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Straight Out of Star Trek: Video Chat for Everyday Communication in Business

August 04, 2017

 

One of the most common things people see in futuristic movies or books has always been the video phone call. From Back to the Future to Star Trek, people are always using a screen or flipping open their phones to video chat and save the day. Now, with so many Webcam-enabled devices, video chatting is a reality—and is especially valuable for everyday business communications.

Video chat is just one small part of an entire repository of communication possibilities available to workers today. Email, voice chat, text chat, Twitter updates, and video chat are all part of the employee toolkit. Each of these communication capabilities is useful for different situations, depending on:

  • How long the conversation will take: For short conversations, a text or chat message may be better, but a video chat is definitely less time-consuming than using email to communicate.

  • How many people will be on the call: Video chat can be used for two to thousands of participants, but the more participants involved, the more complex setup of the call can become.

  • Which people we want to communicate with: Some coworkers, especially those with longevity, may not like video chats; younger co-workers may be more inclined to jump on.

  • Whether or not the parties have a Webcam available: Believe it or not, there are still people with mobile phones that do not have cameras and PCs without webcams!

Video chat will never be a worker’s only form of communication, but it is still an amazing way to communicate in business, especially:  

  • When communicating with remote co-workers: In the past, these conversations would have been voice-only calls, but by adding video to the mix, the interaction becomes so much more animated and meaningful. When it comes to communicating with people who employees rarely get to see in person because they are hundreds or even thousands of miles away, video can be an invaluable tool for nurturing and enhancing those relationships.

  • When interacting with business partners, suppliers, and customers: Video chats help improve and clarify these relationships because everyone can see body language and understand how others are really feeling. Sincerity is much easier to see on video chat than it is to hear on a phone call or even read in an email.

  • When a user needs to show someone something: This is especially valuable in technical support. When a customer, support person, or IT person needs help, video chat can be used to show a technical support rep the issue, live and in real time. This includes hardware, screens, documents, and pretty much anything else you can see using a camera. Improved customer service and better knowledge transfer are the result.

Video chat is not even a consideration for some employees because of the perception that it is “too complicated.” In reality, setting up a quick video chat on either a phone or a laptop computer is often a one-click event. As a VAR that does not normally use video chat, take a few minutes to try it. It is amazing and fun, and the people on the other end, especially if they are not used to video chatting, will probably be surprised and enjoy the technology as well. They may even think they are on Star Trek!

Is there additional discussion needed on video chat for business communication that should be covered in this blog? Please comment below.