Some brands Loyalty360 has talked to in recent years have been reluctant to use video in connection with their respective customer experience offerings/initiatives.

Loyalty360 talked to Chris Hall, Vice President of Customer Engagement Solutions for Pitney Bowes, about the evolution of video as a key strategy for brands seeking unique customer experiences.

“In another era, prior to the Age of the Customer, in which we currently find ourselves, marketing videos may have been effective at getting a company’s messaging across, but the communication was essentially a monologue – a person speaking generally to all viewers,” Hall explained to Loyalty360. “Today, static videos are still effective marketing tools and popular among viewers – video accounted for 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic last year – but consumers’ expectations have escalated. They now want an interactive, personalized experience. To meet this demand, companies are turning to interactive personalized videos and handing over the keys to the viewer, allowing them to control their own content journey and create their own unique experiences.”

How critical are these types of personalized videos?

“These videos are the future of customer engagement and, for some prominent companies, the journey to the future has started, although they still have plenty of work to do,” Hall said.

For example, SAP, whose top-line YouTube channel categorizes its videos into buckets corresponding with individual buyer personas, Hall noted. Retail customers can subscribe to the SAP for the Retail channel, those interested in customer relationship management can browse the SAP CRM channel, and on it goes, across 11 different channels.

But, these videos don’t allow the viewer to control what they see within a video when they see it, or what their personal journey through the video looks like. Nor do they provide individual personalization based on data and information known about the viewer, Hall said.

“To understand why interactive personalized videos are the gold standard of videos today, and what SAP and others are missing, consider the story of Florida-based Security First Insurance,” Hall explained. “Its challenge was to help its 227,000 policyholders better understand their coverage while offering them an exceptional customer experience and streamlined catastrophe response, all in an easy-to-understand format.”

Since Security First started using interactive personalized videos, its customers have been able to control which videos they view and when they view them.

“They can be directed to a number of next steps from the videos, including reading the blog, speaking with a sales rep, or visiting a customer service portal,” Hall added. “The feedback from customers has been positive. Three in four watches at least four minutes of video, and as Security First’s marketing vice president Marissa Buckley tells it: ‘People are saying, ‘I loved your video. I watched it as I had my coffee’.”

As Security First has shown, interactive personalized videos keep customers engaged at a time when they’re being pulled in many different directions, and if they’re properly integrated into a company’s overall marketing strategy, these videos will elevate the customer experience and establish new heights of customer engagement, Hall added.

What can interactive personalized video do for a company seeking to elevate its customer engagement/customer experience presence?

“With the spotlight on video, businesses have a real opportunity here to leverage an increasingly popular channel while also streamlining their operations, meet customer demand, and deliver a better customer experience,” Hall said. “Some businesses have recognized that opportunity and, as such, there has been a growing trend in the use of online interactive personalized video for improving customer engagement across a variety of industries.”

Interactive personalized videos allow companies to use customer data to provide the consumer with a chance to “self-serve” in a personalized and interactive way, Hall explained, which can help businesses lower customer service costs and increase customer satisfaction, among many other benefits.

Hall offered four other reasons why organizations can benefit from interactive personalized video opportunities:

1.    Streamline processes
What businesses may not realize is that interactive personalized videos can be easily integrated with a multi-channel communications strategy and technology. As such, they can be used to better streamline processes across the organization, like helping to create easy-to-understand personalized video bills and statements.

2.    Personalize the experience
If you’re not personalizing your customer’s experience, you’re missing out on opportunities to truly engage with that customer. Interactive personalized video allows businesses to instantly deliver highly-personalized consistent presentation videos that are uniquely designed for each viewer.

3.    Empower sales teams
The customers aren’t the only ones who will benefit – your internal sales team will as well. Interactive personalized video can help to accelerate their sales process and empower the sales teams by allowing for simple, automated lead qualification.

4.    Entertain the customers
Customers are constantly inundated by channels competing for their attention. And guess what? The most entertaining one wins. Interactive personalized videos allow you to customize your customer’s experience and thus, entertain them by keeping them more engaged.
Businesses are beginning to understand the power that video can bring to their organizations. Not only will the approach help lower customer service costs, it will ultimately allow your internal operations to run more smoothly and efficiently.

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