This blog was updated on February 7, 2018, to reflect the addition of the Logitech PTZ Pro 2 camera for larger rooms.
Given the strength of our account managers, customer ambassadors, and development team, you might be surprised that Promevo only has 42 employees. As a small business who’s been pretty successful, we always want to help other entrepreneurs and startups in their tech journeys. One thing we’ve had tremendous success with is our video conference system. We have two rooms dedicated to telecommunicating with our vendors, employees, and some of our clients. This makes us especially excited to recommend the Google Hangouts Meet kit to small businesses looking for a collaboration tool that is practically face-to-face communication. We know we can’t wait to test it out!
F2F Provides Understanding of Non-Verbal Communication
Email is great for quick communication but means you can’t pick up on non-verbal signals. While emails can convey factual meanings and directions, you can’t see the body language or hear the inflections that let you understand if a period in “OK.” means the writer is annoyed or simply using proper punctuation. You also don’t know how the reader is interpreting what you’ve written, but with face-to-face or telecalls you can see their reaction from their facial expressions and their tone and clear up any misunderstandings right away. Every sale matters to a small business, so you don’t want to lose a client over a simple misconception.
F2F Helps With Creative Development
While email can be a convenient tool for follow up, it can also stunt the creative process. In 2016, EmailLabs found that readers spend an average of 15 to 20 seconds reading an email, and Litmus Email Analytics discovered that 43% of emails get 8 seconds or less of attention. Your email is competing with an inbox full of other requests, the rest of the web, and the pressing concerns of the real world. Most people will answer your exact questions and maybe respond with a few of their own, but won’t give much thought beyond what they were specifically asked.
In a face-to-face interaction, it’s easier to brainstorm, ask follow up questions after a long silence or a confused expression, or visualize and sketch out what a client wants. Since you’ve carved out time from their schedule for your discussion, you and your client are more likely to be prepared for your meeting and keep distractions to a minimum, leading to more and better ideas.
Your Medium is Your Message
It’s pretty clear that face-to-face and telecommunication are vital when working with clients, but so is how you present yourself. In an in-person meeting wearing dirty jeans or showing up with major bedhead could be interpreted as you aren’t taking the opportunity seriously or have time management issues. When video conferencing, being in a poorly lit area or having your client be unable to hear you could be interpreted as you being unprepared, not caring about the client experience, or not having experience working virtually. Even if none of these are true, these assumptions can damage your personal brand or company, which can be deadly to a small business.
Google Hangouts Meet is Practically Face-to-Face Communication
While face-to-face conversations have many advantages, they aren’t always feasible. Travel costs, having stakeholders across multiple locations, and large distances can make it difficult to meet in person. Luckily, the Google Hangouts Meet kit can make your video conferences practically like a face-to-face meeting. This four-part system contains all the best tech elements for a virtual meeting. You’ll get an echoless and crystal clear speakermic, a camera that can show an entire conference room, a controller to add participants and record the meeting, and a Chromebox to easily and securely share files.
First is Google’s newly-developed echoless speakermic, which automatically filters out background noise. With a 20-foot input/output radius, everyone will be able to hear the other line and speak without cutting out. Next are the fabulous video cameras. Smaller rooms are perfect for the Huddle Go web camera, whose dynamic light optimization makes it easy for clients to see you, no matter your lighting. Its 120° scope and intelligent auto-zoom will automatically frame the speaker without you having to manually adjust the camera, letting your client see all the presenter’s facial expressions and body language. Larger room kits come with a Logitech PTZ Pro 2, which has 10x optical zoom and can accommodate 20 people!
One thing they won’t see is clutter. The MIMO Vue controller has a cable management system in its base, keeping your conference room as polished as your presentation. The Vue also makes it easy to add all stakeholders to a meeting, share your laptop screen, and even allows for participants to dial in. G Suite Enterprise customers can also use the touch-screen controller to record the meeting, so you can share the discussion with people who couldn’t attend, have a copy for your records, and keep all parties accountable.
Last but not least is the nerve center of the Hangouts Meet kit– the ASUS Chromebox. This makes it easy to securely share your files and ideas, with four USB ports, Bluetooth syncing, and an SD card reader. The Chromebox also gives you access to all your favorite Google Apps and syncs automatically with your existing Chrome services.
Clear communication with clients is one of the most important parts of a small business, and often times email just won’t do. When distance, time, or cost make an in-person meeting impossible, Google’s Hangouts Meet kit is the perfect solution. Best of all, its quick setup and low maintenance needs mean you can focus more on what you’re best at- your business.