Reports suggest that the video conferencing market size was valued at USD 3.85 billion in 2019 and will reach a CAGR of 9.9% from 2020 to 2027. Makes sense, right?
Covid-19 has brought about several drastic changes in the way businesses operate. Previously meetings, never-ending discussions about deals, and final closures consumed a considerable amount of time.
However, with the pandemic bringing in stringent social distancing regulations, organisations have also evolved based on these shifting needs. One such change is becoming more technology-friendly. Recent innovations have helped organisations find newer ways to communicate, add that personal touch, and ensure uninterrupted business operations.
Worth mentioning here is video conferencing, a tool that has completely transformed business communication. Let us understand more about this medium of communication in detail.
What is Video Conferencing?
In layman terms, video conferencing is a medium wherein you can see a person during interactions even if they are not around physically. This tool proves to be a boon for business owners, especially now when domestic and international travelling is at an all-time low, and they need to bridge communication gaps to nurture business relationships.
With this understanding, let us now make a comparative analysis of how video conferencing was in the past and how well it has evolved over time. Also, read on to know the details of video conferencing capabilities that may develop shortly too.
Video conferencing: the past
The concept of video conferencing was first introduced in the year 1964 by AT&T. It included a simple system with two closed-circuit TVs that were connected by a cable and used VHF (Very High Frequency) or UHF (Ultra High Frequency) connections to display the video. This set-up was mostly used in television stations to interview people or report a live programme.
Gradually, this communication tool was used by NASA and the military base of several countries. However, in the 1990s, the Internet Protocol (IP) was introduced.
This was an advanced video compression technology that allowed the video image and sound to be transmitted in smaller data packets, thereby reducing the size of the live-streamed files.
Finally, in 1994, a full-fledged, commercially viable video conferencing solution was introduced.
That was a short recap about how video conferencing came into existence.
Video Conferencing: The present
With technological advancements, businesses of various capacities became aware of video conferencing. However, it was meant to facilitate high priority meetings by fortune 500 companies across the world. It wasn’t used to casually connect with colleagues or for a virtual meeting within the company.
Even if you go back a few years, video conferencing was never the buzzword. Perhaps, you may have heard of a family friend or a relative connecting with their loved ones from a foreign country. Regardless of the situation, video conferencing wasn’t for everyone.
But, after the pandemic, things have changed drastically.
Video conferencing tools have become the lifeblood of business communication. The technology plays a cardinal role in accommodating face-to-face interactions within teams, during important meetings, and enables interactive sessions.
With several companies adopting the remote working model, it has become important to keep employees engaged. It is equally important to make them feel noticed and not left out. Video conferencing serves all these purposes and then some more.
Conducting review meetings for team members, hosting virtual conferences, connecting team members across the world, monitoring daily tasks or simply conducting team building activities, this tool can do it all for you.
The myth that video conferencing can be used only by companies or individuals who belong to a specific category no longer exists. It is now being used by everyone across the globe.
Video conferencing: the future
Video conferencing, undeniably, has a promising future. Most will agree that a visual presentation speaks louder than a simple speech. Visuals leave a lasting impression on the audience, a capability that will be leveraged to its full potential.
- Video conferencing in contact centres
An important area for businesses to focus on is delivering seamless customer services. Companies try their best to offer memorable customer experiences. Although video chat and messaging apps do exist, video conferencing is becoming the new normal.
While call centre representatives are doing their best to satisfy customers through phone calls, one lasting concern is that they aren’t able to look at customers when they speak. This may result in miscommunication. Call centres will widely adopt this technology to interact with customers and create a personal connection with every conversation.
For example, consider a scenario wherein an agitated customer calls your call centre. He sounds normal and replies to every question of the representative sarcastically. The representative may not be able to gauge the mood of the customer without looking at him.
However, if it were a video conference, the representative would have been able to react and modify the interaction contextually.
Furthermore, when you look at a person and speak, it builds trust. Several customers may contact your call centre in a day. It may not be possible to resolve all the issues presented. However, when your representative can look at the customer and assure him of a resolution at the earliest, the customer may feel satisfied. This personal connection can be established only through video conferencing.
Consider a situation wherein a not-so-tech-savvy customer contacts your call centre to clarify how your headset can be used best. If the customer is unable to use your product appropriately, he may choose your competitor’s product next time. Making the customer understand the nuances of your product through a call may be difficult.
In this case, a video conference can serve the purpose. Your representative can simply connect over a video conference to provide a product demo. This will detail the proper usage of your product. The customer will see what he has heard all these days. This experience will improve reliability and loyalty.
Also, your representatives showcase your brand. When your customers see your representatives conducting themselves amicably, it builds a positive impression of your brand too. Your customers become your biggest advocates because they see what they believe in.
- Video conferencing for faster and improved business interactions
That was about video conferencing in the near future. Now, coming to closing deals––while video conferencing is used in the later stages of finalising closures, businesses will begin to use it right from the beginning very soon.
Cold calling techniques will be replaced by video conferencing. Your representatives will get an opportunity to strike the right chord amongst the target audience from the first interaction itself. This will help improve the quality and credibility of these interactions which will result in faster closure of deals, improved customer acquisition, and finally, better business relationships.
So, as we see, though utilisation of video conferencing has picked pace, it will be used at a larger scale in the years to come. Businesses will choose face-to-face meetings not just during the final stages of a sales cycle or discussion but right from the initiation itself.
Video conferencing is, undoubtedly, a tool to stay. Not just during this pandemic, but even after the world comes back to normal, businesses will continue to embrace this technology and make the most of it.
Hope this blog has highlighted the importance of technology not just for present-day purposes but even for the future.
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