Here’s What Teleconference Technology Can Do for Your Business

Telepresence technologies allow people to communicate face-to-face across great distances. From allowing deployed service members to stay in touch with their families to enabling college students to help their younger siblings at home with assignments, these technologies have done much to improve connectivity in our personal lives. But did you know that teleconference technology can markedly improve your business operations, too? 

It’s true. According to the results of a case study performed by Cisco after it implemented telepresence units in offices across 123 cities around the world, telepresence solutions for business can substantially reduce or eliminate travel costs, facilitate collaboration across geographically disparate teams, and help hiring managers screen new job applicants. But they’re not just a way to increase collaboration and improve employee productivity; telepresence solutions can also improve customer satisfaction, boost sales, and help transactions get finalized faster, to increase revenues while cutting costs. 

Facilitate Collaboration While Reducing Travel 

In today’s increasingly global society, more companies than ever find themselves searching for ways to bring teams together across vast distances. Maybe you’ve got an office in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in London, and one in Bangalore – how can you bring teams from all of those locations together in one room to work on a project? 

Well, you could spend thousands of dollars on airfare, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel costs to physically bring your employees together. But they’ll have to spend hours, or even days, in transit, and that amounts to a lot of lost productivity; plus, they won’t be in top form when they get there, because they’ll be tired and stressed out from the trip. 

Telepresence solutions solve many of the problems inherent in working with geographically disparate teams. Using video conferencing technologies, employees in locations around the world can come together in one room to work together. They’ll be fresh and relaxed because they didn’t have to travel, and they’ll get to spend all the time they would have spent traveling working instead, so employee productivity won’t have to take a hit for the sake of the meeting. Employees may have to work odd hours on meeting days because of time zone differences, but most employees are much more willing to stay late or come in early than to get on a 20-hour flight to Australia. 

When Cisco deployed 238 telepresence endpoints worldwide, it saved 11 percent in corporate travel costs in the second quarter of 2008 alone. That amounts to an estimated $90 million in reduced costs. 

With more than 4800 multipoint meetings over a two-year period, Cisco increased employee productivity using telepresence solutions by an estimated value of $40 million. 

Recruit & Develop Your Staff 

Telepresence technologies make it easier to screen job candidates, too, many of which may not be located in your city. Video conferencing for job interviews lets candidates avoid the hassle and expense of travel, and eliminates the need for them to take time off from their current jobs to attend an interview. For many candidates, this could mean they’re able to attend an interview they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise attend. 

Employee development and performance can also improve through the wise implementation of telepresence solutions. Assessments and performance reviews require some level of trust between reviewers and employees, but videoconferencing technologies allow managers and HR staff to build that necessary rapport in order to ensure that reviews, assessments, and development seminars are productive. 

Boost Customer Satisfaction & Increase Sales 

While telepresence technology can do a lot to streamline processes within the company, it’s also a great tool for strengthening customer relationships, facilitating sales transactions, and increasing revenue. 31 percent of Cisco’s telepresence meetings between 2006 and mid-2008 were customer meetings. The quality of the video conferencing solutions allowed customers and Cisco representatives to interact more fully, overcoming the barriers of travel time and distance and providing parties on both ends with a greater degree of information and a more quality interaction thanks to the ability to build trust through body language and visual cues. 

When you implement telepresence solutions in your business, you’ll be able to meet with more customers, without the need to wait for potential clients to be in your area. You’ll be able to have more of the face-to- face meetings necessary to close valuable deals. Cisco estimates that telepresence solutions have enabled it to boost its sales closing rate by at least two percent, while reducing sales cycle time by the same amount – and those are very conservative estimates. Both of these factors can help your business bring in more revenue. 

If you’re not already using telepresence solutions in your business, it’s well past time to start. These technologies can facilitate communication and collaboration with customers and between employees, so your business can run more smoothly and, perhaps more importantly, make more money.

I hope you enjoyed this article about what teleconference technology can do for your company.

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