Today, videoconferencing is no longer as complex, as expensive, or as resource-intensive as it used to be, thanks to higher bandwidth, cloud and mobile technology, and web-enabled conferencing. As a result, SMBs, virtual offices, and even small startups can communicate, collaborate, and broaden their reach easily, efficiently, and affordably via high-quality videoconferencing, easily, efficiently, and affordably.
There’s another reason for the dramatic rise in organizations employing videoconferencing in recent years. Modern businesses are becoming increasingly global, and the need to build and maintain relationships with associates, clients, investors, and customers—often geographically scattered—is stronger now than ever. Therefore, it’s not a matter of choice but necessity for companies to invest in and use video for meetings and collaboration purposes. Plus, when it comes to the growing work-from-anywhere trend in organizations, videoconferencing fits in perfectly, bridging any collaboration gaps and ensuring remote employees feel part of the team.
There are ample studies and surveys that show enterprise level use of videoconferencing is on the rise. When Wainhouse Research polled 5,000 video end-users, one-fourth said they use the technology on a daily basis, while more than 85 percent said they use it at least once a month.
Reducing the time and expenses incurred in traveling used to be key motivators behind businesses choosing video communications. Not anymore. Modern businesses are turning to videoconferencing for reasons that far outweigh simple time saving and a reduction in travel expenses. Here are some of them.
Exploring New Markets and Opportunities
Videoconferencing knocks down geographical and cultural barriers, allowing businesses to extend their reach into new markets. Using video, non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures—all means of communication not possible via email or phone—become part of your cross-border meetings. Without access to gestures and facial expressions, those who negotiate at a distance have trouble accurately reading each other’s tone, and often fail to build a rapport, key components when brokering a business deal, or holding a job interview.
Boost Customer Service
Video can help companies build stronger customer engagement, and the ability to communicate with customers face-to-face on a real-time basis is proving to be a game-changer for businesses. A case in point is Amazon, one of many companies upping their level of customer service by offering 24/7 customer support via live, on-screen video.
Secure Business Continuity
Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can hit businesses hard. In today’s highly competitive business landscape, the cost of downtime can be high, affecting consumer trust and brand reputation, and can devastate a company. Statistics show 80 percent of businesses suffering a major disaster close their doors within three years. Videoconferencing allows businesses to prevent total disruption of services. Also, by communicating through video, employees can still attend time-sensitive meetings and remain connected with important business associates, clients, and customers, even when disaster strikes.
Strengthen the Supply Chain
Real-time collaboration between suppliers, warehouses, sales teams, and customers is extremely vital for better supply chain management. With the increasingly global nature of business, supply chain units are growing further apart, and bringing them together is a challenge. Videoconferencing bridges the gap, connecting everyone involved in the supply chain process effectively and seamlessly, regardless of distance.
Attract, Engage, and Retain a Millennial Workforce
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials today make up the largest share of the American workforce. Naturally, business recruiters are going to great lengths to attract and retain this generation. When you’re trying to tap into this talent pool, an important factor to remember is that millennials are tech-driven. They expect to work with technology to improve and enhance their productivity, while still allowing them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Videoconferencing is a perfect fit. In fact, a U.K. survey found that 71 percent of employees prefer video over audio conferencing, with the younger workforce leading the way in that regard.
Videoconferencing is becoming a business mainstay, and not just because of the cost-savings or mobility it offers organizations. It is increasingly taking a larger role in the day-to-day operations from the supply chains to customer service and everything in between.
Do you think video conferencing is becoming a business norm?