“This Thanksgiving, instead of families gathering around a kitchen table, many will congregate around a webcam, smartphone or tablet. And Zoom is making sure they can do it free of charge.
Earlier this month, the videoconferencing company – which has experienced explosive growth during the pandemic – announced that on Thanksgiving it will lift the 40-minute meeting time limit on its free accounts. (Normally, unlimited meetings are only available to Zoom’s paid subscribers.)
As a result, Grandma, Grandpa and many others need not worry about getting cut off mid-sentence as they try to enjoy a virtual Thanksgiving meal with the rest of their family. Zoom is letting them all stream their holiday activities without restrictions, providing some small consolation for those families that wish they were celebrating Thanksgiving together, but simply can’t this year due to Covid-19.
Zoom’s gesture is a great example of how companies can strengthen customer loyalty (as well as engage entirely new customers) during difficult times. They spotted an emerging customer need (virtual Thanksgiving), figured out how they could address it (unlimited Thanksgiving Day Zoom calls), and did it in a way that demonstrated advocacy for their users (100% free – it’s on us!).
What’s more, people who use Zoom on Thanksgiving will associate the service with an emotionally resonant event (i.e., connecting family during a difficult time). And since emotion is a memory cue, it means people will likely recall their use of Zoom (at least in this personal context) in a more favorable light, viewing it as a helpful tool for fostering connectedness with those they love and care about.
Zoom’s actions here aren’t purely altruistic. They are, of course, running a for-profit entity, and this gesture makes sense from a business standpoint. Think of how many people, upon hearing about this offer, will establish a free Zoom account for the first time. Think of how many will expand their use of the platform in the future (perhaps upgrading to a paid subscription), once they see what it can do to bring family and friends together, albeit virtually.”
View the whole story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonpicoult/2020/11/25/zooms-branded-act-of-kindness/