Creating a Customer Gift Experience that Wows (and Helps you Win) Image

Creating a Customer Gift Experience that Wows (and Helps you Win)

by Michael Litt, Co-founder and CEO of Vidyard

Best in class businesses bending over backwards to help customers become wildly successful is old news.

It’s not a secret that to build a successful business, you need happy customers. Many happy customers. And the best businesses understand that the path to customer happiness starts with their very first touch with your brand. Apple is a great example (aren’t they always?). We’ve all had great unboxing experiences before but few compare to the experience that Apple’s been able to create. For those of you who have bought an iPhone before, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the experience that makes you feel good about buying a premium product. It begins when the representative who’s helped you hands over that clean white box that is the texture of high value cardboard. You lift the weighty lid to reveal a crisp, never-before-been-opened booklet whose pages beg to be flipped through. And then of course you can’t forget the crystal clear plastic box that’s so pristine it feels like glass when you first touch it to remove the perfectly coiled, fresh and completely wax-free earbuds…

Creating an experience that special is a challenge. Even more of a challenge is creating an experience that special for a product made of bits and bytes, 0’s and 1’s, that is delivered to the customer via unseen wormholes that span the space-time continuum.

AKA; Software.

That is the challenge that I wanted to solve. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m not the only CEO who has tackled this problem before— one need only look to leaders such as Salesforce who consistently go above and beyond their competitors by treating customers like actual business partners to ensure their success. But every company is different, and we needed to find our own special sauce that would scale with us as we transform from startup to established, all the way to big business.

We rose to this challenge by introducing a core corporate value to Vidyard: Win With Experience. Win With Experience is a single, standalone, value that transcends our entire operation including customer success. To Vidyard, Win With Experience means that with every interaction you have internally, externally, heck even extra-terrestrially, needs to provide a highly cultivated and well-planned experience.

Everyone in our team is encouraged to ask themselves and each other, “What is the experience I’m helping create?” By asking ourselves this, we take the time to consider the purpose of every interaction we have. We take the time to consider whether our actions are working toward our desired outcome and if they aren’t, it prompts us to take the time to adjust our behaviors. By considering the experience our customers are having at every point in their lifecycle, we ensure every single one becomes a Winner.

Many businesses have been down this path before. That’s why swag packs and welcome gifts exist. But as a Video Marketing Platform, Vidyard had the opportunity to provide our customers with a first-of-its-kind welcome experience because, for many businesses, their video marketing and sales strategy is the next best thing to being onsite in person. And it’s much more scalable, to boot.

So when defining our customer welcome experience, the entire team asked ourselves, “What is the experience we’re helping create?” and the answer we came up with was: an experience that our customers can learn from; an experience that will help further their business objectives and drive revenue, while also being delightful, exciting and memorable.

This led us to create the “Video Studio-in-a-box”, a tangible gift experience that has produced a win-win-win scenario. Delivered as a physical kit with everything you need to set up a video studio in your own office, it’s a gift that not only delights and excites our customers, it offers something they can use every day to further their goals of generating more business through the expanded use of video content. And it’s delivered in custom-branded packaging (with a personalized video card!) that helps to reinforce our brand value and create a memorable experience. Take a look:

We’ve found that this initiative not only aligns with our corporate values, but also serves to bolster them because when customers receive their gift they tell us things like: “I don’t have the words. I’m one part incredibly thankful for a very gracious new customer gift, another part incredibly inspired as a marketer for how awesome this is,” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” and “This is exactly what I need to scale my video based programmes!”

And now, because of the success our customers have seen with Studio-in-a-box, we have a thrilling new partnership with Canon that will undoubtedly result in more SKUs being available to our happy customers. Our many happy customers. And, for those of you who are well acquainted with SaaS economics, the happier the customers and the more successful they are in the long term, the longer an LTV we can model for.

With us, it all began with our core corporate values. I say values because at first there were many but as we grew and iterated we realized that by adopting Win With Experience as the single, parent value, all other values we adhere to are upheld and enriched. Studio-in-a-box as a welcome gift is just one way we’ve been able to take Vidyard’s culture and transform it into a unique experience that helps turn all of our customers into Winners.