Using video in the customer experience can be a game changer.
Why? Because sometimes as consumers, we just have to trust the other party.
When the dentist tells us we need a crown, most of us just go along with it because we don’t know any better.
When the refrigerator repair man says our old fridge needs more Freon, we say OK because who are we to question a refrigerator expert.
Same with those of us who aren’t car geeks; when the warning light goes on, we bring the car in for repair. When the mechanic tells us we need new brake pads, we say go for it because driving with old brake pads sounds bad.
I call these behind-the-scenes experiences “blind transactions” because the customer can’t see what’s actually happening; we just have to trust the purported experts. And unfortunately, the situations above are all rather costly.
Now Fields BMW in Northfield, IL, which I’ve written about before, has added a new component to its already-excellent customer experience: a personalized video of the mechanic doing an inspection of your car.
My service advisor, Ed, showed me the video after the work was done and before I paid for it.
“Hello, my name is Jerry. I’m the technician performing the services on your vehicle today,” my video began. The video was not polished or over-produced; it was likely taken from Jerry’s phone, which gave it a feeling of authenticity.
The view is looking up at the undercarriage — not a view that the typical car consumer gets often.
Jerry showed himself measuring my tire treads, showed me the measurement on his device, and explained that seven millimeters was “in the green,” meaning “it’s in like-new condition.” (Good thing, since I just had them replaced.) He then explained a similar measurement for brake pads.
The two minute and fourteen second video made its way around the undercarriage, covering rotor faces, the suspension, the rear differential, the transfer case, and a whole lot of other car things that frankly I didn’t entirely understand. But Jerry helped me by explaining that each item was “free of leaks” or that nothing was “bent or out of place” and that “everything looks like it’s supposed to,” with each declaration eliciting a silent exhale (and maybe even one “heck yeah!”) from me.
It was the exact opposite of an experience I had many years ago at an oil change shop where the technician showed me a dirty air filter and told me I needed a new one, and I had a strong suspicion that I might not be looking at my dirty air filter.
I found myself trusting Jerry, even though I’ve never met him, and I immediately felt at ease that my car was getting professionally serviced by a straight-up professional.
Why is it important to use video in the customer experience? Because blind transactions can be scary; we hope we’re not getting taken advantage of or overcharged, but we often never really know.
Ed explained that the videos are meant to help educate the customer, and it got me thinking about my friend Marcus Sheridan’s fantastic book, They Ask, You Answer in which he teaches companies how to be the best educators in their industry. Marcus’ focus is more on sales and inbound marketing in order to acquire new customers, but the strategy also works well for existing customers. After all, if we can’t trust our auto mechanic, chances are we’re going to find a new one.
What can you do to help educate your customers?
Are there any “blind transactions” in your business where you are far more knowledgeable than your customer? If so, think of the dentist or the refrigerator repair guy or the auto mechanic, and see if you can help your customer better understand their investment.
You’ll create trust and long-term loyalty, and maybe one of your customers will even write a blog about you.