The Client: A World Leader in SaaS Computing
The client is one of the world’s leading and most innovative SaaS companies, with a NASDAQ market cap of more than $50 billion. With several business and financial management products in its portfolio, the company has a strong commitment to fostering the small and medium business (SMB) community in India.
The Challenge: Contact centers flooded with routine queries
The client’s accounting management software is used by small and medium businesses globally to manage payroll, send invoices to customers, pay bills, generate reports for planning and take care of all other accounting needs of a business.
The brief to the Clearly Blue team was clear: Create 46 how-to videos of top quality that would succinctly explain how to use various key features of the accounting software. The topics for each how-to video were based on common queries that users had about the software. The client’s aim was to drive down the number of routine queries their customer service personnel were getting. As the reach of their software expanded in India beyond the English-speaking metros, the videos had to cater to both the English-speaking as well as non-English speaking audiences. Apart from this, the videos could be used in digital marketing campaigns aimed at increasing conversion rates and boosting sales. The target viewers were small and medium business owners.
Accounting can be an intense topic and accounting jargon can intimidate those who are not familiar with the subject. The challenge for the Clearly Blue team was to make each topic as interesting as possible, answer usage queries and cater to a wide audience.
The Solution: Engaging Storytelling To Solve Accounting Problems
The design: When undertaking such a project requiring bulk creation of videos with high quotient of design and storytelling, Clearly Blue’s approach entailed paying attention to the small but critical elements first: a video design guideline (based on the client’s more extensive branding guidelines), the background music, voiceover and storyboards.
In order to pique the interest of the viewers and to bring a dry topic to life, we decided to develop the videos with a blend of 2D animation as well as product screen grabs.
We decided to go the storytelling route to make the videos engaging: Animated storytelling proved to be the most effective way to reach the target audience. For each of the videos, we wove stories around two fictional characters – a small business owner Dr.Sampad Rao and his accountant John Zachariah. Our stories simulated problems that the client’s’ customers might experience and demonstrated how the software could assist them in solving those problems.
The script: For any video, the script is its backbone. We took a customer-centric approach – focussing less on the features of the accounting software and more on solving the end user’s problems. The aim was to present each of the how-to videos in an easy-to-understand and recallable manner.
Our instructional designers created a workflow that involved understanding the problem and translating their ideas into visuals through storyboarding. The storyboards gave a clear idea of the sequence of scenes in the videos making it easy for client sign-offs before we shot off into video production.
Production: Recording screen grabs of the actual steps in the software and recording voiceover for each of the videos followed. The choice of the voiceover (VO) can make or break a video. We decided to go with professional VO since these artists know the nuances of engaging the audience and keep the content interesting.
A particular challenge that the team faced was understanding the flavour of the Hindi to be used for the subtitles. A mix of English and Hindi was agreed upon after the initial videos were produced and approved by the client. Soft subtitles (subtitles that can be turned on or off depending on the viewer’s preference) can be easily added for a YouTube video. In the case of these How-to videos, the client had opted for hard subtitles (where a subtitle file is integrated into the video and cannot be turned off). This proved to be a real challenge since the video creation software was unable to read Unicode characters in the Hindi script. After much analysis and experimentation, a suitable workaround was found for the issue.
The production team then took over to create the final blended videos bringing animation, voice-over recordings and subtitles together.
The Result: One Happy Client, their Happier Customers!
The time and effort invested in making the How-to videos were well worth it – the videos have continued to provide great ROI for the client as they deploy them in multiple marketing campaigns. With less time spent on answering routine, repeated questions, the Customer Success team is able to spend time helping their SMB customers with other, more complex issues.