As the trusted advisor to your customers, it’s important you not only look at how you can address the technological communications challenges facing your customers, but the operational inefficiencies. Sometimes, streamlining communications and operations can be done with technology, but there are also instances where best practices and simple policies can have a profound impact. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of 8 ways your customers can communicate more effectively.
- Use video–Video collaboration has never been easier, more affordable or as well-performing. Thanks to maturing technologies and the ubiquity of broadband internet, there’s little excuse for your customers not to hold videoconferences. You may find some lingering aversions to using video. Illustrate how great video can be and urge your customers to give it a chance. They won’t be disappointed.
- Keep meetings small—Encourage customers to limit meeting invitees to only those who truly need to be present. Often, employees are invited out of obligation or without regard for the necessity of their participation. A meeting where an employee feels outnumbered and unable to have their voice heard is a meeting they won’t care about.
- Keep meetings short—A good rule of thumb is to think about how long you think a meeting should be and then reduce it by 25%. Brevity is not only the soul of wit, but the soul of effective business meetings.
- Minimize distractions—Conduct meetings away from distractions. If employees are calling in from a remote location, use noise-canceling microphone technology, avoid loud places if possible and use the mute button when not speaking. Dogs barking in the background are a sure way to stifle effective communications.
- Use an agenda—It goes without saying that before you can use an agenda, you first must have one. Without an agenda, and sticking to it, it’s too easy for meetings to stray off course. All too often, new topics are presented before addressing the critical topics that caused the meeting to be called in the first place.
- Keep a record—It’s important to have a record of past meetings to be used in recalling past conversations or bringing absent employees up to speed. Store recordings or transcripts in easily accessible locations within the UCC platform.
- Know who’s talking—When face-to-face, it’s obvious who’s speaking to whom. With videoconferencing, that’s not always the case. New technology allows cameras to focus on and follow the speaker, making it clear to everyone. Additionally, microphone and speaker enhancements can dynamically adjust the audio to make it more obvious who’s speaking.
- Don't be afraid of the phone—We’ve all had situations where back and forth email threads take on a life of their own and consume hours out of our day when a simple 10-minute phone call could have handled the situation. Identify these situations in advance to save time and communicate more effectively.
For additional ways to improve communications—through technology or best practices—contact Ingram Micro’s UCC and videoconferencing experts, Curt Vurpillat
or Chad Simon