Visualizing Video's Future in the Telecom Industry

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Video has the power to educate consumers and employees, facilitate self-service, and promote products in engaging ways. Here AT&T and Liberty Global demonstrate how video puts customers and employees in control.
Customer Experience

Video truly engages the senses, for the sights, sounds, and motions are often more compelling than traditional text communications. From personal to professional pursuits, people simply gravitate toward video because the medium offers an intrinsic appeal and advantage over all other content types, for video allows companies and customers to convey much more complex information than can be shared in the average text document.

However, as video continues to weave itself throughout the consumer's daily activities, telecommunication and media companies are only on the cusp of integrating this medium into their overall strategies. For telecoms, video offers the opportunity to build engagement, thereby boosting loyalty and retention. However, for many, this means of communication remains underutilized, as brands slowly begin to adopt video as an essential component of their customer service strategy.

Tom Wilde, CEO of RAMP, notes that, in many cases, it's much easier for companies to shoot 90-second how-to videos than to provide consumers with lengthy, written instructions that may discourage and dissatisfy, ultimately increasing attrition. Because, as Wilde emphasizes, video has the power to do much more, as its nature facilitates verbal explanations and visual demonstrations, allowing telecoms to solve issues and address service problems succinctly and straightforwardly.

On the customer engagement side of the business, telecoms have the opportunity to use video in a way that informs and inspires. Video allows companies to promote services and products by providing customers with visual product tours. For instance, wireless carriers can demonstrate any given smartphone's or tablet's primary features through video demonstration, which becomes much more compelling than reading complicated side-by-side feature comparisons. By supplying this information clearly and concisely at the beginning of the customer relationship, telecoms are sure to establish an increased level of trust, loyalty, and overall transparency.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, video has the power to drive improved knowledge bases as consumers increasingly gravitate toward self-service. In many cases, customers have already created their own communities as they attempt to help one another solve problems that can't seem to be resolved via the given telecom's manuals or websites. Many such communities consist of crowdsourced how-to videos that demonstrate to the necessary steps for rectifying such issues as battery replacement or hardware installation-problems that these companies should offer solutions for themselves. By taking cues from what's already being said, telecoms can proactively provide consumers with their own how-to videos so as to strengthen the customer relationship and increase trust.

"Providing customers with easy access to product and service information has direct implications on brand satisfaction and perception," Wilde says. "Taking the time to supply customers with what they want and need offers the brand itself an opportunity to look at what customers are posting themselves as they crowdsource to solve problems they cannot otherwise solve through the brand. By offering this information directly to aid self service efforts, such as video versions of the company's user manual, telecoms can increase loyalty by making it easier for customers to use and be successful with their products."

On the employee side, video has the ability to educate and empower, for this medium can provide employees across the organization with the knowledge to improve the customer experience. Video tutorials can quickly teach technicians how to install equipment during training exercises or in the field in ways that may become lost in translation as written documents. Video can also help retail store employees understand the key features of the brand's most popular products, with tutorials that can teach them how to sell that given item successfully. This emerging medium can even facilitate collaboration and knowledge management, as telecoms look to diagnose problems remotely. The challenge, however, comes into play as companies work to make videos actionable internally. While text documents have been historically known to generate leads and satisfy customer inquiries, telecoms must develop ways to move beyond video's potential brochure-like nature to solve business goals while supporting superior service and experience.

For New Customers, Video Fits the Bill

Though video adoption may still be in its infancy, numerous companies have tapped into this method of communication so they may educate customers about their bill. When new AT&T clients sign up for the company's U-Verse or mobile services, they are met with an individualized, personalized video that examines their current fees and charges. AT&T leverages SundaySky's SmartVideo technology to deliver the information new customers seek by sending video bills for the first two months. This format clearly introduces each customer to the brand's billing process and the charges they will incur each month, allowing them to retain these videos for future reference.

Because each video comes personalized, AT&T uses the customer's name and walks them through each element step-by-step so they know exactly what they're paying for and what they can expect to see as the relationship progresses. In particular, these videos come tailored to each customer's concerns, thereby steering clear of irrelevant generalizations in order to reduce confusion. AT&T also offers this video service to current clients that have recently made changes to their accounts to tackle billing questions that often arise. By preemptively answering customers' questions and addressing their concerns, AT&T not only reduces call center traffic, but also establishes the foundation for loyalty, as this transparent first impression will likely help boost retention and sustain satisfaction.

Watch this video to explore precisely what these video bills entail, including the personalized analysis of each charge:

Liberty Global, one of the largest international cable companies, operates similarly by providing new customers with an individualized, personalized video bill that examines their fees and charges, while also outlining essential information about their new accounts. With more than 24.5 million customers across 14 countries, Liberty Global aimed to enhance the customer experience while driving operational efficiencies. Using Idomoo's personalized video technology, this global brand offers clients first-time video bills so they may lay the groundwork for understanding and loyalty. Such videos highlight the customer's new services, his monthly payment due date, and current charges, all while emphasizing the company's on-site self-service offerings.

By encouraging site registration, Liberty Global demonstrates the level of power it puts directly in the customers' hands. Online accounts enable clients to expand upon the information learned through these introduction videos as they manage their accounts, order new services, view and pay their bills, and learn tips on how to get the most of Liberty Global's services. Not only does this strategy aim to reduce call center query volume and increase site registration, but it also sets the stage for an informed, empowered relationship. Giving customers control and transparency upfront will ultimately strengthen loyalty, advocacy, and retention down the road.

Watch this video to observe how Liberty Global's video bill works and how its clear, concise nature helps alleviate concerns:

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION