Strengthening Customer Relationships In a Remote-world
With video calls taking over in-person meetings, we've had to quickly adjust to an outwardly similar, yet fundamentally quite different way of communicating, which is both more exhausting and more convenient
As human beings, we are designed to be able to read body language and facial expressions, and to interpret meaning from voice tone and inflections.
In our hyper-verbal society, we often forget that non-verbal cues are as -- if not sometimes more -- important than the words we speak, and when communicating face-to-face, it’s not something we conspicuously have to consider.
However, with the shift to remote work, what we once took for granted -- those water cooler moments when we asked our colleagues about their day or joined in on a spontaneous joke -- are no longer serendipitous.
With video calls taking over in-person meetings, we’ve had to quickly adjust to an outwardly similar, yet fundamentally quite different way of communicating, which is both more exhausting and more convenient.
As a result of less person-to-person engagements, many companies have also started to rely on clever and fun videos to communicate their message and work.
Set rules for managing virtual communications
After spending years in face-to-face meetings, it’s jarring to suddenly be thrust into the online world for hours a day.
We know that ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real, and that excessive amounts of close-up eye contact, seeing your own face all the time, not being able to move as much and trying to keep up with all the people speaking is cognitively difficult.
So how can bosses or account managers make it easier, and even beneficial, for people to engage in video conferences? It’s about setting ground rules such as mandating a personal/professional check in at the start of the meeting.
This may be awkward at first, but by trying to mimic the rituals of a face-to-face meeting you will help everyone forge connections, and to overcome the sense of isolation that can creep in when people aren’t together physically.
If possible, try to limit being on mute: not only does it encourage people to disengage, but dead air can kill any semblance of atmosphere or attempt at banter and jokes, which, as social beings, we all need and appreciate.
With clients or potential clients, inserting chit-chat and some personality into a video call can work wonders, and shows that you're not just there to get and do business. After all, good relationships are built on trust and mutual respect: that doesn’t have to change just because you're not talking about a new account over coffee.
Create high quality video
Not only have we turned to online meetings, but videos have become a far more common and powerful tool when it comes to trying to win and maintain business.
Human beings are visual creatures, and we find video more memorable than any other type of content. According to US business magazine Forbes “viewers retain 95 per cent of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10 per cent when reading it in a text.”
So how can you turn that to your advantage? By having a good understanding of what works, and what keeps people informed and engaged. And don’t worry -- it’s not about reinventing the wheel or hiring a production crew to make a high-quality video.
There are heaps of great video templates and audio available for creating a personalised video for your brand, product or service; all you have to do is write the script.
To do that well, just include some of these tips: get your leadership on camera; get them to talk about subjects they're passionate about (this will help them not read off a script and sound more authentic, too); don’t overproduce the video; and include some unique insights and analysis into the product, service or industry that will make clients and customers feel as though they’re getting a premium service.
Know how and where to share it
With everyone currently being bombarded with videos, memes, texts and all manner of other content, it’s important to be strategic about how, when and where you send your material.
If using email, perhaps consider preparing a personalised video for your customer after they’ve made their first purchase or meaningful interaction with your brand or organisation? Everyone likes to feel special, and seeing someone make the effort to engage personally will no doubt foster a sense of connection or at least, good will.
Sharing videos on social media is another way to engage with customers; it’s a fun and short way of getting your message across, especially if it’s packaged up with content such as practical hacks, how-to-videos, animals and food.
Anna is a senior business leader with a decade of experience in growth strategy, through-the-line marketing, entrepreneurship, digital strategy and management.
She consulted for a wide range of organisations, from technology startups, such as Delivery Hero and Hotel Tonight, to government-funded BEC Australia. Most recently, she established the Digital and Growth Business Unit at Tyro, a fully licensed tech business bank. As Head of Digital, she achieved 10x growth in customer acquisition, and generated in excess of $46m worth of revenue during her two-year tenure.
A regular speaker and contributor within the Australian Growth Marketing Community, she’s actively working on nurturing talent and closing the skill-gap in this essential space.
Anna joined Clipchamp full-time on 5 April 2018. She serves as Head of Product, and is responsible for the commercialisation of Clipchamp’s products, from customer acquisition, retention to revenue generation.