We've always been a big fan of using digital technology to support our existing clients and meet with new prospects. However, during the first four weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, we've learned something critical to the future of the way we will conduct our business :
We don't need to meet Face to Face.
There, I said it. Don't get me wrong, meeting up in person can be powerful and help break down barriers and build trust, but it has a cost not just in monetary terms, but also environmental and mental well being.
The big change here is not at Target Cloud - we've been using HD video conferencing for many years - it's an attitude shift for those that haven't previously been familiar on how efficient, easy and powerful the modern conferencing tools really are. Our clients are now really comfortable meeting online and new prospects are focussed on the task in hand so we can have a real in-depth, helpful conversation.
We can maintain eye contact, hear each other clearly, manage meetings effectively, start and finish on-time and have immediate access to our shared screens without seeking a Wi-Fi code or power socket because we forget to charge our equipment the night before.
The environmental savings of using digital technology are huge; reduced traffic, no crowded trains and less air pollution from air travel. If every business adopted a similar approach, we could collectively have a huge impact on reversing the effects of climate change.
During COVID-19 lockdown, we've been involved in one of the biggest project rollouts to date and since we stopped visiting client site, we've managed to achieve more, get better results and build up a rapport with the client online.
Our customer satisfaction levels are at a high as we're available online 'most of the time'. This means instead of travelling around the country, we're at our desks ready to answer the phone, respond to tickets and react quickly to urgent issues.
I don't see a downside. In my corporate sales days, it was considered important to press-the-flesh or go out for dinner, golf etc. with the client. All at huge expense and impact on time. These days are done. Let's get back to what matters; doing a great job, right first time with the amazing tools at our disposal.
Here's what we use and recommend :
This is our go-to tool for presenting training webinars. Zoho Meeting easy to use and allows us to connect up to 100 attendees for one session.
Ringcentral (Zoom) Meetings
We use RingCentral for our VoIP service. It integrates with Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk, so works really well for us. The Meetings App that comes with the service is super-high quality and is our go-to tool for all small meetings. Really replaces the physical meeting room experience.
To help out our clients quickly and easily, we use Zoho Assist to login to the screen and solve simple issues. There's no need for video or audio on this one - usually a text chat is plenty.
Zoho Cliq is how our team communicates. We're based in Norwich, Edinburgh, Zagreb, Dhaka, Hyderabad and Chennai so it's essential that we have an easy way for 1-2-1 comms and project channels. Cliq is perfect for this.
Logitech HD Webcam
Using the right kit to ensure you get the most from the tech is essential too. The cameras and mics that come with laptops aren't the greatest quality, so we choose Logitech HD webcams and separate mics to ensure everyone can hear us clearly.
And finally, you've seen all the news reporters set up in front of their bookshelves during COVID-19....well, we use banner backdrops to remove any distractions from the call, but also it's a professional way of presenting our business. You can buy backdrops from any printers. Our suppliers are Red Hot Media.
So, let's be realistic. Sometimes, we'll need to meet face to face, but let's give online a try first and see what happens. If you need help or advice with any of the tools, just get in touch and we'll point you in the right direction.