Why is communicating with customers and co-workers different? Let’s start with connecting with co-workers. In a work environment, we all have the same tools, so it’s easy to chat / instant message, go to the Intranet, or place calls. Indeed, we’ve all been on a lot of video calls.
You can say video calls have replaced what we used to call “conference calls.” It’s to the point where setting up video calls in meeting invites is now de rigueur. Also, you can quickly start conversations with chat that might seamlessly switch to video calls because we’re so used to it now. We’ve been on so many video calls lexicon such as “video meeting fatigue” has entered everyday usage.
With customers, it’s very different.
Customers don’t have the same connected tools as you do and aren’t behind your firewalls anyway. So, a click on the same tool is not so easy. Connecting with customers is more varied.
Many customers just want to make an appointment, call about an issue, or find out what time you are open (or even if you are open). As such, with customers, the name of the game is to offer as much self-help as possible and be available in real-time when needed. Thus, we see what at one time were genuine innovations such as phone apps, websites, and IVRs now become centerpieces of today’s customer communication.
But there is also a need for real-time communications, and we see the need for multi-modal forms of real-time communications such as texting, chat, and apps, in addition to voice. In this case, video is part of the overall picture but not nearly as front and center as intra-company communication. As such, real-time business communication is pretty nuanced, and video is not the centerpiece. In next week’s blog, we’ll examine why video not being the centerpiece of customer communications could present a problem if you choose a video-centric business communication system.