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Show the love to your customers

Posted by Chad O'Connor  January 30, 2013 11:00 AM

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[Another installment in our ongoing Help a MassChallenge Startup series to help innovative MassChallenge companies get the word out about what they offer and get connected with what they need to thrive.]

Your customers are not robots. They're people. In the business/customer dialogue decisions are driven by feelings at least as much as by facts. There are two elements of emotion that pretty much have gone missing from customer communications in the web era.

1. The ability for the businessperson, either in sales or in service and support, to convey his or her emotion to the customer.

The dominant form of business communication is email, and email is terrible at communicating anything other than fact-based information. Think of how many times you’ve had an email misinterpreted. The sender's intended emotion is pretty much up for grabs, and so the sender’s meaning winds up being determined by the recipient.

So a businessperson relying on email is very much constrained when he or she wants to express appreciation, concern, trustworthiness, or any other emotion that might be important to the customer. Those things just don’t translate in text.

2. The ability for the business to inspire emotion on the part of the customer.

If a businessperson can’t effectively convey emotion in email or other text communication, it’s much harder to effectively inspire the customer to feel a certain way about the business or product. It’s harder to drive action and advocacy. It’s harder to achieve the kind of relationship characterized by deep loyalty over time.

Interpersonal, non-broadcast video reintroduces the personal and emotional aspects of business-to-customer communication. Live video chat as well as video messaging both have the effect of making the customers feel more connected than if they’re dealing with a business where they are trapped in text. Think Skype, not YouTube.

At Vsnap we're thoroughly obsessed with our mission of helping businesses bring warmth to the web by replacing some of their currently crappy communications with super personal little video messages. We give businesses an easy tool to make your prospects and clients feel special. Our simple system makes it easy to record, share and measure short video messages as a more personal alternative to email or other text-based communications. In pilots and tests, we’ve seen that Vsnap recipients take action about 40% more than email recipients, and they become more vocal about your company with their social networks.

You need an easy tool to bring the personal and emotional layers into your important customer interactions, even if you never ever stand face to face with that person. So is interpersonal video the right fit for your company's customer engagement strategy? We think so, but consider a business pilot to find out for yourself.

Dave McLaughlin is CEO and Co-Founder of Vsnap. He will be emceeing the upcoming Customer Love Summit, a conversation among business leaders who believe that making customers feel special is the fastest and most enduring path to growth.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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