On Customer Service & Video Accessibility

Last week, when I saw the new video tutorial from InVision, I wanted to share it with my design friends and followers on Twitter.

It was a short, less than three-minute video that got right to the point. Several friends use Sketch and I thought they would enjoy the video.

But the instructional video didn’t have captions.

I was disappointed.

Captioned Videos Improves Accessibility

I’ve been writing about the benefits of video captions for a while, highlighting how captions allow you to reach a wider online audience.

Captions make your video findable and searchable, providing:

  • Better rankings in search engines
  • Text that can be translated or read
  • Improved accessibility for people who are hard of hearing, working in a loud environment, or using assistive technology
  • Increased viewing time, according to studies by PlyMedia

And when you’re creating video tutorials, one of your goals is to reach all your customers. Having captions makes that easier.

The Ask

Earlier this year, I asked InVision about adding captions to their videos. But I couldn’t recall receiving a follow-up response.

Since one of my UX colleagues works at InVision, I decided to check with her.

I quickly received a reply from the InVision support Twitter account:

I was glad to get a quick response, but a bit confused since it referred to my question as a feature request.

Not what I was asking about, but I replied back.

InVision Support responded within minutes that there was no update about captions, but support would follow-up with me.

Which they did. I now had a ticket in their support system.

And then I asked my question. Not really a question, more of a suggestion:

Obviously, as in any instructional video, the voiceover uses a script. My recommendation: use the script to add captions to the video.

Voila! The video is now accessible to a wider audience and your SEO is improved.

Less than an hour later, Erica from their support team replied that my feedback would be shared with their Marketing team that manages blog content.

Nice! I wasn’t sure what to expect. It sure was nice to get a prompt response.

Accessibility Win!

Imagine my surprise the following morning, when I opened my email to find an update from Erica.

The Marketing team had considered my feedback. Captions would be added within the next 24 hours to their blog videos.

Hurrah!

They thanked me for my feedback.

In return, I thanked Erica. In less than 24 hours from my initial request, my suggestion was implemented.

How cool is that?

The following day, I checked the blog post. Yes, the video now displayed the closed captions option.

And blog posts published in the past week include captioned videos.

Summary

Kudos to InVision for their responsive customer support team. They got back to me quickly, set up a ticket in their system so I could track status, and kept me informed on what was happening.

Shoutout to their marketing team for listening to my feedback and acting on it quickly to ensure their blog post videos are captioned.

This is the second time I’ve written about receiving a quick response to my suggestion about making blog content accessible.

In 2014, I wrote about Buffer and how they acted quickly to update their podcasting tutorial.

I love this kind of response from companies, and want to thank InVision and Buffer for their focus on customer service and accessibility.

I know companies can’t always move quickly to make changes to improve accessibility. It’s wonderful to celebrate when they do!

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.
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