5 ways Video Chat Applications can enhance your marketing strategy

Google launched its free 1-to-1 video calling app, Duo, last week. Duo works on both iOS and Android. With Duo, Android users get an opportunity to experience something similar to Apple’s FaceTime. One notable feature about Duo is that it does well in low-bandwidth environments which is mostly the case in developing markets. The relatively new app has over 500,000 downloads so far.

Features:
Simple interface – pick a loved one and jump right in, with a simple interface that brings video to the forefront.
Knock knock – See the caller before you answer with Duo’s live preview feature.
High quality video – Experience faster and more reliable video calls whether you’re Wi-Fi or on-the-go.
Cross-platform – Video call all your friends across Android and iOS with just one simple app.
Download size – 7.23 MB

There are many free Video chat applications like Skype (which works on both desktop and mobile), Tango, Imo and Viber which have been on the market for a while. To make Video chatting work for your business, you have to check your business readiness.
In checking your business readiness, you must identify who your customers are and what they need. Find out if it is feasible to communicate with them directly via video chat apps. If there is a potential for video chatting, try and figure out which of your customers would appreciate this direct communication, the best ways to reach out to them and at what point of the marketing/sales process would it be prudent to do so.

Benefits of Video Chat Apps for Business

Video chats play a very crucial role in today’s mobile first, customer-centric economy. They provide:

1. An opportunity for one-to-one marketing

Which message would you be more open to: a billboard by the roadside or a video phone call where you see a face and can interact in real time? Where you are contacted based on and given offers that are applicable to your lifestyle, preferences and interests?
Video Chat Apps offer the opportunity for marketers to conduct one-to-one marketing. That is simply treating different people differently. One-to-one marketing involves messages that are expected—because they were in some way requested, and are furthermore pertinent and individual.

One-to-one marketing is also called permission marketing because the consumer or business gives permission to the company to communicate with them. Therefore, the message is anticipated.

According to the Havard Business Review, the idea is simply: being willing and able to change your behavior toward an individual customer based on what the customer tells you and what else you know about that customer.

2. The ability to add a human face to online transactions

Video chats bring a face to the sales process. In brick and mortar stores, must buyers resent sales reps hovering over them as they consider a purchase, but they do want help when needed. Video chatting can help you strike the right balance between buyers just browsing your products and having their questions answered before purchasing something.

Forrester Research in their study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” that found the following: “Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.”

Your business may not have a website with a sophisticated chat system but even if you are selling your goods and services via Social Media, this study may apply to you. When it comes to shopping online there is a little disconnect with regards to the humanness of the transaction. As retailing giant Stanley Marcus put it, “Consumers are statistics; customers are people.” In dealing with ‘people’, humanizing a marketing process that could otherwise be defined in terms of impersonal statistics will be a huge advantage to your business.

3. An opportunity to build profitable relationships

Video chats which are more personal than phone calls offer the opportunity to build relationships with your customers. There is this popular saying “out of sight, out of mind and so the story goes”. One of the strategies to stay top of mind in your relationship with your customer is through ‘face-time’ (not the iOS app). Use Video Chatting to keep your business or product at the forefront of your clients and prospect’s mind maintaining a high visibility (also referred to as “Top of Mind” awareness). The success of any branding strategy hinges on the ability to establish high brand visibility in the marketplace. You can also use Video Chat apps to maintain quality relationships with clients and stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Use Video Chats to enhance customer experiences with your brand. For example, you could call a customer and get a quartet to sing happy birthday! How extraordinary will that be?

Video chat apps can enable you to learn enough about the customer resulting in your ability to send customized information when necessary. For example, a mobile phone supplier can glean some information about an iPhone user through a video chat. He can then send information relating to his customer’s preferences from this information. Data gathered from impersonal methods like questionnaires may not be as authentic as those gathered from one on one interaction.

4. A way to attain higher levels of customer satisfaction

Interacting with a customer over video prior to a purchase or to offer after sales support can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction. In the end your customers are more likely to recommend your product or service to others. Let’s say that you are in the business of producing and selling wig caps. You do not have a shop yet and so you use Facebook to showcase your products and after your prospects order, the product is delivered to them at home. You could have a video chat with your customer after purchase to walk your customer through various ways to wear the wig cap or how to maintain it.
The key to customer satisfaction here is that customers have someone who can immediately walk them through a sale if they become confused or have a question that can make or break a sale.
Through video chats, you can offer exclusive deals based on the interaction and your customer/prospects needs.

5. A way to reduce costs

Live Video chats can save resources during business transactions. If you need to perform a customer-facing interaction for example but time and distance is a challenge, you could consider using a Video Chat application. A video chat can cut down travel costs for both parties and make the sale increasingly convenient for your customer. By chatting on video, you can gauge interest and pick up subtle sales cues through body language and voice inflection. Using these cues, you can cross sell or up sell to your customer. To the customer, engagement means that you understand their needs, thus you are in a perfect position to recommend additional purchases that may be the perfect fit for that particular person.
Video chats can also cut down on long threads of conversation and speed up interaction between a client and a company.

Wrapping Up

When planned carefully, Video Chats can deliver great results for your brand/business. All you need to do is know what the customers expect and give them that.
Have you tried Duo yet? Have you tried to use any other form of Video Chat Apps in your marketing efforts? What was your experience? Please let me know by commenting below!

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