Apps for Success - Zoom

Each month, John Bowman picks a new cool piece of technology that helps Customer Success Managers be more productive. We call it “Apps For Success” and in this review (#12) he takes a closer look at Zoom.



We’ve previously talked a lot about the channels for customer communication, focusing almost exclusively on the written word in the reviews for Intercom, Crystal, Grammarly, and Auto Text Expander.

This month we’re going to give you a tool that will instantly let you form better relationships and convey complex ideas quickly: Zoom.

You’ve probably heard of Zoom because of the IPO buzz or maybe you’ve used it, or you just know it’s a video conferencing software.

It plays in the same space as Google Hangouts, Blue Jeans, and Amazon Chime.

Like we said last month in the review of Intercom, customer communication can generally be broken into two types: proactive and reactive.

Proactive communication encapsulates everything you do to reach out to customers and reactive communication is generally in response to Support queries.

Both types can be greatly improved through the use of a reliable and easy-to-use video conferencing tool like Zoom.

For proactive meetings, such as a business review, Zoom can allow you to share your screen to present your slides.  And sometimes nothing works better to solve an issue than to have the customer present their screen to you so you can annotate it and show them exactly where to click!

The jury is still out on how much of communication is nonverbal, but we do know that nonverbal communication plays a role in idea conveyance and relationship building.

Zoom helps by allowing you to show your customers your face! Our rule at my shop is the video camera is always on for a reason: let the customer know you are a human, too. You exist, you have a face and a body and you’re not just some disembodied voice. Give the customer a chance to see your charm.

You know what else Zoom is great for? De-escalating situations.

Did you know Customer Service Counters in retail stores have mirrors behind them for a reason? The idea is when customers see themselves in the mirror, they can see how angry they are getting.

Seeing yourself the way other people are seeing you when you’re worked up has a huge calming effect on disgruntled customers.

Zoom allows this affect to take place through the use of video conferencing. Customer join and can see how angry they look. Plus, you can record the escalation interaction to dissect later to improve your skills.

Zoom is to live communication what Jing was to videos and screenshots.

Why call someone on the phone when you can have an interactive interaction that solves the issue quicker? If a video is worth 5 emails, then a quick Zoom conference is worth a 10 score on your NPS!

[Standard disclaimer here. I own no part of any of the productivity apps for Customer Success Managers I’ll be reviewing in this column. The opinions contained in this review are mine and mine alone. SuccessHACKER is kind enough to lend me their microphone. If you happen to disagree, leave a comment and let me know! I love a good spirited debate.]

On to the app.


What do you like best?

I know I say this about a lot of the apps we use, but Zoom really is easy to use. We use Zoom where I work and we switched to it from a competitor because our customers could never figure out how to actually get on the video conference with us.

The logistics of just getting to the call was a chore because the customer wasn’t automatically directed to download the software needed to join the call. And, after the customer did download the software, the software would need to be manually installed and run.

This caused a ton of headaches because then the customer would need to find the file that was downloaded and manually run it. As you can relate, not all of our customers are computer literate! We were  upsetting the customer even before we spoke!

With Zoom, you don’t have to do any of that! As soon as you share the link to the conference and the customer clicks it, the software needed for the conference is automatically downloaded and run on the customer’s computer.

This greatly reduced the amount of time we wasted just getting the customer to the call and removed the customer’s frustration about joining the call.

The very act of joining the call was enough for us to say that Zoom was worth the switch. But, it also has some other pretty wonderful features I want to call out.

First, I love that you can share your whole screen or just a window of it. I know this is becoming table stakes for video conferencing apps but it’s worth calling out because when this feature is not there, it can be a hassle to make sure you only have info you want shared live on your screen.

Second, I love how easy it is to get a customer to present their screen to me. It’s just a click of the green “Share” button in the middle of the bottom bar of the app! I have a philosophy for our company: the things we learn to do, we learn by doing. And the same is true with our customers.

We love to put the customer in the driver’s seat on calls.

It allows the customer to build up muscle memory while we talk and better grasp the concepts. It also natively puts the Success person in the role of the “Trusted Advisor” because the CSM is looking over the customer’s shoulder and giving the customer advice and training.

Third, the annotate and the remote support features. Annotate is the bomb! If you are not annotating your Zoom meetings, then this little tip will make you reading this article worth it. Have your customer present and then draw on the screen, tell the customer to click here or there and show them where. Or make the screen a whiteboard and diagram the idea you want to convey. You are guiding and advising the customer with your mouse!

The remote support feature is also amazing because you can click a button to request access, the customer hits “allow” and blamo! You’re in. It’s seamless, easy, and eliminates the possibility of lag for training.

Bonus: Zoom allows us to Be Human (one of our team values) with our customers because it works with a software called Snap Camera. If you’re using Zoom and you don’t have Snap Camera yet, trust me, you are going to love it!

Download it and give it a try. You can use the Snap Camera to use any SnapChat filter while on a call with a customer. Obviously, you don’t want to do it on every call but it is one of those tools that will really help you build rapport with the right customer at the right time.

What do you dislike?

I dislike that Zoom doesn’t always work well with other apps.

For example, there is a Zoom Chrome extension which is hard to figure out. For right now, it seems to do double entry of meetings booked with my Google Calendar.

For someone who uses their Google Calendar as their command center, it was confusing to get duel notifications. The extension can help create meetings though by autofilling conferencing information into Google Calendar meetings.

I wish Zoom automatically sent meeting participants a copy of the meeting after the meeting was completed. If you have a lot of virtual meetings every day, it can get confusing keeping all of the recording organized and sent to the right participant.

My ideal video conferencing app would also include a note taking functionality. Zoom doesn’t have one!

Finally, Zoom has a Salesforce integration to store meeting events on customer profiles, but it is too expensive to be worth it, in my opinion. It might be worth it if it could store the actual meeting video file and notes on the customer profile - but it can’t.

What business problems does the product solve? What benefits have you realized?

Zoom makes communicating with your customers easy, reliable, and functional.

I can’t stress the reliability and ease of use of Zoom enough. It really helps to have a dedicated video conferencing software that rarely drops calls and makes it easy for the customer to meet you virtually.

Nobody likes wasting the first 10 minutes of a 30 minute meeting figuring out the software used for conferencing!


I really can’t recommend Zoom enough. There is a reason I choose it over our previous video conferencing programs. Customers shouldn’t have to fumble to talk to you and you need a reliable video conferencing software to train and support your customers.

About the Author


John Bowman

John Bowman, Esq., is the Director of Customer Success at Jetpack Workflow. He is a rising star in the Customer Success community, leading the The Pittsburgh Customer Success Meetup and the Pittsburgh Gainsight Pulse chapter, as well as moderating the Customer Success Subreddit. John utilizes his 10+ years of professional experience to focus organizations on one goal: the customer's desired outcome.