Posts tagged video message
Posts tagged video message
We pay close attention to who signs up for a free Vsnap account. Not just the numbers but actually who you are. Especially if you sign up with a business email address, in which case we take a minute to look up your business.
Then we send an individual vsnap to each of those business users. That usually happens within a day of you signing up, but sometimes it can be a couple of days. Usually I’m the one who sends that, and usually I attach something that I think the recipient will find helpful – a short case study or a link to a relevant blog post.
I say usually because this isn’t a form behavior. It’s a real person engaging a real person in a way that is specific to the two real people involved.
I can almost hear all the marketing automation people shuddering. But I want to encourage you to keep an open mind. Our view is that the email that plugs your user’s name into the salutation is a perfectly fine thing to do at the top of your funnel. But at some point you’ll need to do more than that to move the people who really matter to you. You’ll need to introduce some personal layer and some emotional aspect into your customer conversations. And that’s where these individual video messages come into play.
We use the tool this way because I want vsnappers to know that there are people behind the product, and that we’re here to help. Actually, I want you to feel that. That’s the difference between, on one hand, using an email to say “Hi Bob, there are people behind the product and we’re here to help” and, on the other hand, delivering the same statement in a warm little video message. With the video message, you feel it.
I just looked at the engagement outcomes for the month of March on those vsnaps to business users. About 40% of recipients watched the video message. 55% of those people then also looked at the attachment we put with it. And 28% of them sent a feeling indicator response, explicitly letting us know they found our vsnap either helpful, thoughtful or amazing.
When we introduce our premium features, which we’re working on right now, I expect we will see a that a high percentage of premium account holders are the same people who viewed one of these individual messages when they signed up for a free account.
But even before that point, we get so many benefits from the time that we put into doing this. Obviously it’s an expression of customer love, which creates a little emotional connection with the people using our product. We believe that is the most important ingredient of growth that is both fast and durable.
Also, this practice creates daily discussions within our company that are about specific users. In other words, the idea of putting the customer at the center of everything is not an abstract concept for us. It’s as real as the person I’m about to vsnap.
Sending these individual vsnaps allows us to put our beliefs and values into action, so that people know they’re not just bullet points on a page somewhere.
And it elicits fast feedback, which is to a startup what a good breakfast is to a twelve year-old.
But one of the best benefits of sending these vsnaps myself is that then I’m the one who receives the responses. Here’s a quote from one response I got last week:
Hi Dave. That was one of the most professional things I have ever seen. Well done. I have already shown your ‘snap (I don’t know if that is the proper terminology, but it sounds catchy to me) to one of my co-workers and he was impressed, too. Thank you for the inspiration to higher levels of customer service. I will definitely be using your product.
By the way, four more people from his company signed up for Vsnap accounts the next day.
So what do you think? Have you received one of these vsnaps from us? How did it feel?
(this guy lives on Social Fresh’s 2012 Community Manager Report)
In 2010, Jeremiah Owyang decided that every fourth Monday in January, should be Community Manager Appreciation Day. A day to recognize community managers and how they’re shaping the customer experience. But what is a community manager? For me, CMs are company evangelists. They’re not sales or marketing, but it can definitely be an offshoot because they believe in their company’s mission so much and that draws people in. They’re helpful and do some troubleshooting with the community, but if you’re a big enough company they’re not solely customer support. This is actually a big misconception I’ve seen in the industry and has led to a lot of CM dropoff. They’re good at social IF that’s where their community is (CM does not always equal social media manager). They are good with content though, from writing to filming to tweeting. They’re incredible multi-taskers. And they’re advocates for the community internally and for the company externally.
So what does a day in their life look like?
Depending on where a community is based, a CM will probably wake up pretty early to check email, customer inquiries, and social. Listening is paramount. I am lucky enough to be able to work at home some mornings, so there’s no rush to hurry up and get to the office. The morning can be any combination of…
I usually go out for lunch so I can get some air or read a book (right now it’s Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer). A couple times a week I’ll try and meet up with someone from the Boston tech/startup community or a friend.
When I get back it’s usually…
The afternoon is also when I check out my personal social accounts - Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. My brain needs a breather and maintaining personal relationships are super important to me. I also believe the best community managers, are ones that are evangelists or super users in communities other than their own.
Most weeknights I try to go to events, either to demo or get in some networking/learning/community-ing. And if I’m not at an event, I’m checking out different social calendars and Eventbrite. I still monitor email, social, and alerts throughout the evening. Social never sleeps, so sometimes CMs have wonky sleep schedules.
Again, days vary and as any other startupper, I juggle a few other hats too. It is important to try to have some work/life balance. It’ll never be 50/50, but that’s okay. For me, I like to have some goal oriented activities. I’m training for a triathlon and like to volunteer. I also take time out of the workday to mentor for Technovation Challenge a few months out of the year.
So for the non-CMs out there, I hope you take a minute to thank your community managers. Also, think about those folks that act as community managers but may not have the title. Send a note, chocolates, a vsnap, or a big ol THANK YOU (caps and all). I’m absolutely positive, it will mean the world to them.
Today at 11 am EST I’ll be presenting a webinar called Bring Back The Love: How Interpersonal Video is Changing Customer Communications. It’s happening at BrightTalk.com. If you haven’t checked out their site, it’s awesome. They provide really robust webinar technology, and they also have publicly available channels of thought leader content on a wide range of subjects.
The jumping off point for my webinar is the belief that in the business/customer dialogue, feeling is at least as important as facts. And I submit that there are two elements of emotion that pretty much have gone missing from customer communications in the web era.
1. The ability for the businessperson, either in sales or in service and support, to convey his or her emotion to the customer.
The dominant form of business communication is email, and email is terrible at communicating anything other than fact-based information. If you’re not sure whether you agree with this, just think of how many times you’ve had an email misinterpreted. The emotion that the sender intends is pretty much up for grabs, and so the sender’s meaning winds up being determined by the recipient.
So a businessperson relying on email is very much constrained when he or she wants to express appreciation, or concern, or trustworthiness, or any other emotion that might be important to the customer. It just doesn’t translate in text.
2. The ability for the business to inspire emotion on the part of the customer.
Since I can’t effectively convey my emotion in email or other text communication, it’s much harder to effectively inspire you, the customer, to feel a certain way about my business or my product. And therefore it’s harder to drive action and advocacy on your part. And it’s harder to achieve the kind of relationship that’s characterized by deep loyalty over time.
So this webinar will talk about interpersonal video as the way to reintroduce the personal and emotional aspects of business-to-customer communication. Live video chat as well as video messaging both have the effect of making the customers feel more connected than if they’re dealing with a business where they are trapped in text.
Just to clarify our vocabulary, when we say “interpersonal video” we basically mean non-broadcast. Think Skype not YouTube.
Here’s a link if you want to join us. I’d certainly welcome your thoughts and questions!
And if you can’t make it, no problem. You can visit that link any time to watch the webinar after it’s been recorded. And we’ll actually embed it below for people who come across this post at a later date.
Since August 2011 when we first launched our public test site, I’ve created almost 4,000 vsnaps (3,928 to be exact). And if you count all my outtakes, well, I’ve recorded way more than 4K. So what can I share about my process that’ll make you a vsnap superstar to the world (because you’re already one in our hearts)? Let’s start off with these 5 insights: