Adapting to new technology can be intimidating for both for you and your staff. However, part of being at the cutting edge of the business world is keeping up with new innovations and remaining open minded to tools that can improve efficiency. Here are five reasons why it’s time to abandon email as your primary source of communication and warm up to video conferencing.
- Avoid Embarrassing Blunders
One of the most common problems with email is that once you send it off, it’s not only permanently on record, but also out of your hands. Mashable outlines several major email blunders, including pressing send before the email is finished, the infamous “reply all” faux pas, typos, and inputting incorrect recipients. Video conferencing helps to eliminate these problems. If you misspeak in a meeting, no one is going to hold it against you. BlueJeans enterprise video platform allows users to seamlessly interact face to face, transforming the meeting into a more casual atmosphere where participants will take what you say the same way as they wold if you were in a conference room. Email, on the other hand, is a text-based communication method that not only can be forwarded, distributed, and be decontextualized in tone, but also printed out and handed around. If you don’t want something set in stone, then don’t email it. This can quickly impede communication, though, so it’s better to find an improved way to talk to your colleagues.
- Retaining That Personal Touch
The Houston Chronicle notes that one major drawback to email is the ease with which messages can become lost in translation and lack tone, which can also negatively impact customer service. The last thing you want to do is have your personality be literally effaced by faceless communication, since networking and personal rapport is one essential ingredient in a successful client relationship. Therefore, given how accessible video conferencing has become today with no further need for clunky equipment and other types of old fashioned tools, it’s not difficult to call up a client and have an informal conversation on camera. If you want to make sure you get that special personal rapport down with your clients and colleagues, leave the email for simple messages or sending attachments.
- Remote Collaboration
While every team expects to meet on a regular basis to provide updates on projects or simply discuss a new idea, you’ll often run into the challenge of remote workers. Having off-site employees is becoming an increasingly common practice, given the various types of communication tools that allow a company to easily do business over long distances. In fact, Business 2 Community names cloud collaboration as being one of the most important ways that business communication is evolving this year, attributing the trends to flexibility and the increased opportunities for colleagues to brainstorm remotely.
- Everyone Together in the Same Room
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to reach a decision about a project or question via email. Most of the time, the necessary decision maker isn’t available, and a long email discussion occurs which everyone then forgets since reading through long email threads is frustrating. When a decision needs to be made, as anyone who’s been in business for more than five minutes knows, you need to bring all the important players to the table at once. However, sometimes this simply isn’t possible, whether due to distance, availability issues, or both. Therefore, tuning into an important meeting via video conference is a perfect solution. Not only do you get everyone in the virtual boardroom, but these days, participants can join a video meeting from almost any type of service provider, mobile device, or even Internet browser. Getting business done efficiently and quickly is as simple as making sure everyone is able to get their faces on camera.
- Where Email Still Applies
Although video conferencing is undoubtedly the future of business communication, you don’t have to abandon email altogether. The best way to approach communication in general, whether you prefer old fashioned ways of doing business or you’re always the first to get cutting edge technology, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, distribute your communications over different platforms. What’s most important is that you understand what modes of communication work best for particular exchanges of information. For example, if you just need to fire off a quick note to someone or arrange a meeting using a calendar, sending an email invitation or message is easier than asking them to join a video conference. Establish a communication plan for your future business dealings, and you’ll be all set to maximize the efficiency of your interactions.
Don’t be afraid to leave email behind. It’s the 21st century, and although it’s common to encounter technophobes in the workplace, there’s a reason why certain types of technology gain traction and become popular. A technology like video conferencing has also evolved, and is much easier to use today.