Gone (for now) are the days of dropping by your customer’s office and bringing a dozen donuts with you. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve been punted into a reality where the game plan for maintaining your customer relationships looks a whole lot different than it used to.
If you’re looking for an article for how to create the funniest, or most clever Zoom background possible, although a worthwhile and hilarious use of your time, this is not the article for you.
Instead, this article will detail the specific ways in which you can use video to communicate better with your customers, as well as the exact (read: free) tools you can use.
Let’s get into it.
Why is video better than just calling?
Video cuts through the noise
At this point, we’ve all received an email from each and every company we’ve ever purchased goods or services from regaling us of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our customers are facing inbox and information overload and if you want your message to cut through all that noise, you’re going to have to stand out in some way.
Since video takes more time and effort fewer people are comfortable using it as a medium for delivering messages directly to customers. If fewer people are using video then it’s got this one special thing going for it: it’s novel and therefore attracts more attention. Simply including the word “video” in an email subject line increases the chances of someone opening your email.
Video messages are clearer
Amidst an uncertain economy and various restrictions on conducting business, it’s important to be communicating with your customers in a clear and efficient manner to let them know if and how they can continue business with you. You don’t want these messages to be misunderstood.
It’s easy for a text or email message to be misinterpreted without the help of intonation and facial expressions. No mode of remote communication can rival the directness of video.
Video establishes trust
There’s something about showing your face that conveys trust. That face time just means more because someone is showing up for you, regardless of what the message is about. It’s probably why most reasonable people would agree that it’s crappy to break up with someone over a text message. It says “I’ve made the effort because I think you’re worth it.”
For example, when a video comes from a human at your company, whether that be a salesperson or CEO, it goes a long way to establish trust. People enjoy that level of authenticity and humility.
Ways to Use Video to Connect Better with Customers
One to many is a pre-recorded video in which one speaker has created a message that goes to many different customers. This is a classic example of a company message being shared with all or a segment of your customers. It makes sense for company announcements and sharing information that’s relevant to all or a segment of your customers.
This is a type of pre-recorded video that is more likely going to be a salesperson or account manager reaching out directly to a specific customer. If you’re planning to send an email to just “check in” with that customer, consider taking what you were going to say in that email and record it as a video instead. You may find it’s more effective for all the reasons listed above.
It takes more time to craft a video for one customer, but it shows that you think they’re worth that time. You can speak to them about the things that you know are important to them, be sure to bring up any unique things you know about them or they may know about you. This sort of personalization is something that’s not possible when you make one video to send to many, so it’s a good idea to make the most of it.
1-to-1 in real-time
This is all about video calls! If you can’t have a meeting with your customers in person, a video call is the next best thing. Rather than just picking up the phone or showing up with your video off, make the effort to show your face. Trust me. If you can talk to someone in person, you can talk to them on a video call.
1-to-many in real-time
If you’re interested in reaching out to a larger audience, consider going live on Facebook and Instagram, or hosting a webinar for your customers and prospects.
This gives you a chance to share your message and take feedback from your audience, as well as field questions. As soon as we realized things were shifting and work was drastically changing for our customers, we decided to start hosting regular town hall meetings via our webinar platform. It meant we could help share educational information and take questions from people.
Free Video Tools to Communicate and Connect with Customers
When you’re recording a message to your customers, you don’t need a full production team with any experience. You just need to do it and the more you do it, the better you get. For help with looking better on camera, check out this article from video marketing experts at Wistia.
You will need some basic gear that you most likely already have:
- A webcam or a camera phone
- A microphone for your audio (A pair of headphones with a built-in microphone will suffice.)
- Software for making and editing your video (if it’s a recorded video)
Free tools for recording videos
All of the video software companies below offer a free option with some limitations. They’re meant to make it easy for anyone to create an account, record video, edit it simply (with no experience necessary) and send it off. A bonus is that all of these programs have the ability to record your computer screen at the same time, so you can demonstrate something for your customers or prospects as well.
Free tools for live videos
There are a lot of tools you can use to communicate with one or many clients through the use of video. It’s helpful if whatever tool you’re using offers you the ability to record the conversation or live event so that you can re-share it using your social media channels or via email.
If you’re looking for free video conferencing tools you can use:
- Google Hangouts
If you’re looking for free tools to host live events for many participants you can use:
- Facebook Live
- Instagram Live