By Brian Crotty
By this point, your customers know why they need Web and video conferencing. They need to gather teams of people from different locations, reduce spending on travel, offer more flexibility to join meetings from smartphones and tablets, etc. More efficient collaboration means stronger teams.
As you help clients compare video conferencing software, keep these considerations in mind.
1. How will their business use online meeting software now and in the future?
Ask them two questions: “How will you use it today?" and “How should you use it tomorrow?" Help them think beyond internal team meetings to training off-site employees, interviewing customers to see where they can make improvements or hosting webinars with prospects in the beginning of the sales cycle.
2. Will it work on mobile devices?
Today’s business people do not sit in the same office all day, every day; they travel to other offices, visit customers on-site, meet with vendors, etc. Your customers’ software should work easily on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, making it easy for their people to connect and collaborate from anywhere.
3. What is the total cost for everything they need?
Buying teleconferencing, Web conferencing and video conferencing separately is more expensive and merging them is a hassle. Help your customers find a unified solution for ease of use and cost effectiveness. Also remind them to ask about the features included in the specific package they’re interested in.
4. Is it easy to use?
Even the most popular conferencing services can be difficult to use, forcing your customers to go through multiple steps to join a meeting. It can also be challenging to allow other people to share screens without passing controls. Encourage your customers to take advantage of free trials.
5. Is the quality of video good?
As much as 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Face-to-face video meetings are only as good as the image that comes across, so help your clients find a video conferencing solution that offers high quality video.
6. Will they be able to switch between audio options easily?
Be sure that the online collaboration tools your customers choose include audio conferencing. Encourage your clients to also look for a service that offers easy, mid-meeting transition between phone dial-in and computer audio options.
7. Does the service offer Outlook calendar integration only?
Sending meeting invites will be easier for your customer if their video conferencing service integrates with Google calendars and Microsoft Outlook — especially when scheduling a meeting with someone outside of their system. Sharing a calendar invite should only take one click of the mouse and incorporate everything needed to join the meeting.
As COO of Broadview Networks, Brian Crotty is responsible for all operational aspects of the company. He has more than 15 years of senior management experience in the telecom industry, having formerly served as Bridgecom’s COO prior to its merger with Broadview. Prior to joining Bridgecom in 2000, he held a succession of positions with integrated communications provider CoreComm Ltd.