Video is most impactful during the adoption phase(s) of your customer journey because you can show customers what they need to do.
When choosing where else to insert video in your CS motions, think about customer expectations and needs at that moment—make sure video adds value or creates an opportunity to delight rather than using video for its own sake.
Videos don’t need to be Hollywood-level production. You can keep your “uhms” and your forehead scratches—they add authenticity.
Can you introduce yourself and share more about your work?
Sure! I’m Alex—I’m the Senior Director of Customer Success at Vidyard, helping companies create more sales and customer success relationships with video. I lead our Enterprise team, which consists of eight individual contributors we call Customer Success Executives (CSE). It’s just one of three segments in our overall business: Enterprise, Commercial, and SMB.
What value does video offer in customer interactions?
It’s more flexible for customers and saves everyone a lot of time.
I look across my toolbar and I use over a dozen softwares in my daily work. If every single vendor wanted to have regular check-ins with me or book a call each time I had a question, I could devote an entire week (or more) just to those calls. Video allows me to have those same conversations asynchronously.
For example, I’m a dad and I’m pretty busy. If I have a question for a vendor and they demand a live phone call or Zoom chat, I have very limited hours to book that call on top of my other work. But if they send me a pre-recorded video, I can look at it after I’ve put the kids to bed at night, get the answer I need, and start the next day more prepared.
Video also starts the conversation, but it doesn’t have to end there. If someone sends a video and I have more detailed questions, we can book a call. But more often than not, this step isn’t necessary, so I have a lot more flexibility and save hours of time I’d normally have to spend on calls.
Where in a customer’s journey is video the most impactful?
In the adoption part of their journey, wherever that is (and however many times someone has to adopt something).
Video helps you get past your key stakeholder and onto other teams because sharing is so easy. That makes it easier to get your message across and have more impact as a CSM rather than trying to book live meetings with everyone.
Right now, companies typically rely on blogs, newsletters, FAQs, or other written documents to communicate everything with customers. While there’s value in written documentation, video is a quick way to communicate something and also put a face to the name, building a stronger relationship. And when it comes to how-to types of questions, video allows you to truly show them what to do rather than give them instructions and hope for the best.
Video gives you a chance to speak directly to users without necessarily needing to book a webinar or speak to them one on one, which is just not scalable.
How can a CSM choose which is best in a given moment—video, audio, or written communication?
Think about user needs and expectations for each moment.
For example, if someone asks you how to use a feature or accomplish a task within your platform. The user is trying to learn more about your platform—they want to know how to use it but they are confused or need help. If you were beside them in their office, you’d likely point to the computer screen and talk it out with them. Video can replicate this same experience with you showing your screen and walking someone through the issue. While a customer might be used to written instructions with screenshots, video becomes an opportunity to delight them and create an even better experience.
But then take another experience—for instance, someone asking about pricing. The expectation here is that they want information they can quickly skim and recall later or share with others. While a video might accomplish shareability, you saying the prices and trying to explain the intricate pricing levers (such as price per seat or usage-based pricing) is not a good customer experience. In this case, a written FAQ or pricing page is probably the best option.
At a high level, video is great for building relationships and explaining complex ideas, particularly if there’s a visual or dynamic element. But that can vary from company to company, so it’s critical to think about user needs and expectations—that will help you decide which medium is best for you.
Any video creation tips for newbies without fancy hardware?
Absolutely! We have a whole guide on video production that covers the technical things like camera quality and lighting on a budget, but here are my favorite tips for recording videos from a relationship-building perspective:
Focus on authenticity: don’t worry about editing out the times you said “uhm” or the moment where you scratched your forehead or adjusted your glasses. These are natural human motions that someone would see if you were speaking to them live (on video or in person). You don’t need 43 takes to make the perfect video.
Keep it short: I recommend around 40 seconds per video, going up to 60 if you really need to explain something. It sounds short, but try watching a video that’s longer than 40 seconds—it gets tedious after a while.
Have a plan: just like meetings need agendas, videos need plans. Know what you’re going to say, write some notes ahead of time, and ensure you have a clear call to action or next step so there’s no confusion. This keeps the video focused on value delivery for customers and will help you keep it under 60 seconds, too!
Personalize: if you’re doing videos for one-on-one communication, personalize it! Say their name. Say their company’s name. Mention a detail you know about them that makes the advice you’re sharing more relevant. If you’re doing a video that’s going out to multiple people, your “personalization” should be whatever common ground the intended viewers share. You maybe don’t want to say individual names, but you can speak to industry trends or something similar.
Get the Catalyst Newsletter
Join more than 30,000 Customer Success professionals to get new events, research, and feature opportunities delivered straight to your inbox.