You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at firstname.lastname@example.org for next issue’s question.
TOPIC: Which video conferencing tool do you use to interact with clients/customers? Why do you prefer this particular service?
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! I use this program 95 percent of the time along with other video conferencing platforms to have continued contact with my clients and prospects. During COVID, these tools have allowed me to keep engaged and actually get to know my clients better on a more personal, intimate level. I figured that not being able to engage with my clients/prospects face to face I needed the next best thing—which is video engagement.
Michael Barreto, President
Metropolis Passenger Logistics in Philadelphia, Pa.
The best free video conferencing tools that we have used are Zoom, Skype, and Facebook Live. Zoom is ideal for anyone who works remotely or has remote team members. Zoom allows for simple, easy setup meetings or regular meetings in your personal meeting room. The free version of Skype works well for small teams with less than 10 total members. It is a good tool if you need a simple way to video chat from your computer, phone, or tablet, and tend to have smaller group meetings. Facebook Live is a great fit for businesses looking to broadcast demos, videos, or showcase their company culture while streaming live. Your Facebook followers can comment and chat live, you can select a custom audience for the video, and you can schedule videos ahead of time to gain excitement.
Agustin Hernandez, Owner
BCOTravelers in Mexico City, Mexico
Our go-to is Zoom. It has an easy user interface, it’s simple to navigate, and is very user friendly. In meetings, there are options for polls and breakout rooms, which are nice features. Also, with the purchased version you are also not limited to your time in a meeting. As much as this works, nothing replaces in-person interaction.
Arthur Messina, Managing Director
Driving Results in Charlotte, N.C.
We like to use Ring Central Meetings in our office. This platform is free with the service we already have and integrated in with our entire staff along with some of our customers. There have been a lot of updates this year, which we like; however, I do think Zoom has the most robust system for video calls and enjoy using the program when someone else has the call. I'm not much of a fan of Microsoft Teams, as it always seems to be a challenge with the calls.
Gus Ortis, CEO
Executive Transportation in Minneapolis, Minn.
We have to do it depending on which tech company client we have to deal with. For instance, Microsoft uses Microsoft Team, Facebook office might use WhatsApp, and Google employees might prefer Google Duo. We also have had to use Skype for few clients. So, I guess we have to use them all depending on the client—you do not want to drink Pepsi in front of a Coca-Cola employee, especially if you want to earn their business.
Jess Sandhu, Director of Operations
A&A Limousine & Bus Service in Kenmore, Wash.
I don’t initiate video conferencing with clients unless they have a request. I have occasionally sent out some short video messages (around 30 seconds) to some clients to say: hello; we hope they are well; we are here if they need anything, even offering to grab a prescription or grocery item(s) if they don’t feel comfortable being out—at no charge; and let them know we are eager to see them again once they start getting back out. They are short, casual, unscripted, personalized videos geared to each client and shot with an iPhone. There has been some positive feedback from the videos.
Quentin Shackelford, Owner
AllClassLimo.com in Wichita, Kansas
We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
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