I’m returning from a two-day Action Workshop, wrapping up a four-month journey mapping project. In the first day, we shared the literal voice of the customer, collected through 46 video interviews with customers. These video interviews shared the power of when the customer experience goes right, as well as the ramifications of when it goes wrong. At one point, there were audible gasps from the attendees after one former customer shared his experience with our client.
The 28 attendees couldn’t get enough of it. Even after sharing 30 clips, they were up for more. That’s the power of video interviews. Short of bringing employees to customers’ sites, it’s the most powerful way to show the voice of the customer.
Unfortunately, it’s woefully underutilized.
At the CXPA’s Insight Exchange I saw sessions from Airbnb and Foot Locker showing how they use video interviews instead of text answers to capture open-ended responses in their surveys. But they appear to be early adopters – I’ve yet to be asked to record a video as part of my surveys. And, as a CX Pro, I am of course a survey junkie.
You don’t need high-end survey software to collect videos – although I think that will be the norm in a few years. Nor do you need a professional videographer. We use consumer-grade video cameras combined with high-quality microphones.
When we talk with new clients, we invariably hear a reticence to ask customers to be video recorded. They worry it will be intrusive. And those few who conduct their own interviews rarely collect video recordings.
But after over five years of doing this, I have learned: if you explain the reason for recording (greater impact at your company), the vast majority of your customers will be fine with being recorded. Of course, they tell us their hair isn’t right, but after a few minutes they ignore the camera and start sharing. We get over 95% acceptance.
Importantly, we offer anonymity. That feels odd when there’s a camera there, but we tell them, “This interview starts out confidential. Once the interview is complete, and you know what we discuss, you have the power. If you tell us that you want to be anonymous, nobody will see your video.” Once you give them the power, most realize the potential behind the video interview.
My book co-author, Nicole, recently started an interview with a participant who said she didn’t want to be recorded. Nicole asked for 20 seconds to share why we record the conversations. She shared how the video makes the interviewee’s comments more persuasive for our client; 30 seconds later the camera was running. And a clip from that interview did indeed make it to our report, and her voice did indeed have more impact.
Video is your friend – or it can be, if you embrace it. A video interview transforms your customer from a generic person to a living and breathing human being. Even better, it’s instantly believable. We spend far less time selling our findings, because the customers do it for us. In last week’s post, I shared What Makes a Great Customer Experience Leader, and I referenced Marlanges Simar and Natalie Schneider, who both use video to share their customers’ stories.
Video is the best way to bring your customers to life, and it isn’t all that difficult. It’s time to add it to your toolkit.