December 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

YouTube stars in a Watchery’s customer service effort

The Watchery marketing director Shmuel Tennenhaus took to YouTube to preempt a potential flood of customer service calls and complaints about a watchband that customers couldn’t figure out. By mid-day today, 372 people had watched the video.

When the calls started coming into TheWatchery.com’s customer service center, the company knew it had a problem. It had sold hundreds of a certain Movado watch at $349, but customers couldn’t figure out how to work the band. Many assumed the band was broken and were planning to return the watch.

But it wasn’t broken, just tricky. So marketing director Shmuel Tennenhaus gave his wife a video camera and had her film him demonstrating how to operate the clasp, then uploaded the video to YouTube.

“We had more than 20 calls in 24 hours for the exact same model,” Tennenhaus says. “Customer service notified me yesterday afternoon. An hour later, we e-mailed everyone who had bought that watch informing them that a video was on the way.”

By mid-day today, 372 people had watched the video and 50 had sent grateful e-mails to Tennenhaus.

One customer wrote: “Thank you so much for the video, please thank your wife for filming it, she did a wonderful job and I appreciate her and you taking your personal time to do this. Never have I ever gotten this level of customer service from a retailer, just outstanding! Because of you I would definitely buy from the Watchery again and I will direct my friends also.”

“We preempted a huge customer service issue by being proactive and using technology,” Tennenhaus says.

Tennenhaus says retailers should not overlook the customer service aspects of video. “Everyone is attempting to leverage video for marketing and customer acquisition purposes,” he says. “What people fail to appreciate is that video can be a tremendous customer retention tool.”

The Watchery will make the video available at the product detail page. It is now planning videos on other complicated products.

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