You’re using video to conduct your meetings and keep business moving, but are you using all of the benefits that online video conferencing tools offer? It’s not as simple as just deciding to use Zoom or GoToMeeting, as much as it is to promote clear communication and goals for these calls with your employees and clients.
The rise of business video conferencing and its replacement of face-to-face meetings has escalated in recent months. Despite the ‘sour’ reason behind the quick shift, video calls present many benefits over regular meetings when conducted effectively.
The benefits of video conferencing
How do video calls stack up to regular meetings? While in-person discussions are ideal in many scenarios and have always been the way to approach thornier topics with employees and clients, today’s climate provides little room to do so.
Enlisting a positive mentality and exploring all of the advantages of video conferencing is the right way forward, at least currently. For example, business leaders can benefit from no longer needing to do long commutes or pay for expensive travel to reach their counterparts or clients in other cities and countries. Video conferencing allows you to see the faces and therefore facial expressions of those on the other line.
In addition, advanced tools now offer note taking abilities and all calls can be recorded to serve as written and audio records of what was said and what clients or customers agreed to. These records can be helpful to reference later when looking for ways to handle client concerns, upsell them or hold employees accountable.
Tips to make the most of video conferencing
In order to make the most out of video conferencing and potentially make it even more efficient than in-person meetings, leaders are well suited to enlist some of the following measures:
- Optimize the use of business calendars so that availability is clear: Connect your video conferencing platform with your calendar. For example, professionals using Gmail can schedule meetings and connect Zoom video conferencing directly to their Gmail calendar invites. This integration removes the need to manually enter the Zoom meeting dial-in details into each meeting you schedule. It also allows you to check all participants’ availability before scheduling the video calls.
- Create a business background so that all calls are uniformed and branded: While we’re in the midst of a pandemic and no one wants to admit they’re looking at what’s behind participants in their homes as they dial in remotely, that’s rarely the case. Professionals are recommended to use branded backgrounds or even the backgrounds which already exist within Zoom to remove any distractions and appear more professionally. These can be especially useful in even more professional settings such as webinars when someone may be speaking on behalf of your company. Branded backgrounds help to drive home your logo and key messaging so it resonates with viewers, while also helping these individuals to look more polished and professional.
- Utilize transcription and captioning software to improve the efficiency and data collection: Video conferencing platforms are now integrating with providers to offer participants with live captions and transcriptions within meetings or calls. These tools can help to improve both the effectiveness and accuracy of business video calls. Verbit for example has launched a Live Room app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate these captions and transcripts and fact checks them in real-time with human transcribers to ensure enterprises are provided with 99% accuracy. These transcripts also allow for note taking, so participants can highlight specific elements, look up terms and make notes within them to reference at later points. Video call users can then download these notes just after the call and begin taking care of necessary action items right away. This process allows you to better understand what’s being said live on a call and allows professionals to focus on the calls and participants themselves rather than on jotting down notes as quickly as possible, which can be stressful.
- Optimize sharing materials: The screen share is not a novel concept, but it shouldn’t be downplayed. Presentations can be shared with all participants on these calls and viewed together to ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s also important to take extra steps to make sure any materials you’re sharing or presenting are clear, designed well with minimal text and readable on various devices. Many individuals are currently dialing into these calls from the phones and viewing speakers and presentations horizontally on mobile. Keeping a mobile-first mentality in mind will only prove to be helpful.
It’s also important to recognize your business’ individual goals for online video conferencing calls. You should make sure that all employees have a clear understanding of best practices and the do’s and don’ts as they apply to your organization. Many employees are utilizing Zoom and web conferencing tools for the first time during this crisis. Your company will bode well to schedule training sessions on best practices and tips. These training sessions can touch on necessary precautions to ensure communication stays clear between leadership and their respective teams or the overall company. It’s arguably even more crucial to ensure communication channels remain clear with clients and customers who continue to invest in your business or products.
Effective video conferencing and the opportunities it presents cannot be overstated. The new world of remote work is likely here to stay and video conferencing platforms and their capabilities will continue to evolve with the ever-changing way of work.