Tara checked her watch again. Another one hour delay on the flight. She was going to be late for the client dinner. And on top of that, she would only be in Cincinatti for three days before flying to San Diego where she would try to save a disgruntled buyer and brainstorm ways they could increase sales. Another four days there, and finally home to Houston, where her family – and the office – were beginning to feel alien.
It can be great to have your top consultants in high demand, no matter what your business is. Knowing that your company has valued professional expertise is important any time you need to make a sale or follow up on a concern.
However, flying around the country for face-to-face meetings is a no-win situation. Only one client gets your expert for several days at a time. The consultant gets tired of travel, and loses connection both to their personal life and to the office. In addition, with your key experts on the road, it’s hard to field calls from other clients who have a quick question or two. Finally, your best consultants can’t meet dozens of clients – your client list will be limited by where they can be and when.
Fortunately, today you can literally be everywhere at once – without leaving the office. Not only can your company save money, you can serve more clients more effectively, while keeping your expert consultants less stressed and more connected.
Video conferencing technology has come a long way. From a rocky start with jerky video and un-synced sound, current improvements in high-speed internet and video compression technology allow high-definition conferencing where your expert can see and be seen. This new technology is referred to as ‘telepresence’.
Telepresence means that you are doing more than just video conferencing. You are actually present with the other person or group – you can see them, and they can see you. Rather than information streaming only from you into the client office, you can also have video information streaming back from them to you. You can see reactions, movements, and respond to concerns in real-time.
In addition, mobile applications of teleconferencing are being developed, allowing previously unreachable clients (workers on an off-shore oil rig, for example) to conference in and discuss issues as if your consultant was on-site. Mobile technology allows video communication, with audio and on-screen drawing capabilities, to connect you to clients regardless of location.
The impact of this technology cannot be understated. No longer are you tied to sending your consultants and experts into the field for weeks at a time. While video conferencing used to be a one-way street, with telepresence it is now a two-way relationship. Your best talent can literally be everywhere at once – conferencing in clients from around the country and around the world in various meetings in a single day.
By embracing this new content medium, companies are saving thousands of dollars in travel costs, reducing their ecological footprint, and keeping many more clients satisfied with on-demand consulting.
You really can be everywhere at once.
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