Shark Tour Video Delivery

Product delivery solution

Shark Tour Video Delivery: Problem Statement

“How do we ensure cage diving tourists receive their high quality, edited videos if we can’t provide them on the day?”

Gansbaai, South Africa is home to nine great white shark cage diving companies. The vast majority all offer tourists films from their trip. This service involves a company videographer filming the trip from start to finish, burning the raw footage to a DVD and then handing to the guests before they leave.

Marine Dynamics Shark Tours wanted to go a step further (they always do, it’s why they’re the best) by professionally editing the footage, first. This created a problem – the films could not be edited and burned to disc in the time it took guests to enjoy their debreifing and board the transport back to their accommodation.

The original solution was to post DVDs in the mail once they were complete, but this created countless issues. Guests not receiving their DVDs being highest among these.

My goal was to determine a lightweight, scalable solution to all these problems and encourage further sales.

Solution: Give customers control and flexibility

The solution was fairly simple – give control over access to the videos directly to the customer. Simple in theory, at least.

In this respect, the existing solution had too many fail points outside of our control. What if the DVD get lost in the mail? Can we be confident the DVD works on the customer’s device? What if the customer loses their’s and requests another copy? Yada yada yada.

My suggestion was that we’d instead upload the videos to Dropbox and let customers download them at their leisure. This would take compatbility out of the equation, enable customers to download whenever they wanted and we also wouldn’t need to worry about South Africa’s less than stellar postal service.

There was only one problem – how would customers get access to the link?

The videos wouldn’t be uploaded until after they’d left, so it wasn’t possible to give them a link in advance.

So what we did, was create a series of text files in advance of the trips and save them as videos on dropbox. The videos wouldn’t work, but they didn’t need to – this simply meant we could create links to those files in advance. Once the videos were complete, they were saved with the same file name and replaced the fake placeholders. Because the Dropbox URLs were far too long to ask someone to type manually, we created TinyURL links to them instead.

This worked swimmingly – if you’ll pardon the pun. The next step was to establish how these links would be delivered. I designed some business cards which included space for the TinyURL link to be written. We printed a ton of these and then all that needed to be done, was write the TinyURL link on the card before handing to the customer.

The approach instantly proved extremely popular with the videography team because the financial and time cost was immediately less than burning DVDs.

Customers likewise responded positively. Many loved the convenience of being able to access the video while still on holiday and felt that the business card was a nice little reminder that sat neatly in their pockets.

As a result of this, I created a short advertisment video explaining the video delivery system. This was played on loop behind the main reception desk when guests checked in. For many guests, it was one of the first things they saw when they entered the building and it served two functions. On the one hand, it very neatly advertisted the service with no pressure on the team to push for sales. On the other, it worked as a movie trailer to excite guests ahead of their own trip.

Conclusion: Happy customers = more customers

After introducing this method and the supporting materials, we saw an immediate uptake in trip movie purchases which continued henceforth.

Most importantly – we also witnessed a 100% reduction in customer service emails. No more would we hear from guests enquiring as to if/when their DVD would come through, or advice on getting it to work. They had complete freedom in accessing their video and downloading as many copies as they wished.

The solution was – as are all the best – simple. It took some coordination and patience to ensure all the steps were implemented correctly, but it’s fair to say these were all justified by the end result.