Product Marketing Is Always Visual, But What About Customer Service?


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When someone asks you to describe ‘product marketing’ what is the first thing that you think of? It will usually be a visual reaction. You will think of how a specific product looks or how it makes you feel.

Auto brands know this. Most of us are never going to cross a desert or mountain range in our car, but these are the images always used in advertising. We might usually be dropping the kids at school or heading to the local Walmart, but the ads always show cars hugging impossibly tight corners on mountain passes.

But what if someone asks you to describe ‘customer service?’’

This will still elicit a reaction, but it is more likely to be a groan or an eye roll. Search the Comedy Central YouTube channel for ‘customer service’ and you will find one comedian after another building an entire routine around their experience in a store or fast food restaurant. We have all been there.

What’s the big difference?

A cynic might say that the visual images are so enticing because you haven’t made the purchase yet. They are enticing you with the feeling that the lifestyle in the advertising could be yours. Once you buy into it then the brand doesn’t care. They just move on to the next potential customer and leave you to the customer service team.

But the truth is that our relationship with brands has always been like this. Their marketing is visual and emotive, it makes us feel something for the brand. Disney, Nintendo, and Nike are all popular themes for tattoos. You don’t go out and get a Nike swoosh tattooed on your arm unless you really feel a lot for that brand.

But our connection to service channels has always been phone calls and text messages. Clunky, dated, non-visual and just about the same today as they were ten years ago, twenty years ago, even thirty years ago.

Think about how much easier service would be if brands made the process of getting help more visual – what about if you could share what you are seeing with an expert adviser?

Think how this might save hours in support calls. You just signed up with a new ISP, but you can’t get your email to work. You spent hours configuring that server and following all the instructions in the guide, but it still doesn’t work. How do you get help without calling and describing every single setting and configuration change you made?

What if you could call from your PC and share the configuration screen with the agent so they can immediately see what you are working on?

What if you are trying to file a mortgage application with your bank, but it keeps on saying you have missed some details on your application? You need to get that document filed today because the offer you made on a house will not be honored if you can’t prove the financing is in place. Do you call the bank and talk through the application line-by-line or just share the document and let the expert from the bank see is wrong? It’s probably obvious to an expert.

What if a system like this already existed so these visual interactions could be simple, but also with privacy and security built into the sharing process? For example, if you are sharing a document that features sensitive financial information perhaps it would be more secure for the numbers to be masked?

It’s time for brands to wake up to visual customer support. Marketing campaigns always feature images that entice customers to want the brand in their lifestyle. Why not make the process of getting help simple and visual so the customer wants to keep on using and recommending the product?

This idea of visual and secure co-browsing, so agents can easily guide customers through a website, catalogue, or product without friction and with security really is the future for customer service. Customer experience should be visual – just like marketing.

CC Photo by Lanju Fotografie

Dianne McCoubrey
I'm based in Ontario, Canada and focused on CX and BPO technology. My current position is the Vice President of Global Business Development for Grypp Corp Ltd. Grypp is a digital experience solutions company focused on providing visual customer engagement technology to contact centers, globally. i have a background in technology sales, particularly in transformative retail technologies.


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