Study after study demonstrates there are significant benefits to embracing and encouraging face-to-face communication. Unfortunately, the continued reliance on technology has replaced the intimacy of face-to-face interaction in a number of relationships.
Understandably it’s impossible to always be in the same physical location as a supplier, business partner or customer—or even coworker. However, with today’s comprehensive video conferencing capabilities it’s still feasible to experience face time – even with hundreds or thousands of miles between parties.
Even though video conferencing is growing in acceptance, there are still people who, for various reasons, resist using the technology. Below are some tips on gaining buy-in.
Explain on the benefits. Face-to-face communication provides immediate feedback. Specifically, that face time allows the parties to see the non-verbal communication, which often portrays understanding and acceptance or confusion and displeasure. In addition, it’s far easier to establish and maintain lasting relationships when interactions are reliant on face-to-face communication. Simply put, face-to-face communications establishes intimacy.
Show relation. Once users understand the benefits of face-to-face communication, find ways to relate each benefit to the user’s particular job. For instance, with a sales person, stress how a stronger relationship can result in the ability to increase sales volumes since people prefer to do business with those they consider friends. With a customer service professional, explain how being able to identify understanding can lessen the likelihood of follow-up calls to address the same issue.
Demonstrate ease of use. One of the primary reasons people resist using any new technology is the lack of understanding or fear of failing. Take the time to go through the use of various aspects of your company’s video conferencing solution. Answer questions and encourage experimentation. Ensuring comfort and eliminating fear is the best way to gain acceptance. Remain open to follow-up questions and continually provide encouragement.
Often times, once users embrace video conferencing there is a tendency to continually increase usage rather than retract. It may take effort to get everyone in the fold, but the results are worth the investment.