Giving people a voice with Video Feedback

Giving People a Voice with Video Feedback

It’s no secret that feedback’s important. Feedback is the only way we can determine what is and isn’t working. While it may be easy to gather quantitative feedback — like slews of responses on surveys — it’s nearly impossible to go deeper to capture people’s voices, body language, and emphasis. All these further highlight their feelings on a topic, but gleaning this type of response often feels a lot like trying to squeeze water from a stone.

Sure, people can go on your Facebook page and try to reach you. Or maybe they can even send you an email. But, are these valuable, meaningful connections? And, is the feedback even useful, or is it totally misguided? We can do better.

Technology has changed the way we interact with the world. Now, it’s time we change how we handle feedback. Video feedback is that change.


What is Video Feedback?

Video feedback is a modern answer to an age-old problem — companies failing to understand, make sense of, or even hear their audience’s stories.

Video feedback is the practice of receiving input from others in the form of video. People can submit video feedback from virtually anywhere using their phone, tablet, or computer. You send a prompt to them for feedback, and they simply hit record.

Ultimately, video feedback opens the door to larger, more thoughtful responses from customers, employees, and everyone in between. But not only this: video feedback allows for unfiltered and unedited stories. These longer responses give us context around the answers they provide, and as a result, a deeper understanding.

Video isn’t just the hottest form of feedback right now - it’s the next step in feedback’s evolution.

Has feedback really changed that much?

You can probably open your inbox right now and find a random survey from a brand you follow. When was the last time you were actually excited to fill out one of these surveys? Survey says that surveys kind of suck. They can be time-consuming and a nightmare to fill out. This is all doubly true for physical surveys received via snail mail. (And who knows if the boxes you check make a splash in a brand’s ocean of data).

Feedback used to take longer in general, leaving a disconnect between the person, the feedback, and the people who need that insight to make crucial decisions.

The inability to quickly make decisions can have a ripple effect and hurt brands, both internally and externally. (Think: There’s a real cost to waiting weeks for feedback when competitors, employees and customers are moving 10x faster, forcing your business to move on.)

Most older forms of feedback had an issue with speed. Remember those suggestion boxes in restaurants? What do you think the odds are that those were emptied daily? There were also feedback numbers posted on product packaging, and before all of that, face-to-face complaints and interviews. All of these methods had their flaws: processing time, little visibility, room for error, and so on.

Fortunately, technology has drastically changed feedback over the years, opening doors to speedier communications and giving companies the ability to pivot faster. Numerous feedback channels have empowered people in the last couple of decades: social media, email, texting, calling, and, yes, even those feedback forms at restaurants.

Online surveys in particular have paved the way for quantitative testing at a scale that was unimaginable in previous decades. Now, brands can amass hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of data points. But, do these mountains of data get at the heart of the story?


Why Quant isn't enough on its own

Quantitative data, like the info from any kind of online survey, sounds like a silver bullet for issues around those old ways of gathering feedback. And it is, to a point. But it's not perfect on its own. If you want the full picture, you're going to have to overcome quant data's shortcomings which is where video steps up.

Traditional feedback often produces quantity, not quality.

Quantitative data, like the info from any kind of online survey, sounds like a silver bullet for issues around those old ways of gathering feedback. And it is, to a point. But it's not perfect on its own. If you want the full picture, you're going to have to overcome quant data's shortcomings which is where video steps up.

Traditional feedback loses the human element.

Email forms, survey numbers, tally marks on a sheet — these are data sets, not human engagement. Video feedback loops in what’s been missing from feedback this entire time: people, humanity, and empathy. If you want to understand why someone feels the way they feel, why something might work or not work, you absolutely need that human element. And video feedback offers a convenient, human way to connect.

Video feedback is available to a large audience on the move.

Sure, most people have an email address and can answer a survey. But email surveys still take up a sizable chunk of time and often entail dropping what you’re doing to fill out a lengthy form. There are currently 3.5 billion smartphone users around the globe, a number that’s set to continue climbing. With video feedback, you give every single smartphone owner an easy way to share their story, expressing in-the-moment thoughts, feelings and behaviours. That sure beats them having to recall the same situation days or weeks later.

Video feedback has nuance.

A lot can get lost in translation when you’re typing in a comment box or hammering away at a Yelp review. A video more accurately captures human emotion, sentiment, and body language, and that’s what we’re after. These elements all result in a more complete story, and, as a result, more useful information. And crucially, it’s now in a format that creates connections and empathy, improving the understanding of the people that matter most to your business.

But, Why Video?

There’s a reason we’re talking about video feedback and not smartwatch feedback. (Granted, that would be pretty neat).


Basically, people love video. They love making it; they love consuming it; they love sharing it; and, most importantly, they love using it to communicate.

If brands want to connect with their audience or with their people, video is the way to make it happen.

But the reasons for using video go well beyond people’s predilections. There are a few key reasons that video is perfectly suited for feedback:

  • Feedback is all about telling a story. So is video. Feedback should be far more than a simple “yes,” “no,” or data point. Proper feedback tells a story that gives you the knowledge needed to better deliver on a promise. Video is the perfect medium for telling a story, making it the perfect type of feedback.
  • People already have the right equipment to make videos. Remember all those smartphones we talked about earlier? All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer to make a video. There’s never been a better time to use video for feedback.
  • People have never been more familiar or at ease with video. Video is so pervasive in our society that everyone is comfortable pressing their shiny red record button to express themselves on camera.
  • Video makes things personal. Video feedback gives us a chance to put a tone, a face, and a person to the story we're communicating to others (Noticing a theme?)

Ten years ago, people may have raised an eyebrow at being asked to send in video feedback. Now? Video is used in classrooms (and to great effect) and shared on social media, and smartphones are all equipped to create video. Simply put: 

This is the time for video to shine.

What’s so great about video feedback?

Sure, traditional feedback, like suggestion boxes and mail surveys, should be a thing of the past. And sure, those mass amounts of data gained through quantitative surveys still miss the customer’s voice and context. And maybe video is the natural next step in the evolution of feedback. But what exactly makes video feedback so great for companies and participants?

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Benefits of Video Feedback for participants

It’s simple to participate.

People don’t have to travel anywhere. They just access their preferred digital device, hit the red “Record” button, and share their stories. This opens the door to wider participation, helping close the volume gap between survey feedback and video.

Recording is fast.

In one-to-two minutes, people are done sending video feedback, which is significantly faster than most surveys. And if they want to include more than that, they can. Again, this allows for a more complete story.

It improves the feedback experience.

People can share their thoughts beyond the confines of a text box. Survey questions can be guiding or misleading. The video format allows people to speak freely and reduces the chances of leading your audience.

It’s empowering.

People can share their thoughts beyond the confines of a text box. Survey questions can be guiding or misleading. The video format allows people to speak freely and reduces the chances of leading your audience.

Benefits of Video Feedback for Brands

Recruitment is easy.

Video is a medium people are comfortable with, so it’s easy to get them to participate.

It enriches understanding.

There is a deeper understanding when you can sense the feelings behind their words, hear the emotion in their voice, and see their body movement.

Video makes people feel connected.

Video is a much more human form of communication that makes people feel engaged.

It uncovers the why.

A survey score can show if something is working or not, but video feedback can explain why, which means brands can make smarter, customer-centric decisions.

Video is versatile.

Video questions can be used anywhere. You can add them to existing surveys, create standalone video surveys, embed video questions in apps and websites, or tap into specialist video feedback communities.

Video gives you more

Open-ended video questions will give you 6x more content per response versus traditional text-based responses.

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Video is a powerful, streamlined, versatile way to capture feedback.

No matter your audience or your brand. Failing to hear your audience can result in a poor user experience, which can cost you your audience and damage your business. Your audience deserves their voice, and your brand needs it. Now, let’s see some video feedback in action.

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Seeing is often believing. Video feedback is fast, effective, and fun. But you don’t have to take our word for it. These companies have all grown as a result of video feedback.

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When you have millions of customers around the globe, getting valuable feedback can be a challenge. This challenge is increased tenfold when you’ve got as many products as Clorox. This household-name brand needed a way to better understand their widespread customer base and how they were using their products. And video feedback delivered.

Clorox received valuable information and useful stories from their customers by implementing real-time video feedback across their many brands. This allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of how people used Clorox’s many products, which, in turn, allowed Clorox to produce more products that better match their customers’ needs.

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It’s no secret that Microsoft has a large audience. Effectively reaching an audience as large as Microsoft’s is no small feat. Not to mention, the cost of advertising to such a large audience is huge. Along with the cost that can come with a failed advertising campaign — failure to make up for the cost of the ad, bad publicity, and even lost revenue — Microsoft had a lot to worry about.

Using video feedback, Microsoft was able to gather useful feedback on numerous characters that were set to be used in their ”Real People” ad campaign. Ad distribution would cost millions, so getting things right was paramount. Video feedback enabled Microsoft to get accurate, complete customer feedback on the various characters and ads that were all being developed. In the end, Microsoft was able to fine-tune two of their characters and knock their ad campaign out of the park.


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Wendy’s loves hearing from their customers and regularly looks for feedback, analytics, focus group testing, menu testing, and more. As believers in human connection, Wendy’s found themselves overwhelmed when trying to use traditional qualitative feedback methods to understand people across various segments. This made effective advertising a struggle, to say the least.

Wendy’s was able to use Voxpopme to quickly collect video feedback from various audience groups, which allowed them to get the information they needed to deliver a better experience.

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Getting the most out of Video Feedback

Video feedback’s likely sounding pretty great right about now. That’s because it is. By keeping a few things in mind, you can have video feedback implemented quickly and effectively.

Start by defining your objective.

Video feedback has been around for several years, but it’s also new and unknown to many. Explain the objective and benefits to key stakeholders, and ensure everyone is on the same page. If you’re struggling to get stakeholder buy-in, be sure to reference the many companies that have found success with video feedback.

Get internal buy-in.

Determine who you want to talk to and what you hope to understand. Each of the three brands mentioned above had different reasons for using video feedback. Find yours before doing anything else, and you’ll be starting on the right foot.

Decide how feedback will influence change.

Once you have the feedback, how will the findings be used to make a difference in your organization? Assemble a team of specialists who will carefully go through the feedback and ensure it’s used to the fullest.

Video feedback can help your company gain a truly unprecedented level of understanding when it comes to your audience, no matter who they are. Just as you would with any new venture, take things slowly and have a plan going into video feedback for the first time. Soon, you’ll be receiving videos from your audience and wondering how you ever made it without video.

A brighter, more human future

Video feedback isn’t just a new form of feedback; it’s well and beyond other forms of feedback. Our audiences, no matter who they are, are human. Receiving any kind of feedback that lacks that human element is a disservice to the people who come to us. By implementing video feedback, you can gain real human understanding, and more importantly, better serve the people who rely on you.

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