Buffer is a social media management tool that empowers more than 4 million marketers. Their Customer Advocacy Team helps 200 to 400 customers per day. In order to be as efficient as possible, they needed to explain solutions with clarity and ask questions that can be understood right away.
Their goal is to avoid miscommunication that can lead to frustration for the customer and time wasted in back & forth conversations. The team found that typing out answers wasn’t always the best way to achieve their goal; that’s why they started including visuals like annotated images, screen recordings or GIFs.
By using visuals, Buffer communicates more efficiently and more personally with their customers at each step of the process.
First, they make sure they fully understand their customer’s question. When in doubt, they will record their screen with audio to ask which of two options is the cause of their problem. By allowing the customer to give a quick and easy answer (Option A, Option B), the Customer Advocacy Team speed up time to resolution.
Then, the team will send annotated screenshots and videos to customers for instructional purposes and to answer their questions.
One ticket has been particularly difficult? Buffer Customer Advocates will record videos with their webcam on, in order to share an apology or an explanation and make it feel sincere.
Finally, they create GIFs for customers as a 'surprise and delight’ to show how much they care.
Not only do the Buffer’s Customer Advocacy Team closes tickets faster by avoiding miscommunication, but they also feel like they increase customer happiness by removing frustration. Using visual explanations give them the opportunity to provide a warmer and more attentive experience to their customers. It also establishes a personal relationship with their customers and can diffuse any potential tension.
‘It's always an extra delight when the customer is so impressed that they send you a GIF back or when they call us by name. This connection also brings down the frustration level of the customer, because they realize that you're a human and that you're really in this alongside them.’ adds Darcy, Customer Advocacy Lead at Buffer.
Frustration is also removed on the Customer Support side too. It’s easier to send screen recordings and annotated screenshots than having to write down long explanation.
* Based on our customers usage, we estimate that each drop (including a video recording, a GIF, an annotation) saves you about 90 seconds on average.