Improving Client Communications

We at FLEXISS are always searching for ways to make our clients lives easier, as well as our own.  One thing that continually comes up as a problem, no matter what the arena, is communication.  What is it that makes communicating so difficult sometimes?  Ok, besides, email lost in cyberspace, busy phone lines and bad breath, sometimes you just can’t explain a technical problem – you have to show it.  We, being a technology focused company, have a lot of experiences like this.

A couple weeks ago, we had a client that we had setup a file managment system for.  This was an easy job that didn’t take a long time, as the whole project was centered around FTP.  The client needed to move many dozens of files back and forth from one user to another through ftp on a daily basis.  This is simple stuff for a web company.  However, an end user that looks at the web from the other end of the stick may not find this quite as easy a proposition.  To make the training of the client a bit more difficult, the end users of this project were spread all across the western US, including Hawaii.  While I thought it would be a great idea to fly over to train the user in Kailua-Kona, Ross frowned quite heavily on the prospect.  Enter video screen captures.

Flexiss is not new to video production.  We have a number of Flash demos under our belt.  Todd and our in house design team have worked together to create some really great, dynamic presentations for a number of clients.  However, what I was working on didn’t really garner a whole team to design, script, choreograph, score, produce, record and publish.  I need a simple “this is how you install FileZilla” video.  I spent some time trying out a few various tools that, to be honest, flopped.  I’ll not mention their names, just to protect those who are trying hard, but not quite able to fill my needs.  Then I found Jing.

Jing is a free product from TechSmith.  This handy little application is a baby brother to the well known application Camtasia.  Camtasia is an application that allows you to capture, in video form, all your actions on your screen.  Additionally, it allows you to narrate and explain what you are doing.  Nice!  $300 price tag.  Not so nice.  Don’t get me wrong, Camtasia is well worth the money, but I’m thinking that it might be overkill for my FileZilla demo.  Here is where Jing comes in.  Jing didn’t cost a thing.  Jing does limit your videos to 5 minutes, but it adds an online account at screencast.com.  This nifty account houses all your screen captures and allows you to quickly take a screen capture – either a still image or video – and upload it to the web, then send a link to that capture via chat or email.  All in a matter of seconds.  If you decide to capture a still image, you have a number of annotation tools to mark up the image to explain yourself.

So, call me an evangelist, but I’ve found a great tool to help us communicate with our clients, and for them to communicate with us as well.  If you find yourself having difficulties with something on your website, try Jing.  Send us a snapshot of the issue, or a video explaining your question, and perhaps we can overcome some of the communication barriers that a telephone or email creates.  Check out the sample video below!

Cheers!

Scott

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