over to this post!

Get your support team on board

The last way to add video to your customer support system is by getting your support team on board with sending personalized videos. These videos are very low risk and a great way to get folks comfortable with being on camera.

Improve your support tickets with custom videos

Allow us to introduce you to Harper. He’s a proud member of our Customer Happiness team who’s found the value in sending custom videos to improve support tickets.

Getting started with video

“When I first started making videos for customers, it used to take me between 15–20 minutes,” Harper explains. “I would do multiple takes to get it just right, but based on the responses I was receiving, I knew that it was worth it.”

Since Wistia launched Soapbox, our free webcam and screen-recording tool for Chrome, back in June of 2017, Harper’s video-creation strategy has certainly evolved.

One of the reasons why we created Soapbox was to make it easier for folks to create delightful customer-facing videos — we knew based on the impact that we were having with customers that it was worth it. We also knew that compelling visual imagery is key to making a great presentation video, but to make a memorable connection, you need … well, you! That’s why Soapbox was built to make both you and your content look amazing.

With the help of Soapbox, Harper says, “Now I’m much more comfortable being on camera, and it takes way less time.” These days, his average production time is around five minutes, but it varies depending on the question he’s answering.

“Now I’m much more comfortable being on camera, and it takes way less time.”

Production process

When it comes to recording videos with your webcam, confidence is key! Here at Wistia, we believe that the best videos showcase people’s most authentic selves — even if that means using filler words like “um” or “uh.” So, take a deep breath and go for it!

With multiple videos under his belt, Harper feels confident helping others produce better 1-to-1 videos. Here are his top three tips:

  • Place your camera at eye-level. Too high is better than too low.
  • Lighting is huge. People have a tendency to want to use less light, especially if they’re self-conscious, but you’ll look better with more light. Every time.
  • Limit background noise. You can really go down a rabbit hole looking for audio equipment, but the most basic thing is to be aware of the noises going on around you.

When it’s a quick 1-to-1 video, Harper never writes a script. Instead, he says whatever feels natural. When it’s more of an educational, static resource video that he can use with multiple customers, he writes out some notes to keep him on track.

“I made this video explaining embed links that’s about six minutes long,” he explains. “For that one, I wrote a rough outline to keep my explanation concise and organized.”

Remote studio

Harper works from home three days out of the week, and when he first started at Wistia, he used his laptop camera and a desk lamp to record his videos in his home office.

Thanks to a small investment (~$200) in his home studio, he began making more polished custom videos:

His home setup now includes the following (he graduated from a desk lamp to a camera light since recording the test video above):

Explaining and connecting

“Videos are the best for communicating technical concepts or processes,” says Harper. “Especially when I see that a customer doesn’t have a lot of confidence regarding the technical side of an issue, I like to show them exactly what they need to do.”

With a mix of personal “talking head” shots and screencasts with voiceovers, Harper assuages fears and clarifies steps.

“After watching the video, they usually realize that it’s not as complicated as they thought,” he says.

“Even if I can explain something clearly with words, it’s totally different to be able to show someone how few steps it takes to get from point A to point B. Realistically, eyes will gloss over a wall of text. Video is a much better way to communicate a technical answer in a clear and engaging way.”

“Even if I can explain something clearly with words, it’s totally different to be able to show someone how few steps it takes to get from point A to point B.”

But Harper uses video for more than just explanations.

He knows that every support interaction represents a unique opportunity to connect with a customer, so he’s made custom videos to deliver disappointing news, congratulate customers on achievements, and more.

The results

If you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth the extra effort to use video in your correspondence with customers, take a gander at this small collection of responses that Harper has received:

“Thanks Harper, that’s definitely the best customer support response I’ve ever gotten from anyone, ever.”

“Thanks for the email and video, Harper. Most astounded to find the video addressed to me.”

“Thanks a lot for this info and the quality support. You’ve also inspired me to pick up my game with respect to video answers to support questions.”

“The responses are almost always super positive,” explains Harper. “I’ve even gotten a question wrong or missed something, and had a customer still appreciate the fact that I shot a personalized video.”

“I’ve found that I’m much more likely to get a good rating accompanied by a comment when I send videos to people. When we put in the extra effort, they appreciate it and return it,” he says.

Try it out for yourself

If you’re not already making videos for your support tickets or to scale your customer support, here are some tips for getting up and running:

  • Write a couple of notes or a rough script of what you’d like to say.
  • Make sure that your camera is at eye-level and that you’re well-lit.
  • Don’t be afraid to do a couple of takes — practice makes perfect.
  • Use Soapbox, Wistia’s free webcam and screen-recording tool, to easily create a great video with your screen, webcam, or both! This unique split-screen view can help transform your message into a more engaging and effective one.
  • If you’re a Zendesk user, install the Wistia Zendesk app to easily incorporate video into your support interactions.
  • If you’re sending support emails via Gmail, head to your Integrations page within Soapbox, check the Gmail integration box, and bam! You can easily peruse and choose your Soapbox videos to share without ever leaving your draft.

We can’t wait to see you start your video journey! You’ll start seeing the immediate benefit when your support tickets are being buffered by video views.

December 9, 2021

Topic tags

Meryl Ayres

Creative

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

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