Face-to-face communication isn’t always possible. Anybody in business understands this. Video conferencing solutions have offered an alternative. It’s the next best thing to a physical meeting because you can see the other person.
Don’t underestimate the power of being able to communicate face-to-face like this. 90% of our communication happens through non-verbal cues. It’s why the levels of confusion with email communications increase. You’re taking away those non-verbal cues.
If you’ve yet to invest in video conferencing solutions, read on. Let’s investigate what you’re missing out on.
Get Things Done Now
Video conferencing drastically cuts down on the amount of time spent communicating. 15 minutes of back and forth emails could be condensed into five minutes of conversation over the computer. This is because you don’t need additional clarification due to those nonverbal cues.
Another factor we have to take into account is the above example assumes both email senders are sitting in front of their computer waiting for a reply. This isn’t always the case.
You might only spend 15 minutes on an email conversation, but this might be spread over a number of days. There’s no productivity in that.
When you’re sitting in front of someone, and talking to them, things get done. Productivity goes up.
More than you Intended
We’ve already mentioned nonverbal cues a number of times now. This is because they’re what makes human communication and understanding what it is.
Let’s use an example to illustrate this. You’re speaking to someone through a webcam. They’re leaning forward, nodding, and smiling. What does this say?
It tells you they’re interested in what you have to say. You know it’s safe to keep talking and get into the meat of the subject.
Contrast this with someone who’s yawning and looking at their watch all the time. It tells you it’s time to wrap things up. Continuing on and on will only leave a negative impression on you and your company.
You can’t tell any of these things through email. The messages you learn through these cues will inform you where you should take things next.
It Shows You Care
To put it simply, communicating with someone directly demonstrates that you care enough about them. You’re demonstrating they’re important and what they have to say is relevant to your business.
An email is easy to cast away into the bowels of your inbox. These communications are quickly forgotten. It puts you above and beyond everyone else they’re speaking to. They’re going to remember your communication.
There’s no telling what effect this will have on your business later on. It could mean the difference between you winning the contract and a competitor winning the contract.
Email allows two parties to communicate with each other easily. Although it’s possible to send the same email to multiple parties, this communication format was never designed for mass conversations with multiple participants.
By not using video conferencing solutions you’re extending your lines of communication. Now you have to rely on someone else to inform you of a conversation you were never a direct part of.
For example, manager A discusses a new project with client B through email. Manager A now has to tell three other managers exactly what was said to client B. These managers have to send messages back, which manager A will pass back on to client B.
Rarely will this work as intended. Important aspects always get lost with this style of communication. It’s like the game of Chinese whispers. The original message is rarely exactly the same when you finish passing it around the circle.
Video conferencing brings everybody into the conversation and allows them to see and experience everything. We’ve moved a long way since pixelated webcam views. Now we can have conversations with as many parties as we like. As long as there’s an Internet connection present, there are no restrictions.
This is only going to enhance understanding for all relevant parties. It’s ideal for brainstorming sessions and ideal for discussing important details.
Email communication targets a single sense; the ability to see. Video conferencing replicates being in the same room as the other person. Businesses can draw upon a wide range of different aids to enhance their points.
A client might want to explain their project through the use of a spider diagram. They would turn the camera around and point it directly to a whiteboard. They could add to this spider diagram as the discussion progresses.
We have visual aids and hearing aids to improve understanding now. There are no limits to what you can do through video conferencing.
Overall, it’s clear that when business travel is too costly video conferencing is the next best option. It isn’t costly to install and you don’t require any expertise to use it.