Adding Back the Personal TouchGlobalization opens new markets. That drives an increase in specialization. The more we specialize, the more we tend to rely on technology to reach our customer. That poses a dilemma. How do we convey trustworthiness through a computer screen? CREATING VIDEOS FOR E-COMMERCE That’s the challenge that faced Matt and his team at Verbate, a sister company to Bonjoro. Verbate helps ad agencies and others use video in order to see the world through customers’ eyes. Based in Sydney, Australia, Matt and his colleagues had to find ways to create connections with prospects and clients who, more often than not, were halfway around the world.
We never set out to build Bonjoro. It was a product hack.Given their experience and comfort with video, Matt started sending personalized introduction videos to prospects. He explained, “We never set out to build Bonjoro. It was a product hack.” Nevertheless, Matt said, “We tripled our response rate overnight.” Over time, more and more clients and prospects asked whether Verbate would help them send similar messages to their clients and prospects. “My CTO and I sat down over beers one Friday, and I said, ‘You know, we’re going to have to build this.'” So, in December 2016, Bonjoro was born.
A Customer Success ToolMatt says, “Think of Bonjoro as a customer success tool. Rather than sending customers an automated email to welcome them on board, your customer success team can send them a personal video that gets delivered to their email inbox. The perception is that you’ve gone above and beyond.” Several weeks ago, Patrick Rauland, one of the hosts of the Lift Off Summit, sent a Bonjoro welcome message to a friend of mine. My friend was blown away and forwarded the message to me, which is how I discovered Bonjoro. Although, we tend to talk about referrals like this as if they happen every day. They don’t. Bonjoro made a distinctive impression. WHY I LOVE PERSONAL VIDEO MESSAGES Given Verbate’s customer base, it’s not surprising that early adopters of Bonjoro are mostly medium-size companies (i.e. 20 to 200 employees). Most have dedicated customer success teams. Sending personalized videos isn’t free, and the investment is more easily underwritten by larger businesses. As Matt puts it, “When you send automated emails, you’re not really building relationships. When you take the time to talk to a customer, you are. But relationships cost money and take time.” Even though Patrick used the free version of Bonjoro, he acknowledged, “The real cost was the amount of time.”
Anatomy of a BonjoroHere’s a screenshot of one of my recent Bonjoro messages: I send Bonjoros using my business Gmail account courtesy of a built-in integration. When the email is opened, the recipient sees the following:
- A “click to play” personalized video message. These aren’t one-to-many broadcasts. They are recorded for a single recipient using a webcam or mobile device.
- A call to action provides the recipient with a prompt to take the next step.
- A short text message serves as a headline.
- The sender’s profile adds a further touch of humanity.
- A custom logo helps associate the message with your brand.
- Bonjoro makes it easy for the recipient to share her video message.
When Might Bonjoro Make Sense for an E-commerce Business?At first, Matt didn’t see an obvious connection between Bonjoro and small, e-commerce businesses. After all, e-commerce customers are a fickle bunch who will shop around for the best price. Where’s the return on spending a lot of time sending personalized videos?
The answer comes down to context. If you are selling unique products, the prospect of increasing customer lifetime value by improving customer service and, hence, customer retention is plausible. It’s tough (and expensive) to acquire a customer. What might you do to offset that investment by creating repurchase opportunities and extending the duration of your relationships? In a fiercely competitive world, a tool like Bonjoro just might provide you with an edge. Will Bonjoro work for your small, e-commerce business? I think it’s worth a try. We’re using Bonjoro here at Human Scale Business, and I’m intrigued about what we’ll learn. Matt observed, “You know, we’ve kind of gone through the Age of Automation. What happens next? How do you stand out? You get more personal again.”