In these tough economic times where there are mass layoffs, companies are looking to cut or reduce costs anywhere they can. One of numerous ways to cut costs is in the technical support department. Many joke that Marketing departments are cut first when it comes to layoffs. Not true anymore as EVERYONE now is vulnerable. A colleague of mine who is a product manager for a Silicon Valley firm recently lost ½ his technical support staff due to layoffs. The company, and the tech support group, is now overwhelmed with customer “issues” (bugs). With half the staff gone, he was looking for ways to “bridge the gap” for his small tech support group. He asked me for recommendations. I told him straight up to look at a web 2.0 platform to alleviate the tech support crunch, specifically YouTube.
Create a YouTube channel specifically geared towards your company, brand or product you need to support. Buy some cheap Flip digital camcorders ($149.99), and give them out to your team or product manager. Dig through the technical support bug or “issue” database and sort out the top 10 issues or bugs that customers complain about. Sit down in front of a computer with the Flip camera and record how to resolve each bug step by step and narrate.
This can work for hardware or any product that needs technical support. Sit down and go over frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). They can be simple setup questions or advanced features questions. Get CREATIVE in your videos. Record all possible workarounds surrounding your products issues.
Post the link to your YouTube channel from the technical support site section on the company’s web page. One advantage of using the YouTube platform is that you do not have to incur the cost of hosting the videos yourself. This can be costly, especially if the videos are large in size and the data download price of high traffic (MB/month).
The YouTube Advantage
- Zero MB/month traffic usage costs
- Zero hosting costs associated with these videos taking up space on your servers
- 24/7 YouTube up time for customers around the world
You get the idea. This is a major value-add if your technical support team is understaffed. Hopefully, in time, the technical support call volume (email) will decline.