Business and professional services companies are being challenged by two seemingly competing goals - clients want more engagement and personalisation, while their own companies are calling for cost control and improved process efficiencies. Thankfully, technology is playing a critical role in helping business service professionals achieve both objectives at once. With video collaboration, consultants can connect more regularly with clients while also being fully hooked into the requirements of their company.
Video collaboration has become a valuable asset to leading suppliers of business, legal, accounting, marketing, IT and other consulting services. These businesses are utilising the technology to build stronger relationships with their customers, offer improved access to experts and executives, reduce travel costs and increase employee satisfaction through more manageable schedules. They are operating like the global businesses they must become, and are succeeding because of it.
Here are five ways video collaboration is helping business and professional-services organisations thrive by saving costs and servicing clients better:
1. Virtual Teamwork
The virtual team that combines the client and the service company is at the heart of any engagement. For a period of weeks or months, clients and service professionals must work as one, building trust and creating the efficiencies that come when a relationship is right. That’s why many business professionals practically “live” where their clients are. However, communicating with peer consultants, managers, and subject experts located in-house at a consulting company is crucial, too. Video collaboration solutions, both at the company and at the client site, enable all of this (see the example included here, from an interior design services consultancy). From connecting onsite consultants with their home team, to connecting the virtual team when consultants are not co-located, video collaboration ensures nobody is ever out of reach.
2. Remote Expertise
Achieving success with a client usually involves creative problem-solving and innovative thinking. Often, the best way to fuel these activities is by bringing in experts and advisors who are not a part of the core team. Again, video collaboration solutions bring these subject matter experts and additional resources “to the field” at the touch of a button–without slowing down the process or increasing travel time and budgets. Best of all for services businesses, these experts can support multiple projects around the globe at once, creating efficiencies while giving every client the best available support.
3. Executive Communications
In service businesses, employees are often scattered in a country, regions and the globe. For executives, this leads to a unique set of challenges. Leaders must define corporate strategy, manage an entire organisation to execute according to goals, and remain flexible to shift priorities as necessary. Distance collaboration is crucial for these tasks. High performance workplaces with immersive, room, desktop, and mobile video collaboration systems allow executives to communicate with the entire organisation, regardless of location, all at once. The impact of this timely, face-to-face and personal communication is noticeable, keeping everyone on board for what’s next.
4.Employee Development and Recruiting
Top service professionals are at the heart of any service organisation, which means that retaining these people is crucial to success. Video collaboration solutions ease this challenge considerably. Offering mentorship programmes, access to subject matter experts, company trainers, video collaboration solutions can dramatically improve employee morale, growth, and as a result, retention. All employees in need of specific training can attend a session together regardless of location, and those unable to attend live sessions can play them back at a more convenient time using playback features.
When searching for new talent, video can be used to reduce recruiting timeframes and budgets. Video communication solutions are useful for finding and interviewing geographically dispersed candidates. They also improve accuracy when selecting the right person as it facilitates for multiple stakeholders to interview the candidate. Furthermore, seeing the person, the expressions, and the way he/she communicates is of utmost important when evaluation candidates and selecting the right person for the job.
In a business where strong relationships and client satisfaction are the foundations for success, High Definition video collaboration solutions bring partners, consultants, experts, from all over the world together to provide their knowledge and services at the touch of a button. Along with the benefits that come with face-to-face client communication, team members can instantly share crucial business documents such as market reports, industry research, commercial proposals, business processes, new policies, project timelines, and more. Video collaboration solutions improve critical corporate processes, shorten project cycles, and reduce expenses—leading to a higher likelihood of success on every front. Polycom is leading the way to remove the barriers for borderless communication with an open standards-based approach. The company is also achieving these goals with innovative solutions such as the browser-based Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite.
Leading business service organisations are already using video collaboration to transform the way corporate clients are served, experts are leveraged, and projects are executed. And the return on investment of these company-wide video collaboration solutions is no longer just about travel cost. By integrating video communication into business processes, organisations and departments are growing revenue, increasing productivity, and reducing costs across many fronts. The efficiency, access, and ability to connect anywhere, anytime is creating competitive advantages throughout business and professional services companies, promising to be a game-changer in the field.
Video Collaboration for Interior Design Services An interior designer having a meeting with the supplier, contractor, and hotel management client for a hotel room renovation project. Even though the stakeholders are geographically dispersed, the team can still collaborate, plan and make decisions together and in a timely manner. The visual experience, supported by content and annotation tools, helps the interior design services company to understand and meet the client’s brief, while saving valuable time and cost for the client, suppliers, and contractors.