The popularity of webinars had been steadily increasing, but the pandemic caused attendee numbers to skyrocket. Data shows that from 2019 to 2020, the use of webinars increased by 162% and webinar attendance climbed to over 60 million people.
Even as things begin to open up and more in-person events are held, it is clear that webinars are going to be a big part of the new normal. Webinars can be used for many different purposes including recruitment, education, engagement, and more.
Due to the ever-increasing demand for excellent customer service, we wanted to focus on how companies can leverage webinars to provide a creative, personalized, and truly excellent customer experience.
What does Webinar mean?
A webinar is, essentially, an audio/visual seminar-style presentation that is given over the internet. Webinars can be lectures or interactive discussions. They can include graphics, videos, and/or slides. They can be live or pre-recorded. They can be on any topic imaginable.
Generally, webinar attendees register ahead of time and the webinar is released on a specific day and at a specific time. Many webinars will afterward be available for registrants to watch on-demand. With so much variability and flexibility in the creation of webinars, they can be easily tailored to a specific audience.
Benefits of Webinars:
Consumers enjoy webinars because they can increase their skill set, stay up to date on the latest developments in their industry, and network without having to attend an in-person event. Additionally, there are many benefits to companies for hosting webinars beyond just collecting the registration fees.
During the promotional and registration phases as people are considering and signing up for your webinar, your business will gain actionable insight and data on potential customers. Many webinar platforms can integrate with CRMs to help you personalize interactions with new contacts based on where they are in the customer journey.
Building An Audience
Hosting a webinar or a series of webinars is a great way to attract an audience and reach new people that are just starting to research your market niche, live in different geographic locations or simply haven’t heard of your brand yet.
Hosting a webinar goes a few steps beyond simply posting articles to your website. The effort and investment that goes into creating a webinar will give your company professionalism and credibility above and beyond written content.
Webinars can be as interactive as you want them to be. You can take a poll, host a Q&A session, or even give your most valued customers the spotlight. Webinars are a great way to actively listen to your customers. And listening is key to providing an excellent customer experience.
How to Use Webinars To Improve the Customer Experience
When it comes to creating webinars, the main limitation is your creativity. With customization options for everything from the invites to the follow-up emails, you can create a webinar that is so tailored to your ideal customer they will think you made it just for them.
Studies have shown time and time again that customer experience is one of the most important things for consumers. For example, 70% of people in the U.S. would be willing to spend more with a company that provides excellent customer service. Below are some webinar ideas that will take your customer experience to the next level.
#1 Tutorials that Allow Customers to Get the Most Out of Products They Have Purchased
Whatever kind of product or service you provide, there are likely features or elements that your customers are missing out on because they are simply unaware of what your company offers or what your products are capable of. With webinar-style tutorials, these customers can learn how to use your products to their full potential so they can get more enjoyment out of them.
Additionally, you may have some customers who have questions about your service/product but don’t have time to reach out. It would be foolish to assume that if your customers don’t understand something they will ask. Even if a customer has had a bad experience, studies have shown that only 1 in 26 customers will let the company know.
Offering a live Q&A session at the end of your tutorial webinar is a great way to be proactive in making sure all of your customer’s questions and concerns are addressed. According to one study, 92% of webinar goers said that they wanted a live question and answer session included in the webinar.
#2 Help Your Customers Network and Build Community
Part of the appeal of webinars is that they allow attendees to get information without being bombarded by the in-person social interactions they might experience at a live event. However, there’s no reason that webinars can’t include a dynamic virtual networking element.
There are many ways to help your customers and webinar attendees network with your speakers and with each other. Starting with the confirmation email, you can move conversations to social media by creating a hashtag, sharing the social media information for your speakers, and/or creating a private LinkedIn or Facebook group.
During the webinar, you can encourage engagement in the webinar’s chat pod by posting introductions and thought-provoking questions. You can also encourage attendees to post their social media contact info in the chat.
Beyond the software’s chat pod, many webinar platforms integrate with social media platforms to allow attendees to post directly on a social feed while they are watching the webinar. LiveWebinar, for example, integrates with YouTube which includes a live chat feed during the event.
You can also use features such as whiteboarding and breakout rooms to increase engagement. Whiteboard allows you to draw on charts or a white screen and you can invite attendees to draw as well. Breakout rooms provide a smaller, more intimate setting for conversation.
In the follow-up stages, make sure to revisit any social media group pages and post more follow-up questions to keep your audience engaged.
#3 Feature VIP Customers in Webinars and Give Them Extra Exposure
While you are growing your audience with your webinar, why not help your most loyal customers do the same? You could give VIP customers extra exposure by inviting them to speak on a topic, telling their business’s story in a keynote (with their permission), or asking them to moderate part of the event.
Featuring your customers in your webinar will help those customers to feel honored and appreciated, but it will also encourage more engagement from other customers or potential customers that want the same VIP treatment for themselves.
Finally, featuring customers in your webinar will create a more dynamic and interesting webinar for all viewers. Whether your attendees get to hear a personal success story firsthand or just get to see your product or service in action, it will take your webinar beyond the basic lecture format.
#4 Help Your Customers Grow Their Business By Teaching Them New Skills
One of the latest trends in webinars is offering continuing education webinars and certificates of completion. Depending on what your line of business is, you may be able to serve your customers even more by giving them the skills they need to grow their businesses. After all, their success is important too.
Are there pain points or weak areas of your customer’s businesses that you could build a webinar around? For example, if you provide software development services, you could host a webinar on it, bring in experts who are local or from around the globe, and then invite your clients to have their PMs attend. Or, if you show them Kixie alternative during webinars, they may be tempted to try it out.
The more your clients associate your business as being essential to their growth and success, the more loyal they will be and the more recommendations they will give.
#5 Offer Exclusive Webinars At Every Step Along the Customer Journey
We live in an age where getting a free sample or an opportunity to try a product or service before you buy it is not only common, it’s expected. Providing a great customer experience is all about earning the trust of potential buyers, but consumers can’t trust a company’s expertise unless they’ve seen it firsthand.
Webinars are not just for the loyal customers you already have, they can also be for those who are curious about your business or those just starting to research the industry. With webinar software, you can create tailored webinars for every step along the customer journey.
For example, if you have a company that sells food trucks, you could offer a webinar about what it's really like running a food truck business for those who are just starting to look into the industry. You could then offer a webinar that compares the different models of trucks that you offer for those who are further along the sales pipeline. You could also offer tutorial-style webinars or financing-focused webinars at other points in the customer journey. For those who have already purchased a truck, you could offer exclusive webinars helping them to grow their food truck businesses and/or maintain the equipment. The same is applicable to ghost kitchens, which are a new popular thing in the food industry.
The preliminary webinars offered to potential customers let them see you as an expert in the industry and gives them a chance to experience a taste of your product or service so they can get more excited about it before jumping in. The more excited they are to buy, the more satisfied they will be post-purchase.
The post-purchase webinars will encourage your existing customers to become loyal advocates of your brand because it shows that you genuinely care about them and appreciate their business. Post-purchase webinars also act as an additional incentive to potential customers. When they see the quality of your pre-purchase webinars and learn that there is more support and valuable content available after purchase, they will be incentivized to close a deal with your business.
In an increasingly virtual world, it’s important to find creative ways to build community and connect with customers. Customer expectations are higher than ever, but fortunately, advancements in technology are making it possible to meet those expectations.
The wonderful thing about webinars is that you can customize them as much as you want, but you can also get started very quickly with a solution like LiveWebinar that is browser-based, offers templates, and includes dozens of advanced features.