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Keeping in touch with customers through video conferencing

Keeping in touch with customers through video conferencing
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Keeping in touch with customers through video conferencing
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

During the coronavirus emergency health measures, it’s likely that your team is now working remotely wherever possible. This puts communication with customers to the test; they can no longer visit your shop, showroom or office, and you can no longer go to them to understand their needs. A useful tool for maintaining client relationships and keeping up to speed with prospects is video conferencing, which can enable you to have regular face-to-face interactions with both clients and prospects. There are several platforms available, each with different pros and cons, so we’ve assessed the features of some of the most popular video conferencing platforms to help you choose which will best meet your needs for successful client relationships.  

Ease of setup for you and your clients

You can’t send round your IT team to help your client set up the necessary software; the ideal video conferencing tool should therefore make it simple to get started, so even if some of your clients are technophobes they can still get set up simply:

  • Skype: Most people already have the Skype software installed, making it easy for clients to join you for a call on there. They may need to create a Skype ID, but this is fairly simple, and they can keep using it in future calls with you.
  • Zoom: You will need to download the Zoom software before participating in calls, but when everyone has the program installed setting up meetings is simple, and others can join quickly when you send them the call link.
  • Google Hangouts: If you already have a Google account, setup is quite simple, and you can host for members who do not have accounts so that they can join your call.
  • Microsoft Teams: If you work in an organisation that uses Microsoft, setting up Teams is simple. There is also an option of downloading the software or simply using the web app, allowing easy access.

The right platform for client meetings

If you are using video conferencing to facilitate internal communications and operations, your priorities for the platform may be different from those that you need when hosting client meetings online. For internal operations, integration with other software such as email and the ability for one-click dialling may be top on the agenda to streamline communications where you need regular, rapid, informal contact. For client meetings, you may not need such integration with other operations and you are less likely to need to be able to dial quickly without setting up a formal meeting, allowing you to place more emphasis on the quality of the video connection.

We’ve therefore assessed the different platforms’ connection quality and design to help you choose the most suitable for maintaining client relationships:

  • Skype: This platform’s unreliable quality paired with its informal design of bright motifs means that it may not be ideal for virtual client meetings.
  • Zoom: By simply sending your client or prospect a link to your call, they can click to join with ease. Combining this with Zoom’s high ratings for audio and video quality, this could be ideal for ease of communication with a client or prospect.
  • Google Hangouts: This is a slightly more informal design and based around working in teams, and doesn’t have consistently high video quality, so your client may not be the ideal recipient for this platform. However, if they have a Google account, it will be easier for them to reference emails and Google documents whilst using the software.
  • Microsoft Teams: The clue’s in the name: this is a solution designed to facilitate teamworking, so is intended primarily for internal collaboration. There is also an issue with video quality, so this may not be the best platform for client interactions.

Video platform pricing

Price is often a key factor in decision-making, and most companies need to pay even closer attention to the bottom line than normal. However, there is truth in the old saying ‘You get what you pay for’, and it’s worth weighing up bottom line and profitability with the value to your organisation of maintaining existing customers through the current crisis:   

Platform

Price

Skype

Free with Microsoft Office

Zoom

Free for up to 40 minutes in group calls

Upgrade to pro for £11.99/month

Google Hangouts

Free as a Chrome extension

Microsoft Teams

Free for support for up to 300 people

Limits on storage without Office 365

Even if you have sorted video conferencing for internal communications while you’re working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth assessing whether the platform you’ve chosen is the best solution for facilitating client relationships. If your chosen software compromises the elements you need to replicate face-to-face client and prospect meetings in the best way possible, it may be worth investing in a second platform to ensure you can continue to nurture these relationships as effectively as possible until you are able to meet in person once more.

To find out how  Capital Space virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667