Two years ago, audio conferencing comprised just over 50 percent of the global conferencing services market, with web and video conferencing coming in around 40 percent. By 2023, projections indicate that these services will change places in terms of growth and implementation, with almost 62 percent of the global conferencing services market being represented by web and video conferencing services. While audio conferencing still has its place in the greater conferencing market, the appeal of web conferencing is on the rise. Web conferencing is gaining popularity because of the myriad ways that it enhances the features and capabilities provided though audio-only conferencing. Following, we discuss six benefits of upgrading to web conferencing from audio-only.
1. Saves Money
With the staggering cost of airplane tickets alone, it’s easy to argue that business travel costs have gone up significantly in recent years. Along with travel arrangements, companies must also reimburse the cost of food, lodging, ground transportation, entertainment, and so on. While audio conferencing might still feel too impersonal for certain business exchanges, web conferencing can be a great tool for offsetting the high cost of travel expenses. West provides a simple tool to help enterprises calculate how much business travel truly costs your company, and impacts the environment. Web conferencing may help save money in more ways than you might realize.
2. Saves Time
In addition to the high monetary costs, traveling also takes valuable employees out of the office – sometimes for extended periods – and makes it difficult for them to multi-task with other customers and projects. It’s sometimes difficult to put a value on time, but universally, employers want their employees to be available as often as possible; to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. Web conferencing is an effective time management tool. It enables sales staff and other employees to conduct critical customer and vendor meetings, in a timely manner, with time to multi-task other important current and potential client interfaces and follow-ups.
3. Unifies Internal Teams
Multinational teams are a part of conducting everyday business in 2018, especially in larger corporations. And working successfully as a team is a vital part of company productivity. For teams spread out across large distances, web conferencing can be used to get to know team members. Simple practices such as building in a few extra minutes to your weekly meeting for small talk and chatter or using a web conferencing tool that allows users to import photos or avatars can make a big impact in helping teams to bond and build rapport. And with features that allow teams to collaborate on shared documents and whiteboard ideas in real-time web conferencing can improve collaboration too.
4. Useful way to Transfer Information to Others
Web conferencing is the perfect medium for disseminating all kinds of information to many different types of audiences. It can be used to conduct trainings and education sessions, announce product launches, and handle service and support issues. With 65 percent of the population identifying as visual learners, web conferencing can be the perfect tool for learning, as well as educating others.
5. Develops Better Customer Engagement
The combined audio and visual components of a web conference can help to increase engagement with meeting attendees. Uploading a slide deck and presenting the materials to a client in real-time allows for better interaction. Clients can ask questions as the materials are presented and the meeting leader can pause to get feedback throughout the presentation – without any need to check that everyone is on the same slide – and the presenter can more easily tailor the meeting to the client’s individual needs.
6. Provides Access to Advanced Tools
While having a voice-only meeting can be the perfect solution for quick answers not requiring much information sharing, many other work situations call for the tools that web conferencing can provide, such as:
- Desktop and Document Sharing (Documents, spreadsheets, presentations, applications, etc.) – ability to share myriad information across multiple machines and devices
- Annotation Capability – used to highlight and bring attention to specific data
- Live Chat – for real-time interaction
- Polls – allows meeting organizers to poll attendees and post results live
- Recording – used for reference or review, especially helpful for training sessions
- Waiting and Breakout Rooms – the ability to break attendees off into smaller groups to enact further discussion and follow-ups on discussed action items
These are just some of the many advantages web conferencing has over audio-only. While it still makes sense on some occasions to make a quick phone call or dial-in to an audio call to discuss a simple matter, for more personalized and detailed discussions and complex business exchanges, web conferencing might be the better fit. Web conferencing saves companies money in travel costs and time, since co-workers and clients are able to collaborate and make timely decisions on shared data. It also helps to build teams and strengthen customer relationships. Finally, it offers real-time communication tools that are ideal for collaboration. It might be time to see how web conferencing from West can enhance your company’s communication experience. Call us today!
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