Help On Demand – Online and On TV


HDTV calibration is another innovative way SureWest Communications is adding value to its bundled service offering. They are doing this through a series of on-demand videos that help people calibrate their televisions. The videos provide an easy to follow along tutorial on how to adjust contrast, brightness, resolution and color. What is amazing about this concept is that the output signal of the set-top may rival that of broadcast test generators in years back (about a year ago, I saw on-demand test patterns from a generic set-top that provided an amazingly accurate output). 

“Help” videos on as part of an on-demand service should be a no-brainer. Some, but not all, MVPDs (Multi-Channel Video Program Distributors) have used video to explain video. SureWest has taken this one-step further and made a series of “help” videos available on both their on-demand television and their broadband services.

From my cursory glance, the production values on these videos are excellent as they make it very convenient for the viewer as he can view the lesson on the big screen, while mimicking the lesson on a personal screen (e.g. a lap-top). With topics that include DVR Setup, Internet Troubleshooting and Digital Phone Features, SureWest covers more than just video.

These customer education videos were one of a several programs launched in 2009 by SureWest Communications to provide proactive support and reduce call volumes. According to Anna Chacon, Manager of Corporate Communications for SureWest, their efforts have resulted in a 34% drop in incoming calls to their call centers. On a monthly basis, the number of views equals approximately 5% of their subscriber base.

What is impressive is that these are homegrown videos, even though they have the professional look of what of an agency might create. Using their own employees, they create their own scripts, do their own voiceovers and edit the final output. This is just the beginning for an evolving library of content that will make it easier for their customers to resolve problems and understand services and discover new features. 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Kaiban

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