Video conferencing is increasingly becoming a widespread and efficient form of business communication. Companies like to use it to efficiently establish communication geographically dispersed teams between sales, marketing, product management, engineers and management between the company’s head office and its subsidiaries. But also in external communication, video conferences (or conferencing) are the method of choice when it comes to face-to-face communication between customers, business partners, suppliers or investors.
Half of all IT managers already rely on video conferencing today
In a recent study of 2,700 IT decision-makers, the market research institute Ovum has found that 49% of all respondents currently operate a video conferencing solution and another 26% plan to deploy it in the next 12 months or 12% in the next 24 months.
The 3 most important reasons for using video conferencing
The main reasons for using video conferencing are all based on a common goal: Increased efficiency.
Cost savings are the most important reason for using video conferencing. Above all, it is about travel expenses: If you add up the corresponding amounts, i.e. transport costs (car, taxi, train or plane), hotel costs, daily allowances and expenses, you quickly come up with an enormous yearly cost block.
Increase in productivity
Consider how much preparation time you need to invest for an appointment, e. g. the time ”from door to door”, which actually has nothing to do with the meeting itself. This means that a one-hour customer appointment with travel, parking lot search, etc. quickly turns into a 2-3-hour block of time. With a video conference, it’s just ”one click away”. You clarify all important points with your contact directly from your desk and use the time you save with it to better serve the customer instead.
”I desperately need some information from Mr. Maier. He’s in Building 3 on the second floor. And it’s raining outside. So, I won’t run there now, but send him a short mail ”Does this behavior sound familiar? This means that there is no collaboration or teamwork. And optimal solutions are certainly not created this way. You should sit down together at a table and weigh all the arguments against one another. This is possible with virtual collaboration and video conferencing.
Aligning IT investments with corporate strategy
For the IT decision-maker, the following aspects are of particular importance: How can I optimally align our IT investments with the corporate strategy? How can IT save costs and make operations more effective, but at the same time provide optimal support for operational processes and contribute to profitability?
Not gut feeling, but hard facts: Increased efficiency through video conferencing
IT decision-makers rightly do not rely on their gut instinct, but want to and must be able to substantiate their decisions. In recent years, several studies have looked at the impact of virtual collaboration and video conferencing in companies and come to a unanimous conclusion: Inside Communication (2012) has found that collaboration in the project has improved by 37%. McKinsey (2012) adds that it has improved the enterprise-wide collaboration with partners by 20%, increasing the speed of information retrieval.
The telephone call is yesterday, the video conference is what counts today
Numerous IT decision-makers have already discovered a wide variety of ways to introduce video conferencing in their company’s departments and thus make it available to a large number of employees. There are a number of successful use cases:
Use case: Video conferences in sales
Account managers no longer support important customers with a telephone call, but instead rely on regular support via video conferencing in order to personalize the customer experience and thus build up greater trust.
Use case: Video conferences in consulting
When it comes to bringing the customer advisor or project manager together with a specialist in a decisive step, video conferencing is the method of choice.
Use case: Video conferences in customer service
Many support hotlines, help desks and call centers have begun to serve their customers via video conferencing to ensure a positive customer experience. Customer satisfaction surveys clearly show that the customer feels much better looked after when they see the face of the person that solves their problem. This promotes proximity to the customer and creates not only trust but also customer loyalty.
Use case: Video conferences in Human Resources
HR uses video conferencing for interviews. Staff training courses via video conferencing, for example, are also popular and can be used to reach employees from different locations with one appointment.
The range of industries that successfully use video conferencing to expand their offerings and reach more customers is huge:
Use case: Video conferences in education
Universities and further education institutions have developed their own offers in the field of online telelearning in order to be able to offer lectures, lectures and seminars on a decentralized basis. Imagine the opportunities this entails: They are no longer limited to the lecture hall, which threatens to burst at the seams, but broadcast the event via video conference. The event takes place in Mainz, but participants can log in from all over the world.
Use case: Video conferences in health care
In the health care sector, there have been excellent experiences with online consultation sessions, in which the patient is connected to a doctor via video conferencing and can make an initial diagnosis. At a later stage, a specialist can also be consulted by another hospital.
The only challenge: Bad Hair Day
As you can see, there is a very large number of efficient application possibilities for companies. However, video conferencing also brings with it a new challenge. ”Today I don’t have an external appointment, so it’s just yesterday’s shirt again”, or we all know the so-called ”bad hair day” when your hair just won’t do what you want it to. You should think about this laissez-faire behavior in the future: Your customer sees (almost) everything.
One more thing…
By the way: If you are looking for a video conferencing solution for your business that meets all the functional requirements for successful virtual collaboration, then take a look at our Skype for Business offering : The perfect tool for audio and video conferencing, desktop sharing, online meetings, chats or any of the many other possibilities of virtual collaboration – directly and easily from the desktop, even if your conversation partners are spread all over the world! And the best part is: We host the tool for you in the German Cloud. That means you don&t have to worry about anything more than the user configuration. Well, except for bad hair days, but we’ve already talked about that. Of course, we would also happy to provide advice on that too.