Customer Service: Make a Video

Customer ServiceSince the dawn of time, customer service has always needed improvement. If you’re not on hold, you’re busy being transferred from person to person or listening to automated recordings. When the age of the Internet came about, you were probably staring at a Frequently Asked Questions page. When the FAQ was no help, you had to resort to email, phone or a manual search for someone with a similar issue. The problem is, no matter which way you choose to seek help, you are either stuck listening to someone try to explain a solution or get drowsy reading an article about troubleshooting.  In either case, there is an easy solution for both the company and the customer: video content.

There is always going to be a common problem with every product. Sometimes the problem extends to the instruction manual not being comprehensive enough, causing a large percentage of customers to have trouble getting the product to function initially. Sometimes it may be a simple jam or a hidden switch not in the “on” position. Whatever the case may be, videos can offer not only great help, but they can alleviate a company from receiving an overwhelming amount of customer inquiries.
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The first step in deciding which FAQs to use is to compile a list of the most commonly asked questions or issues. Then begin creating content with answers or solutions to these inquiries by incorporating the product into the video. Instead of explaining how to fix something, show them. A person will feel much more confident in completing a task themselves if they can visually see how to assemble or fix the product.  As a company, it’s almost certain that you have the product on hand to use in a how-to video.

The cost of such a method can be minimal compared to alternative methods. YouTube is free, most computers are equipped with a webcam, and finding an employee with extensive knowledge of your product should not be an issue. All that is left is to have this employee spend a few hours recording video content fixing or explain common complaints. The video can be edited, and text can be inserted into the video for possible explanation of words, directions, etc.

The video below is a great example of how the company Douglas Vacuum uses videos for customer service issues. It was created in response to recognizing that the phrase “vacuum won’t start” was being searched in YouTube.


This is a perfect example of a common complaint being solved using video. Doug did a great job of first troubleshooting commonly overlooked issues with the vacuum, and then pointed out a switch many of you may not be aware of. It turns out that the problem most customers were having was due to a switch that is hard to see and reach. However, some people may have had a clogged pipe. In any event, Doug walked us through all the possible causes of the vacuum not starting.

If you have ever been stuck doing your own garden work like mowing the lawn, you know how frustrating it can be when your mower doesn’t work properly. Troubleshooting can be tiresome, and having a technical support representative try to explain possible causes and solutions can get confusing. Instead of deeming the lawn mower broken, a helpful video may just do the trick. This video was done by eSparesVideo. It was the first video to be listed when typing “lawnmower won’t start” in YouTube.


These videos were not created by the actual manufacturers of the products, as the Kirby vacuum is a product sold at the Douglas Vacuum retail stores, and eSpares repairs lawnmowers but does not sell them. Nevertheless, they offer great insight into how to troubleshoot a product or fix an issue yourself. These are examples of how a company or product manufacturer can utilize video to provide help and customer support to those who need it without tying up phone lines.

This method of customer service is two-fold. First, your customers will have easy access to solutions for common issues with your product, which then can be shared easily across their personal networks. Second, your SEO will increase because video is the preferred type of content to be posted by search engines.

Something to consider when creating your videos: Make sure your videos will not cause the customer to void any product warranty. Videos should attempt to troubleshoot or fix common issues, while avoiding having to return the product for replacement or repair. Advise your customers that if the product issue remains after using the suggested troubleshooting advice in the video, a repair or replacement may be needed.

YouTube Does it Right With Launch of New Video Editing Features

Yes, you read it correctly. I am pointing out that YouTube has done something right, yet again. We know that many other sites implement new features that may not please their users, or a feature that has been glorified as the next best thing since sliced bread, only for it to flop during the release and eventually be taken off the site. So what has YouTube done exactly? Well what else, made sharing video content on its social platform even better with new added features.

As YouTube reigns supreme within its industry, it is no surprise that they would implement an update that will not only please the avid, regular users, but even spice things up for the occasional users as well. YouTube has released tools that allow you to edit your video right there in your browser.  Continue reading...

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Social Media Lessons Learned From the Old Spice Guy

Old Spice GuyIn today’s modern world of Internet marketing and leveraging social media campaigns to increase traffic and sales, video is the number 1 rated type of content. Having a social media campaign is great and once you have a strategy in place you are on the right track, but utilizing the platforms available to you effectively is a whole other ball game. Old Spice used professional athlete Isaiah Mustafa to be the face of their “Old Spice Guy” campaign, and looking at whether it was a success or big time upset, well, everyone has his or her own opinions. Let’s talk about some of the lessons we can learn from the social media campaigns of the Old Spice Guy, and now, The New Old Spice Guy.

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Facebook vs Google Plus Round 2

Facebook vs Google+If you are an avid user of today’s social media networking sites, you are aware of the battle between Facebook and Google Plus for the supremacy of the social network industry. In round one, Google released the first wave of beta testing to select individuals, to test out the newest platform in Google’s arsenal to compete with Facebook. So far, all the reviews have been great and it seems as though Google has one-upped Facebook in terms of innovation and ease for its user base.

Except, there are two problems. One: Google is still in the trial phase and has not gone live for the general public since it is a closed testing. Two: Facebook has just fired back a combination of hits straight into the heart of Google Plus - video chat and group chat.

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Book Review: Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed

When Patrick Schwerdtfeger contacted PMC through our blog to offer an advance copy of his new book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed, I immediately took the opportunity to speak with him. A brief phone conversation led me to learn interesting things about Patrick; earlier he had self-published a book, Webify Your Business, and his new one is essentially an updated version. His first book received such great reviews that John Wiley and Sons, Inc. picked it up and published it. Because Patrick was very down-to-earth, educated in entrepreneurship, and extremely willing to network, I have decided to write a book review for Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed. This book shares valuable information, tricks, and advice for any self-started business.

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Want to Video Chat Your Facebook Friends? The Skype and Facebook Merger Continues…

Skype and Facebook have been working on a partnership for quite some time now. Skype 5.0, launched in October 2010, allows its users to call, text, or chat their Facebook friends. Skypers areable to get in contact with any of their Facebook friends through their personal newsfeed. This new feature for Skype was big news, but now there is more hype about the Facebook/Skype relationship due to talk about a video chat feature for Facebook.  

Back in November 2010, a Facebook app developer came across some interesting HTML code in the backend of the site. A code in the back of an application, named VideoChat, contained some links back to Skype.  These discovered properties would allow Skype and Facebook users to videoconference with each other. 

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The Power of YouTube

Power of YoutubeFor most small businesses and start-ups, YouTube is usually overlooked as a prominent social media tool. Some companies may choose not to use YouTube because they believe their videos will not be discovered, get many views, or ever go “viral.” Keeping these uncertainties in mind, let’s take a look at what success YouTube can bring to your company.  

Video content is one of the most entertaining forms of media to engage your consumers with. In order to be effective, in terms of viral marketing, videos should be short, sweet, and able to get a message through to the viewer. Additionally, publishing more than one video at a time enables your consumers to continue watching your content instead of having to wait for new posts. While working at Reebok International, I learned that a company’s YouTube videos do not have to be extremely professional in order to make an impact. Reebok launched a viral series for their “You Got Rondo’d” campaign in order to promote their brand. Employees were used as actors and each video was shot locally. Through word of mouth and social networking, the videos acquired over 200,000 views. Their YouTube campaign undercut the costs they would incur had they implemented advertisements on national TV.

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