What Is Teleconferencing?
Teleconferencing is a generic term used to describe electronic communication between two or more individuals. Traditionally, teleconferencing involved a conference between two or more people, held over the telephone. The individuals typically used a speaker telephone on both ends, allowing for synchronous communication.
Unlike a long-distance phone call, teleconferencing allows more than two people to join a meeting. A simple example of teleconferencing includes two or more people conducting a long-distance business meeting via audio conference call.
Multiple people can join in and speak into a speakerphone, mobile device, or personal computer. As a result, they can enjoy streamlined, synchronized communication without traveling to another location.
Why Is Teleconferencing Important for Customer Service?
Teleconferencing is essential for customer service for various reasons, including:
1. Cost-Effective Communication
According to a study conducted by cloud-based web conference platform LyteSpark, businesses located in the United Kingdom could save thousands each year by opting for online meeting services.
Similarly, teleconferencing reduces customer service expenses by allowing support teams to provide real-time assistance from a remote location. Businesses can then minimize infrastructural expenditures and focus on product development, research, and efficient human resource utilization.
2. Easy Scheduling
Many teleconferencing platforms include simplified scheduling tools, which allow clients to schedule convenient phone or computer-based customer service appointments. Clients can then sign on at a time that suits their schedules. At the same time, customer support teams can more effectively reduce wait times and improve customer satisfaction.
3. Enhanced Integration
Both audio and video teleconferencing platforms often include integration features, such as calendar tools, screen sharing, and file-viewing modes. Customer support teams can then use the integrative tools to streamline service appointments, access customer data, and retrieve business information during support calls.
4. Improved Collaboration
Unlike traditional two-way telephone conversations, web-based meeting platforms make collaboration a breeze. With this in mind, customer service teams can loop in information technology (IT) support, product experts, or management without leaving the video or audio conference.
5. Advanced Security
Customer support teams can provide clients with one-time, personalized access codes that prevent unwanted viewers from joining their teleconference or accessing confidential data.
Types of Teleconferencing
As mentioned above, teleconferences once described long-distance meetings held via speakerphone. While many customer support teams still rely on phone calls to assist clients, they have also begun to transition to other web-based teleconferencing services, such as:
1. Audio Conferencing
An audio conference only allows users to communicate by voice. Customer support teams can use the three-way calling feature on their mobile devices for audio conferences or leverage the more sophisticated features found on an audio conferencing platform.
2. Video Teleconferencing
Video conference platforms have become increasingly popular as companies transition to remote, distributed teams. The internet platforms allow customer support or information technology teams to communicate with clients via synchronous audio and video.
3. Electronic Whiteboards
While typically used to enhance distance learning, electronic whiteboards leverage visual data, audio, and video to create a low-cost online learning hub.
4. Computer Teleconferencing
Unlike audio or video teleconferencing, computer teleconferencing relies on written communication between two or more computers.
Teleconferencing in the Customer Service Industry
As customers continue to spend more of their time online, client support departments must follow suit. Teleconferencing allows customer service teams to communicate quickly and cheaply while improving client satisfaction and reducing wait times. In addition, customer service agents can easily loop in specialists from other departments to handle challenging cases, improving the efficiency and collaboration of distributed teams.
Teleconferencing also helps reduce extraneous spending and business overhead by facilitating a cohesive, efficient remote experience. Customer support teams can provide personalized, hands-on care during dedicated support appointments. Further, support experts can draw on past appointment information, streamlined calendar integrations, and file-sharing tools to enhance the customer experience from start to finish.