By 2017, every business-owner has to have heard the benefits of investing strongly in video conferencing solutions. The technology can help to improve collaboration between geographically distant participants, opening up new ways of structuring and housing your operations; all the while helping you get more from meetings, allowing participants to read non-verbal communication and forge deeper, stronger connections – crucial in any business. With a survey conducted by video conferencing systems developer Polycom stating that as many as three out of four senior executives across 17 countries are considering replacing conventional conferencing practices with video conferencing systems, it’s clear that many decision-makers have heard the arguments and been swayed by them.
But what about that last executive? If you’re the one in four who remains unconvinced, video conferencing offers a galaxy of benefits that extend well beyond the headline features of enhanced collaboration. A properly built, well-chosen video conferencing framework can offer numerous positives to individuals working at every level and in every department of your organisation, positively transforming the way they relate to their clients and to each other. In this article, we’ll examine some of the lesser known positives of investing in video conferencing, exploring the myriad ways they can enhance your operations.
Keeping your clients up to date
There are some things you just can’t say over email, but off-site client meetings always involve some amount of wastage. Even just the transit time from your office to theirs represents a significant expenditure in time and money. This cost means that some smaller businesses can only afford to meet with certain distant clients every month or every quarter. In a fast-paced, globalised market, you can’t afford to be that divorced from your customers. Going weeks or months without an in-depth review of ongoing work leaves the door open to costly misinterpretations, resulting in work that does not reflect the client’s wishes as accurately as possible.
This is where video conferencing can really come into its own. Instead of trying to balance the client’s wishes for more control over the project and your finance department’s desire to keep travel expenses down, choose video conferencing. You’ll be able to provide shorter, more regular updates that are nearly as rich as meeting in person. You’ll be able to hold the equivalent of a daily stand-up meeting with clients, ideal for any workplace running on an agile framework.
With video conferencing, businesses can have the same robust conversation with an entire board of directors you would have were you there in person, with none of the awkwardness and mixed messages of a traditional conference call. With Australian conferencing technology provider Eureka estimating that as much as $60 billion dollars is spent holding meetings every year, and the average employee spending around 6 hours per week in meetings, faster and more focused meetings will save you and your clients money.
Enhancing off-site meetings
Video conferencing isn’t just valuable in the office, but out and about. When you are off-site at a client’s workplace, increasingly flexible and mobile-ready video conferencing solutions are making it easier to innovate. Software developer Tableau has identified immediacy as one of the key ways to make client reporting more effective, and there’s no more immediate way to give them an update than to show their product taking shape in real-time.
If you’re in manufacturing or product development, imagine the power of being able to show, not tell, how your project is doing. Just set up a camera in the right place back at the office and let the client see their work come together before their eyes as you speak.
Connecting your workforce affordably
With our world becoming increasingly globalised and business even easier to do at a distance, there’s a real drive amongst even small- to medium-sized businesses to explore their opportunities regionally and internationally. Frequently, this need arises from a lack of control over a pre-existing market. Global payment platforms and highly accessible shipping options mean that even a modest company can attract an international following with some smart marketing and a small budget for freight. Should one of these markets become big enough to warrant closer attention, setting up a local office can be a great way to better understand the unique desires of local customers and deepen your presence in the region.
However, these branch offices still need to take their cues from headquarters. Even with a well-trained and fully developed local branch, there are occasions when senior leaders from all locations will need to work together. That’s where video conferencing can take its place. Rather than expensively flying in executives from different regions and different countries, businesses can significantly cut their ongoing costs through a moderate once-off capital expenditure (or small ongoing operational expenditure for subscription-based models) made in a video conferencing system. With many estimates for the total annual cost of just domestic business travel running into the hundreds of billions, there’s every reason to look for a cheaper alternative. You’ll be able to free up an immense amount of money and time to redirect towards growing your company in more significant ways.
When it comes to building a video conferencing solution that saves you money and enhances the way you work with your clients, choose the team at CrossPoint. Speak to one of our consultants today to find out more.