A few years ago some of the people from Moss Technical Support met to address a growing challenge. We had an overwhelming demand for technical support that was taxing our ability to provide the quality of service we wanted to make available.
One of the proposed solutions was that we create a handful of short videos that could serve as how-to answers to some of the most common questions we were facing. How do I bleed my clutch? How do I test my generator? Why does my car have vapor lock? Why doesn’t my gas gauge work? How do I adjust the float in my carburetor? Short videos could be e-mailed to our customers. Short videos would have the advantage of letting the customer see the parts and the tools. A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures.
The first videos were an instant success. The recipients loved them. We also got feedback from people who had not directly received the videos from us. They had received them from friends. Sometimes a person would mention they heard about a specific video and wanted to know what was involved in getting a copy. Clubs called asking for permission to show our videos at their meetings.
To meet the growing demand, the decision was made to put them on the web. The results have exceeded our wildest expectations. As of this writing, the videos have been viewed nearly three million times!
The original people who built and serviced these Classic British Cars are now rare. Most are retired. There is a real thirst for information on the part of the people who own and love these cars. Moss feels obligated, and honored, to be able to help so many people realize their dreams as they work to restore their classic cars. These cars are always head-turners. Our video program is a small part of the testimony that Moss is not just a business; it’s a dedicated part of the large community of enthusiasts.
Our first videos were often shot on the technician’s desk. He used a small video camera that was borrowed from another department. Later, a lighted table in the middle of the Technical Support Department was used. When making a video, signs were hung on the outside doors saying DO NOT ENTER. SHOOTING A VIDEO. This kept most of the traffic out, but our Tech Team still had to work. Ringing phones can be heard in the background of many of the videos. (The Moss version of reality TV.)
The original plan to keep the videos short was impractical. Some topics demanded more time to explain. As we worked to respond to specific requests for specific subjects the videos grew longer.
Our videos are watched by owners of Classic British cars all over the English-speaking world. The technician in the video is only seen by his hands by his request. That same technician decides on the material to be used. He writes the scripts. He is the voice you hear. As the popularity of his hands exploded, here at Moss he garnered the nickname “Hans,” a corruption of the word ‘hands.’
Hans believes it’s hard to do a clear presentation of a part, or its function, while it’s in the car surrounded by many other parts. For that reason, he usually has the parts on a bench so the viewers can see them clearly.
Hans likes electric issues, so while electric information about these cars is often scarce, Hans makes sure all the common electric issues receive the attention they need. This helps to keep The Prince Of Darkness at bay.
A woman, who came through the Technical Department one day as part of a tour of Moss, recognized Hans by his wedding ring! Sometimes people on the phone with our Technical Department will recognize Hans by his voice or sometimes by his use of one of the same illustrations he uses while speaking in the videos.
Audition your questions
Where are the Moss videos going from here? This is an exciting time for Moss and for Hans. We’ve shot our most recent videos in High Definition. Instead of shooting at Hans’ desk or in the middle of the Technical Support Department, we now shoot in the Moss Photographic room where Hans is often given valuable suggestions by our professional staff photographer. Plans are underway to tackle more meaty subjects, like our recent videos on camshafts.
A majority of the videos we make are responses to questions we regularly receive. Tell us what you’d like to learn. What tech answer would be helpful for you or new members in your club or the customers at your British car restoration shop? We will compile the suggestions, pick from the most relevant and prevalent, and put our Hans to work.
Send your video ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org