Get personal(ized) with video

Today’s consumers are nostalgic for the personal relationships they once enjoyed with their service providers—from the grocer, to the bank teller, to the milkman. This type of emotional connection engenders loyalty, which is as valuable to organizations as innovation in products or services. Unfortunately, as organizations grow in size they often adopt cost-effective, self-service models that have their drawbacks in terms of the perception of service quality. Moving support services online or offshore, and decentralizing internal customer support to a number of different departments risks increasing customer dissatisfaction.

Fortunately modern, cost-effective technology exists today that can recapture the one-to-one interaction that customers want and deserve, providing an engaging user communication channel that grows loyalty, lowers churn, and positively impacts revenues. That technology is personalized video.

Not all personal videos are, well, personal

To truly engage customers, an offer must be both personal and also personally relevant.

Many organizations send sales videos out to millions of their customers via email, but these are mostly generic (“Hello, valued customer”). Just adding someone’s name to the beginning of a general ad doesn’t make it relevant to them.

For a personalized video to be truly “personal,” it must suit the individual needs of the customer based on their actual product usage and preferences. In addition, a “personally relevant” video must ensure that engagement with that customer fits the business logic. For example, customers paying by credit card will receive special credit offers, or customers approaching their subscription renewal will be offered a new package.

A video must, of course, be fun to watch, easy to digest, and have the look, feel, and tone-of-voice of a personal interaction. However, it will only lead to true customer engagement if the content is valuable to the customer. Examples include offers based on their real service usage, information that helps them make better decisions based on their own profile, a reward individualized to their specific milestones (such as loyalty point status), an explanation of their own bill, and even a special offer to upgrade whatever package that they originally selected.

This type of personal video is not an alternative to traditional customer communication, such as emails or letters. Instead, this is a new channel of customer engagement offering the emotional appeal of broadcast advertising media combined with the personalized engagement of a one-to-one interaction—a combination that other forms of communication simply cannot deliver.

Engagement throughout the customer lifecycle

Personalized attention to customers is critical throughout the customer lifecycle. It doesn’t stop at the moment of acquisition, but continues to welcome and advise new customers, provide customer support, explain billing, build loyalty, acknowledge special holidays or birthdays, and of course, influence that critical decision to stay with the service provider at every exit junction (e.g., the end of a service period).  

Many customer relationships begin with sales exposure via TV advertising. Combining broadcast-quality advertisements with personalized videos that address each customer by name and respond to unique user needs, provides a compelling way to engage customers, improve brand recognition, significantly increase SEO and conversion rates, and potentially double the return on ad spend.

Furthermore, the ad then delivered in a personalized format maximizes click-through rates and leads to a higher conversion of the call-to-action. This action (buy, sign-up, etc.) can then be facilitated right there, from inside the video, reducing the gap from advertisement-to-action from days to seconds.

Billing is another critically important point of contact with customers, and often the first communication with new users. If the user can’t understand their first bill, the relationship immediately starts off on the wrong foot. A short video can effectively walk the user through the details of their first bill, communicating even complex messages. This will help the customer quickly grasp the options for further engagement, and, most important, pre-empt potential problems.

Ongoing customer interactions also benefit from personal videos, which deliver a higher level of customer support at critical decision times, such as renewing a membership, deciding on the right package, providing upgrade offers, communicating loyalty plan benefits, even offering plan extension programs. This results in a positive experience from start to finish, reducing contact center traffic, and helping upsell personally relevant offers to each individual customer.

Well-executed, personal videos can have a huge impact on every aspect of the customer relationship. They can facilitate greater opportunities for cross-selling or upselling, help explain complicated issues like price plans or billing cycles, surprise customers with invitations to special gifts or deals. They’re also the ideal tool for pre-empting potential problems that could threaten a customer’s loyalty. Whether the goal is customer satisfaction, sales, or cost reduction, personal video should be an integral part of any company’s antichurn armory. Only then can companies deliver the personal, trustworthy relationship that their customers deserve.

Danny Kalish is CTO and cofounder of Idomoo.

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