Video conferencing has been the backup option for hosting meetings for years now. If you needed to connect with someone from out of town or otherwise couldn’t make it for an in-person meeting, a video call would be the next best thing.
But as we get more familiar and comfortable with holding video conferences, it’s becoming more and more apparent that video conferencing isn’t just a backup plan.
In fact, there are a lot of benefits to video calls that you just won’t get from an in-person meeting.
Sure, video conferencing lets everyone tune in from the environment of their choice. Participants don’t need to worry about things like commuting or parking or the other things that can make attending an in-person conference so annoying. But video conferencing has a lot more to offer.
- The advantages of video conferencing—beyond the obvious cost savings everyone talks about
- So… should every call be a video conference call?
Shopping for a video conferencing tool? (Or just curious about what to look for?) Grab the free checklist to help you choose the right one for your team or business.
A lot of pain points companies face come down to a lack of communication. Whether you’re in an office or operating with a completely remote workforce, building a company with happy customers and happy employees is largely dependent on how much people talk to one another.
This is where video conferencing comes in. With all the ways we can communicate––from instant messaging to face-to-face interactions—video conferencing is one of the communication channels that offers the most benefits.
Although video conferencing isn’t the perfect tool for every interaction (more on this a bit later), it can help your team improve communication overall and bring a number of benefits to your company, team, and customers.
Here are some of the biggest ones.
1. Improved communication for better meetings
Having a good video conferencing platform lets you connect with your team—regardless of where they’re located. This isn’t anything new. It’s been one of the biggest benefits of video conferencing since it started to become popular.
But video conferencing does more to improve meeting quality than just bring people together. Sure, it’s great to be able to see other members of your team instead of just hearing their voices (especially when it’s impossible to get together in real life), but the additional features and capabilities that come with video conferencing tools can sometimes make virtual meetings even better than in-person ones.
Screen sharing is one example of this. When you’re on a video call, it’s easy to pull up a report, slide deck, or graphic to discuss:
With one person in control, you don’t need to worry about a participant looking at the wrong info or getting lost. Brainstorming and annotation features also make it easy to edit documents or provide feedback in real time:
When your video conferencing tool is connected with content sharing platforms, you can also easily pull up other information or documents to make your meeting more dynamic.
Compared to in-person meetings or audio conferencing, video conferencing adds an extra visual component to your meetings. It can make it easier for your team to communicate, share ideas, and participate in brainstorming—for example, here’s a quick look at how RingCentral Video’s conferencing platform works:
2. Easy recording and playback
How many times have you sat in a conference taking notes and anxiously hoping you don’t miss something important? You’re so tuned in to the notes you’re taking that you’re not able to engage with the conversation in front of you.
Or, you can choose to participate in the conversation and run the risk of forgetting an important detail when the meeting is over. Even with meeting notes, you’re at the mercy of the person in charge to capture the things important to you.
With video conferencing, you don’t need to wish you could just replay that one conversation again—because recording the conversation is so easy. Most video conferencing features have recording capabilities built-in and included, so all you need to do is push a button. Once the meeting is over, your recording is saved and you can easily distribute it to your attendees for later reference.
Easy recording for every call means participants don’t need to choose between taking notes and participating. Everyone can sit back, be engaged with the conversation, and then go back to review the meeting as a whole if they need a refresher.
🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:
💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.
3. Happier employees
People feel satisfied with their jobs when they feel like they’re doing good work and they feel connected to the projects they’re working on. Keeping remote employees engaged comes with its own set of challenges. Video conferencing makes this possible by making it easy for teams to engage, get feedback, and ask questions––all things that can contribute to greater job satisfaction.
Video conferencing can also cut back on mandatory traveling, which can take a big toll on an employee’s work-life balance. Would your employees prefer staying home and tuning in virtually to a meeting, or taking days away from their family and sleeping in a hotel?
And it’s always important to make sure new employees start off on the right foot and are confident in their first few weeks. Recruiting new talent, going through the hiring process, and onboarding them to your team can be expensive. If you don’t all work in the same office, then video conferencing could be a great communication tool to keep everyone on the same page.
4. Better relationships with clients and customers
While you can certainly use video conferencing to connect with your teammates, it’s also a great way to communicate with clients.
Even if you can’t physically meet in person, video conferencing lets you continue having those regular face-to-face conversations virtually with clients and nurture those relationships.
The more difficult or complex the conversations that you tend to have with clients, the more helpful it’ll be to have a video conferencing tool. There’s a wealth of nonverbal cues and facial expressions that you’re losing on a voice-only call or text message. Don’t limit those conversations!
Video conferencing definitely has its benefits, but the answer is no—not every call needs to be a video call. In fact, too many video calls can actually start to feel a little overwhelming.
To make video calls as beneficial as possible, they should be used strategically. When is it actually important to see the faces of everyone else on the call? Is sharing documents or presentations crucial to the conversation? Can the conversation be just as productive as an email or message?
Sometimes the answer isn’t always clear—and that’s okay. But this is where using a communications platform that allows for easy transitioning between conversation types is important.
We’ve all been in an email conversation where someone suggests just hopping on the phone. Things aren’t moving along as productively as it could be, so it makes sense to get on a call and just talk things through. The same goes for video meetings.
But when your platforms don’t connect or you’re trying to use a dozen different communication tools to have a conversation, suddenly “just jumping on a call” turns into a 30-minute slog. By the time you set up the line, share the link with other participants, and everyone gets on the call, it’s time to move on to the next meeting.
With RingCentral, you can easily switch between chatting and video conferences so you don’t need to stress about the best way to connect. If you start in instant messaging and find it’s not working, you can be on a video call with the relevant parties in a matter of seconds—so you don’t have to waste time with all those extra steps:
Get the most benefit from your video conferences
All video conferencing tools aren’t created equal. The real benefit lies in the specific features they offer—and how you use it.
Just like any other meeting, a video conference is only going to be as productive as you make it. If you really want to see the benefits of video conferencing beyond just a way to easily to connect with people around the world, you need to have a clear idea of what features you need to make your meetings more efficient and team members more productive (like screen sharing or digital annotations).
When you have a powerful video conferencing tool that does more than just let you see who you’re talking to, you can have better meetings, improved communication, and happier employees and customers.
Originally published Jul 01, 2020, updated May 31, 2022