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Video: Making It Easy For Customers

One of the best ways of delighting customers - and ensuring they give you great word of mouth - is to make it incredibly easy to use your products. Apple is great at doing it: the iPhone, for example, comes with a manual that's barely a leaflet because it's designed to be totally instinctive. But what if your product requires a little more guidance for customers?

The solution is to open up new channels to talk to them and demonstrate how to use your products. Thanks to the web, these needn't be costly. So, for example, you could print a detailed instruction book to go in every box, with complicated diagrams that are translated into six languages (at great cost). Or you could shoot a simple instructional video - and post it on YouTube.

That's what the manufacturers of the OWL wireless energy monitor have done. The video is glitz-free and very straightforward (i.e. cheap). But it shows users exactly how to work their new purchase. Better yet, because it's a product that many customers will never have used before, it acts as a huge reassurance to potential buyers: "Here's how it works, you can't go wrong."

Final benefit? It makes online buying resemble an in-store purchase - you can see the product is "real". That makes it much more likely a prospect will type in those all-important credit card details.

These kinds of videos aren't new. Anyone who's shopped in Robert Dyas or a department store will be familiar with demo videos. (I could spend hours watching videos from the experts in the field, JML, a specialist in innovative products.) But thanks to online video sharing, they can be a useful component of any company's customer service (and marketing) efforts.