I’m going to age myself here (what’s new, huh?), but it seems we’ve become the Jetsons. With all of the video options there are today, I think Jane and George would be proud that the future they showed us so many years ago is now. And considering the continuing economic woes we are experiencing, video conferencing becomes more and more important to business survival.
With that in mind, I was intrigued with a service called SightSpeed which claims “it can help SMBs be both more profitable and productive with affordable Internet-based face-to-face video communications that increase collaboration and cut travel expenses, stress, wasted time and carbon emissions.” Sounds pretty good, huh? So SightSpeed offers six suggestions (below) for ways your business might embrace the world of video conferencing.
- Bring far-flung team members face to face. Geographically dispersed team members can still effectively meet face to face and improve their understanding of shared targets, strengthen collaboration, morale and satisfaction, and raise their productivity. Video meetings can be both formal (scheduled) or informal (spontaneous)—the latter being effectively the 21st century water cooler.
- Improve customer relationships. Personal interaction remains the most effective way to close sales. Studies have shown that effective communication with customers is a leading indicator of financial performance, resulting in higher market values and greater customer satisfaction. With sales territories expanding and quotas high, face-to-face contact via video conferencing can be among the most valuable—and cost-effective—tools for today’s sales professionals competing in a global marketplace.
- Meet more efficiently, make decisions quicker. SightSpeed Business video conferencing enables SMBs to meet spontaneously with customers, suppliers or employees when necessary, not according to travel arrangements and schedules. Decisions can be timelier and more effective when the exchange of information and mutual understanding occurs face to face. Meetings are online and flexible, maximizing attendees’ availability and minimizing their attachment to a single room in a specific location.
- Raise employee enthusiasm and productivity. SightSpeed Business video conferencing enables more frequent real-time face-to-face contact with individuals or groups of employees. A manager’s video e-mail to all members of a sales team can keep direct communication and motivation on a constant basis. A video e-mail from a manager to an employee with the message “Well done!” can strengthen the manager-employee relationship while building worker confidence and enthusiasm. And a video record of a meeting made available for replay to individuals or groups can raise employees’ sense of inclusiveness and shared accountability—especially those working remotely.
- Hire and retain employees more proficiently. By removing distance barriers, SightSpeed Business video conferencing empowers hiring managers to screen more eligible candidates, thereby raising the quality of potential hires. Interviewing candidates face to face by video conferencing has the dual benefit of saving the time and expense of candidates traveling great distances and being far more effective than phone interviews. Since SightSpeed Business is mobile, interviewing managers don’t have to be in a fixed location. Last, SightSpeed Business makes it possible for employees to work remotely, minimizing relocation cost and eliminating the potential loss of a key employee and the need to hire and train a new employee.
- Eliminate fixed investments for communications equipment. Compared to the cost of outfitting even a single room-based video conferencing system (which frequently costs tens of thousands of dollars if not more), SightSpeed Business could be more cost effective. SightSpeed Business cost less than $20 per month per user, or less than $200 per year (with volume discounts). SightSpeed offers a free version for consumers and a 30-day free trial for business customers.
What do you think? Has your company tried SightSpeed or some other video conferencing service? I’d love to hear your feedback on how well it works and how it works best to accomplish the goals of your company. Please leave me a comment.