It’s been challenging for businesses to remain relevant over the past year, with much of the economy on hold and consumers sticking close to home. Companies have tried to engage customers with emails declaring, “We’re here for you!” but that message quickly grew old. Consumers want more than an inbox full of empty assurances. With 2020 finally over and 2021 offering a fresh start, it’s a good time for brands to reconnect with their customer base. Here are key trends that are likely to gain momentum in the year ahead.
Individualized, relevant messages
Many businesses know a lot about their customers yet still blast out cookie-cutter communications unlikely to resonate with recipients. When you have an established relationship, it’s far more effective to personalize messages based on an existing customer’s profile, past transactions and interactions, and current behaviors. An individualized video-powered experience can combine comprehensive data and video to create experiences unique and relevant to that individual.
This approach is especially valuable at certain points, for instance, when customers are puzzled about a charge. A major telco is using individualized video-powered experiences to defuse such situations. They’re delivering custom videos at moments of billing confusion to explain charges, reducing customer frustration and calls to customer support.
The personal touch is also a great way to retain existing customers. A major financial services provider has increased contributions to savings accounts by educating account holders on future distributions through video-powered experiences.
When there isn’t much data to draw from, as with new and prospective customers, consider brief video experiences, less than a minute in length, based on contextual data. Though the videos are less personalized, the information is relevant because it’s precisely targeted to a segment of the audience based on the content presented. This approach works when onboarding new customers, for instance. Videos informing viewers about value-added features and services can make them feel welcome and get them started without a call to customer support.
Interactive video can be quite persuasive and raise engagement from customers leaning in to drive the experience. In these “choose your own adventure” experiences, a video changes in real time depending on customers’ selection(s). And there are countless applications.
A major retailer is using interactive video to help customers understand the benefits of new store cards, while encouraging usage and providing the retailer with valuable customer data. Using interactive video-powered experiences, telcos can help consumers set up digital payments, increasing payment rates and the use of digital tools.
Meaningful, helpful benefits
Marketers have cooked up creative ways to address the changing needs and behavior of their customer base. With fewer card holders traveling, American Express highlighted aspects of its rewards program geared to people isolating at home. Those included credits for select streaming, wireless phone and meal-delivery services, as well as bonus points for supermarket purchases and restaurant takeout. Airlines, too, have responded to the precipitous drop in travel by relaxing change and cancellation fees and deeply discounting fares. Virgin Atlantic is offering free COVID-19 insurance for travel through April 2021.
Content flexibility for brands
Video can play a valuable role in a customer experience (CX) strategy, but it can also be resource-intensive. By using a modular approach, it’s possible to repurpose and adapt elements of videos, which supports scalability in a cost-effective manner.
Creating videos with this building-blocks approach allows maximum versatility. You can combine scenes and creative assets in various ways, weaving them into stories targeted for different moments throughout customer journeys, creating a range of video experiences.
When COVID hit, Kaiser Permanente quickly addressed the new reality by tweaking a video experience it had just launched, simply by modifying the narration and on-screen text of the opening scene rather than producing an entirely new video. A rise in the click rate showed that video viewers appreciated the messaging shift and understood next steps, despite the uncertainties created by the pandemic.
Businesses are increasingly using video more broadly to power their CX engagement initiatives. A modular content approach provides the most flexibility and choice and enables brands to move quickly to keep messaging up to date.